Dusty in Amsterdam

Dusty Springfield Amsterdam

Dutch cultural magazine Schift has a piece about Dusty's time in Amsterdam on their website, including some new photos, right here. There's an English translation at the LTD forum, as well as more articles and in-depth information about this somewhat obscure time of Dusty's life, if you click here.

UK

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Frogmill, Hurley

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Little Hill, Henley-on-Thames

In 2011, members from Let's Talk Dusty toured London for some Dusty-related places. We went to Aubrey Walk, where Dusty lived from 1968 to 1972. The house had been given a total make-over in the year before and looked completely different. Next stop was the Royal Albert Hall, where Dusty performed in 1979. At 85, Westbourne Terrace, Dusty lived from 1965, after leaving her flat at 113, Baker Street.

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Aubrey Walk before the renovation

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Henley-on-Thames

In May 2011, members of Let's Talk Dusty took a tour of Henley and visited places with a Dusty connection

Later, at Dusty's marker

Dusty's marker, Christmas 2011

How to spend a minute of your lunchtime

Ireland

Dusty's Ireland
by Carole Gibson

In May 2000 I took a trip with my husband to Co. Galway in Ireland. We spent two nights at Cregg Castle in Corrandulla, the hotel where Dusty stayed during the filming of the video for ‘Roll Away’.

ire colourMy first impression of Cregg was of almost total silence, the only noise came from the birds and sheep. And then the dogs arrived, four of them and from then on, wherever we went, they came too! Cregg isn’t like a normal hotel, it’s more of a large house, a handful of guest rooms, slightly faded elegance, high ceilings, a mish mash of old furniture but with a definite charm. We were shown to our room but I didn’t find out until later that Ann Marie, who runs the hotel with her husband Patrick, had given me “Dusty’s room”. The room had no TV or telephone but it did have a large bathroom with a bath, which is why Dusty like it. Almost right below the bathroom window was the “green door” which featured largely in the video, used I was told, on the last day of filming when they were running out of time. It was really in the back yard, surrounded by bins and empty bottles, the true glamour of filming.

I was told by Ann Marie that Dusty had been particularly stressed out by the whole video making process. She was worried by the close ups, her make-up, the weather and the whole ageing thing, she also, of course, hadn’t been well. Every day they went to different locations, usually in the Winnebago and supported by white horses and children.

ire2One of the sites we visited was the Poulnabrone dolmen, the large stones that Dusty sits and stands in front of towards the end of the video. I had visions of that Winnebago being parked on the very narrow lanes, causing absolute chaos and of Dusty making her way (in heels?) over the very rugged landscape that nearly resulted in me breaking an ankle or two! At the end of the video, when Dusty is sillouetted by the setting sun, apparently she nearly didn’t make the shot. The director wanted to film her as the sun was setting, but Dusty needed a loo break and when you gotta go, you gotta go! She took about an hour and the director was apparently in tears! He missed the sunset, but still got his shot.

I only had a couple of places I really wanted to visit while I was there and one was the Cliffs of Moher. This was Dusty’s “favourite place” in Ireland, where Tom took some of her ashes. It is incredibly beautiful, huge high cliffs that spread for about five miles and on top of them stands a tower. It was this that first drew Dusty to the area. It was built in 1853 by a local eccentric and is called O’Briens Tower.

We spent quite a bit of time wandering around the Cregg estate and I came quite quickly to understand why Dusty loved it so much there. It was definitely quiet and peaceful, the perfect place for someone who wanted to escape from the world for a while. Her favourite walks took her to wherever the animals were and when the video shoot came to an end, she decided to stay on alone to recover from what had been a rather difficult week. She relaxed and joined the family for meals and barbecues, becoming quite smitten with a sheep called Ziggy who was a bit of a loner, didn’t mix with other sheep and liked human food, especially garlic bread, which Dusty found hilarious. She liked to go for walks with the dogs through the woods and meadows and before she left she wrote in the visitors book saying she would definitely be back.

She did go back the following year and her entry in the book that time said “My healing place”. If only it could have worked miracles.


Thanks for Paul Howes for the photographs, reprinted from The Dusty Springfield Bulletin.

Thank you to Carole Gibson and Paul Howes of The Dusty Springfield Bulletin for allowing us to reprint this article.

 

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California

In 1972, Dusty relocated to the States. One of her addresses was on Dona Teresa Drive, Laurel Canyon. This is a bird's view of her house (from Google Earth).

Dona Teresa Drive, Laurel Canyon

 

Canada

In this little white house on 10, Geneva Avenue in Toronto's Cabbagetown, Dusty lived for a few months in 1981 with Rough Trade singer Carole Pope. Picture from Google Street View.

 10 Geneva Avenue

Netherlands

In 1988, Dusty left the States for Amsterdam. She chose the Netherlands rather than move back to the UK, because her cats Nicholas and Malaysia wouldn't have to be quarantined. Dusty took up residence on 125 Herengracht, and this is what the house looks like.

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 Thanks to Christoph Lang for letting us use his photos!