On Monday, I posted Weezer’s Buddy Holly, and it reminded me of another song, the lyrical content of which was not too far removed from the sentiment of the Weezer track.
I speak, of course, of the original Green Cross Code Man, Mr Alvin Stardust:
And lo! A new series was born. (But I’ve only thought of one record so far, so don’t hold your breath for part two…)
At Dubious Towers, ridiculously named Bernard Newry, Shane Fenton Alvin Stardust is famous for eight things:
His Green Cross Code adverts (see above: “See you later, girls!”);
His ‘Coo Ca Choo‘ (not as rude as it sounds, I hope);
His black leather cat suit and glove;
Being married to TV’s Liza Goddard;
His single I Won’t Run Away, about standing by a young girl he has gotten pregnant (admirable), but which he released in 1984, when he was in his early 40s (not quite so admirable…);
Accidentally setting his hair on fire at a gig at one of Peterborough’s top venues (I can find no mention of this online, but I bloody well remember reading about it at the time, and thinking: “Man alive, the amount of Elnett needed to sustain that quiff would have burned!”);
Briefly appearing in Hollyoaks (OK, I didn’t know that one until I researched this post);
This single, from 1984, which – even though it was released ten years earlier – evokes the spirit of the aforementioned, and far superior, Weezer tune.
You see, Alvin also knew how Buddy Holly felt (but Mary Tyler Moore didn’t get a look in, which is perhaps where he went wrong).
For some inexplicable reason (sense the tone), this is not so fondly remembered as the Weezer tune:
Now. I think that long-time readers will have seen through my cunning ruse, for although I fully intend to make this a series once I’ve thought of some other songs to post in this category, this has clearly just been an excuse to post some long overdue Ted Chippington.
Oh, Come All Ye Faithful, Joyful and Triumphant, come to the Festive edition of The Chain!
I’ve been beset by technical issues this week, not just those which have delayed this by a day, but also the issues with several contributions mysteriously being marked as Spam and disappearing from the Comments section.
But, nevertheless here we are, with another mixed bag of your suggestions, linked to last week’s final record, “Pink Moon” by Nick Drake.
As usual, the suggestions can be split down into various categories – namely songs or artists which include the words or some derivative thereof, of “Nick”, “Drake, “Pink” or “Moon”. Surprisingly, almost none of you suggested anything which contained more than one link, so here’s one to get us started.
From “The Dark Side of the Moon” by Pink Floyd (who have a band member called Nick), here’s:
I set you all an additional challenge last week: since this week’s post would be available in Christmas week, I asked you to see if you could provide suggestions of a festive nature where possible, and some of you duly obliged.
Surprisingly, though, none of you suggested this, a song by a band so un-Christmassy I’ve always found this to be a slightly odd addition to their canon of work, let alone the fact that they released a whole album worth of this stuff:
So, over to you, but where to start? I suppose really, given that he has made more contributions this week than our most regular of readers have made since we started doing this, we should probably hear something from Rol of My Top Ten, right? Agreed.
“Another Nick busy at this time of year is St Nicholas better known as Santa Claus. When another Nick shuffles of this mortal coil he will almost certainly be canonized. Can we have The Man That I’ve Become from Dig My Mood an album by St Nick of Lowe please?”
Regular visitors will know that generally, each week, after I’ve received several suggestions, I get a comment from Alyson from What’s It All About, Alfie? bemoaning the fact that all of the songs she was going to suggest had already been made by co-Chain Gangers. It’s a bit like when the person on the third podium on ‘Pointless’ says that the person on the second podium had just taken their answer. Anyway, so imagine my delight when the very first comment I got this week was from Alyson:
“Time for sleep now, then work tomorrow, so will no doubt be late again with my suggestion…but before CC trumps me, it might involve Lily the Pink.”
