John Patterson talks with Nancy Sinatra about sex, men and marriage | Music | The Guardian
Lee Hazlewood and Nancy Sinatra. And the thing was, we didn't have a sexual relationship, Lee and I. .. new ideas were pouring in from every direction and any boundary imaginable was being questioned and tested. 'Tippy Toes', with Nancy Sinatra, is just about the sweetest song ever to come to terms with deeper stuff than merely your relationship with Lee? . The confirmation of his renal cancer following these initial tests had done. Nancy Sinatra co-starred in Speedway with Elvis Presley, whom she'd The song was written by Lee Hazlewood, who wrote and produced most of her hits and.
His next mission was to rescue the recording career of Nancy Sinatra, whose early singles had all failed to catch on. He was hesitant at first but a visit to the Sinatra home convinced him to accept the challenge.
From my house in North Hollywood to the studio on a good afternoon is about seven or eight minutes tops. Hazlewood had found his ideal interpreter. His profile now at its highest yet, he was offered a new recording deal with MGM. I consider them good, expensive demos paid for by major record companies.
It saved me from taking stuff around to other people. Hazlewood was under contract to MGM but bent the rules. Nobody mentioned a follow-up. Can you write me something better?
Hazlewood was inspired to write the song by the Greek mythology stories he read to his children. There was only about seven lines about Phaedra. She had a sad middle, a sad end, and by the time she was 17 she was gone.
She was a sad-assed broad, the saddest of all Greek goddesses. I had an apartment in Paris I never lived in. My ex-wife moved in there.
'I made Sinatra's daughter sound like a tough broad' - Telegraph
I like Paris very much and this guy had a studio that I liked the sound in. It reminded me a little bit of Gold Star in Hollywood. Mo was nice about the whole thing, and Jimmy Bowen too.
LHI never would have a hit record. InHazlewood made another special for Swedish television, Cowboy In Sweden, which featured him and Nina Lizell performing songs from his album of the same title. This signalled his full time move to Stockholm to concentrate on TV work. In ways, I liked it better than the first one. But out of that album we got a 2 record in the UK.
Over the next five years he issued another seven albums, all of which went unreleased in the USA. Reluctantly, he met up with her at the Sinatras' mansion.
An hour later, he came over and said, 'Lee, I'm glad to hear that you guys are going to be working together,' and left.
We lowered her singing about two keys. I made her sound like a tough little broad. I wanted her to sing like a year-old girl who screwed truck drivers. With just their second single together, she had one of the biggest hits of the s, These Boots Are Made For Walking, a song Hazlewood had intended for a male vocalist until Nancy overheard him working on it and demanded that she sing it. When Reprise talked of pairing her up for some duets, she was equally strong-willed in insisting that her only partner could be Lee.
Hazlewood had accidentally made his vocal debut with 's Trouble Is A Lonesome Town album, a gruffly narrated song cycle that he'd recorded as a demo, but which was released under his own name. The kitschy combination of the "tough little broad" and his own bassy, world-weary, thirtysomething persona proved every bit as irresistible as Boots, the sound fusing the musical tastes of Hazlewood's parents: The songs' thinly veiled drug references and insinuations that theirs was more than a singing partnership were, Hazlewood maintains, part of the fiction.
We made hit records, and she went home and I went home. They became lifelong friends.
I miss him a lot. Hokom had finally had enough and walked. By that point Hazlewood had tax problems, his teenage son was almost old enough for the Vietnam draft, and LHI was dying anyway, so Sweden looked like the perfect escape route. He spent the rest of the decade there, making increasingly strange records and films with Axelman. Was Thacker surprised by the move? He was a very spontaneous human being. Instead of maintaining his friendships he kind of abandoned them. He could detach himself from things that weren't going his way.
He really needed a new start. Mark Pickerel There was one last piece of unfinished business, emotional rather than financial. InHazlewood recorded his finest work, a mordant breakup album called Requiem for an Almost Lady. When I met him he laughed off the idea that it was all about Hokom: In a way it was hurtful and in a way it was poignant. I had moved on and he was still carrying a torch. Whenever he'd be in town I'd find little love notes slipped under my doormat.
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It was really sad. He'd be in touch from time to time and we'd go out for dinner. Every time I saw him he seemed a little more down. He drank nothing but Chivas Regal when I was with him and he told me much later that he was drinking a quart of vodka a day. I think he resigned himself.
Later, other labels approached him and he eventually relented, although he admitted that the endorsement of a Cocker or Cave meant less to him than the royalty cheques he got from Billy Ray Cyrus's cornball version of These Boots Are Made for Walkin'.
In his final years he became a beloved cult hero — "an obscure old fuck," as he put it — but only now has the rest of the LHI roster been rescued from the shadows. For Lee I think it was just another business venture.