Thursday, August 02, 2007
Nesta Wyn Ellis: 'Hey, forget Madonna ...'
Exactly a year ago (check labels) I wrote a little piece about former PM John Major biographer, the extraordinary and exotic Nesta Wyn Ellis ... and now I receive this charming memoir from one of her university contemporaries. If you've never heard of Nesta, check your pulse. She currently lives in Paris, but the UK will be hearing of her again soon, oh yes...
Hullo, Madame Arcati
As us macho Welshmen like to say, you sound like you are a bit of a bugger - and THAT's a compliment. Takes one to know one.
I recently stumbled across your blog site and was amazed when three little words leapt off the screen - Nesta Wyn Ellis. What a woman she is. Why does that old creep Madonna get so much credit for reinventing herself when Nesta has to be THE reinventor's reinventor? There is no justice.
Thousands of years ago I knew Nesta when at the University of Liverpool in the early 1960s. We were part of a gang of like-minded students who somehow by way of fate became friends - can't remember how we all met because we were from different faculties and social backgrounds. I used to specialise in a morose Welshman act - I found it attracted a better class of woman at that time. I was a sort of 'Look back in Anger' kind of guy which was very fashionable at the time. Always a hint of violence lurking behind the morose exterior. Worked every time.
Nesta and some of her female hall of residence pals used to invite us around to her room in Hall every Wednesday evening. They used to serve all of us baked beans on toast. But we had to be out of the room by 6.30 p.m. Those were the hall of residence rules at that time.
Christ, but there's a great quantum leap from serving up beans on toast - wearing black tights as I recall - and morphing into the alluring Chanteur Isabelle. What a gal is our Nesta. But, how about this for classy eccentricity - can you imagine Nesta turning up to University lectures wearing a fox fur stole? She did - I was there and witnessed this act. No one else would have had the courage and class to wear one of those - no one else could have got away with it. Nesta was, and still is, it appears, ahead of her time.
Eat your heart out Madonna, you are a mere amateur when compared to Chanteur Isabelle.
PS: I read somewhere that Nesta 'busked' - or used to busk - underground in the Paris Metro. She apparently did this for 'pennies' so that she could pay her apartment cleaner's wages. Is there no limit to Nesta's versatility and ingenuity? Christ! What in hell will she get up to next? Will she end up as the first yodelling astronaut, perhaps?
Can't ever forget her turning up on Wogan in the lowest cut dress ever devised by a demented designer. A perfect piece of engineering! (Hey, Nesta, when you've got it, flaunt it!) I'll always remember Nesta as a very classy girl, superbly well dressed and groomed and great company - a really nice person beneath all the show-biz glitz ...
Nesta with former PM John Major