What I’m Looking For

Banner - looking for the NW Passage
No, not the Northwest Passage. Amundsen finally made it through to the Bering Sea in 1905, waaay too late to do me any good.

HMS Terror trapped in ice, 1845Below are my Can you help? requests from various posts, all in one place. Things I’ve been unable to find, or in the case of musical performances unable to record for myself. Some of them have been stuck in the ice for quite a while.

Can you help? How about your friends, relatives, classmates? Share the page with anyone you can think of. Don’t ask, don’t get.

Options for reaching me follow the list. My undying thanks.

12 July 2022

1. A singer who can cover classic Elton John

request 01 - stratsWilly and the Strats (6 June 2018) features my revised lyrics to EJ’s Bennie and the Jets. I still haven’t discovered an able and willing soul to sing my words to their own keyboard or other accompaniment, as an audio or video performance. Feather boa and electric eyeglasses are optional. At this point it’s not even mandatory to sound like Elton– I’ll consider anything that gets my words and his tune into the same recording.

12 July 2022

2. Two fellas who can sing like gangsters

request 02 - gangstersNot ratting out other wiseguys, but the duet from Kiss Me, Kate sung by a pair of mob enforcers. Shrew 3: Brush Up Your Oxford (13 Sept 2018) includes video of two different renditions of Cole Porter’s Brush Up Your Shakespeare. Again I wrote new lyrics to an existing tune, but I’ve yet to find the blokes to sing ’em. I had hoped to unearth a school production of KMK on either side of the Atlantic where I could offer the gangsters payola to record my version, but they’ve been harder to dig up than non-gold ore in the Canadian hinterlands. Again audio is welcome, video and fedoras even better.

12 July 2022

3. Recordings of a BBC series from 1963

When Harold Macmillan was the Tory Prime Minister unwilling to resign after a sex scandal shook his government (plus ça change…) the BBC aired a 9-part Shakespeare series. The Spread of the Eagle was a Roman An Age of Kings (or The Hollow Crown) based on Coriolanus, Julius Caesar, and Antony and Cleopatra. Robert Hardy as Coriolanus, Peter Cushing as Cassius, Mary Morris as Cleopatra, Keith Michell as Mark Antony.

The BFI’s online guide describes the series, but says nothing about its present-tense existence or availability. There are a few screenshots floating around like stray icebergs, including a pair at IMDb with subtitles. They’re all the evidence I have that the series has been digitised.

request 03 - octavius

My questions:

(1) Do downloadable video files or purchasable discs for this series exist? If they’re entirely unavailable I’d at least like to know for certain so I can stop wasting my time circumnavigating the globe in a futile search.

(2) If the series exists in an ownable digital form, on what Meta Incognita can it be found? Is it for sale, preferably online but whatever it takes? I’d rather be above board if possible, but even a homebrewed transfer from Uncle Frank’s wobbly old videotapes would be better than nothing.

27 July 2022

4. Spot-on, complete First Folio fonts

I need a good 1623 First Folio font set (TTF or OTF) including full punctuation and ligatures: everything that’s in the book. Proper italic is crucial, most likely in a separate file, not the regular face slanted. Note the differences in the example below, and the look of age and hand-inking (erosion, in the parlance).

Macbeth quote A2 S2 incarnadine

For reference, here are my rejects:

Shakespeare First Folio Font

request 04 - font sample 1 shxfff

Disappointingly dissimilar, and missing nearly all punctuation. If it’s a demo version I’ve never found the full one.

17C Print

request 04 - font sample 2 17cprint

Open Type, proper italic, all the extra characters, somewhat eroded. Its source dates to 1686 but I paid for it anyway (£35) hoping it would do the job. Alas. If the Crazy Diamond foundry would do a true First Folio set as complete as this one, I would pay again. Send them an email to encourage them. I’ve written it for you, just click the link and hit send.

1470 Jenson

Macbeth quote A2 S2 silver one red

I’ve used it in a couple of places, such as this Macbeth post. It takes a lot of laborious hand tweaking, and it’s still not close.

This last one isn’t a print typeface, and don’t be misled by the name.

William Shakespeare WF (at waldenfont.com)

request 04 - font sample 4 wswf

William Shakespeare WTF. Talk about false advertising.

If you know of better First Folio-ish fonts elsewhere on the internet, please send me links. If you make fonts and you want some work, we need to do business.

Use this handy email form, or a direct message on Twitter, to respond. Unless you’re a bot or a troll I’ll get back to you promptly. Thanks again. [Email Privacy]

I’ll put a note in the CrierHear the Crier in the sidebar. On mobile the sidebar is found below the post. whenever I add a new request or solve an old one. Back in my day I kept musicians on retainer for singing jobs. I need a new house band. Add it to the list.

Do note Mount Oxford on the map. Only cost me £3000. In 1578.