Several hours passed. Article 50 was activated and nobody noticed. Civilizations rose and fell. And then, finally, this:
“Well, sleep, work and xmas shopping got in the way so 18 hours after my first comment, I have decided against Lily The Pink by The Scaffold…”
Oh no you don’t. You’re having it, whether you like it or not, young lady:
A few years ago, when I still shared a flat, I did my usual Friday night routine of doing a playlist to get drunk with my flatmates to; it included that Wire rune, followed by the next record. I had neglected to tell my new flatmates that it was a playlist they were listening to; they thought my iPod was incredible for knowing to play these two records together (along with a whole host of other songs which sounded like/had been ripped off (allegedly) from each other. Hmm…maybe there’s a new topic for me there….). What I mean to say is *ahem* *clears throat* *offers a cheeky wink to the audience*…Well, if you’re going to suggest that, then I’m going to suggest this:
Right. I suppose we’d better make some in-roads into this mountain sized pile of suggestions by Rol. Oh hang on, Alyson’s back:
“I have always thought that the multi-talented American singer Pink, and Sharon Watts from Eastenders, were dopplegangers and who did Sharon date for a while on that show – Yes it was “Nick” Berry who had a big hit with Every Loser Wins. (They don’t, every loser generally loses, but it worked well for him). A tenuous double link.”
Much as I’d love to post that, it has featured here before and the rule is that the only records we can feature twice are a) “Back on the Chain Gang” by The Pretenders, and b) records which turn out to be the next record in The Official Chain which we’ve already had. Have another go.
“…perhaps Lily The Pink it will have to be, although just remembered that the brother of Mike McGear of The Scaffold was Paul McCartney whom I also seem to remember recorded a theme for the teatime soap “Crossroads” which Nick Drake’s sister, aforementioned Gabrielle, appeared in. Don’t know if theme tunes count as a suggestion but another double link.”
Well, we’ve featured the theme tune to Bergerac and Space:1999 here before, so I don’t see why not, especially when The Great Gog made reference to the same theme tune via a different link in his suggestion:
“There is Nick’s sister, Gabrielle, who starred in Crossroads at one time. The theme tune to Crossroads was written by Tony Hatch…”
It’s probably about time put a dent into Rol’s suggestions. No, really this time.
“I’m resisting the obvious Springsteen link from Alyson’s last suggestion as it’s Christmas and I don’t want to upset George” This would be most admirable, were it not for the fact that Springsteen wrote Pink Cadillac, but I’m sure George appreciates the sentiment.
“However, since no one else will dare suggest a song by the best damned pop star of the last 20 years, can I suggest ‘So What’ by Pink?”
The Chain would like to make it very clear that the views of Rol re: the best pop star of the last 20 years are not necessarily shared by the publishers of The Chain.
There’s something rather wonderful about hearing a seventy-year old Welsh woman proclaiming: “I’m comin’ up so you better you better get this party started”, isn’t there? Bear that in mind when your grannies farting herself to sleep in front of the television on Christmas Day.
Which reminds me: Christmas records, anyone?
Ah, here’s Julian from Music From Magazines, he seems the sort of cheery fellow bound to supply us with something festive. Which he will, but first, he’ll expand a little on the whole Gabrielle Drake thing. She rather seems to have set racing the hearts of several of the men of a certain age who contribute here:
“Nick Drake’s sister was Gabrielle Drake who was in the TV show UFO (any picture would be a Christmas gift for any man of a certain age [See? I told you so]), the heavy metal band UFO is not a gift.”
It’s okay, we’re not having anything by UFO. Although, had you actually suggested something by them, I would have been honour bound to post it. Oh and by the way, I am not posting a picture of Gabrielle Drake. If you’re reading this, you’re already connected to the internet, so you can find one yourself, you mucky sod. ()
Before you all go cranking open a spare browser to do exactly that, stick around folks, because if you piece together this little bit of connected thinking out loud, you get a rather fine example of Comment Showboating.
