I can't help myself, but I prefer the German term "Schnapszahl" (schnapps digit) to the mathematical "repdigit". The latter would make more sense in my case if it were spelled "rapdigit", because quite a few of the 111,111 plays I just hit at Last.FM have been rap and hip-hop songs.
This is the opening song of the movie “An Evening In Paris” (1967) … please watch it, and enjoy the authentic depiction of Paris by night (runs until time code 2:20):
You watched it? Okay. Now, allow me to elaborate for a second.
I became aware of this masterpiece during an extended summer weekend in Paris last year. From Charles de Gaulle airport, I took a train to the station Gare du Nord. In order to get a feel for the city which I hadn't visited for quite a while, I walked around Gare du Nord ... and ended up in an Indian area at Rue FBG Saint Denis.
One of the DVD shops sold Bollywood movies for €1 each. I bought four, including "An Evening in Paris" which appealed to me just because of the title. The same night, I watched the above opening sequence ... which I found hilarious.
For the following reasons: Shammi Kapoor (who mimicks vocals by Mohd. Rafi) performs the title song on Reeperbahn, in the middle of Hamburg/Germany’s red-light district. You even catch a glimpse of the world-famous Moulin Rouge – although its smaller Hamburg version is actually a gambling hall (Spielsalon).
You keep seeing local ladies prancing around with Kapoor. They look as if they don’t know what happened to them – they probably were talked into performing in the movie right on location.
Shammi Kapoor is an unlikely romantic lead. His role is best described in the Hong Kong Cinema blog: “The first time you see Shammi Kapoor in a film you may likely wonder if this fellow has just wandered in accidentally and nobody noticed. This is the leading romantic man of the film? His stomach slightly hanging over his belt, his often disheveled hair lying like an unkempt birds nest upon his head and a fleshy unformed face that at first glance has the look and personality of a clump of dough.”
The movie – which was partly shot at another Paris substitute (Beirut/Lebanon) and which is highly absurd even by Bollywood standards – still is fun to watch (if you can get it at a similarly decent rate as I did).
For details, check out the movie’s IMDB page. Or a (German) review by Swiss journalist Marco who is running the best German-language Bollywood page (molodezhnaja.ch) .
The movie’s soundtrack is available at my favorite MP3 dealer emusic: [urlhttp://www.emusic.com/album/Asha-Bhosle-Chorus-Mohd-Rafi-An-Evening-In-Paris-MP3-Download/10836296.html]"An Evening In Paris", by Asha Bhosle, Chorus, Mohd. Rafi (Here are two reviews I wrote about emusic, in English and German.)
Additional videos from the movie:
"Leja Leja Mera Dil" (Great song & dance number!)
"Akele Akele" (Flirting on a gondola lift in snowy mountains)
"Raat Ke Humsafar" (Singing in the rain)
"Deewane Ka Naam" (Seems to actually take place in Paris)
One sentence in Last.FM's bio points out some of his major accomplishments ;-) : >> Known as “Mister Country”, Smith is the former husband of June Carter Cash and drinking buddy of Johnny Cash. Carl and June are the parents of singer Carlene Carter. <<
If you are not familiar with his great songwriting and singing, check out the compilation "Last Train to Memphis" which is offered by the MP3 dealer of my choice (emusic). And: Some of his songs are available on his Last.FM artist page.
A word of warning: As it's the case on many releases by the Ecko label, the production of Sheba's songs sounds extremely cheap. I particularly dislike the cheesy drum programming and the '80s-style synthesizer sounds on many of the tracks. But have a listen yourself ...
His premier release for the label, 'Vande Mataram' (his first collection of non-film music), was a tribute to India, commemorating 50 years of the country's independence. The album reached record stores in 28 countries on August 15th of that year."
I’m currently revisiting some of my favorite Willy DeVille and Mink DeVille songs – which remind me of a TV shoot I did with Willy in New Orleans in 1992, on the event of the German release of his album “Backstreets of Desire” (for the magazine “Das! Das Abendstudio” on the Northern German TV channel NDR). He had moved to the French Quarter around 1990 and recorded the album in the Big Easy (just like 1990’s “Victory Mixture”).
On the night before the shoot, I visited him and his wife Lisa at their home in the Quarter. Instead of doing the usual interview about the album, he suggested that we shoot him doing a tour of his favorite spots in New Orleans.
The following day, we started filming at St. Roch Chapel where the cover photo of “Backstreets of Desire” was taken. For the cover photo, Willy had picked a church dedicated to Saint Roch, the patron saint “against cholera, epidemics, knee problems, plague, skin diseases; [and for] bachelors, diseased cattle, dogs, falsely accused people, invalids, surgeons, tile-makers; gravediggers, second-hand dealers, pilgrims” (according to Wikipedia).
It has a shrine accessible through a small door on the right side of the altar, filled with marble thank-you tiles, plaster casts of feet, polio braces, eyeballs, plus big spiders and cockroach parts. On the album cover, you can see Willy sitting on the shrine’s floor, surrounded by the above offerings.
Next stop was a street market down at the south end of the French Quarter. Willy instructed us not to shoot the vendors because, according to him, many of them were camera-shy ex-prisoners (“ex” meaning: some of them escaped, instead of being released).
We then moved on to the Voodoo Museum. Willy insisted on entering the museum by himself first, in order to inquire whether it was okay to shoot there. Otherwise, he said, “bad things” could happen to us.
I did the main part of the album interview on the banks of the Mississippi River. Willy started to get tired and cranky at this point, which is why we only visited one final destination – a French Quarter Cajun restaurant serving a spicy soup in a hollowed-out bread loaf.
A little later, I met Willy again at the after-show party of a concert in Cologne (where I lived back then). Maybe due to the tour stress, he appeared to be much less relaxed than I got to know him in New Orleans – which is why I prefer to remember him as tour guide in one of my favorite U.S. cities (New Orleans).
While doing this, I reencountered "Too Rude" from 1986's "Dirty Work" album - a song which features lead vocalist Keith Richards and which is closer to 'roots reggae' than "Too Much Blood" (despite Sly & Robbie's involvement in the latter). Here's a very nice 1988 version by Keith Richards & his Expensive Winos:
This version reminded me of the fact that Keith Richards has always been my favorite Stone, and that his 'solo' songs on the Stones albums usually were personal highlights to me. His vocals are raw and uneven, but - to me - they are rock'n'roll. Kompared to Keef, Mick is a mere poser - more pop than rock.
Which brings me to the Flavor Flav comparison. I like Public Enemy better than the Rolling Stones, and I certainly prefer Chuck D. to Mick J. But Flav's contributions to P.E.'s albums (like "911 Is a Joke" and "Get Off My Back") have always been among my favorite P.E. songs because they have a more distinct funk flavor than Chuck's political hip-hop. My mind prefers Chuck's heavy-hitting, angry lyrics and the Bomb Squad's noisy production, but my ass grooves to Flav's sillyness. ;-)
[Before posting this article, I googled for similar comparisons of P.E. and R.S. In 2005, The Guardian published a very insightful story: "Still raging after all these years". Short excerpt: >> He (Chuck D) smiles. "You know, the brilliant aspect is that through all our controversies and trials and tribulations, Flavor is Flav and Griff is Griff. It makes it easier for me to be me. Flavor Flav is Keith Richards. Or Jagger. Maybe I'm Richards, who knows." He stops talking for a second, as if searching for the right soundbite. Then he finds it. "Public Enemy," he chuckles. "Rolling Stones of the rap game." <<]