[REMOVE ADS]




Results 1 to 13 of 13
  1. #1

    Why Mae West Still Matters on the 120th Anniversary of Her Birth!

    Name:  P1500197.jpg
Views: 2051
Size:  88.3 KBName:  $(KGrHqZHJC4FC2vIR8qJBQ0!ZnRKvw~~60_57-2.jpg
Views: 1367
Size:  92.4 KB

    August 17, 2013 is the anniversary of the birth of Miss Mae West, the finest woman I never met. Her long career spanned all the milestones of 20th century entertainment; Vaudeville, Broadway, Talkies (as early sound motion pictures were called), records, Radio, Television, and her last motion picture at the age of 83.

    Mae West championed equal sexual expression for women, with her first stage play "Sex," which rattled moralists decades before Madonna. She spoke up for gays and supported civil rights for racial minorities long before others of her status. Although she demurred from publicly endorsing any political party, she often quipped, "I know a good party man when I see one." Another one of her enduring witticisms was, "Those who are easily shocked, need to get shocked more often."

    Throughout her long life, Mae West avoided members of the Hollywood "A list," seeking out the company of fun, unique and interesting individuals. Her Los Angeles apartment lair at the Ravenswood, suite 611, was often the gathering place of her entourage.

    Over the years that I was fortunate enough to make friends with some of Mae West's inner circle of men she befriended during the last decade of her life.
    The late Ramfis Diaz, hosted one of L.A.'s Name:  DSCF3098.jpg
Views: 1336
Size:  103.3 KBmost sought after events, his annual "Mae West Birthday Party."

    At these fabled annual events, guests mingled in his apartment, a virtual shrine to Mae, and alternated between the visual delights provided there, up the stairway leading to the rooftop where tables laden with food, beverages of all kinds and live entertainment beckoned. In the background, stately palm trees swayed, as if in beat to the music. The iconic Hollywood sign in the distance added just the right surreal touch.

    Over the years, Los Angeles has experienced unfortunate events that have seemingly divided its citizens along ethnic lines. Ramfis' legendary parties brought diverse groups of people together — individuals who normally might not mingle together easily, and the outcome was always a fabulous good time that people talked about and an invitation for next year for eagerly sought after.

    It didn't matter what your sexual preference, racial background, economic status, or body type was. Just as long as you loved Mae West, you were welcome. West had a very similar philosophy at a time when there was much less tolerance for such open mindedness.

    During recent times when there was a conservative backlash to advances made on behalf of human rights. Ramfis' yearly gathering provided a warm and welcome respite. His thirst for life and lusty appetites perfectly reflected those of his idol, Mae West.


    During her lifetime, Mae West sought to bring people from all races and backgrounds together in fun and merriment, and mutual acceptance. Her philosophy of living life to the fullest and enjoying every moment, serves everyone of us well.

    She loved to quip, ....."Ooooohh, they all think I'm twenty-six, but I'm really twenty-sex!" Not a day goes by that a reference to Mae West, recalling her blonde, hour glass figure, and saucy repartee isn't made in the press, a passage in a book, or on television. Long may Mae West be remembered as one of the most important and influential woman of the 21 century!


    Last edited by R. Mark Desjardins; 08-17-2013 at 12:03 PM.

  2. #2
    In 2013, when we have bitchy housewives on TV, Lady Gaga, Madonna and others touting sex and freedom, it's difficult to see what was so shocking about Mae West. I imagine she was daring in her day, but her films are hard to watch whenever they are shown on TCM. She seems kind of camp to me, but she served a purpose for her time.
    Last edited by Kamasu_Jr; 08-17-2013 at 12:05 AM.

  3. #3
    Kam, I completely understand what you're saying but I think it's better to try and view each
    individual in it's own time. Burlesque today always seems camp to me but in Vaudville's heyday it was quite risque. Also compared to Nikki Minaj, Azalea (sic) Banks and Lil Kim before them, Grace Jones, Betty Davis and Josephine Baker may seem tame but in their own time they were quite radical. RIP and much respect to Mae West...

  4. #4
    Kamasu_Jr;
    Your points are well taken. However, I'd like to state Mae West wrote all of her own racy material, and it was this free wheeling spirit that ultimately resulted in her demise. The Motion Picture Code , developed in 1933 hampered her greatly, as well as her being banned from public radio in 1937 for her "Adam & Eve" skit. She got a second chance in 1939 with "My Little Chickadee," but she despised working with W.C. Fields and turned down offers for sequels. 1943's "The Heat's On" done as a favour for a relative, was a disaster, memorable only for her musical numbers, one of which was SO outrageous, it was banned and has never been seen. "Myra Breckenridge" in 1970, and "Sextette" in 1979 were caricatures of her former glory.