“On the other hand ‘Calling Occupants of Interplanetary Craft” by The Carpenters is a fine song written by the Canadian group Klaatu, a bunch of session musicians, who some folk thought were The Beatles.”
I’ve always thought that was a pretty odd, uncharacteristic record for The Carpenters to have recorded, had assumed it was a cover version, but had never actually thought about finding out for sure. Consequently, that’s the first time I’ve ever heard it.
By the way, many years ago, I was drafted into what turned out to be the winning team in a pub quiz. (There was a music round, and without wishing to sound immodest, I was often asked to join teams for pub quizzes which featured a music round). The prize was “A Tribute to The Carpenters”, which I had assumed was going to be a night of people performing cover versions of their many hits, but which actually turned out to be a selection of middle aged men displaying a rather fine range of bureaus and occasional tables they had made.
I digress. Back to Julian:
“A slight detour to the movies for the classic sci fi ‘The Day the Earth Stood Still’ starring Michel Rennie as the alien called ….Klaatu. A still from the film was used (with some editing) for the cover of Ringo Starr’s LP ‘Goodnight Vienna’.”
It’s okay, he’s going somewhere with this. Trust me.
And he’s not wrong you know. The original:
and the “Peace and Love! Peace and Love! No autographs! Peace and Love” rip off:
“Which of course leads on to Dora Bryan and ‘All I Want for Christmas is a Beatle'”
Julian’s not quite done yet, and we’re most definitely not done with the Gabrielle Drake links just yet. Here’s Julian, ruining all that excellent Comment Showboating by suggesting the Worst Record of the Week:
“Back to Gabrielle Drake. The organisation that [Spoiler alert!! – Considerate Ed] will save the world in UFO is the Supreme Headquarters Alien Defence Organization or SHADO which is only a short step, (or a W) to a truly crap Christmas song”:
“All this talk of Gabrielle Drake being in Crossroads but am I the only one who mainly remembers her from that 1970s Sunday Night drama set in the exciting world of haulage – ‘The Brothers’?” chips in Alyson. “So many links to bands/duos with Brothers in their name so won’t overload you and was really just looking for one that might have done a seasonal ditty but all I could find in my library was Count Basie & The Mills Brothers with ‘December’! (Goodness knows where that came from as can’t remember ever noticing it before.)”
More Drake-related shenanigans from The Beard now:
“Drake is a popular Canadian rapper. Another, much better, Canadian rapper is Abdominal. He is best known for his collaborations with DJ Format. When not hip-hopping Format makes spaced out funk as part of The Simonsound. ‘Tour De Mars’, their cover of Kraftwerk’s Tour De France, is almost as good as the original.”
And the Drake links just keep on coming. Here’s Swiss Adam from Bagging Area:
“Nick Drake was related to Elizabethan sailor, privateer and adventurer, Francis Drake.[Has anyone checked this? – Ed] Francis Drake was a thorn in the side of the ‘King of Spain’, which is a song by Galaxie 500.”
“A drake is a male duck. Chuck Berry was famous for his ‘duck walk’ and he had a song called Havana Moon, first released in 1957, later re-recorded for the 1979 album Rock It. Interestingly, that was the last studio album Chuck released, but he has a new one lined up for 2017, the year he turns 91. Yes – 91. I wonder if he can still do the duck walk?”
I imagine if he can, it would be The Duck Walk sponsored by Stannah Stairlifts and Sanatogen Vital 50+.
Props for the Duck/Drake/Moon double-linker by the way, Rob.
A quick additional duck-link from Walter:
“I don’t think he can’t do the duck walk any more but I’m surprised that he will us give a new record at the age of 91 and I ask myself if Keith Richards will still be on the stage at this age. So Ducks Deluxe came to my mind with Who’s put the bump”
By which I think you mean this (and apologies, I could only find a live version, but it doesn’t sound like there’s many people in the audience, so it’s practically a live studio version):
Whilst we’re on ducks, a song which I remember from my childhood, which I haven’t been able to find a decent copy of, but did find this clip from TOTP2, which means it is top-and-tailed by Steve Wright, which makes it even worse than it already is:
It was around this point that the Comments went all wonky and some got deleted. As far as I can tell, this affected Charity Chic, who compensated by reposting his links over and over again until they worked, and SWC and Badger’s. If anyone else’s got lost, my apologies.
