Sunday, 20 April 2008

In the mind of Mazza

In 1962, the year Marilyn Monroe died, Peter Robinson was born - not the Popjustice bod but the original gender bender pop star, Marilyn. Together with Boy George, he rampaged through a decade of excess in London and New York in the 80s, had hit singles and became a household name. Boys fancied him and girls wanted to be him. And then, bless, he disappeared to live with his mum.

After years of, in his words, not getting out of bed with the bedroom curtains drawn, he emerged in early 2000s to talk about his time in the limelight. And then last year he surfaced on MySpace with some rambling but very entertaining blogs every couple of months. Click here to read the entries. His story about George's, sorry, GINA's, penchant for rentboy whipping and making ashtrays out of old Marilyn albums is a particular highlight.

Being ever associated with Boy George seems to be a blessing and a curse. They have a love/hate thing calling each other Dawn Pigport (George) and Melonhead (Marilyn). George has had the biggest platform for discussing his side of the relationship: his two best-selling autobiographies. In Straight he says: "Marilyn has a brain and can be surprisingly wise. Underneath all the bullshit Marilyn is actually a very sweet person, but not many people get to see that. His great line is: "There are three truths. Mine, George's and the truth.""

In Take It Like a Man George's first words about Marilyn were typically bittersweet: "A pretty pig-faced creature that talked with a wiggle and walked with a lisp." They see through each other and despite the mood swings of the pair of them, they seem resigned to always having each other in their lives. Like Hinge and Bracket, really.


Here are the original Bitches of Eastwick: Mazza, George and Philip Sallon. When Sallon turned up with Marilyn on his arm one night, the Boy seethed with jealousy over the 'new' best friend. And he readily admits it was because Marilyn looked so drop dead gorgeous. Watch the clip above and imagine being on the sharp end of this triangle of catty banter.


Enter Marilyn at 3.42, tottering down the street in heels and glamour filmed in the 80s for a piece about the Blitz club kids. In this 2005 TV documentary Whatever Happened to the Gender Benders? Marilyn, despite undergoing treatment for cancer, hence the drastic bloated look, was as sharp and bawdy as ever. Philip Sallon's tale at 4.10 is hilarious.

And now to the music. Here is his biggest hit, Calling Your Name written with Paul Caplin, who also did Haysi Fantayzee's hits. His voice is surprisingly husky and in spite of the record company toning him down, he still manages to look fab; all hair and sequins.

This boy was, in the words of Princess Julia, an enigma. It takes a lot of hootzpah and balls to grab your opportunity and do well out of it - however short the time. The image, the music, the voice, it all takes a creative energy that some stars don't even know the meaning of. Marilyn was doing his thing at fifteen before he met Boy George and before the fame. Even though he blew a big chance handed to him from Diana Ross in NYC - he bottled it at a showcase gig as detailed in this Smash Hits article, here, by none other than Neil Tennant - hats off to the big old puff, I say.

Go to iTunes to BUY Calling Your Name to help Mazza pay the bills.

Go here to the very comprehensive TheMrMarilyn.com which has all the Mazza related links there are possible including this brilliant Smash Hits cover story, here and here where a girl had asked Jim'll Fix It, a BBC TV show to 'fix it' for her to be on the cover with George Michael. They couldn't get him so Marilyn was substituted instead. Apparently the girl was a bit fucked off because she didn't know who he was.

And here is the recent Australian DJ Lazlo dance mix update of Baby U Left Me in the Cold.

Baby U Left Me (Laszlo K Remix) - Marilyn (zShare)

And last, but by no means least, here's Maz back in the day with a certain 49 year old pop star who's still hauling her ass around the world...



**UPDATE**
Mr D'Luv has just reminded me of the above. The 'alleged' boyf and boyf thang. Gavva & Mazza. It's got a certain ring to it. And doesn't Gavin look girly! A world away from this and this.

16 comments:

D'luv said...

Luv, how could you not mention the oft-denied love affair between Marilyn and a then-teenaged club kid named Gavin Rossdale, aka the current Mr. Gwen Stefani?

Phil said...

ah! I had the pic! I'll put that up now. I knew there was something I forgot.

DanProject76 said...

Gavin From Bush always loved the trannies. He married Gwen Stefani for Christ's sake.

Phil said...

Dan, I remember a comment you once made, worthy of the mazza himself, when you said you thought he was 'living in a tree on Hampstead Heath with his mum' that made me belly-laugh

John said...

You read my mind, baby - I was all set to do a "Baby U Left Me" post, so I'm Googling away and where does it take me?

xo!

Adem With An E said...

Brilliant mister. I, like my introductions to Madonna and George Michael as a child, was shown the world of Boy George and Marilyn by my teenage aunty who absolutely adored them. I cannot wait to send her your piece; she's going to love it just as much as I did.

DanProject76 said...

I don't remember saying that about Marilyn but knowing me I probably could!

Michael said...

I waited on Marilyn once. Summer of '80-something, working at The Rock Garden in Covent Garden, and there he was, all glammed up. One of a few brushes with greatness I had working there...

Phil said...

Michael, it was probably the only time when the Rock Garden ever had brushes with greatness. Now it's only ever brushed with touroids.

Anonymous said...

Hi Phil,

y'mean, Maz is living with his mom the same way as Rosa von Praunheim, Rudolph Moshammer, Michael Jackson, Beyoncé Knowles and Pamela Anderson does? Unbelievable!!

Harry said...

Marilyn, regardless of his circumstances, is an icon. I hope that someone, somewhere re-releases Despite Straight Lines on cd. Thanks for the blog - it was a pleasant surprise to find!

Anonymous said...

so then gavin was a teenager? was he forced? or what, now this marilyn is saying 5 years they were living together as lovers??? i'm gonna be sick. Think maybe gavin was looking for music stuff and ended up being taken into gayness for the pursuit. And i love the remark above about Gwen, she does look like a man, cos she was born both sexes and she is copying marilyn's look. what a joke. this is all shit, i'm so disappointed. i love gavin.

Anonymous said...

the math doesn't jive much if gavin was a teenager, then got that chick pregnant and there are pics of marilyn with gavin when he was with bush, then he was with gwen. what's the deal?

Phil said...

To the two 'Anonymous' posts above. There's a distinct whiff of homophobia from both of you. Stop it now and grow up. Or I'll get Mr D'Luv onto you...

BC said...

I love him! I saw him perform 'Spirit in the Sky' at Limelight in Chicago in '86. Great show but only one song!

SinCityTweeter said...

OK, I know I'm late in finding this (and there are some really lovely words here, too!)... but here's an update to your updates (and yes, Mr. Anonymous, the "math" according to Maz works JUST FINE!). Get ready, folks, 'cause Maz will soon be finishing his long-awaited, much-begged-for, candid and caring autobiography. How do I know? I'm (according to Marilyn) "co-authoring" it—but truth is, he's a truly poetic writer, so at best, I'm just really happy to throw in a few words and proofread it! More than that, I'm privileged to call him my friend. I can promise you all, the vast majority of what you think you know about Marilyn is nothing but a myth. Look for beauty, honesty and inspiration... SOON! xox melissa