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Monthly Archives: July 2009

Manuel Francisco dos Santos was born with such deformities of his legs and spine that it was a miracle that he could ever kick a ball. However, as Mané Garrincha, he became regarded as the best dribbler in football history and is considered by many to be at least the equal of Pele.
He was also popularly known as Alegria do Povo (Joy of the People) and Anjo de Pernas Tortas (Angel with Crooked Legs).
Garrincha played 50 times for Brazil and only experienced one defeat. He won 2 World Cups.

Here is an illustration of the effect that Mane Garrincha’s mesmeric skills could have on the opposition. Who’s marking Pele?

Very little is known of the British artist JH Lynch (1911 –1989). He was renowned for his popular paintings of sultry women. Probably his most famous work is Tina (1964).
I remember seeing Tina in many living rooms in the 1960’s and 1970’s, or maybe similar pictures for which this has become a default memory image.
Lynch’s work appears in this scene from Stanley Kubrick’s A Clockwork Orange.

Everything here is pretty cool, but I’m not sure about the mother’s dress.

Ithamara Koorax- Brazilian Butterfly
Here’s something a bit more up to date. Ithamara Koorax was born in Rio in 1965. She has been releasing records since 1990 and enjoys much prestige in the jazz world.
She has recorded two albums of the work of Luis Bonfa, which unfortunately I only have in very lossy mp3 format.
This is better- 320 kbps.
This record was released in 2006.
Among the noteworthy songwriters featured on this album are Dorival Caymmi, Milton Nascimento, Pixinguinha and Herbie Hancock.


Throw in a decent laptop with a high speed internet connection and I’d be more than happy with this set up. I bet there was a lava lamp somewhere in this room!

In 1958 Wales was beaten by Brazil in the quarter final of the World Cup, thanks to a deflected goal from Pele. John Charles was missing from the Wales team, having been kicked black and blue by Hungary some days before. Another one of football’s great what ifs?
In his five years at Juventus he scored 93 goals in 155 matches, winning the Scudetto three times, and the Italian Cup twice.
Accolades from Italian fans: Charles was voted ‘the greatest foreign player ever in Serie A’ (1997)
Juventus fans have voted him to be the best-ever foreign player to play for their team.
When Journalists selected an all time Serie A XI he was chosen at both centre back and centre forward.
The great Sir Bobby Robson also noted that Charles is the only footballing great to be world class in two very different positions.
Surely worth a place in anybody’s all time team?

This 1979 double album compiled recordings from Frank Sinatra’s work with Tom Jobim on Francis Albert Sinatra & Antonio Carlos Jobim (1967) and Sinatra & Company (1971).
Purists note: The two tracks Drinking Again and Manhã De Carnaval featured here had no input from Jobim whatsoever.
I heard a story that on the 1967 album Frank was billed as Francis Albert Sinatra because the name of Antonio Carlos Jobim would look much bigger on the sleeve than just plain Frank Sinatra. Good job Tom didn’t use his whole name!

On Vladimir Tretchikoff (Владимир Григорьевич Третчиков) (1913 –2006):

He achieved everything that Andy Warhol stated he wanted to do but could never achieve because of his coolness. Wayne Hemingway in his book Just Above The Mantelpiece.

You put a brick in the Tate today and it’s art. Who decided that the Green Lady is kitsch? Not the hundreds of thousands who bought it. Uri Geller

Who are the arbiters of taste? The old cliché stands- I dunno much about art but I know what I like. I don’t apply any postmodern ironies to my admiration of the artists that I’m going to cover on these pages. I think they are good pictures, and that they were created by talented artists.
Tretchikoff was one of the most commercially successful artists of all time. He once said that the only difference between himself and Van Gogh was that he had become rich whereas Van Gogh had starved.
Chinese Girl (often called Green Lady) was painted in 1950.

Milton Banana Trio- Ao Meu Amigo Tom (1980).
Milton Banana (real name Antônio de Souza) was the greatest drummer in the Bossa Nova style of music. Here we have his famous trio performing songs by Tom Jobim (Antonio Carlos Brasileiro de Almeida Jobim).


Sometimes here we will feature some of the all time greats from the game of football. Debates will always go on about who is the greatest- it’s the same in any sport, the sort of thing that people get very passionate about. Maybe here we can enjoy similar debates as time goes by.
But I will set out my stall right away.
In terms of skill and the threat that his very presence on the park posed to any opposition in a carer of twenty years, a career of over 1,200 goals, the great Pele has no rival for the title of the greatest footballer of all time.
(By the way, by English speakers Pele is usually pronounced Pe- lay, but strictly speaking it is Pe- lai, the lai as in lair.)