Hope Sandoval

There’s a reason why this post, which ordinarily would be an evening post, is up now in the glare of day. It’s because I’m constructing a case which culminates in the next post and also brings in the youtubes of those girls involved in the deportation row.

Kassandra wrote:

The topic of Hope Sandoval started with the post on shoegazing music, now this but in the culminating post tomorrow, she will be discussed in a quite different way.

I’m going to start with a criticism, which I’ve been criticized for before – criticizing those I love and who are on my side, as well as those we’re mutually united against.  All I can say is that I’m my own fiercest critic … so why not?

In the 80s, there was a young lady friend of mine who flew in to visit me among other things and she was shy, not unlike the Hope Sandoval of these clips.  I discovered one evening that just because a girl is shy and retiring, wouldn’t say boo to a goose, that does not mean she’s necessarily “nice” … or at least, she can have an entirely different side to her. Seems bleedin’ obvious but some people exude sympathetic vibes which mask that other side.

Anyway, some mates and I were banging on about football …

And on …

And on …

And on …

… when suddenly there was an eruption from the chair in the corner: “Oh shut up, shut up, shut up would you!!!!!”  Total shock in the room.

We indeed shut up.

Cue Poirot, where he disabuses Hastings of his romantic notions of the female by saying he is not as enamoured of young ladies as his good friend – he had seen too many times what they were capable of.

Cue Hope herself, who is quoted as saying she always wanted to be a singer. She joins a group called Opal which already has a singer Kendra Smith and guitarist David Roback. 

Within a short time, Kendra goes beserk at a concert, flings her guitar down and storms out.  Hope replaces her as singer and she and the guitarist become an item … or had already. Butter wouldn’t melt.

In the song above, she is shy and retiring, won’t look at the audience and in an interview, she explained that it terrified her to interact with people.  Yet there she is, still out front, the focus of attention. 

She had told Roback [he the composer, she the new lyricist] that she didn’t like the direction Opal were going so the two of them wrote seven songs together and changed the name to Mazzy Star.

Though he played the loud guitar, she was the driving force in that little 152 cm [4’9″] frame. Philosophical question – does “small” mean “sweet and soft”?

There are giveaways – you’ll see her peering with one eye from behind the microphone, then drop back to inscrutability but that look is quite calculated – she has quite a thing going here and this comes out in the culminating post tomorrow.

All the articles I’ve read say she genuinely was shy, choked up in fact – interviewers did repeatedly say that – but what does shyness does to you?  Not talking Asperger’s here, just shyness. 

I’ve felt it myself maybe once or twice.  In Russia, I addressed a large gathering at a university opening, with the Prime Minister sitting two places to my left and felt nothing but a surge in confidence.

Also in my lessons, 12 or 13 young ladies would file into the room and I really was at their mercy. Was their fear?  Shyness?  Was I tongue-tied?  Nope, more like on a roll.

However, there was one speech I gave at a particular seminar, one of many I’d spoken at and perhaps my translator and I had not prepared as well, don’t know, can’t remember but I was as nervous as anything, which was weird.  My translator Nadia picked up on it too, also puzzled.  I can’t explain it and I don’t recall it happening again. 

Hope Sandoval was perma-shy and yet put herself into those positions. Was she trying to prove something to herself or was it the music which was everything in her life? This comes out in tomorrow’s post.

She was asked in an interview why she didn’t give fans autographs.  She just saw it as pointless – they had her music, why did they need anything else?  Anyway, she said, an autograph gives away part of yourself each time.

She certainly had a good voice for that genre and people liked it, I liked it, she could hold a note, so that seemed to forgive all those other things.

Plus she is one of those small bundles who men try to pass off as “take it or leave it”, they pretend no interest in her as a partner but they’re lying – she gets under men’s guards and I find myself going back to her time and time again … a bit like Dave Roback did.

The band was on Conan O’Brien and he, a tall man, came straight at her after the song and shook her hand, she couldn’t refuse but she was shocked and didn’t like it, it was not part of her plans.

One more thing – she ditched Roback and went onto another guitarist in a different band. That comes out in tomorrow’s post.

Youtube are noted and sometimes criticized for knowing watchers’ preferences to a tee, making suggestions which they might like to view. In the case of Hope Sandoval, they offered this lady below.

Interesting because in the 80s, there was many a male who would not fully admit the extent of his feelings for her and many who were quite gauche about what they’d like to do with her.

In that song, she was 30 something and trying to break out of her good girl image, her wholesomeness – why does the female always try to do this?

But she couldn’t do the slut very well on account of her upbringing, which she mentions at the start of the song, and that only endeared her to the men even more. And she had this in common with Hope – she was the mover and shaker behind the scenes at that band, she it was who got the Bangles back together again.

Two more things about Hope – she reminds me a bit, to look at, of Oswin [Jenna Louise Coleman, for whom many a male etc. etc.] but without the wisecrackery.

And lastly, imagine my shock when I looked up her age, only to discover that her birth date was not that many years behind mine. Yikes, where has the time gone? Which brings up another issue – what’s an appropriate way to view someone like her?

Interesting philosophical question and it depends on my own age and position. Were I this age now and she came into the room, then some sort of daughter figure is my instant reaction. Same if I walked in as I am now to a concert back then.

However, were I the age I really was back then, the only thought going through the mind would have been “fair game” – I’d most certainly try to engineer a meeting, as I did with the Irish singer Mary King in the 90s in Doncaster [weakness for that accent is very much part of it] and went backstage – but that’s another tale.

Speaking of colleens, Hope also reminds me a little of Andrea Corr.

One more snippet on Hope:


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