Petula Clark

The Frank Sinatra thread jogged my memory. Petula Clark is coming to town (well, close enough – the Skagit Casino) in September. I’m not going. Wow. 74 and still touring.

An old g/f had a friend who pronounced her name ‘PET-choo-la’. Mildly amusing.

You start a thread for a concert you aren’t attending?

I’d love to see her. I have a greatest hits CD that’s in semi-heavy rotation in the car and on the iPod.

Well, I like Downtown and Don’t Sleep In The Subway and probably a couple of other’s I’d know if I heard them, but ‘my generation’ music started with Styx, The Ramones, Journey, Deborah Harry, Peter Gabriel, and so on. Tickets are $85, which is a bit much.

But I thought I’d post a thread because it’s just bizarre that someone so well known would play in this area. (Well, OK. Blue Oyster Cult played at this dive in the middle of nowhere – a couple miles from here – before I moved up, and I saw Fishbone in Bellingham. But still…)

Well, thems of us who were Pet’s fans back in the day know of a few more of her hits than those two but we, as a group, are starting the downward slide towards the extinction of a fanbase. And, IIRC, Debby Harry is playing a casino, too, with Cyndi Lauper, though it’s a Vegas casino, but that’s just the first step on the road to Skagit. I heard they invited Britney Spears to join them, but she balked at the “no lip-synching” rule.

Way back when they tried to cover up Pet’s age, not wanting the younguns to realize she was old enough to be our mum (though around the same time a mom down the block took to her bed for a week when she turned 30 and I, horny lil bugger that I was, thought she was hot in her Angie Dickenson bleach-blonde hair and white lipstick). Pet got her start singing, not sleeping, in the London subways during the Blitz.

As for the current incarnation of BÖC, they’ve been on the “Taste of [blank]” and county fair circuit for years. Knew a guy who got to talking to guys from BTO at one of them and they claimed to love it. The pressure was lower than playing arenas, they got to hang out with people who adored them, and they were still making a very comfortable living. Sounds like a good life, or as good as touring would be.

Daughter wants to see BÖC at Naperville’s Rib Fest but I won’t take her. It’s punishment for when she wanted to leave Taste of Lombard before the Edgar Winter Group played “Frankenstein.” Probably was for the best, though, since two blocks away the downward “Doo-doo-doo-doo” part was loud enough to rip a hole in the space-time continuum, much less her eardrums.

Indian casinos have opened up a whole new set of venues for acts like these. They are everywhere, so you don’t have to spend all day on the road, and you have a captive audience of liquored-up gamblers. I remember seeing BTO playing the casino in the Santa Ynez valley. Not a bad capper to a nice evening of dining and “Hit me.”

If you’re referring to their June 8 show at the MGM Grand Garden Arena, that was a stop on the True Colors Tour and not a continuing gig. Although if there were a venue I could visit for a double bill of Debbie Harry and Cyndi Lauper (not to mention Erasure, Dresden Dolls and Margaret Cho as MC) then I wouldn’t much care if it were a casino or not. I wanted to get to the Chicago stop but couldn’t swing it, and I’m bitterly disappointed. But I have seen Cyndi in concert twice already so I’m not too bitter.

How is it supposed to be pronounced?

I always thought it was puh-TOO-luh.

It is always interesting to see who is playing the smaller casinos here in Las Vegas. One thing I have learned is that often the casinos seem to be a pretty good judge of talent - I can remember seeing the group America (“Horse With No Name” and other hits) for FREE at the Sunset Casino (small locals’ place) and after about two songs, I realized why the concert was free - they have not aged well and were horrible. Generally, if the casino is charging big bucks, the singers are still good - if the tickets are cheap, well - you get what you pay for.

Harry Connick Jr. was scheduled to appear here at Boulder Station, with tickets going for $29 the very weekend Katrina hit New Orleans…while a disaster for the residents of New Orleans, the disaster seems to have been a great career boost for Harry.

I recently saw Petula Clark on one of those PBS specials with old classic groups…the audience was scary enough, but Petula was forced to sing her songs in a different key, with some very creative effects to cover her now-limited range…but hey, at her age, more power to her! She looks great, even if her voice ain’t. My guess is that $85 for a ticket is a bit steep.