Thursday, 29 May 2014

Gertcha ~ it's Top of the Pops 31st May 1979!

Squeeze edited out of the 7.30 show? ~ Gertcha!

31-5-79: Presenter: Paul Burnett

(19) ANITA WARD – Ring My Bell (and charts)
(41) QUANTUM JUMP – The Lone Ranger
(4) PEACHES & HERB – Reunited (video)
(42) CHAS & DAVE – Gertcha
(15) McFADDEN & WHITEHEAD – Ain’t No Stoppin’ Us Now (danced to by Legs & Co)
(18) SPARKS – The Number One Song In Heaven
(47) VOYAGER – Halfway Hotel
(5) EARTH, WIND & FIRE with THE EMOTIONS – Boogie Wonderland (video)
(50) SQUEEZE – Up The Junction
(24) EDWIN STARR – H-A-P-P-Y Radio (video)
(56) FISCHER-Z – The Worker
(52) HOT CHOCOLATE – Mindless Boogie
(1) BLONDIE – Sunday Girl (footage from TopPop)
(28) LINDA CLIFFORD – Bridge Over Troubled Water (and credits)

Paul Burnett always seemed to do such a great job hosting the show, and tonight is no exception, if only he'd got the gig more often, especially in 1979..........

Anita Ward ~ with a perfect song to open the show, and soon to be the next number one.

Quantum Jump ~ sing along now everybody ~ 'Taumata-whaka-tangi-hanga-kuayuwo tamate-aturi-pukaku-piki-maunga horonuku-pokaiawhen-uaka-tana-tahu mataku-atanganu-akawa-miki-tora'  This song originally came in 1976 and the band had split up by the time it eventually became a hit in 1979 - but they did kindly reform for this performance tonight.

Peaches & Herb ~ now at their number 4 peak.

Chas & Dave ~ Chas having to do a live vocal here to avoid saying the word 'cowson' which somebody's wife at the BBC thought was a bit rude! Though I'm sure I heard someone sneak it in at least once!

McFadden & Whitehead ~ a wide range of outfits this week for the Legs & Co routine, ranging from wedding dresses to pyjamas - and in front of a clap along audience too.

Sparks ~ a new performance for this one still rising up the charts, but of course filled with lots of disturbing stares into the camera, and even a detached head at one point.

Voyager ~ sounding very much like Mott the Hoople on helium, Halfway Hotel closed down before it made the top 30.

Earth Wind and Fire ~ were edited out of the 7.30 show, but we've seen the video before.

Squeeze ~ why the (probably) best known song from this wonderful band was edited out of the 7.30 show will forever remain one of life's great mysteries, but it will be on again very soon.

Edwin Starr ~ was also unhappily edited out of the 7.30 show - catch up with him at 12.30 am.

Fischer Z ~ pronounced 'fishers head' with a pre-twotone foray into ska here, but The Worker failed to make the top 50.

Hot Chocolate ~ with an interesting song that would maybe have been more at home on The Old Grey Whistle Test, but the group didn't release a top 40 hit in 1979.

Blondie ~ the second of three weeks at number one for Sunday Girl.

Linda Clifford ~ still in the lower reaches of the top 30 (as is Mike Oldfield!) plays us out over the credits.

Next week's show, the 6th June 1979, is a Jimmy Savile, so instead we will leap ahead to the 14th June with Mike Read (and Squeeze!).


  1. This was the start of Hot Chocolate's not so hot patch, when they had six chart singles of which four didn't reach the top 45.

    Fischer-Z had more success in Europe and Australia than over here. They released a single called "Marliese" which, these days, sounds a bit like a jilted lover stalking his ex, but I thought it was brilliant back in the day. It was a turntable hit but never made the listings that count.

    Real shame this is the last we'll see of Paul Burnett. I think he was uncomfy in front of the cameras and maybe did one TOTP a year for five years or so as some form of contractual obligation. Personally,of all the presenters of the day, I thought only Kid was better than him..

    1. I thought that Paul Burnett made a better presenter than most of the others at the time,and he had the ideal look in front of the camera, so it is somewhat bizarre that he was not a regular presenter.

  2. Quantum Jump - now there was a band abundant in talent, but hampered by managerial difficulties and bad luck generally. They had split up, but reconvened to promote their belated hit on TOTP - only to be left floundering once more when Electric Records (the label formerly known as Fly, and later Cube) closed down soon afterwards. Still, singer Rupert Hine went on to produce hit singles and albums galore for the likes of Tina Turner, Howard Jones, Chris de Burgh, The Fixx and The Waterboys.

    I agree that Squeeze's 'Up The Junction' is arguably their finest 3 minutes, with 'Labelled With Love' a close second. Chris Difford made an art form of the imperfect rhyme.

