March 4, 2007

"Oh, let me think, let me think, what can I do? Oh, no. Oh, no. Oh, no no no no no."

Remember... loving the Shangri-Las? The lead singer -- the coolest girl group singer ever -- is back. Good luck to Mary Weiss on her new album. But let's talk about the Shangri-Las:
The Shangri-Las stood out from their contemporaries. The melodrama and desperation in their voices — not to mention their tight leather pants and leather boots, a drastic departure from the formal gowns favored by groups like the Supremes and the Chiffons — defied the girl-group category in which they’re often thrown “for lack of imagination,” as the music writer Greil Marcus put it.

“This was storytelling, this was creating characters,” Mr. Marcus said from his home in Berkeley, Calif. “There was a cinematic sense to the songs where you could visualize them as you listened to them. Their records left wounds in their listeners.”
Whenever the song "I Can Never Go Home Anymore" comes on the 60s channel, I get caught up in the words, and even though I know it's utterly cheesy and manipulative, it makes me cry (while driving!). Here, check it out, someone made a YouTube video that just shows the single playing on a record player. That's really sweet.

Here's Mary Weiss's MySpace page. Here's a nice interview thing. Here's a cute tribute video with lots of pictures. Here's an album (click on it and buy it):



Look at the way Mary looked then! Good Lord, she was only 15! She had the perfect tough girl image. Hers was a look that in those days -- where I was anyway, in northern New Jersey -- we called "hoody." It was the alternative to the mod look, which I personally favored. I knew one girl, a friend of my sister's, who had the Mary Weiss look. It was sort of the dark side to the candy-colored mod/psychedelic style that I believed would conquer all. But this other thing! It came from the wrong side of town. My sister's friend scared me a little. She didn't live with her parents. She was from over in Boonton. She wore Tabu perfume. Really, I would never wear Tabu perfume. It's unbelievably sweet and strong. But I'd love to have some to dump into a handkerchief to inhale while listening to old Shangri-Las records.



"Oh, let me think, let me think, what can I do? Oh, no. Oh, no. Oh, no no no no no."

Weeps uncontrollably into Tabu-soaked hankerchief.

13 comments:

Sissy Willis said...

Walkin' in the sand . . . Walkin' hand in hand . . .

joated said...

"who had the Mary Weiss look"

http://althouse.blogspot.com/2007/03/bad-hair-day.html

Dadgum said...

Cruising in a Chevy under a winter moon, Shangri-Las on the AM....

Christy said...

Ann, I don't know who is who in that album cover, but the girl in the middle does look like you and the two on the outside look like drag queens to me. Not that there is anything wrong with being a drag queen, of course.

Roger Sweeny said...

"On a day like today
We pass the time away
Writing love letters in the sand."

NOT!

chuck b. said...

Love that video, but I wish whoever made it had placed the record spacer in the other direction.

Palladian said...

Tabu. A great choice for that song and that character.

I just photographed this bottle from my collection for you. If you'd like a drop of it to spill on your handkerchief, let me know.

Ann Althouse said...

Hi, Palladian. I was waiting for you to come by and talk about the perfume. Beautiful bottle and photograph.

So, do you think there are many people who buy perfume just to inhale it, who don't actually wear it?

There must be people who buy the perfume an old loved one wore, just for the memories.

I'm tempted to buy Tabu, just to evoke memories of adolescence. I think it would bring back the whole emotion of being a younger girl wondering what those older girls were really doing out in the world where they lived without their parents.

I'd probably be tempted to wear it actually... and to part my hair way the hell over to one side like Mary Weiss.

Palladian said...

"So, do you think there are many people who buy perfume just to inhale it, who don't actually wear it?"

Of course, me for one! I have dozens of perfumes, very few of which I ever wear. Most of mine are vintage things, the old Guerlains, things from the 30s and such, but I also have quite a few more modern ones. I smell them for beauty's sake alone. There are so many masterful compositions to enjoy.

As for buying Tabu, I'd proceed with caution. The sad truth of perfume companies is that most of the "classic" perfumes that are sold today bear little resemblance to the perfumes whose names they bear. The swill sold as "Miss Dior" smells like a pale shadow of the great Miss Dior of the 50s. The companies change perfumes for a number of reasons: to try to appeal to contemporary tastes, because they're too cheap to use the high-quality materials in the original formulas, or because certain materials have been classed as allergens by some bureaucrats. I don't know how Tabu has fared, but it may not smell how you remembered it.

rsb said...

I love the idea that a perfume is actually history in a bottle.

Revenant said...

or because certain materials have been classed as allergens by some bureaucrats.

Hm! I know somebody who used to get allergy attacks in the presence of perfume-wearing women all the time. Now he doesn't, and told me he figures he outgrew it or something.

Maybe the formulas just changed.

Palladian said...

"Hm! I know somebody who used to get allergy attacks in the presence of perfume-wearing women all the time."

The same thing used to happen to me, until I realized that I wasn't allergic to perfume, I was allergic to women.

Christy said...

Groan.

My mother's sudden allergy to "Joy" is how I received my first bottle of my now favorite scent.

I remember Prince Matchabelli's "Wind Song" as my signature scent in high school. I was just devastated no one ever said, "I knew it was you without looking...."