25 July 2007

Elegantly Dressed Wednesday

I like reading Obits online.
(They are biographies with all the rubbish edited OUT -
saves a lot of reading time.)
So there I was, assessing the just-deceased Nigel Dempster for
Elegantly Dressed Wednesday
(because he was always 'elegantly attired',
had Australian parents, and being born in 1941,
was middle-named after the infamous General Patton);

when I saw that
Ozzy has lost his father-in-law -

This is from The Independent's obit for DON ARDEN -

Intimidating rock impresario -
Harry Levy (Don Arden), manager, agent, music promoter and record company owner:
born Manchester 4 January 1926; married 1950 Hope Shaw (died 1999);
one son, one daughter [- The SHAZZ] ;
died Los Angeles 21 July 2007.

Rock and pop managers are supposed to look after their clients' best interests when negotiating with record labels, publishers, promoters and merchandising companies. The notorious agent, promoter and impresario Don Arden was not above using intimidation and litigation and sometimes going even further. Once described by the News Of The World as the Al Capone of pop, Arden became infamous in 1966 after dangling a rival manager, Robert Stigwood, from the fourth-floor balcony of his London office after Stigwood had apparently shown an interest in taking over the affairs of the Small Faces.
Arden was only 5ft 7ins but played up to his gangster image and wore broad-lapelled suits while he signed and promoted some of the biggest British acts of the Sixties and Seventies. The artists he managed included the Nashville Teens, the Small Faces, Amen Corner, the Move, ELO, Wizzard, Lynsey de Paul, Black Sabbath and their lead vocalist Ozzy Osbourne as a soloist, and Air Supply. All found success but some complained of exploitative contracts, unpaid royalties and diminishing returns and had to resort to the courts to get their dues ... "

Follow the link above to read the rest, the punchline is
"and he sold the ELO catalogue for 40 million quid"
- in my opinion, the only time they were worth anything.

Rock on ...


  1. Is it wrong to enjoy reading obituaries so much? You're right, obituaries are a good succinct read, and apparently written well in advance! Keith Richard's needs constant updating!

  2. "...Black Sabbath and .....Air Supply"

    heh . what a collision.

    Thanks for calling by my place. You left a blog name, melbourne Linguist Blog, which I would love to visit...can you send me the address? I am a bit challenged you know. I need constant direction.

  3. Hi Annie

    What do you mean 'Ozzy's father-in-law'. These days Ozzy Osbourne is known as the dependent husband of the phenomenon known as Sharon. It was the frump with the £2m body lift who stole Ozzy away from her dad and turned her whole family into the industry it is today.

    My favourite Sharon/Don story is that she told her children her father was dead and then startled them by screaming hysterical abuse when they happened upon him on a Los Angeles street. That must have taken some explaining.

    The little fat girl who was terrorised by her father definitely got the last laugh.



  4. to lose one father-in-law is unfortunate ... to lose two is carelessness.

  5. Obituaries...just as long as when you read your own, they say something really interesting about you. Who would want a boring one?

  6. Personally I enjoyed Bernhard Manning (legendary nightclub bigot)'s obit a couple of weeks ago. I laughed so hard that my gallbladder implant shattered. It wasn't meant to be funny, of course, it's just that I'm so pleased the fat, unpleasant b*stard's dead.

  7. ... and now he's a boggart poltergeisting about The Wyre ...

  8. I hope not. If I spot him boggarting around I'll stick him back in his bog hole where he belongs. Mind you, I'd need a crane to do it.

  9. Amazing...I hope to have good things written in my obituary. Nope, it is not wrong to read these, it is refreshing to see what others have done in their lives and perhaps see what we ought to be trying to do..especially when our days are numbered...who knows when our time is up? The song on my current post is reflective of what I want played at my very short funeral...

  10. You are all cordially invited to the upcoming nuptuals of Ann O'Dyne and Glenn A. Baker...

    I'll get out of your way now...