by Anna Campbell
The 60s rule today on Tote Bags!
Because I'm working madly on a deadline, I'm trying to follow the dicates of Dorothea Brande in her wonderful BECOMING A WRITER (great book on creativity if you don't know it) and keep myself fresh and focused during the long hours at the computer.
One thing she suggests is doing something that is NOT involved with words because as writers we can overuse that part of our mind and like any muscle under too much strain, it gets tired. She suggests gardening or walking or playing a musical instrument or something crafty like knitting. Sadly, I'm utterly hopeless with crafts, can't even cut a straight line, but I've made an attempt to do some gardening and some walking every day.
What I want to talk about today is the music bit. I've played the piano all my life (off and on) but lately I've made a concentrated effort to play every day. I really think it's helped my work on the book whose deadline is looming.
Two pieces that have recently joined my repertoire are by Burt Bacharach, the beautiful love songs This Guy's in Love with You and The Look of Love.
I chose this cover to the right as an illustration because in fact I've discovered it's NOT easy to play Burt B. Perhaps if you're a bit more rhythmical than I am, you might have a better time of it (pun intended). But he rarely writes a note on the beat which means as I play, I have to count aloud to get the complicated syncopations right.
By the way, is that the scariest picture you've ever seen or what? Eeeeek!
It's worth it because the songs are just so pretty - although they're inclined to become earworms. The Look of Love is from the soundtrack of the rather silly James Bond film with David Niven called CASINO ROYALE. Great music, though. And isn't that poster for the movies just the 60s with bells on?
Speaking of pictures, there's not enough posters of men wearing big fluffy jumpers these days, are there? Snicker! Although at least Burt looks considerably less scary in his woolly incarnation.
I remember Burt Bacharach songs as part of my very early childhood on the car radio when we'd go driving as a family. But I think the first time in my maturity that I really sat up and paid attention to them was when I stayed in a house by the sea with some friends and there was a CD player with some CDs. One of them was the marvelous Dionne Warwick's greatest hits, most of which were songs by BB and his lyricist Hal David.
My poor friends! I got a bit of a craze on this CD and it was rarely off rotation over the week we were there. Needless to say, none of my housemates were quite as enamoured with this music as I was. And by the way, nobody ever told me the way to San Jose! Even though I asked and asked, I was stuck 24 hours from Tulsa.
Burt Bacharach went through a stage of being hopelessly uncool although he's had a bit of renaissance in recent years. I remember seeing him with Elvis Costello in a funny scene in the first AUSTEN POWERS movie. In fact, I think that very song may have been The Look of Love.
The songs are beautifully constructed and have wonderful haunting (although syncopated, sheesh!) melodies. Just think of Anyone Who Had a Heart or What's New, Pussycat? or Walk on By.
So let's talk about old school music. Are you a Burt Bacharach fan? Do you have a favorite Burt Bacharach song? Any particular memories that go along with that favorite song? Would you look as good tie-dyed as the girl in the CASINO ROYALE poster?