Grace Jones applies her makeup as Lady Miss Kier and DJ Dmitri of Deee-Lite ham it up for the video cameras in the dressing room of the legendary Palladium nightclub on 14th Street (now an NYU dorm, of course).
Worth mentioning is the fact that the wild costume Jones is wearing was designed by a guy named David Spada (seen in video wearing a polka-dot shirt). Spada, who died in 1996, was the designer of the iconic anodized aluminum Freedom Rings symbolizing LGBT rights that were launched in 1991.
Video shot and edited by Janet Speier and David Wallace Crotty. Mildly NSFW due to what is now called a “wardrobe malfunction.”
Grace Jones was muse and lover to Jean-Paul Goude, when they made this advert together for the Citroën CX, in 1985. For some reason it was banned in “various countries around the world”, and I’ve yet to find out why? (Answers please…) It’s a classic, iconic ad, that doesn’t take itself too seriously, and once may have even tempted a non-driver like me to consider taking-up driving lessons. Well kinda.
I HAD to share this cartoon, because it really tickled me.
It’s from The Spectator magazine, and is a reference to the fantastic performance by Grace Jones at the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee, where she sang “Slave To The Rhythm” while hula-hooping non-stop for the best part of four minutes. She’s 64, in case you forgot. And as fierce & fabulous as ever. Grace is the REAL queen:
Grace Jones “Slave To The Rhythm” (live at the Diamond Jubilee)
With the east coast of America still recovering from the effects of Irene, it seems like today’s American release of Grace Jones’ album Hurricane could not have come at a more inopportune moment. But as the album was originally released in Europe in 2008 the question remains - why did it take three years for Hurricane to get an American release in the first place? Was it label hassles? Jones hassles? Or a renewed interest in the lady’s work post-Gaga?
Either way it’s still a good day for Jones fans, even the ones who already own Hurricane. The American release comes with a dub-remix album imaginatively titled Hurricane Dub, which is also being released in its own right in other territories. Hurricane Dub is highly recommended, not just for the Jones-heads out there, but for connoisseurs of dub in general. It’s excellent. In fact it’s maybe even better than the original album, and yes I know saying that is kind of sacrilegious.
It’s a dub remix album in the true sense of the term, using just the original tracks and a shit ton of spaced out fx, mixed and processed by producer Ivor Guest (is that his real name?!). Like the dub mixes of her work from the 80s, Hurricane Dub brings the classic rimshot-heavy sound of the Compass Point All Stars to the fore, and positively drips authentic stoner atmosphere. I was actually surprised at how good this album is, and I do count myself among the hardcore Grace Jones faithful. Strangely enough though, there’s very little of this album appearing online. I hope her label are ensuring this reaches as many ears as possible! So, while you will have already seen the fantastic and terrifying video for “Corporate Cannibal”, here’s the only readily available video clip from Hurricane Dub available online:
Grace Jones - “Well Well Well Dub”
Hurricane and Hurricane Dub are available to buy here.
In my post about Rockets the other day, I mentioned the Italian TV program Stryx. Here’s some more bizarro music performance clips from the show, in its own particular late 70s batshit/fierce style. They really don’t make ‘em like this anymore! According to Wikipedia:
Stryx thematically referred to Hell, devils and underworld. The scenography featured elements resembling Middle Ages-like gloomy castles and caves… The show caused many controversies in more conservative societies, mainly because of its devilish theme and referring to underworld as well as exposing nudity. Due to numerous protests the show was taken off the broadcast and the production of following episodes was cancelled.
So in these videos, all of which are worth watching, we get two huge gay disco icons in the one clip (Amanda Lear & Grace Jones), Patty Pravo giving Gaga a run for her Illuminati wage packet, Mia Martini getting burnt at the stake in a fabulous glittery dress, and some more of those amazing Rockets. My favourite clip is Gal Costa performing “Relance” - it’s quite subdued for Stryx (apart from the dozen or so extras who are lying still at the front of the stage) but is carried by Costa’s no bullshit performance and the incredible gypsy funk of the track itself. But first let’s start with Grace and Amanda:
Grace Jones (introduced by Amanda Lear) - Fame
After the jump, more Grace Jones, Amanda Lear, Patty Pravo, Gal Costa, Mia Martini and Rockets…
Here’s some great, candid footage of Grace Jones on the set of the 1986 film Vamp. First there’s an interview in some amazing Egyptian headgear, and then a strangely intimate video of her rehearsing for the role as the two thousand year old vampire Katrina with the film’s director Robert Wenk. I’ve been a huge fan of Ms Jones for a long time, but have to admit I have never seen this film, even though the whole thing is up on YouTube. I will someday, even if it is just for her amazing outfits, and the Keith Haring body art. Although I get the feeling that you could dress her in random items pulled from a garbage truck and she would still look breathtaking, it’s funny how different Grace comes off in her interviews to her public image - articulate, funny, warm, even slightly goofy. I’d definitely hang with her.
After the jump, Grace rehearses for a scene in Vamp, plus the scene itself.
If you generally detest today’s pop music, you may be sick of hearing Janelle Monae’s name so much. And considering that she’s firmly inside the music industry machine, it’d be hard to blame you.
But unlike many women in the pop and R&B realm, the girl has pretty confidently determined and shaped her own music and visual style. Synthesizing new rock and traditional soul into the kind of futuristic brew her foreparents David Bowie and Grace Jones served up back in the day, Monae’s still got the aesthetic zeitgeist at her back.
Let’s hope she retains the integrity and panache shown below. This video is excerpted from an appearance she made in the summer of 2007, just as she released her first EP on her Wondaland Arts Society label. And even though she was already officially signed to the megalith Bad Boy label, she saw fit to play the independent Criminal Records store in the Little 5 Points district of her adopted Atlanta hometown with her guitarist Kellindo Parker. Aaaand she tore it up.
Whatever happens to Monae’s career going forward—sometimes it pays to brace for disappointment, sell-out fuckery, etc.—we’ll be able to recount a time when she seemed like the future of pop. Go girl.
In the mid-1980s Grace Jones’s body became the flesh canvas upon which Keith Haring created some of his most striking images. In the process, Haring contributed to Jones’s reputation as an innovator of cutting edge style and fashion. She wore Haring’s body paint in the video for her song I’m Not Perfect and in live performance at New York City’s Paradise Garage.
Body painting was a natural extension of the ephemeral nature of Haring’s art. Like subway graffiti and street art, it isn’t intended to last.
I remember the days before Haring became famous, when his “Radiant Baby” graffiti was as ubiquitous on the streets of New York as the smell of urine and the sound of ghetto blasters. For awhile, Haring was New York.
In the above photo we see Haring preparing Jones for her role in the 1986 movie Vamp, in which she portrays Katrina the Queen of The Vampires.
The music in this clip from Vamp is by Jonathan Elias who produced Jones’s Bulletproof Heart album.