Thursday, January 25, 2007

Rest In Peace - Sally Spectra

Amidst the hordes of reed thin, blond bimbos littering the odious daytime television landscape, one woman stood out as a true original. I'm talking about the recently deceased Darlene Conley, who will be forever remembered as embodying one of television's greatest characters, the inimitable Sally Spectra. Darlene died from stomach cancer on the 14 of January and this Pop Trash Addict has been in mourning ever since. "The Bold & The Beautiful" has been one of my favourite shows since the early 1990s. I remember coming home from school to watch it during lunch time and it was staple viewing while I was "studying" at University. As much as I love Taylor, despise Brooke and fantasise about having a threesome with Dante and Hector; the reason I keep coming back for more is Sally Spectra.

Darlene turned Sally Spectra into a cultural icon. Darlene had charisma, personality and the kind of curves that would make Sir Mix-A-Lot cum in his pants. That combined with Darlene's love of big hair and deep voice, ensured that Sally Spectra would become an instant gay icon. In fact, I don't think I've been to a single Mardi Gras without running into at least one Sally Spectra drag impersonator. However, there was a lot more to Darlene than Sally. Darlene had bit parts in films such as "The Birds" and "The Valley Of The Dolls" and, as was only recently pointed out to me, had a brief but fabulous musical career in Holland.

My gorgeous Dutch friend, Jeroen, pointed out that Darlene made a wonderfully tragic pop song to publicise "The Bold & The Beautiful" in the Netherlands. "Botch A Me" is bright and brassy, much like Darlene herself. The lyrics are almost impossibly awful and Darlene basically talks her way through the song - but I love it. I could listen to that voice all day and any song that actually includes the words "tra la la la" is ok by me. Jeroen was also kind enough to share a song that Darlene recorded with the cast of "Bold & The Beautiful" for a Christmas album, as well as Darlene's solo version of "Santa Claus Is Coming To Town". "Love Is The Gift" is actually quite a pleasant ballad, while Darlene's take on "Santa Claus" is divine. I know, I will be dragging it out for many a Christmas to come.

These songs are a sweet reminder of an incredibly talented and vivacious woman, who lived for the moment and never took herself too seriously.

Darlene, you will be missed.

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