    Hot Chocolate's 'Mindless Boogie' was a brave foray into experimental disco-funk, but wasn't nearly memorable enough to be a hit, and was a strange choice for a single. Happily, 'No Doubt About It' would return them to their winning ways the following year.

  3. Anita Ward - great start to the show. I always liked this one, and it was eventually a worthy No.1 in June after Blondie hung up the suit and tie.

    Peaches & Herb - great loved-up couple, and an inspiration to the top 4, as only M, Roxy Music and Blondie prevented this from going to a worthy No.1.

    McFadden & Whitehead - I thought it made a refreshing change to allow the girls to wear whatever they liked this week, and it was an interesting mixture of outfits. I particularly liked Patti's short shorts, which did not leave much to the imagination.

    Earth Wind & Fire - the only decent footage of this song was the famous video with the huge stage and number of band members. It's probably one of the greatest and most memorable videos of all time, because there was simply no other significant performance of this on film/video, even to this day.

    Blondie - good second week at No.1, but I prefer her performing in a dress, as the suit and tie just didn't do it for me.

  4. That was quite a weird edition, with plenty of obscurities that sadly were not much cop. Fischer-Z's song started promisingly, but degenerated into mind-numbing repetition - I was also struck by the singer's Jon "Yes" Anderson impersonation, which was rather distracting! Apart from Sparks and Squeeze, I could also take or leave most of the bigger hits here, so it was nearly all a bit "meh" for me this week. Given the lifelessness of the studio audience, I suspect they might have felt the same! At least Paul Burnett seemed to be enjoying himself, making it all the more puzzling why he didn't do TOTP more often - if he wasn't comfortable on TV, fair enough, but he looks relaxed enough here.

    If Gertcha comes round again I will have to fast-forward - when C&D say the word it sounds like they are throwing up!

  5. Loads of blokes dancing while playing the keyboard this edition. Quantum Jump was one of those funky little numbers with a touch of novelty that you could enjoy until you actually listened to the lyrics at which point it sounds pretty funny. "Tonto doesn't mind!" Weren't they featured on the soundtrack of Brit disco classic The Bitch, in the nightclub scenes?

    Man, I used to love Chas and Dave as a kid, and although I don't own any of their tunes now, I have no problems with their rockney stylings. First sight of a band member smoking this episode.

    Nice of the director to cut away from the Legs ladies to a big closeup of the only bloke there neither clapping along nor looking as if he was enjoying himself. In a grey jumper, too.

    Something weirdly appropriate about seeing Sparks with green faces, there was an alien quality about them. I laughed at the slow zoom into Ron's fixed stare.

    Was that Peter Duncan fronting Voyager? His microphone annoyed me, I wanted someone to fix it at the right angle.

    Squeeze, well we all know this one. Jools puffing away on a cheroot, he'd have to go outside to do that these days.

    Edwin Starr goes disco, you wouldn't argue with him, would you? Was he singing along with the records on his (HAPPY) radio show? Was that where Steve Wright got the idea from?

    Fischer-Z, the only song of theirs I know is another not quite hit called The Perfect Day about ten years after this, Radio 1 played it a lot to no avail. This sounded like cod reggae, especially as no Jamaican would sing like that.

    Hot Chocolate, this was almost avant garde with its unconventional structure and references to nuclear war and the recent Jonestown massacre, just the ticket for grooving on the dancefloor. Or maybe not. Edwin wouldn't have played it on his station.

    So farewell then Paul Burnett, we hardly knew ye, but you could have done more, you weren't bad at all.

    1. Did you watch "The Fast Show" specials this week? For the first "Jazz Club" skit, the presenter was smoking outside the studio for H&S reasons, and the second one saw him put on a nicotine patch in the studio!

    2. I did watch the Fast Show specials, but thought they were a bit rubbish, sadly. The smoking gag wasn't too bad, I suppose. The Harry and Paul tribute to BBC 2 was absolutely hilarious, however, funniest thing I've seen all year.

  6. An absolute classic edition from pops finest year really only let down by the comedy disco of Trouble over Bridgewater at the end.Quantum Jump,Voyager,Squeeze,EWF,Blondie,Fischer-Z,Edwin Starr,Hot Choc - all gems.Check out the flop follow up to The Lone Ranger,the excellent No American Starship.
    Fischer-Z were one of the most underrated bands of the time,their number 72 hit ! from 1980,So Long is a peach.
    I think Mindless Boogie Boogie Boogie is a lost great.
    One of the best TOTP episodes EVER !

  7. 50 something here.

    Have to say I loathed the Anita Ward song at the time and time hasn't changed my opinion (but then I feel the same about I Feel Love so what do I know?) Quantum Jump - novelty song that loses its charm very quickly, not sure those lyrics would get airplay these days.

    After that we hit a run of magnificent slices of vintage 1979. New wave, disco, AOR it's all there. Best of the bunch (IMHO) is Squeeze but it does raise some awkward questions....

