When they are not performing doowah ditties, Anna Melena and the Startools are sterilizing, scrubbing up or anesthetizing in Ottawa hospitals. The eight-member medical band got together 1½ years ago at a hospital Gong Show and since then they have been carving up a storm at local benefits, which are regularly attended by their patients.“We even have our own groupies. They come up to the stage and try to rip someone’s leg off,” says lead vocalist Dr. Anna Malawski, who wears a cheerleader’s outfit as part of the band’s 1950s “greaser” image. Guitarist Dr. Doug Mirsky (“Little Dougie,” after hours) admits that the Startools’ popularity has been overwhelming, but promises not to let it interfere with the Hippocratic oath. “We’ve had nearmisses in performing because of someone delivering a baby,” he says, and the doctors are in constant touch with their hospitals between belting out Hound Dog and “A white sport coat and a pink carnation.”
Forty-five years ago three brash young journalists from Saint John set off in search of a hill where cars rolled up instead of down. And they found it. Today New Brunswick’s Magnetic Hill is a prime tourist attraction, and discovering it is just one of the
hundreds of yarns Stuart Trueman, 68, has seen in his 24 years of writing about the folklore and humor of the region. Trueman’s latest book, Tall Tales and True Tales From Down East, contains nearly two dozen anecdotal stories, but the author insists he has more than enough leftovers to start his next collection. For instance, he points to the lobster. It seems Trueman has discovered Maritimers who remember when lobster-fishing was a job that could be done with a pitchfork, and actually eating the boiled crustaceans meant a family was hard up. One of Trueman’s neighbors once told him that “you could always tell who the poor kids were: they were the ones who brought lobster sandwiches to school every day. The well-off kids could afford good things— like baloney.”
After almost two years of silence The Diodes are back together. The New Wave quartet was deemed “too punky” for the public after their first album and a second, though recorded, was never released. “Two years too early,” says vocalist Paul Robinson. This week the unreleased platter is finally reaching the public and it is titled
simply Released. If it sounds like old music, some of it really is. The album single will likely be Red Rubber Ball, which was written by Paul Simon in 1965.
Elmer Fudpucker is more than a name—he’s an industry. The 44year-old “country and western comic” has now decided to branch out and the result is Fudpucker bumper-stickers, Fudpucker suckers, Dr. Fudpucker’s Swamp Root Potion, T-shirts and “Boogie Britches.” “Fud,” whose real name is Hollis Champion, insists that he is “not trying for superstardom” but sometimes it works out that way. He recently learned that his 1954 record Old Red Devil is a hit in the Netherlands. “It’s the dang-durndest thing,” he says. “You don’t suppose Fudpucker means something odd in Dutch, do you?”
When filming finished on The First Hello last month in Banff, leading lady Linda Purl could legitimately add mountain climbing to the list of risky things she has done for her art and for fun. “I think fear is one of the greatest illusions we have,” says the pixie-sized 24-year-old who has been known to jump into a Mexican bullring and romp with baby pot roasts. She also enjoys
skydiving and travelling in light aircraft with pilots who give ducks a fright by twirling upside down. Purl’s enthusiasm for scaling and rappelling the cliffs of the Rockies was matched by costar Timothy Bottoms’ gusto for the outdoors. It seems Bottoms is a “train freak” who has frequently ridden the rails across Canada, but this trip he decided to motorcycle the 2,000 miles from California to Banff.
ii I guess you’d say I have a taste for I tongues,” says Pen Densham, 32, whose hobby is taking pictures of people sticking their tongues out. Densham started his 400-tongue collection in 1968 and ended up using most of the stills on a three-minute film called LicketySplit, though he and his partner, John Watson, are better known for their award-winning Canadian documentaries Thoroughbred and World of Wizards. Densham and Watson are now on a “learning sabbatical” in Hollywood where they joined forces with Sylvester Stallone in preparing the fight and montage sequences for Rocky II. “Sly
was happy to pose for me,” says Densham, who had no luck trying to pry the sunglasses off Stallone’s dog, Butkus.
In the wake of Watergate, accusations Iflew freely and one that was never answered was White House aide Jeb Stuart Magruder’s claim that dirtytricks maestro G. Gordon Liddy had
threatened to kill him. “Oh, that!” says ex-con-turned-author Liddy, whose fiction thriller Out of Control relies heavily on details such as how to crack a safe. “There was an incident when Magruder came to see me. He put his arm on my shoulder and began to tell me about how he wasn’t satisfied with this, and was worried about that, and I simply said: ‘If you don’t take your arm off my shoulder, I’m going to tear it off and beat you to death with it.’ And Magruder went and told everyone I had threatened to kill him! It still tickles me to think about that.”
Before he died last September, U.S.
financial wizard André Meyer advised his friends to sell everything they owned and buy gold. One of those who took octogenarian Meyer’s advice was Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis. The former first lady is understood to have invested most of the money left to her by Aristotle Onassis, when gold was a bargain at $213 an ounce last April. Jackie got out of gold last month when it was hovering at about $385 an ounce. As a result, her friends now estimate her worth at about $100 million.
Undimmed at 45, but nearly exhausted by autograph signing, Sophia Loren took Toronto by storm recently when she wrapped up a two-week North American tour to promote the paperback edition of her year-old life story, Sophia: Living and Loving. Torontonians outdid themselves—renaming College Street (in the heart of Little Italy) La Via Sophia for a day and turning out in the thousands to catch a glimpse of La Loren as she made her rounds of public appearances and book
signings. All told, she signed more than 4,000 hard and soft copies—pushing the book near the top of the Toronto bestseller list. While confessing to Maclean's that she’s “not very friendly with many other actors,” she had a happy reunion with Richard Burton who was working in Toronto—but also received the sad news of the death of Rachele Mussolini, widow of the Italian dictator and onetime mother-in-law of Sophia’s younger sister, Maria. “I’m not the same woman I was 20 years ago,” she reflected. “It would be boring to stay the same.”
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