#42: Hollywood Seven: Song by Jon English:1976
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I have been a bit quiet lately due to a very lovely busyness followed by a not so lovely illness which sat me right down on my bottom, forcing a good dose of rest. In amongst all the busyness, my visiting son set me up with a new computer, which I am still learning how to fly. So this is a bit of a new beginning and to mark the occasion we have a new image but we are still blogging on The Songs We Will Sing with a bit of catching up to do.
In amongst all this sleeping, sitting in the sun and watching the morning news and some YouTube under a blanky, hubby and I watched an old Blankety Blanks programme in which one of the guests was a very young and spunky Jon English. This brought to mind Jon English’s 1976 hit, Hollywood Seven.
Jon English is another of those late Australian entertainers who made their way to Australia from England, arriving with his parents in 1961. He was a songwriter, musician and actor of stage and screen. There is much said of English on the internet and by all accounts he was a very talented, humble and genuine man who passed from this life too early, suddenly and unexpectedly.
But my interest is in the lyrics of Hollywood Seven which were written by Gloria Sklerov and Harry Lloyd. The inspiration for the song came as Sklerov was driving home on the freeway and passed a motel named “Hollywood Eight”. She got to wondering what went on in that motel. She took her thoughts to Lloyd and the story was penned.
English, with his dark stormy eyes and raw emotion is able to sing this haunting song to perfection. It starts in a mellow tone but as the tension builds so does the torture in his voice and even the background music builds to a harsh crescendo when we get to the line, There were crazy lipstick marks all over the wall.
Hollywood Seven is a story about dreams gone wrong and the very high price some pay as the world they want to break into chews them up and spits them out. I hope you will listen carefully to the lyrics. The clip I have included is one of English live on Australian Countdown in 1976. There is another verse to this song which is not included in this clip. I will include it.
She came in one night from Syracuse, tired from sleepin’ o-on the plane
Took a cab to Hollywood, dreamin’ of the lights, that would spell her na-ame
So I watched her take the lease on the empty room across the hall
Wakin’ up every mornin’, waitin’ for that ca-all
On Hollywood Seven, rooms to rent, till your name go-oes up in lights
Hollywood Seven, dreamin’ your dream – seven bucks a night
On Hollywood Seven, dreams to rent, till your name goes up in lights
Hollywood Seven, pay your dues – seven bucks a ni-ight
And the sad part is that this whole cycle is about to start again and chew up another young life. Many folk want to make it big, in Hollywood or wherever, but the truth is; very few do and even for those who do the price is often simply too high.
Jon English – Hollywood Seven (1976) – YouTube
Music from Australia and New Zealand in the year 1976: Jon English performing the hit single ‘Hollywood 7’ on the ABC-TV program Countdown – broadcasted in 1976.
I think this clip has the whole song.