    We are informed that Mrs Tillbrook was taken to hospital early today and gave birth to a girl in an incubator. So i) why did they - ahem- squeeze a heavily pregnant woman into such a confined space? and ii) how does Mr T know that the child will be walking before her first birthday and that his wife will dump him for a squaddie within the following couple of years?

    After the run of great songs the usually reliable Hot Chocolate hit a duff note with possibly their least memorable ditty. Blondie - it's okay but Roxy's number two is so much better. (For that matter the songs at 3, 4 and 5 were superior too). And just to remind us that you could have bad disco as well as good we get Linda Clifford, a treatment so wildly inappropriate to the lyric and tempo of the original that it is possibly the most ill judged cover ever (with the possible exception of Madonna's hatchet job on American Pie).

  8. It was great to wake up this morning to watch the overnight recording of the unedited show, especially seeing that they played just under 4 minutes of the Boogie Wonderland video.

    Nice one Paul Burnett, wish you could have fronted more shows like this one.

  9. host: perhaps slightly unctious at times, but mr burnett is definitely preferable to the likes of noel and tony

    quantum jump: as i've always had a thing for funky disco this should have been right up my street. but i didn't care for it at all at the time (having to endure it over and over again in discos didn't help in that regard), and having heard it again for the first time in decades i still feel the same. perhaps it's the lack of tune, or maybe the novelty aspect of it? still, kudos has to go to (the very uncool-looking) rupert hine for miming the indian chant bit seamlessly...

    chas & dave: definitely not my cup of rosie - the kind of thing that shouldn't be heard outside of a sarf laandon rubba...

    legs & co: i don't like it when they wear "individual" outfits (btw dory, i doubt they made their own choices). did anyone notice that half the seated audience was moving from side to side as they clapped? unfortunately there was a woman also sat there about half-way along who resolutely refused to move her body one iota, even though the guy next to her kept banging into her shoulder...

    sparks: as i said previously, music-wise this is nothing special to my ears. however it's always a laugh watching ron (not) do his thing - presumably he keeps up that routine for the duration of any sparks gigs? also, did the director put some ghostly green light on him to make him even more scary to young children?

    voyager: was the vocalist peter skellern's younger brother? whatever, it was apparent from the off that the guy couldn't sing for toffee. not that it stopped him from trying really hard - it was excruciatingly painful at times! musically it sounded like a fifth-rate version of what steely dan were doing several years earlier (they had long since moved on from that of course). utterly dreadful...

    squeeze: i have always been a big fan of "cool for cats", and was disappointed with what i saw as a lacklustre follow-up. i can't get excited about it now either, but it's still slightly amusing in a smirking-schoolboy-manner to hear the word "smelly" in a lyric...

    edwin starr: did anyone notice that mr starr had the picture sleeve of his record behind him, and that the limited edition 12" of it (in red vinyl) was on the turntable? "contact" was bad enough, but this one really sucks! the guy's a soul screamer who in my view just doesn't have the right voice for this kind of material. and it sounds like a discofied version of some awful old motown tune to boot. if this ever came on at any disco i was boogieing down in (and sadly it did so extremely frequently) then i would immediately scatter other dancers, tables and chairs, and anything else in my path asunder in my haste to get out of earshot...

    fischer z: i always thought this lot were some arty new wave act, so i was a bit surprised to hear some cod-reggae. personally, i don't think you have to have been raised in a corrugated-iron shack in trenchtown to play reggae without being scoffed at, so i didn't mind this at all (although it's unlikely i'll ever track a copy of it down)...

    hot chocolate: i certainly have no memory of this, and to my ears it sounded like it was treading very similar ground to "the lone ranger". despite that and not caring much for their other output, i couldn't help but start liking the groove (i've been playing it on youtube!), although with its banal tune and lack of chorus hook it's no wonder it flopped chartwise...

    mark: 7/10

    1. Regarding the host, I thought that PB was definitely preferable to Noel and Tony, but also to Peter Powell, Dave Lee Travis and Jimmy Savile who were all hosting TOTP in 1979. Only David Jensen I felt was as good as Paul Burnett. I wonder what the story was about Paul Burnett, i.e., was it cos he didn't want more than one show a year, or was it the BBC bosses who didn't want him on, as he may have upstaged all the other hosts. Could be some politics there.

      I believe this was Chas & Dave's debut on the show.

      Regarding Edwin Starr, he died suddenly of a heart attack while taking a bath at his home in Nottingham in 2003. I always thought he was American.
      Apparently his brother is still fronting the Edwin Starr band to this day, which was the precursor band of Rose Royce before they added their female singer.