One that didn’t get lost, was this from Kay. In the interest of full disclosure, I should let you all know that Kay is not just a friend of mine, but also my boss, so you’ll forgive me for allowing her suggestions, irrespective of how terrible the record or tenuous the link she suggests. I can say this without fear of retribution because by the time she reads this, she’ll be at least halfway through the bottle of Chocolate Orange liqueur we bought her today. Delicious on Coco Pops, I’m…er…told.
“Nick Drake links to Drake, same name but then realised I didn’t really know any of Drake’s stuff. [I have just Googled him,and I’m none the wiser] So went the same way as The Robster and linked drake to male ducks, then realised I knew no songs that are linked to ducks [It’s going well this, isn’t it?] …. but [I sense a Eureka! moment is imminent] ducks live in ponds and frogs do too…so my choice is Paul McCartney & The Frog Chorus’ ‘We All Stand Together’, which was the first record my sister brought.”
Or, as he is forever known Chez Jez: Fab Macca Wacky Thumbs Aloft. Some of you will understand the reference.
I’m going to avoid the lazy joke about that being Nigel Farage’s least favourite record since it contains a bunch of frogs suggesting unity. Although I appear to have just made it anyway.
By George, it’s George!
“Worst song of the week contender [Nuh-huh]. From Nick Drake to Ted Drake (the footballer) who played for Southampton (and Arsenal)., and was manager of Chelsea when they won their first league title in 1954/55. And born in Southampton, in 1955 (double chain link there!) was Howard Jones. Now, I could it leave it to Charity Chic to pick a Howard Jones track from his record shelves But I’m going for…”
By the way, as I’ve uploaded that I’ve realised that there’s about three minutes of silence at the end of it. Time constraints prevent me from editing it, but I may come back and do it later on, if anyone’s that fussed. What I mean is, when the song sounds like it has ended at around the 3:30 mark, it has: don’t sit around in silence on the off-chance something interesting might be about to happen, as it isn’t.
As I mentioned earlier, the glitches that meant some comments went AWOL seem to have affected Charity Chic, SWC and Badger’s. I think we got there in the end though, although what with SWC and Badger both posting from their excellent When You Can’t Remember Anything blog I’m not 100% sure that I’ve attributed the right song to the right chap this week. So, more apologies if I’ve messed it up.
So, I think this is SWC taking us, as he puts it, “down the pink route” now he’s “finished watching Gabrielle Drake’s finest moment ‘Commuter Husbands’ “
“The obvious link from here is to ‘Snooker Loopy’ by Chas ‘n’ Dave and The Matchroom Mob” which has featured before, so I can’t allow, I’m afraid, “But another song that features pink would be ‘Pink Glove’ by Pulp.”
From vomit to Martini. I don’t just throw this together you know.
Here’s babylotti with a hat-trick, starting with a pink connection, and ending with something festive:
“First of all, I can think of Fuzzbox (had they dropped the ‘We’ve Got a …& We Know How to Use It’ by then?) [Yes and no, is the answer: officially they were now just Fuzzbox, but as this was the first single they released under that moniker, the “We’ve Got…” part was snuck onto the record sleeve just in case there was any doubt as to who was responsible for it. There’d been quite a make over in between the ‘Bostin’ Steve Austin’ album and this, so you can’t really blame them – Ed]) and Pink Sunshine. Bostin’”
“Moon River is from the excellent 1961 movie Breakfast At Tiffany’s, starring Audrey Hepburn and George Peppard. Ten years earlier, one of Audrey’s first ever screen roles was as a “Cigarette Girl” in the movie Laughter In Paradise in which she appeared alongside another famous George… George Cole. That George would go on to become immortalised as Arfur Daley in the TV show Minder, and in 1983, he would release a Christmas single with his co-star Dennis (“write the theme tune, sing the theme tune”) Waterman.”
