This Labor Day, as you may lay in East Hampton among white clapboard houses and cold drinks, let us take a few steps further along the coast—and a half century backwards into time—to visit Grey Gardens, at 3 West End Road. At this address you will find a derelict, crumbling, fourteen-room estate, overrun with hoarded accoutrements and feral cats. To your surprise, you discover it belongs to two relatives of Jackie Kennedy Onassis, Edith and Edie Beale.
The mother-daughter duo have fallen from aristocracy into destitution for reasons unknown. Despite their abject squalor, the eccentric pair are debonair, obstinate, radiant with outlandish costumes and outsized personalities. Their repudiation notably captured the attention of documentarians Albert and David Maysles (1975). Further adaptations come from playwright Doug Wright (2006), movie director Michael Sucksy and actress Drew Barrymore (2009), and comedians Fred Armisen and Bill Hader (2015). The Beales sold their estate in 1979.
This weekend's playlist is a nod to Edie Beale's iconic and voyeuristic flag dance
MUSIC THAT DESIRES FOR SPECTATORS (OPEN IN SPOTIFY)
Cry To Me—Solomon Burke
Mama He Treats Your Daughter Mean—Ruth Brown
Soul Man—Sam & Dave
Hand Clapping Song–The Meters
Signed, Sealed, Delivered (I’m Yours)—Stevie Wonder
Brown Eyed Handsome Man—Nina Simone
Dancing in the Streets– Martha Reeves & The Vandellas
People Get Up and Drive Your Funky soul—James Brown, Fred Wesley, The J.B’S
Compared To what-–Roberta Flack
Same Old Beat—Freddie Scott
I’m Moving On—Chyvonne Scott