    Many people don't realize the large amount of recordings she realeased over the decades and her instance on featuring African-American musicians in her films at a time when musical numbers featuring blacks were cut out in Southern theatres.

    Now best known for her sage, witty sayings, and being an advocate for equal rights for minorities at a time when stars of her stature were silent, she also was the first "cougar," by having her Muscle Man Revue Act in Las Vegas, which toured around the U.S. from 1954 to 1959, predating the "Chippendale" craze.

    Perhaps the "camp" factor Mae West is often saddled with is the fact she lived to be so old. Many of the past "icons" we admire died in the flower of youth. Mae deemed that you are only as old as you feel. Now, that's not SO old is it?

    Hopefully some Hollywood hotshot producer will dream up a suitable film bio with a hot current star to bring Mae West back to the public recognition her decades of entertainment value deserve.

  5. #5
    R. Mark, considering that just what you suggested was done for the pin-up legend Betty Page,
    I'm keeping my fingers crossed for Mae West who history shows deserves the treatment more.
    No knock to Betty Page but her main accomplishments involved giving dirty old men and
    teenaged boys woodys......

  6. #6
    I agree that Mae West was important in Hollywood and American history. She was a woman who did as she pleased in a business dominated by men. She's just campy to me, kind of funny. She did work into her 70s. Have you heard the story that during the filming of Myra Breckinridge or Sextette, she wore a hearing aid so someone could feed her the lines and Mae said whatever she heard in her earpiece including goofs and curse words? People could not help pranking her. Raquel Welch said she always thought Mae was a man in drag. I always thought that about Raquel.
    Last edited by Kamasu_Jr; 08-17-2013 at 08:54 PM.

  7. #7
    Well, I guess I'd better let the cat out of the bag and fess up that I've been working a manuscript entitled "In Search Of Mae West," thus my interest in the subject matter. Yes, I did hear the above story stated by Kamasu Jr, and have been told many, many more stories from the surviving members of her "inner circle," some SO outrageous that you'll have to wait for my manuscript to get published. Mae was definitely one of a kind, over the top personality, of the kind that might be hard to control in today's "politically correct" world. She never had to "let it all hang out" to get attention, but her play on words filled entire diaries, and that diary kept her!

  8. #8
    I say it's a good idea. A Mae West movie, well all right! She was a fascinating īndividual, even if she was sooo camp. My favorite Mae West quote: "I'll try anything once, twice if I like it, three times to make sure."
    Last edited by Kamasu_Jr; 08-18-2013 at 10:58 AM.

  9. #9
    Wow mae west,she was the sex goddess of her day and a legend today!

  10. #10
    Quote Originally Posted by R. Mark Desjardins View Post
    Well, I guess I'd better let the cat out of the bag and fess up that I've been working a manuscript entitled "In Search Of Mae West," thus my interest in the subject matter. Yes, I did hear the above story stated by Kamasu Jr, and have been told many, many more stories from the surviving members of her "inner circle," some SO outrageous that you'll have to wait for my manuscript to get published. Mae was definitely one of a kind, over the top personality, of the kind that might be hard to control in today's "politically correct" world. She never had to "let it all hang out" to get attention, but her play on words filled entire diaries, and that diary kept her!
    speechless...

  11. #11


    Roger

  12. #12
    Who better to sing about "balls" than Mae West. But no one ever came forth and claimed they actually did the thing with Mae. Reading about this ol' dame has been fun and enlightening. One of her most devoted friends was a black boxer from Memphis born William Landon Jones aka Gorilla Jones.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FJS670okmZc
    Last edited by Kamasu_Jr; 08-18-2013 at 02:49 PM.

  13. #13
    Well, as Mae West put it best herself, "Those who are easily shocked need to get shocked more often!" Her razor sharp wit came from her own mind, no "writers" for her. And to think she only had a third grade formal education!

Tags for this Thread

Bookmarks

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •  

[REMOVE ADS]

Ralph Terrana
MODERATOR

Welcome to Soulful Detroit! Kindly Consider Turning Off Your Ad BlockingX
Soulful Detroit is a free service that relies on revenue from ad display [regrettably] and donations. We notice that you are using an ad-blocking program that prevents us from earning revenue during your visit.
Ads are REMOVED for Members who donate to Soulful Detroit. [You must be logged in for ads to disappear]
DONATE HERE »
And have Ads removed.