I wish I could say I didn’t actually already own this. I think this may over-take Sir Cliff in the Worst Record of the Week stakes:
And since we’ve landed on some Christmas songs again, here’s another suggestion from Rol:
“Can I add ‘Run With The Fox’ by Chris Squire & Alan White (roughly a quarter of Yes) because it contains a Christmas Moon, which isn’t pink but probably has fairy lights hanging from it. It might keep old proggies like The Swede happy… or not. “
And this is where it gets complicated. For at the end of their summary of the lost comments, posted by which of our fine friends I know not, was this:
“He also said something about Malcolm McLaren but I true to form can’t remember what.”
Later, this, again, author unconfirmed: “It was to do with ‘Duck Rock’.”
I sought clarification: “Was there a song from ‘Duck Rock’ you had in mind? If not, it’s going to be ‘Double Dutch’…”
The response, again author unconfirmed: “Well most of it is rubbish to be honest [Fair point]. I only thought of it because I saw a copy in a charity shop. Double Dutch is fine.”
But I felt a bit bad about…erm…badgering them into letting me play the track I like the most, so I persevered:
“Yeh, it’s that or ‘Buffalo Girls’ really isn’t? Your call, I have them both lined up ready to go. Which did you suggest in your original lost comment? We should go with that one, really.. “
No response, but to be fair, the boys have probably been swamped with comments and nice things being said about their frankly phenomenal final post (for now…?) over at When You Can’t Remember Anything. If you haven’t read it yet, do your self a favour: click that link and read something incredible. Advanced warning: you will undoubtedly shed a tear.
The reason I was trying to check whether or not one of them had suggested ‘Buffalo Gals’ (as I have subsequenty realised it’s actually called) was this. I never look at what the next record in the Official Chain is until I’ve finished sourcing all the tunes you suggested and thought of a few myself. Seems only fair that we have an even playing field, where I don’t know what the next record in The Chain is any more than you do. Besides, it’d just look plain fishy if I “guessed” right every week.
But when I did look to see what the next record in The Official Chain was, this is what I found:
“From Nick Drake to the following (which is on the ‘Duck Rock’ album)..”:
So, SWC, Badger, jointly as I have no idea which of you suggested Malcolm McLaren, and in honour of your bloody marvellous (please keep going, you’re too good at this to stop) blog, have some bonus points. Merry Christmas.
Okay. So. This is the last edition of The Chain for 2016. I’ll be taking next week off, bar a couple of pre-planned posts I have lined up. Due to the nature of it, I can’t really write The Chain in advance, obviously.
So, you have two weeks to get your suggestions to me, via the Comments section below, for songs which link to “Buffalo Gals” by Malcom McLaren, along with the usual explanation about how you got from record A to record B.
Oh and one more thing. I love doing this, and I’ve said it before and I really mean it – I just host it, the majority of the work is down to you lot and your quite brilliant suggestions. I’ve followed blogs for over ten years now, and I don’t think I’ve ever come across a blog that does what we do here at The Chain. Not me, we.
I cannot think of a single other blog where requests are invited and all are posted; where all is good-natured, pleasant and friendly and everyone accepts they may get a bit of a ribbing every now and then, and nobody objects, nobody trolls, nobody flounces off in a strop because I’ve said their record choice was terrible; where I’ve been introduced to God knows how many songs and artists that I would probably never have heard were we not doing this (and where I hope I’ve returned the favour a few times); and where we get the most incredibly diverse range of artists – just look at that Tag list underneath this!! 46 songs!! Where else would you get that?
