Tuesday, November 20, 2012

Let's Get Lost(with Mrs Peel)

Let's Get Lost was the first Chet Baker song I ever heard. It is also the title of a Bruce Weber documentary on Baker's life that was nominated for an academy award. Dennis and I did this version  a couple of days ago and I thought who would I choose to get lost with. Not naming any real women here, so I thought I would choose in my fantasy life to get lost with Dame Diana Rigg's Mrs. Emma Peel. I have often wondered since Baker spent a lot of his later life in Europe and England whether or not Dame Diana ever caught him playing at a jazz club. I have no idea whether or not she listens to jazz at all, but somehow I feel Baker's playing would suit her.

Baker passed away in 1988 while Dame Diana is still with us, happily in her seventies and hopefully still going strong. I understand she will be doing a couple of appearances on tv series this year, including Dr Who. They would appear to be quite different yet they may be much more similar than one might first imagine. I think they appeal to me because both of them strongly go their own way. Dame Diana was the first major actress to appear nude onstage(Abelard and Heloise) and has lead a strong and unconventional life. Baker to the end ignored trends in jazz and music and played his music. And he chose to lead a very vagabond life traveling through Europe and Japan playing gig after gig.....

Another similarity is that they both strongly cross certain boundaries effortlessly. Dame Diana' Emma Peel has become and will continue to be a social archetype. She was a sexy woman whose intelligence and personal power enhanced the sexiness. Her use of martial arts in 'The Avengers' series is what drew me into martial arts and eventually into Aikido. Baker rose to prominence in the early to mid fifties, Eisenhower America, in which according to one interviewee in the 'Lets Get Lost ' documentary, and his fluid creative music which contained so much feeling was definitely at odds with the male image of the day, which was more like that of a fullback in football......So Dame Diana a powerful woman, and Chet a creative male not afraid to express his feelings through music.

So here they are somewhat together, pictures of her juxtaposed to my and Dennis's rendition of one of his signature songs.....According to Artt Frank the Baker that comes forward in the documentary was not the Baker he himself knew. I agree with him. I think Baker got caught up in Weber's commentary on ageing. Clips of Chet as the golden boy of his youth are contrasted with a much older version of him. He is not really allowed to play the trumpet, with the inference that his playing grew weak as he got older, not the case by the way. The Baker family is in my estimation set up to be less than they are for the camera, which is unfortunate. And there is almost a cat fight like atmosphere when the women in Baker's life are put on camera. My sense is you understand Chet through his music.The documentary will lead you astray.

And with Dame Diana, the ageing question comes forth as well. Emma Peel will always be immortalized to be in her late twenties. Dame Diana for all her talent is now way past her Emma Peel years. She did a series of Mrs Bradley mysteries that I really liked. I wish she had done more in the way of films and tv so that her work, largely stage in Britain, would have been much more accesible to me. I find interviews of her at her present age quite interesting and she is indeed beautiful......And of course Emma Peel in her seventies is still quite formidable......

And so here is the video. I hope you enjoy it.......


Post a Comment

<< Home