Showing posts with label Anita O'Day. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Anita O'Day. Show all posts

18 October 2010

Happy Birthday, Miss O'Day

No getting around the fact I have something for Anita O'Day.

I don't know what it is - but I love her. Full stop. Born 91 years ago today -- the video is from a 1963 Japanese TV show available here. I have a copy and it's damned good sans the live audience's lack of applause.

Charlie Davidson told me a story where Anita begged him, beggged him, to come see her in a club in NYC on her birthday. Charlie couldn't commit but he busted his ass getting the shuttle from Logan and flew into Laguardia where bad weather almost diverted his plane to PA or worse. But luck was on his side...

Charlie took a cab to the club, walked in, saw Anita by the bar rehearsing with the band and said, "Baby, I made it!" And Anita said, "Shut the fuck up and get me a double Scotch." I asked Charlie what kind of Scotch Anita drank. "Single malt," Charlie said.

The pictures are from her 1981 autobiography, "High Times - Hard Times." There's been a recent re-issue but try to find the original for the beautiful cover. You wanna pour a single malt (maybe a double) and drink to her? That's your business. I've already beat you to the punch.

29 September 2010

Charlie Davidson and The Andover Shop

"Who wants to look like a fucking Polo window." Charlie Davidson

The heavy mother

The customer didn't return to Poole

Charlies new silk sport coat

"I'm not wearing it til next needs some time to hang..." C.D.

The details

Shirting does not get any better

Charlie's B-24 and Bud Collin's goods

Davidson Law

2nd floor work room

More shirts

My steal - WWII style khakis

Friday Belt material

It fits

About a month ago I was talking to Alan Flusser about this idea I have. He asked me if I'd been to the Andover Shop in Boston. I told him no. He asked why not. I told him I was scared shitless of Charlie Davidson.

A long story short-- I met Charlie yesterday morning in his shop on 22 Holyoke Street in Cambridge. He asked that I spare him from talking about clothes. So we talked about jazz, the army (he served on a B-24 in WWII) and women. He told me Paul Desmond baby sat Chet Baker and that there was a story about Desmond and a woman who broke his heart.

We talked a lot about Anita O'Day. Charlie had known O'Day since he was 16. I ask about Billie Holliday not being able to stand O'Day. "Shit," Charlie says, "they all hated each other." We talk about Brubeck and Jamal. Charlie tells me Miles Davis would sit in the corner downstairs and critique Charlie measuring up a customer. "Those sleeves are too long, Charlie."

And out of nowhere Charlie points to an English hunting jacket hanging behind me. "Bring that over." I lift it off the rack and it's a heavy mother. Charlie shows me the Poole Savile Row tag in the pocket with the date, 1914 and tells me, "The customer had it made before leaving for WWI. He never came back."

This is not just another haberdasher. There's history here but there's a world of advice, wisdom and counsel. I tell Charlie the English have a phrase for what he and I are. "Clothes mad. We just love clothes. All kinds of clothes." Charlie nods and says it's a good phrase. He repeats it, 'Clothes mad..." like he was trying it on. He looks at me and we both laugh.

I asked Charlie if I could take his picture. He said, "Just for you. I'd prefer if you didn't..." I interrupt, "No, I understand. They'll be just for me." And so they are. And so was the day.

25 January 2008

A Trad Music Video

I love this. I love everything about it. The music. The photography. The place. The clothes. The band. The audience. It gives me goosebumps.