The Golden Age of black and white films, anyone during that era recalled how brilliant Fred Astaire was – American film star which danced, sung and acted his way onto Broadway then the big screen. A modern-day Usher, Astaire was said to have dabbled in some marijuana smoking during the old days of cinema. Petula Clark, 1960’s pop sensation, inferred that the skilled entertainer was a man that enjoyed his cannabis use after years of cultivating a repoire with Astaire.
The pop singer was featured in the ground-breaking film, Finian’s Rainbow along with Fred Astaire in 1968 – the peak of the hippie movement and the tearing down of social boundaries. During a reunion, Petula unveiled on BBC Radio to Helen Shapiro and Sandie Shaw what working with the famous Fred Astaire was really like. Sue McGregor, who was the presenter, went into detail about the Downtown entertainer’s relocation to the United States of America when McGregor was cast for a part in the movie, whose director was the legendary Francis Ford Coppola – who used marijuana to inspire him.
Petula later laughing and saying, “There was a lot of Flower Power pot smoking going on” prior to being questioned if she and other co-stars were “smoking certain inspiring substance.” The singer who had a clean-cut, straight-edge image was met with humorous smirks yet also sounds of horror from her close friends after the admission of cannabis use. Ironically, Sandi Shaw disbelieved the accusation and said, “Not our pet” – who was close to being canned for a 1967 Eurovision Song Contest due to a ahem…sex scandal with a married man. The woman with skeletons-in-her-closet mocked at the remark and sarcastically jested, “Yes, all that non-sense. Oh, please. And Fred Astaire, too.”