Lonely Hearts Clubhouse – Episode 9: Fred Astaire

And so we come to the end of Season 1 of the Lonely Hearts Clubhouse, and we finish with a fun episode about musician, actor and dancer – and Hollywood legend – Fred Astaire. He’s the ninth personage along in the back row of the Sgt Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band album cover. It’s hard to say which of the Beatles (or which of the artists involved) picked him, but he’s a very interesting subject. We opted for possibly Lennon in the end, but it could equally have been McCartney. Like Mae West and W C Fields, Astaire was an unconventional movie star. Not gifted with the good looks normally required to be a leading man, he nevertheless headlined movies because of his extraordinary talent for dancing.

More than that, Astaire was a versatile musician. You’ll see him at the piano in Roberta, and you’ll see him playing his drums in one of his TV specials. Macca-like in that respect. There’s even an extraordinary dance/drum sequence in Damsel in Distress in which Astaire plays drums with his hands and his feet, and tap dances, all shot in one continuous take with a single camera.

It’s this extraordinary talent that made him an inspiration for Frank Sinatra, 16 years his junior, but who always loved to sing songs made famous by his hero.

This is the season 1 finale of Clubhouse. Elodie is away in New Mexico for now, so season 2 will wait a while.


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