What I’m trying to say is this: if you’ve ever made a suggestion here, thank you. You have helped make this place what it is.
Have a very Merry Christmas, and a Happy New Year.
Hello there, fans of mind-bending links between records. I left you last week with KT Tunstall’s “Black Horse and the Cherry Tree” as the song for you to suggest a record that connects to it and I’ll be honest, I was expecting to hear from the usual suspects, George and Dave, and probably no more. Instead, more of you have joined in, resulting in there being an unprecedented eight tunes of varying quality, including my own one, for you today.
But first, an apology; for two of those suggestions I’ve actually picked a different song by the suggested artist to that which was proposed, the reasons for which I hope will become clear, and acceptable, as we work our way through them.
So let’s kick things off with one of those that I’ve changed. George wrote this:
“And here’s my suggestion. KT Tunstall: Tunstall is one of the towns of Stoke-on-Trent. And Ted Chippington was born in Stoke on Trent. And he made a cover version of The Wanderer. So no comment showboating, just a simple link this week.”
Now, I only posted Ted’s version of The Wanderer a couple of weeks ago as part of my Friday Night Music Club, here. So George I hope you’ll forgive me for picking something different by Ted.
A couple of months ago, I wrote about how much I enjoy having songs on my iPod which have the late great John Peel introducing them, and this is one such example, which means I probably got it from one of my peers (Dirk..?), so credit where credit’s due.
The next suggestioneer is The Great Gog, who, as is becoming traditional, gave me multiple choices to track down:
“As Gog Towers is located less than 10 miles from Tunstall, I also made the Stoke-on-Trent link. However, I opted for someone named after one of the other towns – namely Dave Fenton, who fronted the Vapors. Perhaps News At Ten from them rather than the obvious track? There is of course film & TV soundtrack writer, George Fenton as well, which would allow a posting of the Bergerac theme should you so wish.
Alternatively – and one you’d never get on the Beeb – the black horse has been the symbol of Lloyd’s bank for many years. Said establishment got name-checked along with their rivals at that time on Manic Street Preachers’ “NatWest-Barclays-Midland-Lloyds” from Generation Terrorists.”
Excellent! So working our way through that lot, we have:
Is it just me, or does that bear more than a passing resemblance to The Jam’s “Pretty Green” in places…? Anyway, I think we can all be thankful that I didn’t remember that one when I was doing my TV show theme the other week, or I might have extended it into a tedious fifth week.
And then there’s this, which I anticipate will be the least clicked link I’ve ever posted, which is saying something when you think of all the Quo I’ve written about:
I’ve said it before, and I’ll say it again: nobody wrote song titles like Richie Manic.
Next is Alex G’s suggestion:
“OK, the Stoke-On-Trent thing’s been done, so I’ll take a different angle. The KT in KT Tunstall stands for Kate Tunstall, so it’s a redundancy – it makes her Kate Tunstall Tunstall. First person who came to mind as having the same thang going on, y’all, is J.J. Jeczalik from The Art Of Noise. The J.J. stands for Jonathan Jeczalik. So I suggest “E.F.L.” by The Art Of Noise (or really anything they did while he was in the band – so not from the 1997 reunion).”
Your wish is my command. As far as I can work out – and I’m open to correction here – this only got released as the B-side to their version of Prince’s “Kiss”:
And that leads me to my own choice for this week. Mention of her name being Kate Tunstall Tunstall reminded my of an old David Baddiel joke about the L in LL Cool J standing for Lionel, making his name Lionel Lionel Cool J, so here’s something by Lionel:
Moving on to the second of the suggestions where I’ve picked a different tune to the one suggested. Charity Chic wrote this:
“KT comes from Fife and features in Vic Galloway’s excellent book Songs in the Key of Fife. So some Stevie Wonder would be nice”
The book title is, of course, a pun on Stevie Wonder’s “Songs in the Key of Life”, and I asked CC what song from said classic album would be his preference for me to post. His choice was Sir Duke, which I love, but I’m not going to post because CC does a thread where he posts songs which refer to other musicians, and I don’t have anywhere near enough Duke Ellington (to whom the song title refers) so I’m hoping CC does have some I can listen to.
