At the age of 16, Montreal’s latest musical discovery, France Joli, has already been dubbed “the queen of Lolita disco” and her hit song Come to Me is rising with a bullet on every record chart in North America. Success shouldn’t come as a surprise to reedyvoiced Joli—after all, she has been in the business since she was 2. At 11, she dropped out of regular school to pursue her professional career with the full support of her mother, Michelle, a retired teacher who tutored the pubescent Joli while she practised “lip-singing” Barbra Streisand songs. Pundits on the music scene say Joli could be as big as Donna Summer, but even Joli finds that hard to believe. “Pm only 16,” she cautions. “I can’t hang around discos like an 18-year-old.”
Artist Harold Town and actor Richard Burton have something in common. Both of them have, sort of, seen actress Nuala FitzGerald in the nude. Or, more correctly, both of them have, sort of, painted Nuala FitzGerald in the nude. At any rate all three are pleased that it worked out so well. It seems that
Burton’s washed-up painter character in the film Circle of Two needed to have some paintings of FitzGerald (who plays his girl-friend) hanging about his artist’s studio, so the producers turned to Town. That’s when FitzGerald turned shy. She would only pose in the nude for photographer Beverly Rockett, who would then give the pictures to Town, who would paint from them and pass the paintings along to Burton. FitzGerald says she did the photo session on the back porch of her Toronto home and that the pictures feature her “doing things with a harp that would send the censors running for scissors.” Gentleman Town turned the pictures into cubist-impressionist images, leaving Burton to wonder where the harp begins and FitzGerald ends. Sort of.
The U.S. election is shaping up to be a star-studded affair as celebrities dosi-do with candidates in what amounts to glitz blitz for campaign funds. So far California’s presidential hopeful Governor Jerry Brown seems to have enlisted the loudest chorus of supporters with the Eagles, Chicago, Neil Diamond, Helen Reddy and, of course, his girl-friend Linda Ronstadt. On the East Coast, Senator Edward Kennedy is said to be in like Flynn with the incongruous duo of Woody Allen and Bob Dylan. Not to be outdone, President Jimmy Carter is counting on the good ol’ country charm of Willie Nelson, Loretta Lynn and Larry Gatlin. And don’t discount Republican Ronald Reagan, who kicks off his festivities Nov. 2 with a Boston concert headlining Dean Martin and Frank Sinatra. Tickets for Reagan’s right-wing eve-
ning of song and patter start at $50 and invitations to the get-together with the stars afterward can be purchased for $1,000.
After next week’s Pan-Pacific Games in Christchurch, New Zealand, 20year-old Helen Vanderburg may hang up her goggles for good. Vanderburg swam off with two gold medals for her synchronized routines at last summer’s Pan-Am Games and she is legitimately heralded by her coach, Debbie Muir, as “the best synchronized swimmer in the world.” But at the age of 20, Vanderburg feels it is time to retire. “I’d be in a wheelchair in another five years,” she says about demands imposed by her sport, which include dance lessons, weight lifting and an average of four hours in the water every day. After Christchurch, Vanderburg will return to Calgary to complete her degree in physical education and then she will consider a career, possibly in coaching. But she will always swim. “After all those years, my body would reject the thought of not being in the water.”
More than a dozen of New York’s finest are now sporting bulletproof vests, courtesy of John Lennon. Recently the esoteric Beatle and his wife, Yoko Ono, dropped off a vest cheque for $1,000 at the offices of the Patrolmen’s Benevolent Association. Each of the vests costs $67.50 and Lennon’s contribution leaves about 3,986 officers still vestless in the $1.5-million campaign organized by the I Have a Vested Interest in New York’s Finest Committee.
Alcoholic California poet/novelist Charles Bukowski (Notes of a Dirty Old Man) dropped in on Vancouver recently to share cynical insights on the
lifestyle of the gutter with about 600 people who paid $6 each to be taunted and insulted while he read new works and consumed four bottles of red wine. “This reading is over when the booze runs out,” he told the gathering, and he was true to his word. Before the last drop was swilled Bukowski, 59, who has been described variously as “the ugliest man alive” and “the best writer since Ernest Hemingway, William Faulkner and Norman Mailer,” denied any allegiance to the beatnik movement and claimed to have been drunk during the entire era. He also refused the title of the “prince of punk prose,” by admitting: “I
wouldn’t know a punk if one bit me.”
Spiv rocker Joe Jackson may be the latest crest on the musical New Wave but the six-foot-two singer from Portsmouth, England, claims to be “a pretty average guy.” As a child he played the violin, suffered from asthma and was taunted by his schoolmates for his gangly appearance. “It’s amazing how cruel kids can be to each other,” he says. “When you grow up you realize how insignificant it all was.” For three years Jackson studied piano at London’s Royal Academy of Music but dropped out because of the academy’s “attitude” that its students were “a cut above the other peasants who made up the rest of society.” After a brief stint with a group called Arms and Legs, Jackson was “discovered” and his first album, Look
Sharp, launched him into North American superstardom. Currently on tour for his second album, I’m the Man, Jackson feels he is bringing depth to New Wave: “It’s a return to high-energy and realistic music. It’s not just ‘ooo-ooo baby, I love you!’ ”
In 1943 the Americans invaded Lancashire, England—or at least that is the premise of John Schlesinger’s latest film, Yanks. Though the film is proving to be a commercial success, since it draws on the themes of wartime romance and army high jinks, Schlesinger claims he had to spend nine months “with a begging bowl” to get his financing, and not a penny of it came from the British. In fact, Schlesinger got his $7 million from American and German interests. Ironically, his next film, HonkyTonk Freeway, which is entirely set in Florida, is totally financed by British interests. “It’s about getting what you want,” says the director with a satisfied grin.
6i\Mou wouldn’t believe some of the 1 places we’ve managed to make a salad in,” says Cathy Jones, one of three vegetarian members of CODCO, Newfoundland’s zany theatre company. “Romaine in a boot,” is how Mary Walsh (a hold-out carnivore, along with Andy Jones, who enjoys the health drink “Crunchy Scotch” from time to time) describes life on the road with CODCO’s “all-purpose cabaret company,” WNOBS. Its new show, The Waning Moon Café, is touring the country from Toronto to Vancouver and, while the troupe is united on stage, it remains divided at
the dinner table. To avoid the cheeseburger circuit, its members stay at “places with kitchens.” And they don’t keep company with cod. “I hate cod,” confides lentil-lover Tommy Sexton.
Even though Hollywood is being hush-hush about it, word is out that Dolly Parton is going to be a movie star. Her first film of a three-picture deal is a comedy called Nine to Five, in which the busty, 33-year-old singer co-stars with less-well-endowed Jane Fonda and Lily Tomlin. Parton let the news of her impending movie career slip recently when she was discussing the thrill of losing 35 pounds from her five-foot frame. “If a girl’s going to do scenes with Jane Fonda, she has to look her best,” laughed the now-100-pound Parton.
When Henry Kissinger goes for a stroll, he is flanked by his personal gunslinging “gang of four.” Kissinger lured the four former Secret Service agents away from the government when he left the state department in 1977, and one of his requirements is that they carry .357-magnum Smith & Wesson revolvers. Such insistence on weaponry has never gone down well in Washington, D.C., which has one of the strictest gun laws in the U.S. Though Kissinger managed to have the four designated “special police” in 1977, they were disarmed in 1978 after they were said to have drawn guns and chased some terrified power-company workers into manholes. But Kissinger remained adamant that his posse be a moving arsenal, and last fortnight he succeeded in persuading Attorney-General Benjamin Civiletti’s office to deputize his guards as U.S. marshals.
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