Allee Willis’ Kitsch O’ The Day – Dinner And Neutron Dancing With CHARO!

I’m sure any kitsch lover has a similar dream – having dinner with the kitschy-kitschy-cuchi Charo and bonding like you have been best friends for 30 years. Such was my evening at composer Pietor Angell’s pad with the aforementioned singer, actress, Flamenco guitar virtuoso, CHARO!

Maria Rosario Pilar Martinez Molina Baeza a.k.a. Charo was very nice when we met, no star attitude detected at all, but I knew she had no idea who I was. I made my move when she walked into the living room alone to get a sweater. I told her I loved her spirit and undying devotion to being herself. I also told her I knew of what I spoke and started spitting out a list of songs I had written. Usually people go full-tilt bonkers when I get to “September”,“Boogie Wonderland”, or the Friends theme, but it was “Neutron Dance” that did it this time. Charo went firecrackers, indecipherable words spilling out at 120 mph as she told me she’d done the song in her act. Throughout the evening she proceeded to sing little pieces of it to me. I had no idea what lyric she was actually singing as the accent makes most words undetectable but it was Charo, so who cares?? It was fantastic!!

Seeing as I never knew that this iconoclastic kitsch Goddess did my “Neutron Dance” I almost had a heart attack when she broke into dance as soon as dessert was over.

If you were expecting the entire choreographed number we all can safely assume that that will be coming as the friendship progresses.

I actually prefer intimate moments to full blown peformances. It’s like being privy to Roddy McDowall‘s private footage of Natalie Wood, Paul Newman, Jane Fonda and the hundreds of other stars he filmed casually whenever he went anywhere, including here at Willis Wonderland. I don’t have the footage handy but on evenings such as this one that included the likes of Roddy, David Arquette, Lipsynka, Paul Reubens a.k.a.Pee Wee Herman, Lynne Stewart a.k.a. Miss Yvonne, Debi Mazar, me, Snappy P and Pamela DesBarres, you get a much better idea of who the star really is than watching some interview or performance with them on tv:

I hope you have a happy Monday that includes your own personalized version of Neutron Dance as I offer a toast to Charo with the champagne that was served at our dinner with actual flecks of 22k gold floating in it:

I’m toasting that more adventures with Charo be coming in the very near future!

 

 

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Categories: Celebrity, Dance, Kitsch, Kitsch O' The Day, Music, Neutron Dance, Songwriting, video

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Allee Willis’ Kitsch O’ The Day – 91 On An Oxygen Tank and Racing Past 1,000,000!

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“Hey Jerrie”, the video I made with 91 year old female drummer on an oxygen tank, Jerrie Thill, is the little engine that could! Every week since we made it in 2009 the video has steadily grown. With absolutely no promotion since then it steadily gained viewers. Nothing dramatic but inching along a few hundred or thousand every week. Then all of a sudden a couple of weeks ago the numbers started going crazy. Tens of thousands of new views a day to the 1,079,439 it is today!
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I’ve had some videos that have gotten close to the million mark but they’ve mainly loaded on the views in one big chunk around the time of release. But Jerrie, who departed this plane last year, just kept on ticking and crossed over the magic number a couple of nights ago.
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There’s something wonderful about this happening to Jerrie. She had a wonderful career, working steadily since being discovered by Al Capone’s brother while her parents ran gin for the boys during Prohibition. But she never had recognition in the millions or even tens of thousands and the million mark would make her VERY happy indeed.
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More about Jerrie here.

Categories: Creativity, Jerrie Thill, Kitsch, Kitsch O' The Day, Music, Songwriting, video

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Allee Willis’ Kitsch O’ The Day – 1960′s Fringe Vest Pattern

I wore my fringe vest for years. It was gold suede, just like the cheesy-haired couples’ on the bottom of this McCall’s pattern, though mine didn’t have the little turquoise beads. I think the sound of them knocking together would have driven me insane. I wore that that vest religiously from about 1970 to 73 but it got so pit stained I finally had to retire it. Suede does not take kindly to pit stains. I know I still have it sitting in a box somewhere. It was too much a part of my formative years to part with forever.