7+ minutes of gospelly greatness, I’m sure you’ll agree.
Which leads me on to the final suggestion for the day, an absolute belter which had me sifting through my record collection, muttering under my breath about where my copy could have gone (it remains unfound), and the reason for leaving this ’til last, apart from it being such a great record, is that I love The Swede’s reasoning:
“The Black Horse in Ipswich and The Cherry Tree in Woodbridge were two of the earliest drinking establishments that I ever frequented. They were both left behind some time later, however, when me and my pals discovered The Greyhound, which in those long ago days of the late 1970’s served the finest Adnams I’d ever tasted. I remember it still.
As usual, your suggestions please for a) what the link between the KT Tunstall track and the Hawkwind one is (and remember, don’t phone in, it’s just for fun), and b) what you’d like me to post next week that links to Hawkwind’s “Silver Machine”, along with an explanation of the connection. Pop it in the Comments box, and I’ll do my darndest to post it next week.
It’s Bank Holiday Weekend here in the UK, which can mean only one thing: being stuck in the house, watching television, whilst the rain buckets down outside until it’s time to go back to work again on Tuesday.
Which leads me onto the theme for this week, and for the next couple of weeks: Songs With The Same Name As Television Programmes, But Which Are Not The Actual Theme Tune, Or A Cover Version Of The Theme Tune Of The Programme In Question.
With a sub-title that long, you can’t really be all that surprised to learn that this one is going to take more than one week to get through….
Released in 1978, and peaking in the UK chart at 17, this new wave classic earned the group an appearance on the very show that the lyrics so roundly criticise. There’s an interesting bit of pop history about the line up too: each band member had a stage name and one, Jo Calles (a.k.a. Luke Warm), after the group split up in late 1978, went on to form Shake with, amongst others, Troy Tate, a name many of you will recognise partly from him later appearing in Julian Cope’s band Teardrop Explodes, and many more will recognise as the producer of the original cut of The Smiths’ debut album, which was ditched in favour of the mix provided by John Porter. After Shake split, Callis went on to join Human League, just in time to co-write their classic “Don’t You Want Me”. There you go, don’t say you never learn anything around here.
And just to prove that The Rezillos “Top of the Pops” was neither the actual theme nor a cover of the theme to the show in question (see, I’ve already heavily edited this subtitle), get your laughing gear around this little montage:
Moving on, here’s one of my favourite singles from the mid-90s “Britpop” era:
The title is lifted not just from the erroneously used term for Chinese martial arts (the original meaning is any study, learning, or practice that requires patience, energy, and time to complete – see, entertaining and informative, me), but also the American TV series which ran from 1972 – 1975, and starred David Carradine as a Shaolin monk called Kwai Chang Caine. The part was originally intended for some chap called Bruce Lee, only for the TV studios to duck out of casting an Asian and cast non-Asian Carradine instead. The 70s, eh? Gotta love ’em.
Having spent much of his subsequent life appearing in frankly duff straight to video B-movies such as Deathrace 2000, Safari 3000, and Night Rhythms, Carradine’s career was going through something of a renaissance following his appearance in Tarantino’s 2004 “Kill Bill: Volumes 1 & 2”, At least it was, until 2009 when he died suddenly in a hotel room in Thailand, apparently killed by the same thing as allegedly killed Michael Hutchence: the old “erotic asphyxiation” routine, which I shall not be demonstrating for you any time soon.
