Although consistently lauded by folk within the biz as one of the great black female singers, Etta is only just now emerging into the extreme sidelights of the great white wunnerful rock arena via a contract with Warner Brothers and her appearances on the current Rolling Stones tour of America.
“The Stones are great,” she says, slightly wistfully. “They are doing black music and they’ve got it. They got the direction and they know what the hell to do. They know how to pump plenty of sound, they know how to get real intense and get people so crazy that they don’t know what the heck’s happening to them. And that’s the way you gotta do it.
"I find myself going crazy about the Stones just like the kids are in the audience. Keith, he just stumbles over his own feet, blam, he falls down, he just lays there, blungablunga, he’s still there just like it’s part of the act. They kick each other and thump each other in the back of the head. Mick, if he forgets the damn words he just burbles and they go nuts. He forgets what part of the song he’s singing but who cares, y'know? Long as he’s there to holler something people just bump their heads on the wall, it’s great.
"But, you know, Mick told me: ‘I met you 15 years ago at a little club in Los Angeles. You were wearing a blonde wig and you had on a green dress and it had feathers …’ he named everything. He was right. And a lot of the stuff that I see him do on stage is stuff that I used to do. I mean when I was really jumping around an’ leaping an’ looking all crazy.
"I was originally like a punker, know what I mean, like the punks are today, I’d spit in a minute. And I notice Mick does that same facial expression that I see, so then I sit in the dressing room and I think it’s really weird how these guys have gotten over.
"The first night I worked with them I almost cried in my dressing room. I thought, God, here are these guys, they’re famous millionaires from doing this here and I’m still nowhere after all these years. What is happening here?
"Then I think, I don’t know, I wanna make money but I don’t probably never wanna be cool about it, you know what I mean? I would never be cool about it. I would never give a shit whether I worked Las Vegas or Lake Tahoe or not. I’m not a bourgeois person, never will be. I could work Dingwalls forever because I’m used to that kind of joint.
"Like the guys came to me last night and said, 'I’m sorry this is not like the Ritz.’ Well what the heck would I know? In 25 years I’ve never worked the Ritz; I’ve worked nothing but places that look like Dingwalls. And for those kind of people, that stand there and scream all night, and when you get through they’re mad because you don’t come back, that’s my kind of people.
"See, I don’t like places where people can’t dance – don’t like clubs or theatres where a bunch of bourgeois people sit around tip, tip, tipping their fingers.” [Read More]
One of the things that I love best about the Bletchley Circle is how it recognizes that women have different kinds of personalities and different strengths and different desires? And how the portrayals are balanced and human and done with such kindness.
Like, Jean’s efficiency and sense of duty and knowledge and how she’s a buttoned-up librarian, but also how it matches with her deep-seated of personal responsibility, her need to see justice done and make sure that their little sisterhood of Bletchley girls look out for each other. Like, the warmth you see on her face when something good happens and how expressive her voice is? And how her contribution to the team is, despite the stereotype of the isolated no-people-skills-librarian, that she organizes people beautifully and effectively and keeps in touch with them and they trust her.
And like, pretty, fluffy Lucy and her sweetness and how she is happy being done small kindnesses and slight patronization by men in a way that the other women in their crimesolving circle don’t get and would reject or be uncomfortable with – soft little Lucy who conforms to what society thinks girls should be, but how she is also the one who breaks the rules to get them the info they want, and how, at the same time, Susan has a brilliant, brilliant analytic mind and is socially prickly and awkward and has that incredible thirst for problem solving –
but also has a husband and children that she deeply loves and wants to take care of and be with? and how the show doesn’t think less of her for it. or give her shit for her very normal, very realistic reaction to the horrifying things that happened last season?
WHILE SIMULTANEOUSLY ALSO SHOWING US THAT MILLIE WOULD BE A STONE-COLD, ABSOLUTE MASTER OF A FIELD AGENT. Like her social smarts and confidence and languages? And how she gently pushes the florist people with a completely plausible explanation and won’t let go of her inquiry and ugh, right now, I am at the bit where Millie and Jean are doing field re-con together and Millie is assessing and thinking, and the shot is tall, lovely, fashion-plate Millie with her makeup and hair and vivid modern colors, and little shirt dowdy-looking Jean with no visible lipstick and her hair bun pulled back, and the show doesn’t shame EITHER OF THEM for it or try to make them the same person?
THEY JUST LOVE EACH OTHER AND RESPECT EACH OTHER AND SOLVE CRIMES TOGETHER I LOVE IT SO