This legendary British rock icon donned many fanciful masks in his 40–plus-year career, Buzzy Sandwitch, Wuzzy Wonderful, Analog Cabin and Mr. Stephen to You, but no Stephen Oddyssey persona resonated longer in the public’s imagination than Hedda Glittersnipe, an intergalactic Hollywood gossip columnist whose guise he adopted on and offstage for the 1973 concept album, Hedda Glittersnipe and the Scandals of Earth and Space. This blurring of the line between fantasy and reality reached a bipolar zenith when he began a series of legendary New Musical Express interviews with himself. As Hedda, he was the first to break the story of Stephen Oddyssey’s “retirement” shortly after the release of this single about a dead ingénue who haunts a Schrafts soda fountain shop in the hopes of being discovered for the “New Faces of 1941”. The Hedda saga may have ended here, but for Stephen Oddyssey, image makeovers as a disco power broker, household appliance rocker, singer songwriter in rags and finally, rock elder statesman who gets blamed for everything pretentious that comes down the pike, still lay ahead.
In keeping with Hedda Glittersnipe’s penchant for earthy gossip, this Stephen Oddyssey BONUS B-SIDE of DUBIOUS DISTINCTION offers an alternate history of the life of Edith Piaf. Far from being a fragile little songbird, “The Last Time I Saw Edith” maintains the singer was a cigar chomping, sailor cussing she-devil who breaks every guitar someone hands her in the hopes that she’ll sing something “nice.”