Here’s the title credits, featuring not just David Carradine, but Keith too:
But there’s another popular culture moment involved with the Ash single: the sleeve, which captures that moment back in 1995 when Manchester United’s Eric Cantona, having just been sent off during a match against Crystal Palace, got ever so slightly upset by some comments from the crowd:
This, inevitably, led to a lengthy ban from the game for Cantona, and to this very brief press conference statement which I often see people describe as being confusing:
Now, I do not claim to be a man blessed with profound intellect, but that’s not really that hard to understand, is it?
Anyway, on May 21st 2016, Manchester United and Crystal Palace will meet each other in this year’s FA Cup Final, and there’s the teensiest part of me that hopes one of the participants decides to re-enact the Cantona moment. My money’s on Palace boss Alan Pardew, whose got a bit of form in the losing his rag stakes. Him, or United’s Marouane Fellaini, who I’m sure you could wind up pretty easily if you asked him when the new series of Saved By the Bell is going to start enough times.
Sleeper will feature many more times on these here pages, so we’ll jump straight to the TV show from whence the title is ripped:
I bet there’s quite a few people my age and older who went a tad misty-eyed at the sight of Anglia Television’s silver knight at the start of the clip.
But, oh! Times have certainly changed in the world of TV game shows, haven’t they?
That’s broadcasting stalwart Nicholas Parsons doing the hosting duties; he can still be heard hosting Radio 4’s wonderful parlour game/panel show “Just A Minute”, and, at the age of 92 as I write this, he seems to be in possession of just as many of his faculties now as he was back then. Take that in whatever way you wish.
But Sale of the Century has a dark secret. For it was here that the Dark Overlord himself made his first TV appearance:
So, y’know, cheers for that Anglia Television.
In 1975, David Bowie released “Young Americans”; you don’t need me to tell you what an incredible album that is, or to tell you that this was one of the singles lifted from it:
Okay, so this is a bit of a cheat by me, since the Bowie single pre-dates the 1980 Alan Parker directed movie of the same name by five years:
…and the 1982 TV series by the same name by seven years:
…but any excuse to post a bit of Bowie, eh?
It also gives me the excuse to link to this 24 carat cheese nugget:
Bruno was no singer, was he?
In 1969, the BBC launched a show about holiday destinations, called “Holiday ’69”. (Stop it…..!!). The show ran until 2007, but in the 1990s, they dropped the year from the title, making it just plain old “Holiday”. Which is lucky, as surprisingly Madonna never recorded a song called “Holiday ’69” (she left that kind of grubbiness to Bryan Adams):
Back when I was at college, there was a quiz held in the Students’ Union every other Tuesday which a couple of mates and I used to regularly enter (and which I ended up hosting). The Students Union had invested in a karaoke machine – quite the new-fangled gadget at the arse-end of the 1980s – but were struggling to come up with occasions on which it could be used. So, at the end of each round of the quiz, it was decided that one member from the team with – now, I want to say the highest, but in reality, it was probably the lowest – score was invited up on stage to perform a song of the host’s choice.
My fellow team-mates were considerably less stage-shy than I, so on the two occasions that one of us had to go on stage, it was me that bowed to public pressure. The relevance of this is that on one of these occasions, it was Madonna’s “Holiday” that I was obliged to perform (on the other occasion, it was The Police’s “Walking On The Moon”, just in case you’re interested). I delivered both in a dead-pan, spoken style, a la Ted Chippington.
“Oh THAT Ted Chippington”, I hear you reply, looking none-the-wiser.
Don’t worry yourself about him now, he’ll crop up again on these pages in a lot more depth at some point or another.
So, with the BBC having a show about potential holiday destinations – which, if memory serves me right from my younger days, seemed to feature a pleasing amount of footage of continental topless beaches – ITV decided to get in on the act with a rival show, called “Wish You Were Here?”. We know a song about that too, don’t we?
Ok time to wrap things up for this week, and here’s the finest example of a song having the same name as a TV show, but this is another cheat by me as it is clearly named after and references the show in question. But it gives me a chance to play some Divine Comedy, and a lesser known track by them too: