In 1972 a full Shirley Bassey concert was recorded at the Concertgebouw in Amsterdam for Dutch TV. The concert was broadcast that year but unfortunately there were no means or possibilities to record it at the time.
After much research in the Dutch archives, emails and phone calls, I am afraid we have to come to the conclusion that the concert really got lost. The only part that was saved is this clip of unedited footage we found and was used for several other programs on tv. For this concert Dame Shirley was wearing the famous ‘Something Gown’.
The Something Dress – a sensational bias cut stage gown by Douglas Darnell, the sleeveless citrus yellow sateen applied with paisley cones embroidered with Swarovski clear crystals, turquoise beads and imitation pearls with strategically placed cut-out shaped sections; with matching voluminous stage coat of citrus yellow velvet, the sleeves, collar and opening trimmed with a deep border of yellow ostrich feathers, the sleeves applied with paisley cones similarly embroidered and scattered with crystals and beads, lined in electric blue silk tissue; and a pair of stiletto heeled sandals, the thin leather straps and heels painted yellow to match the gown; accompanied by a corresponding album Something, United Artists, 1970.
This dress is closely associated with Dame Shirley’s 1970 hit single written by George Harrison, Something. The gown was worn for the photo shoot for the front cover of the United Artists’ album of the same name released that year. In an interview for the BBC Wales television programme I Am What I Am, 1994, Dame Shirley said that she thought this dress was …sexy, without being over the top…. She also recounted a story of wearing the dress on stage in the Empire Room at the Plaza Hotel, New York. When introducing the song I Capricorn she said “I happen to be a Capricorn” and a voice in the audience called out “I’m a Capricorn too”, peering into the crowd she saw that it was Ava Gardner “looking gorgeous”…she said as she wasn’t ringside and couldn’t get to her easily, she hitched up the gown and walked over to her across the tables – defying any man on the way who looked as though he would attempt to touch her flesh through the holes in the dress, not to. Sold at Christies Gown Auction in 2003. Final Price £6,000.