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Tony Grist

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Good Morning, Starshine [Jan. 5th, 2007|10:25 am]
Tony Grist
Joe has the soundtrack for the movie version of Hair. I borrowed it the other day and it was crap- all smoothed out and picked clean of emotion. So I just had to get the original Broadway cast recording. It came yesterday and it's tons better- raw and spiky and antsy-  just the way I remember it. Hair is special to me. It's the sound of my generation enjoying its brief moment of glory before the sell-outs began.

The film version- which didn't get made until 1979- was wrong. It came out too early to be a period piece and too late to feel connected to anything but its director's fuzzy memories.  Someone should do a remake now. It's time has come; we're immersed in another "dirty little war" and don't seem to have a voice to protest it. The Hair lyrics are still fresh and funny and cheeky. There's a sadness in realising how much braver we were back then.
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Comments:
[User Picture]From: frumiousb
2007-01-05 11:57 am (UTC)
I have a version of the soundtrack done by Nina Hagen & friends in German. It's, um, strange.
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[User Picture]From: poliphilo
2007-01-05 12:22 pm (UTC)
Interesting.

Hair quickly became an international franchise, so I suppose there must be "original cast" recordings in a whole range of languages.



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[User Picture]From: methodius
2007-01-05 03:38 pm (UTC)
One of the nice things about being an old fart is that one can remember just how much better things were in the bad old days.

Chanting outside the US Embassy in Grosvenor Square:

Hey, hey, LBJ
How many kids did you kill today.

But to be perfectly honest and frank and reasonable, Harold Wilson of Old Labour was not much better about Vietnam than Tony Blair of New Labour is about Iraq, Yugoslavia or Afghanistan, so what's changed really?

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[User Picture]From: poliphilo
2007-01-05 05:26 pm (UTC)
I guess the difference is that Harold Wilson didn't actually take Britain into the war. He demonstrated that much independence.
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[User Picture]From: shewhomust
2007-01-05 04:44 pm (UTC)
I love that record.

Even at the time, I was a little ambivalent about the show: it's a show about hippies made by people who aren't hippies, with Broadway musical values. It's about hippies the way that Oklahoma is about cowboys and farmers. Not that there's anything wrong with Broadway musicals...

Anyway, I too have the original American cast recording, so not the show I saw in London, but oh, I love that record!

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[User Picture]From: poliphilo
2007-01-05 05:31 pm (UTC)
Ragni and Rado were sort of hippies, weren't they? It says on Wikipedia that Ragni played Berger so often he eventually turned into him.

And I just checked out Rado's website. He sounds like he's keeping the dream alive- and still trying to get his no-hope, post-Hair, hippie musicals off the ground.
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[User Picture]From: shewhomust
2007-01-06 05:41 pm (UTC)
I didn't know that: thank's for telling me.

I wonder why the show does feel so artificial, then? Is it just that the associations of the musical are so - so unhippyish?
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[User Picture]From: poliphilo
2007-01-06 10:23 pm (UTC)
I don't like musicals much. The only two I really love are Hair and My Fair lady.
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From: bodhibird
2007-01-05 06:27 pm (UTC)
About ten years ago or so, my older sister, who's your age, took me to see a touring company of Hair. It was a fun outing, but I have never seen such a tame nude scene in my life. There was more transgressive subtext in the weird all-chick version of Waiting for Godot in which I performed at the age of eleven.
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[User Picture]From: poliphilo
2007-01-06 11:01 am (UTC)
I think if I were staging Hair now I'd want to cut the nude scene. It's bound to be anti-climactic. Naked bodies no ponger have much power to shock. But I guess it's partly thanks to Hair that this is so.

An all-chick Godot? Did the Beckett estate know about this?
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From: bodhibird
2007-01-06 02:24 pm (UTC)
I don't think the Beckett estate knew. *g* I don't think anybody knew, because we had the smallest audiences I ever performed for in my years of amateur theatre. The director was a professional Equity man who for some reason wanted to do this amateur production, which he was not supposed to do, according to union regs, and he also thought he could "improve" upon Beckett by throwing in a lot of four-letter words. My parents did not allow me to see or hear any of the show beyond the (heavily lesbian subtextual) scenes I was in. It was, altogether, one of the more traumatic experiences of my childhood.
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[User Picture]From: poliphilo
2007-01-06 10:25 pm (UTC)
Now that does sound weird!

Four letter words? Lesbian subtext?

I'm guessing you must have played Lucky.
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From: bodhibird
2007-01-07 12:46 am (UTC)
I was too young for Lucky. Remember there was a boy who comes along twice and promises Vladimir and Estragon that Godot is coming? That was me.
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[User Picture]From: poliphilo
2007-01-07 11:27 am (UTC)
I'd forgotten about the boy. I was remembering it as a four-hander.
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