Sunday, September 11, 2011

Pattie, Eric, Siobhan, Shakespear's Sister and Marcy Levy/Marcella Detroit

I just finished Wonderful Tonight (the first book I downloaded on my new Kindle...thanks honey!). It's Pattie Boy's memoir, chronicling her childhood in Kenya, her time as a model in "Swinging Sixties" London, and--of course--her marriages to George Harrison and Eric Clapton. It's a well-written and enjoyable read, especially if you find showbiz memoirs as addictive as I do. By the way, between the two men (Harrison and Clapton), I'd totally choose George--although according to her book he wasn't exactly a prince either.

Inspired by Boyd's memoir, I started searching out old Harrison and Clapton tracks. I've always liked George Harrison's work, both Beatles and solo, but my absolute favorite is the underrated "All Those Years Ago" (BRILLIANT track!). Finding Eric Clapton songs that I'm passionate about is a bit more difficult. He's a great guitarist but something about his music always seemed dull and workmanlike to me. To date, I've only really liked two of his singles: "It's In the Way That You Use It" (or "the Color of Money song"), and "Promises."

Although "Promises" is fairly morose, I've always loved the female backup singer on that song. Something about her voice when she kicks in those vocals, "How could we know that promises end?" always gets to me. I got curious to know who that singer was, thinking that it was probably someone famous from back in the day (Linda Ronstadt?). An internet search turned up the name Marcy Levy, although it's unclear if she's actually the one who sings that line on "Promises", as Yvonne Elliman is also listed as the background vocalist on that song.

Regardless of her part on "Promises," Marcy Levy (a.k.a. Marcella Detroit) is pretty damn fabulous. I found her website, which is where I learned that she was "the other girl" in Shakespear's (sic) Sister with Siobhan from Bananarama! So cool, because I adored the song "You're History," when it was on heavy rotation on MTV back in late '89. (Ah, sophomore year of high school. I remember it like it was yesterday....)

The duo had a bigger hit with "Stay" from the summer of '92. I was just sort of "meh" on that one, but the goofy-ass video for it is a scream!

So there you have it, a totally random (re)discovery. Also? I am now the proud owner of a shitload of Shakespear's Sister mp3's.

Thanks, Pattie Boyd!

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