Monday, 13 December 2010

Blog Post 100 - Vladimir Putin Sings Fats Domino

You couldn't make up such a blog post title but, as ever, reality really is better than fiction.

It's quite apt really as it turns out that this is my 100th blog post. 93 of those have been written since I re-started this blog back in September with the other 7 from early 2009.

I'd hope that my varied take on the world keeps viewers interested. There's plenty of 'political' blogs out there and plenty of 'sport' blogs and plenty of 'entertainment' blogs but this is very simply and very uniquely, my blog, and because of that, you get to get my views on anything and everything that interests me.

So, thanks to everyone who has read the previous 99 compositions. I've had residents in Cardigan stop me in the street saying how much they enjoy it as well as receiving messages from others across the globe saying how they enjoy it's varied content.

Over 3,900 people have read the blog in that time from at least 80 countries across the world. So thank you all! It is nice to know that my take on issues great and small are of interest.

Because this isn't just a political being...but the blog of a normal person...

Vladimir Putin - The New Fats Domino?!
So, to stay in-keeping with the above, it's apt that my 100th blog post is about a mixture of entertainment and politics. In this case, the almost incredulous sight of Russian Prime Minister Vladimir Putin singing live in front of a charity concert in St Petersburg recently.

Now, I'm a rock'n roll fan. It's my father's musical heritage that passed down to me. There are many singers from that tradition that I could write about in awe until I bore everyone to death - one of those is Fats Domino. Under-rated compared to many of his era but a giant of blues and rock'n roll in my book every day of the week. His records 'Blue Monday' and 'Ain't That a Shame' are particular favourites of mine.

He also had the hit 'Blueberry Hill'. Here he is singing it only a few years ago at the young at heart age of 79.

Now we've had the sight of Putin giving his take on Fats' hit record.

Putin the Politician
Now, Putin is without a doubt a shady character. A former member of the KGB, he rose to political significance under Boris Yeltsin and took over from him after his shock, surprise resignation on Millennium Eve 1999, to serve two 4 year terms as President. Currently the Prime Minister, most pundits expect him to stand for President again in the near future.

His conduct in office has been questioned by domestic political opposition, foreign governments, and human rights organizations for leading the Second Chechen War, for his record on internal human rights and freedoms, and for his alleged bullying of the former Soviet Republics.

At the same time, he is credited with bringing political stability and re-establishing the rule of law to the former Soviet Union. During his eight years in office, due to strong macroeconomic management, important fiscal policy reforms, and a confluence of high oil prices, surging capital inflows, and access to low-cost external financing, Russia's economy bounced back from crisis, seeing GDP increase by 72% in PPP, poverty cut more than half and average monthly salaries increase from $80 to $640, or by 150% in real rates. Analysts have described Putin's economic reforms as impressive.

Putin the Individual
But where Putin stands out from most world leaders is his extra-curricular hobbies. He's a well known Black Belt at Judo and is a strong swimmer and cyclist. He certainly isn't shy in showing his many and varied talents.

Well, now he's turned his talents to playing the piano...and front of the likes of Kevin Costner, Gerard Depardieu, Mickey Rourke, Sharon Stone, Kurt Russell, Goldie Hawn. He did so at a reception at an ice stadium in a St. Petersburg concert which was dedicated to fighting children's cancer.

Apparently, he was cajoled into singing and said "Like the majority of people I cannot - but do like to sing and to play - so you'll have to rough it", as he sat at the piano and played the beginning of Blueberry Hill. The tune was immediately caught by Maceo Parker's jazz band. The prime minister then took the mic and sang it in English himself.

It must be said...he can hold a tune...

Mind you, his predecessor Boris Yeltsin was known to have his idyosacratic ways as well...

Maybe it's just something in the Russian water...

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