Busby Berkeley (1895-1976) orchestrated dance sequences for film that render movement of the human body, usually in large ensembles, as geometrical abstracts. He worked — as director, choreographer or musical numbers creator — on 53 films between 1930 and 1962 [filmography]
. Earlier he had worked on Broadway, with credits including A Connecticut Yankee
by Rodgers & Hart (cf. How Fucking Romantic
). The nature of his work meant that it straddled mainstream and experimentalism (see [essay describing Berkeley's aesthetics]
, which also includes animated sequences from some his films).
Busby Berkeley is also mentioned in The Way You Say Good-Night. In the 69 Love Songs booklet, Stephin Merritt says that he is "certainly a model for this over-the-top album, where excess is the theme for this record".
The song was arranged by Claudia Gonson, and Stephin suggests that the piano is the waking life and the cello is the dream life.
'The tears have stained all the pages / of my True Romance magazines'
[True Romance] magazine is still going.