The Life And Times Of Dusty Springfield Part Seven
I’m trying to complete my blogs from the past selections, and here’s The Life And Times Of Dusty Springfield Part Seven, I hope you enjoy it.
Springfield‘s parents, Catherine and Gerard, lived in Hove, East Sussex from 1962.Catherine died in a nursing home there in 1976 of lung cancer. In 1979, Gerarddied of a heart attack in Rottingdean, East Sussex.
Some of Springfield‘s biographers and journalists have speculated that she had twopersonalities: shy, quiet, Mary O’Brien, and the public face she had created asDusty Springfield. An editorial review at Publishers Weekly of Valentine andWickham‘s 2001 biography, Dancing with Demons, finds “… the confidence[Springfield] exuded on vinyl was a facade masking severe insecurities, addictionsto drink and drugs, bouts of self-harm and fear of losing her career if exposed asa lesbian“. Simon Bell, one of Springfield‘s session singers, disputed the twinpersonality description: “It‘s very easy to decide there are two people, Mary andDusty, but they were the one person. Dusty was most definitely Dusty right to theend.“
In her early career, much of her odd behaviour was seen as more or less in fun—described as a “wicked“ sense of humour— including her food fights and hurlingcrockery down stairs. Springfield had a great love for animals, particularly cats,and became an advocate for animal protection groups. She enjoyed reading maps andwould intentionally get lost to navigate her way out. In the 1970s and early1980s, Springfield‘s alcoholism and drug addiction affected her musical career. She was hospitalised several times for self-harm by cutting herself, and wasdiagnosed with bipolar disorder.
Springfield was never reported to be in a heterosexual relationship and this meantthat the issue of her sexual orientation was raised frequently during her life.From mid-1966 to the early 1970s Springfield lived in a domestic partnership withfellow singer Norma Tanega. In September 1970, Springfield told Ray Connolly ofthe Evening Standard:
Many other people say I‘m bent, and I‘ve heard it so many times that I‘ve almostlearned to accept it … I know I‘m perfectly as capable of being swayed by a girlas by a boy. More and more people feel that way and I don’t see why I shouldn’t.
By the standards of 1970, that was a very bold statement. Three years later, sheexplained to Chris Van Ness of the Los Angeles Free Press:
I mean, people say that I‘m gay, gay, gay, gay, gay, gay, gay, gay. I‘m notanything. I‘m just … People are people … I basically want to be straight … Igo from men to women; I don’t give a shit. The catchphrase is: I can’t love a man.Now, that‘s my hang-up. To love, to go to bed, fantastic; but to love a man is myprime ambition … They frighten me.
In the 1970s and 1980s, Springfield became involved in several romanticrelationships with women in Canada and the US that were not kept secret from thegay and lesbian community. From late 1972 to 1978, Springfield had an “off and on“domestic relationship with Faye Harris, a US photojournalist. In 1981 she had asix-month love affair with singer-musician Carole Pope of the rock band RoughTrade. During periods of psychological and professional instability, Springfield‘sinvolvement in some intimate relationships, influenced by addiction, resulted inepisodes of personal injury.
In 1982 Springfield met an American actress Teda Bracci at an Alcoholics Anonymousmeeting; the pair moved in together in April 1983, and seven months later, theyexchanged vows at a wedding ceremony which was not legally recognised underCalifornia law. The pair had a “tempestuous“ relationship which led to analtercation with both Springfield and Bracci hospitalised; Springfield had beensmashed in the mouth by Bracci wielding a saucepan and had teeth knocked out,requiring plastic surgery. The pair had separated within two years.
* 1964 — A Girl Called Dusty
* 1965 — Ev’ry thing‘s Coming Up Dusty
* 1967 — Where Am I Going?
* 1968 — Dusty … Definitely
* 1969 — Dusty in Memphis
* 1970 — A Brand New Me
* 1972 — See All Her Faces
* 1973 — Cameo
* 1977 — It Begins Again
* 1979 — Living Without Your Love
* 1982 — White Heat
* 1990 — Reputation
* 1995 — A Very Fine Love
* 2015 — Faithful; recorded in 1971, released 2015
Dusty Springfield was the presenter or host of several TV musical series:
The Sound of Motown
Special episode of Ready Steady Go!
Two seasons each of six weekly parts.
It Must Be Dusty.
Nine regular weekly episodes and followed by a Christmas special, All Kinds ofMusic.
Eight weekly episodes.