Saturday, December 27, 2008


Ah, forget Pinter - Eartha Kitt died on Christmas Day, aged 81. She was working and gigging regularly pretty much up to the end, wh/ is pretty inspirational in itself.

Eartha Kitt: The Black Catwoman...the original Grace Jones...the chick that Orson Welles (who cast her in the early 50s as Helen of Troy in his Paris production of Dr Faustus) described as "the most exciting woman in the world"...

Eartha's notorious face-off with President Johnson's wife after being invited to the White House in '68 is another reason why she was cool:

"During the question period, Kitt stood up and confronted Lady Bird (during a White House luncheon discussion about crime), "Boys I know across the nation feel it doesn't pay to be a good guy." She moved closer to the First Lady and said that boys don't want to behave for fear of being sent to Vietnam saying, "You are a mother too, though you have had daughters and not sons. I am a mother and I know the feeling of having a baby come out of my guts. I have a baby and then you send him off to war. No wonder the kids rebel and take pot. And Mrs. Johnson, in case you don't understand the lingo, that's marijuana.""

Johnson put out word that Eartha had reduced his wife to tears, so she was blacklisted. Her house was bugged in an attempt to discover if she was a radical. When the FBI failed to dig up any dirt on her, the CIA compiled a smear dossier that described her as "a sadistic nymphomaniac with a vile tongue". Nice work if you can get it.

Needless to say she had a loyal Gay following, as evidenced by the assorted Disco, electro-beat and Hi-NRG records she released in the 80s, incl. collaborations with Jacques Morali, Bronski Beat and NRG don Ian Levine.

Here's the vid for "Where is My Man?" (where she looks alarmingly like Gary Glitter!)

And the, well, frankly purrrrposterous video for "I Don't Care" complete w/ sampled Eartha purrrrrs.

"I don't care what the trendies may do." Marvellous.

R.I.P. Raaawrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrr!


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