Wednesday, February 18, 2015

LESLEY GORE: After The Party

I wrote this article in 2006. My how the years pass so quickly.  

It'’s this season'’s final episode, “Left Hand Of The Goddess” of The L Word, when Shane is confronting her father’s lack of fidelity and departure. As in many of the L Word scenes there is a background song. This one entitled, “Words Don’t Say” is being sung by Lesley Gore (“Words we don’t say/Trying to hide night after night/Drifting away”) and one of several tunes from her new CD, “Ever Since”.

In the 60’s, Gore was one of the most successful solo artists of the “Girl Group” topping charts with: “It’s My Party”, “Judy’s Turn To Cry” and “You Don’t Own Me”, a song revived by Bette Midler in the movie, “First Wives Club”.

"“You know what I’m going to say when people ask me what I'’ve been doing for 30 years? ‘Practicing’”," said the now deeper voice and out-of-the-closet performer. Yes, just in case you haven’t heard, Gore told the world that she is a lesbian and has been with a partner for over 20 years.

Maintaining a constant touring schedule across the country, Gore'’s recent gig took place at Queens Theatre In The Park in New York City, where I had the pleasure of seeing the vivacious vocalist. The 90-minute show introduced many of her new songs and brought nostalgia to anyone old enough to recall the original “Bandstand”. “Ever Since”, the title song, is made to draw us back to “It’s My Party” (“All the weight of nights and days too long to list/All the parties I'’ve been to you were missed/ I'’ve waited ever since” bring us forward into the world that she now inhabits.

Better Angels”, written by Blake Morgan, was featured at the close of the season premiere episode of CBS’s hit show CSI:MIAMI as Horatio Caine (played by David Caruso) is visiting a confessional booth. Blake is both her pianist and arranger as well as the producer of her new CD.

You Don'’t Own Me” is an even newer rendition and sung in a jazzy ballad flare. This one seemed to have an added stanza of “You don’t own me/I want somebody who will be true/You don’t own me/You don’t own me and I don’t own you.

Leslie and her brother Michael were responsible for composing “Out Here On My Own”, featured in the Oscar nominated Fame. Perhaps it might have been a reflection of her personal life change (“Sometimes I wonder where I'’ve been/Who I am do I fit in/Make believing is hard alone/Out here on my own”).

A few of her other new songs were sung, but as she promised, she ran her former hits single-fashioned and not as a medley. For those who may have forgotten, they included: “She’s A Fool”; “Sunshine, Lollipops and Rainbows”; “That'’s the Way Boys Are”; and “Maybe I Know”.

The stage performance adds a backup vocalist, while she and Blake do the backups on the CD version. Although I enjoyed the songs, I found that the live rendition gave a much fuller sound to each of her numbers. She’s still got it even at the age of 59.

Leslie Gore'’s West Coast tour will take her into San Francisco where she will be performing at the Brava Theatre Center, on Sat., April 22 and Sun., April 23.
April 15, 2006 - MGW Magazine

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