Saturday, October 17, 2009


Yesterday I spent a few delightful moments in a studio at the ABC chatting with Christopher Lawrence on his Friday afternoon show, Retro Lounge. We chatted a bit about books, a bit about reading - he's reading an autobiography of the Italian painter Cellini - which he re-reads every year as a Spring ritual - energising and inspiring. We talked about what I'm reading - 'Cats Cradle' by Vonnegut and '2666' by the divine but dead Bolano - and he's going to pop in to my book show one Tuesday soon.

The song I picked (having the choice of three decades of music - 1930s, 1940s and 1950s) was 'Papa Loves Mambo' by Perry Como. I picked this particular song as it highlights how we change and grow.

Circa 1989 my cousin and I were overcome with laughter - teenage hysterics - rolling around on the cigarette stinking carpet of my grandfather's house - laughing at the terrible 'grandparentness' of Mr P Como. The music, at that point, was the zenith of dag.

Over the years I have come to love Latin, love Dean Martin's menefreghista - ness (menefreghista "one-who-does-not-give-a-fuck"), love Tito Puente and Celia Cruz, love how Latin infiltrated through the fruity Carmen Miranda, and finally come to appreciate how Perry Como fits. It's not so funny to listen to though I am still smiling as I type - remembering the exhuberance with which we laughed.

Paige Turner November

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