Apologies it’s been a bit quiet round here this week; work has been busy and I’ve found myself of an evening ploughing through a load of TV shows that I’d recorded and never got round to watching (more about this later)…and then before I knew it, here we are at the weekend.
What I’m trying to say is: brace yourselves, there’s loads on the way over the next couple of days.
To kick things off, more musings on recently purchased vinyl, and another record which I had not previously owned but which when I saw it I had to own, since it was by a band who remind me so much of being a kid.
With the school summer holidays beckoning, I often find myself reflecting on how my childhood holiday mornings would usually start: sitting cross-legged on the floor in front of the television, watching old re-runs of Flash Gordon, Tarzan, Robinson Crusoe, The Banana Splits, and this lot:
Truth be told, until I bought this recently I only really knew the three most well-known tracks:
(which certain records by Teenage Fanclub always remind me of)
and, of course, this, which heralded the start of their TV show and signalled a whole lot of uninterrupted zany fun (The Banana Splits were definitely zany, but the show was punctuated with what were, to my mind, too many dull cartoons):
The rest of the songs are all much of a muchness, if I’m honest. Not bad, not great, but clearly for the most part created from the same template.
Here’s a full episode of their show, just in case you fancy recreating the moment too:
There’s a further reason why I’ve a soft spot for The Monkees: Micky Dolenz was the first celebrity I ever encountered. He was the special guest at the summer fete in the village I lived in, a friend of a local resident who happened to be over visiting and who presumably got strong-armed into making an appearance.
Truth be told, I remember as much about that encounter as Dolenz probably does.
But thinking about it, perhaps that wasn’t my first celebrity encounter. A little earlier, I think, and for reasons that I’ve never really understood, actress Katy Manning – who played Jo Grant for three years alongside Jon Pertwee’s third Dr Who – visited our school.
This is Katy in her pomp:
I was a little too young to remember her being in Dr Who (she left in 1973), but the show was most definitely something that was on my radar by the time she visited, already an object of my obsession throughout the Tom Baker years (I owned a Tom Baker
doll action figure, a toy K-9, and a Tardis). So to meet with a real live companion of the Doctor’s blew my mind back then.
Anyway, when she met with the small group of kids I was with, I was wearing a t-shirt with a picture of Dennis the Menace and Gnasher on it (because I was super cool), and I remember her pointing at it and saying “Hey Dennis….Grrr!” (because she recognised me as being super cool).
What makes her visit all the more inexplicable is that this must have been in the late 1970s, and thus probably around the time that she somewhat notoriously posed nude with a Dalek for a photo-shoot for ‘Girl Illustrated’ magazine in 1978. I say nude, but actually she was wearing a pair of boots given to her by Derek Nimmo.
Oh wait. Katy definitely wasn’t the first celebrity I ever met. That honour does, in fact, go to a Mickey, just not Micky Dolenz:
Before any of you comment on what a pretty dress I have on, that’s me on the right, and so happy am I to meet the massive Mouse, I appear to have filled my shorts to absolute maximum capacity. Always knew how to make a good first impression, me.
Yeh, go on, laugh it up. I’m not the only one to find myself in such a situation: