The Explanation
(for those who require one)

And, of course, that is what all of this is -- all of this: the one song, ever changing, ever reincarnated, that speaks somehow from and to and for that which is ineffable within us and without us, that is both prayer and deliverance, folly and wisdom, that inspires us to dance or smile or simply to go on, senselessly, incomprehensibly, beatifically, in the face of mortality and the truth that our lives are more ill-writ, ill-rhymed and fleeting than any song, except perhaps those songs -- that song, endlesly reincarnated -- born of that truth, be it the moon and June of that truth, or the wordless blue moan, or the rotgut or the elegant poetry of it. That nameless black-hulled ship of Ulysses, that long black train, that Terraplane, that mystery train, that Rocket '88', that Buick 6 -- same journey, same miracle, same end and endlessness."
-- Nick Tosches, Where Dead Voices Gather

Betty Page dies at 85


It was a strange kind of fame, finally achieving her place in pop culture while languishing in obscurity in a mental institution, decades after she'd tried to put her past as an erotic icon behind her. But it's comforting to know that in her final years, Page was finally receiving compensation for her 1950s plain brown wrapper work, and that what she once considered sin ultimately proved to be her salvation.

Read the L.A. Times obituary here.

6 comments :

Patrick Roberts said...

Page starred in a few mainstream movies too, didn't she?

swac said...

I'd hardly call Varietease and Teaserama mainstream...fun to watch though, for a snapshot of the fading days of burlesque.

Vanwall said...

I think she had some bit parts on TV and maybe in the background on a few films. Every year at Comic-Con I buy a Bettie Page calender from Olivia DeBerardinis, the pin-up artist. I used to see the late, lamented Dave Stevens, the Rocketeer artist, at his booth every year there, too - he was one of Bettie's best friends and one of the most responsible for her revival. Guess there'll be some commiseration this year.

swac said...

I believe her attempts at legit modelling led to some minor TV work, haven't heard of her appearing as background in anything, but you never know what'll turn up.

On the other hand, I think I might have spotted James Dean rumoured extra appearance in Sam Fuller's Fixed Bayonets...

Robert Fiore said...

In every field of endeavor, no matter how lightly regarded, there is one person who stands above all rivals. There was no one better at getting undressed for guys to look at than Bettie Page. No contemporary of hers is more likely to achieve immortality in their field.

swac said...

Buck Henry was a member of those camera clubs back in the day and had a friendly acquaintance with Ms. Page. I wonder if he got to reconnect with her in later years?