Sunday, November 25, 2007

Desert Island Discs

(Desert Island Discs is a BBC Radio 4 radio show that invites guests to pick songs they would take with them if they were to be stranded on a deserted island.)

Kirsty Young's castaway this week is the author Armistead Maupin.

Regarded as one of the 'great social satirists of his era', he made his name with his Tales of the City novels, chronicling the shifting cultural landscape of San Francisco throughout the 1970s and 80s.

He's written about the search for love and acceptance by a diverse cast of characters, but he was also one of the first novelists to portray the devastating impact of the newly emerging threat of HIV/Aids.

His iconic status as a gay writer and political activist couldn’t be further from his background, growing up in the genteel American South, with a 'neo-fascist, arch-conservative' father.

Armistead tells Kirsty about his transition to the other end of the political spectrum, and how his life has become inseparable from his work.

1. Mockin’ Bird Hill
Performer Patti Page
Composer Vaughn Horton
CD Title Patti Page’s Golden Hits
Track Side 1 trk 3
Rec No SR 60495

2. Moon River
Performer Audrey Hepburn
Composer Henry Mancini & Johnny Mercer
CD Title Music from the films of Audrey Hepburn
Track 11
Rec No WB245032

3. Desperado
Performer The Eagles
Composer Don Henly/Glenn Fey
CD Title The Eagles: The Complete Greatest Hits
Track 4
Rec No LISC9309063

4. Maybe This Time
Performer Liza Minnelli
Composer John Kander & lyrics by Fred Ebb
CD Title Cabaret: Original film soundtrack
Track 4
Label MCA
Rec No 2504282

5. You and Me from the musical Victor/Victoria
Performer Julie Andrews and Tony Roberts
Composer Henry Mancini/Leslie Bricusse
CD Title Victor/Victoria
Track 19
Rec No AA4469192

6. Hallelujah
Performer K D Lang
Composer Leonard Cohen
CD Title Hymns of the 49th Parallel
Track 6
Rec No 7559798472

7. The Heart of Life
Performer John Mayer
Composer John Mayer
CD Title Continum: John Mayer
Track 5
Rec No 88697011522

8. The reprise of Wicked Little Town
Performer Tommy Gnosis
Composer Stephen Trask
CD Title Hedwig and the Angry Inch
Track 11
Rec No 83160

Record: Wicked Little Town
Book: The Cole Porter Song Book
Luxury: Vaporiser

Sunday, November 11, 2007

Musical Saves Scissor Sisters From Split

Scissor Sisters frontman Jake Shears has written a musical - and credits the project with 'saving' the band. The Filthy/Gorgeous hitmaker - who has been working on the spectacle based on Armistead Maupin's Tales Of The City series of novels for the past year-- insists focusing on the show has stopped him from lashing out at his bandmates and causing a split.

He says, "Sometimes writing for the band makes you feel like you could explode, you're so focused on making it good. That was a problem we had when we were making the second record Ta-Dah. We had no lives, it was all we did. Writing the musical has been a really fun diversion because you're not so focused on the one thing."

Friday, November 2, 2007


Actress LAURA LINNEY is desperate to star in a new adaptation of TALES OF THE CITY - as long as she isn't too old for the part. The star played reporter Mary Ann Singleton in the TV adaptations of Armistead Maupin's novels about San Francisco life in the 1993, 1998 and 2001 versions - but is keen to reprise her role following this year's (07) publication of the latest installment in the series, Michael Tolliver Lives. Speaking at the London Film Festival, she tells WENN, "I would do it in a second, as long as I wasn't ridiculously too old for it. Absolutely. "It was one of my favourite jobs ever and I made friendships on that show that will last a lifetime. Armistead and I are very close. It's a real privilege to be associated with that - I loved it."