b Papa Dog's Blog: Danny and the Juniors

Papa Dog's Blog

A Thing Wherein I Infrequently Write Some Stuff

Monday, March 07, 2005

Danny and the Juniors

On Saturday, while giving Doggy Dog an extra-long walk while I searched mostly unsuccessfully for inspiration for the story I’m not going to finish tonight, I found myself transfixed by a poster in the window of dba Brown’s.* It was a vintage 50s poster of Danny and the Juniors who, if you don’t know your proto-rock ‘n’ roll were a doo-wop group who had a huge hit with “At the Hop.” The poster is in black-and-white and features three of the four members of the band. They look like they’re in their late teens or early twenties. They’re dressed in matching outfits of the sort worn by bands before the brief flourishing of anarchy and individuality in the 60s (and the subsequent commoditisation of same). They have on dark suits and white shirts and skinny dark ties. “Like Reservoir Dogs!” Mama Dog exclaimed when I described it to her. Well, kind of. They all have hair helmets that look like they were engineered by DuPont or possibly NASA. They have clearly been carefully arranged by the photographer, and probably felt like asses striking the poses required of them. They all have their arms up, fingers splayed in “abracadabra” gestures. The guy in the middle has his hands raised to equal heights, the guy on the left has his right hand higher, and the guy on the right has his left hand higher. Symmetrical balance. The shot is lit by what seems to have been a very powerful footlight, which is casting a silly but evocative shadow behind them. Something about the shadow image of their waggly fingers evokes (for me) a haunted Tolkien forest, but not very strongly. The whole thing reflects an aesthetic more of the 40s than the 50s, and it’s hard to believe the band members didn’t know how out of date the whole thing was going to look in the very near future. They have big “say cheese” grins on their faces, but they must surely have been chafing. I wish I could find the image on the Internet to show you. This isn’t it and doesn’t look at all like it, but it’s a pretty apt substitute. I still don’t know quite why the poster held my attention for as long as it did. All I could think was “God damn, rock stars sure look different now.” When I got home, I told Mama Dog all about it. Tonight we had dinner in the neighbourhood, and on the way home we stopped and looked at the window of dba Brown’s. “See what I mean?” I said. Neither of us knew quite what I meant, but somehow we could still both see it. “This would look great in our living room,” she said. And there’s a good sign of our compatibility. We seem often to agree on the stuff we’re not quite sure why we like.
*Which is a used record store that seems to have even less web presence than Vikram’s Indian restaurant, even though in this case I have the name of the establishment right.


Post a Comment

<< Home