Saturday, December 01, 2018

eighth space opera tale 20 years on...

The second Space Opera comic with "Cliff" in its title. MJ's graphic novelist character 'Nick Muir' writes and draws an interactive electronic novel about a cartoon character named 'Mike Weller' and his obsession with Cliff Richard. Nick Muir uses  the form of a video game designed to be played on nine levels in an arts lab of the mind.

Vinyl LP's Cliff, Cliff Sings and Listen to Cliff! have the most beautiful homoerotic record covers an early years' teenage boy could wish for. Top on birthday and xmas wish lists and worth working a paper round to save up for. All three covers are photographed by surrealist Angus McBean; and all recorded at EMI's Abbey Road studios. Cliff was 20th century UK king of pop. Old standards and brand new wired-for-sound commercial innovations. 'Evergreen Tree' an aria on an imagined Space Opera soundtrack.

Cliff had looks and hair to die for. A gay icon. In a forgotten tv documentary on lesbian life in London a woman declares that in her clubbing community it was impossible to believe Cliff was not female.

Cliff Richard represents entertainment media change and continuity over sixty years. In the 20th century it was rock 'n' roll bad boy rebels Mick Jagger, Keith Richards, John Lennon who got in trouble with the law. In the 21st century it is pop's Jesus-loving 'Bachelor Boy' in the courtroom. And like Lenny Bruce at the end of his career switching his routine from comedy to legals: Cliff's similar destiny has been to switch (albeit against his known performance intentions) from light entertainer to catalyst of debates on privacy laws and freedom of speech issues. In 60 years it seems public service institutions like the police and BBC have slowly absorbed sixties countercultures into a mainstream media left-progressive establishment with the intention of turning conservative millionnaire Cliff into the 'Bad Boy' of an old Brit-schooled national Socialist era Marty Wilde track. Cliff on the edge of a cliff just like Brits' Dis-united kingdom at the end of 2018: and the planet's entire ecosystem at the end of humanity's time on Earth.

Yet Ciiff Richard  has been a non-conforming and unknowing conduit, by chance or weird design, of  unusual themes for pop songs. Themes more associated with genres like death metal or drill. Voodoo in 'Livin' Doll', satanism in 'Devil Woman', prostitution in 'There's A Honky Tonk Angel' and top-of-the-pops explorations of radical transfeminism in 'Goodbye Sam, Hello Samantha'.

December 1998's 'tale from wellerverse' is unseasonal. A documented Mike Weller cartoon-poem/video game told on nine levels with two optional endings— 

Goodbye Cliff, Hello Mike—or Hello Mike, Goodbye Cliff—no full stop

note: this post is also testing @HomeBaked's digital blog