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Categories: Clothes, Film, Kitsch, Kitsch O' The Day, video

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Allee Willis’ Kitsch O’ The Day – ‘Can Ya Dig It’ Patch

Other then “Right on!”, there was no more popular phrase in the late 60′s and early 70′s than “Can Ya Dig It?”. Though this patch is missing the ‘?’, which makes it as kitsch as it was hip back in the day. Of course, sewing patches all over your clothes was never excessively hip but here are a couple other ones you may have sewn over holes in your bellbottoms were you of the mind:

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Categories: Afro, Detroit, Kitsch, Kitsch O' The Day, Music, video

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Allee Willis’ Kitsch O’ The Day – Allee Willis Marches on Detroit! Part 14, THE VIDEO

As I’ve been blabbing about for weeks now, I had the extreme pleasure of conducting my high school marching band playing a medley of some of my greatest hits in the lobby of the theater I grew up in in Detroit with the cast of the musical I co-wrote, The Color Purple, singing along. I meant to post video of our performance as soon as I got home but to my horror, one of the three cameramen only shot the students from the back and the other both forgot to turn his camera on for parts of songs and babbled over the footage like he was the subject of a documentary. So it took quite a lot of editing to get something where you could even begin to see the  warm, wonderful and uplifting-higher-than-the-sky feeling that permeated the theater that day.

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Categories: Boogie Wonderland, Detroit, Discography, Earth Wind & Fire, Friends theme, Kitsch, Kitsch O' The Day, Mumford high school, Music, Musical Instruments, Neutron Dance, Party, School, Self expression, September, Songwriting, The Color Purple, video

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Allee Willis’ Kitsch O’ The Day – Watch my new song: “Scared About Life Without Oprah”

My friend and hysterical TV comedy writer, Maxine Lapiduss, has done a brill job on the just-released-and-going-exceptionally-strong video for a song I co-wrote with her, Mark Waldrop, with whom Maxx started the lyric, and Michael Orland, musical director and accompanist for American Idol, good friend, and neighbor of mine who came over with Maxx and with whom we banged out the music in a few hours.

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Categories: Afro, Creativity, Discography, Kitsch, Kitsch O' The Day, Music, Sports, The Color Purple, video

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From Allee on the road…

As much as I look forward to rolling out of bed every morning and choosing a fresh, new and wonderful artifact of kitsch to present, today is an absolutely torturous day in terms of what I have to accomplish. First of all, I’m driving back to LA from Monterey. It’s supposed to rain like cats and very large dogs most of the way back so I have to get an early start. Also, I have to write tons of the kind of stuff I hate to write because I’ve got to unleash a whole Facebook campaign on a death-defying event I’m attempting to pull off in 2 1/2 weeks in Detroit when I conduct my high school band in the theater I grew up in playing a medley of my greatest hits before a performance of my musical, The Color Purple, with the cast singing along. This should sound like a manageable event, but just imagine the sound of a marching band playing in the four-story high/almost block long lobby of a theater built in 1930 of solid concrete and marble, the acoustical nightmare of which has just dawned on me: What’s the point of having a sing-along if all you can hear is a bevy of brass drilling through your your eardrums?

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Categories: Art, bad art, Clothes, Creative process, Creativity, Detroit, Kitsch, Kitsch O' The Day, Mumford high school, Music, Musical Instruments, Party, School, Self expression, Songwriting, The Color Purple, Travel, video

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Allee Willis’ Kitsch O’ The Day – Detroit Zoo Hat and My Homegirl, Lily Tomlin

When I grew up in Detroit I went to the zoo on 10 Mile and Woodward at least a couple times a year. Although I got this particular chapeau on Ebay, I’m certain I had one exactly like it as I never went there without something separating me from the sun. I was quite fond of theme hats as a kid.

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Categories: Animals, Celebrity, Detroit, Drink, Food, Hats, Kitsch, Kitsch O' The Day, Mumford high school, Music, Musical Instruments, Place, Songwriting, Street, Travel, video

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Allee Willis’ Kitsch O’ The Day – Paging Dr. Casey!! I’m having knee surgery today…

Today I’m having surgery to repair a torn meniscus in my left knee. The operation, a relatively quick outpatient job, was supposed to occur on my right knee but after putting the surgery off for over a year and a half I favored the good leg so much that literally the day I finally scheduled the invasion the good knee went eeewwwrrripppp!!! and snapped just like the other one.  Calling Dr. Casey!!!

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Categories: Accessories, Celebrity, Financial, Kitsch, Kitsch O' The Day, Medical, TV/Radio, video

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Allee Willis’ Kitsch O’ The Day – A Real Brady In The Bunch

As a collector of kitsch for decades now with a particular love for popular television shows, there’s nothing better than having the real thing who made the real thing in your presence. Such was the case when Susan Olsen, a.k.a. Cindy Brady, the youngest, cutest, blondest Brady in the Bunch, walked into Willis Wonderland last Friday afternoon. And she came bearing one of her signature Christmas cakes, which is how we came to know each other in the first place as she posted her kulinary kitsch koncoction in The Allee Willis Museum Of Kitsch over Christmas.

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Categories: Book, Celebrity, Dance, Drink, Food, Hollywood, Kitchen, Kitsch, Kitsch O' The Day, Memorabilia, Music, TV/Radio, video

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