    2. Edwin Starr WAS American (born in Nashville), but was latterly resident in Britain.

    3. i think the reason for edwin starr's british residency was that he was always more popular here than over there, and so capitalised on his "big fish in a small pool" status by regularly touring the uk to appreciative audiences in his later years... and probably becoming an anglophile on the way!

    4. See also: Kid Creole (although he might have moved to Scandinavia by now, not sure).

    5. a few years back kid creole was the star of some 70's disco revival show at the manchester palace theatre (i never went)...

  10. Chas and Dave debuted on the show in Nov 1978 with Strummin'.

    And the word on Gertcha that upset Robin Nash was Cowson, a London slang word meaning literally son of a bitch.

    My dad knows TV/film extra Harry Fielder who was in the Courage beer Gertcha ad.

  11. I've just noticed that we seem to have lost The Maggie Stredder Singers from the credits ~ this may have happened way back in February but I've only just noticed! Indeed, more and more the performances are now sounding suspiciously like miming to the record ~ I reckon the Musicians Union should do something about that before it's too late!

    1. I too have noticed recently that the studio performances have nearly all been bands with backing tapes, with live solo singers very few and far between. Yet the orchestra still has a year to go....

  12. I'll miss Paul Burnett too, though I didn't think he was quite as slick on this edition as in previous years. Mind you, there was a lot of rather odd editing going on, including a couple of songs being chopped rather rudely. Speaking of which...

    Quantum Jump - I loved this at the time, though back then I obviously didn't know what it was really about!
    I still think it's great, and I believe that it was Kenny Everett that made it a belated hit.
    Strange that it gets chopped just before the end of the song, but I do wonder if that's because there's a sample from the original Lone Ranger programme and the BBC didn't want to pay money for it (a concept we're very familiar with 35 years later, of course!)

    Chas & Dave - That terrible word which would corrupt us all if we heard it was definitely uttered in the first verse (by Dave at least, who then laughs his head off) and this would be something interesting to talk about had we not heard this story on at least 2 documentaries already (The Big Hits of 1979, and a Chas & Dave doco)

    Legs & Co - I never like the random grab bag approach to the costumes, and while the song is perfectly well made, it's one of those that leaves me a bit cold.

    Sparks - Ron definitely a bit lower on the 'scary-ometer' this time I reckon. Every time I see him I have to pinch myself to make sure it's not Chris Morris doing an impression - they've both got a very similar luck.

    Voyager - Am I the only one here who's going to admit to loving this and wishing it had been a massive hit?
    I think it's partly because it was featured on another popular summer holiday car radio cassette. In this case 'Rock'n'Roller Disco', an album so eclectic that not only does it include this soft rock masterpiece, but also 'I Don't Like Mondays', 'Love's Gotta Hold On Me' by Dollar, and most amusing of all 'Death Disco' by PIL. Good luck dancing to that!
    Although I like the song, the lead singer constantly jigging around and waving his head from side to side did get on my tits.

    Squeeze - Love this song, and I still don't get bored of it (unlike 'Cool For Cats')

    Edwin Starr - This is a good, fun tune, and I got a chance to rate Edwin's radio presenting skills too.
    Peaking at 6 on the levels - nice work. Good on the faders too. I don't usually wear my headphones under my neck, but then I don't have an afro to protect I suppose.

    Then the show goes downhill rapidly with Fischer-Z (I thought they were New Wave too!) and a real dirge from Hot Chocolate who seemed to think that if they chucked a few weirdy synth noises in, everyone would buy it.
    Finally the rather dull Blondie clip, and some silly disco.

  13. First up, I’m off to my in-laws in Bosnia later this week, and I won’t be analysing this Thursday’s show until ten days later (hopefully the same day Bosnia and Herzegovina thrash the Argies in the World Cup!).

    An enjoyable show with an excellent and much missed host, but what would the audience have made of it? Six sets of artists not even in the top 40 performing (or not) in the studio, with the three top five hits all on video. Pah!

    I have to say I’ve always hated Anita Ward’s hit. That bloody lindrum!

    How were Chas and Dave banned from saying “Cowson” when Rupert Hine was allowed to sing the word “pooftah” and allude to anal sex in the third verse of “The Lone Ranger”? You couldn’t make it up. Health and safety was different then, too, what with Chas and Dave’s “Orchestra”, Mick Burt, and Jools Holland both puffing away on stage.

    Nice bit of 'hen do' dancing from Legs & Co, It only needed the white handbag in the middle. Loved Patti’s shorts!

    Has anyone ever seen Ron Mael smile? Brilliant song, it’s grown on me.

    Oh dear, Paul, crap chart prediction time with Voyager’s awful attempt at a Bowie / Mott The Hoople rip-off. Yet another pug ugly bunch, this time with a singer whose mic was in a different postcode.

    Squeeze. One of the best story songs ever. No messing.

    As for Edwin Starr, that effort only reminded me of that ’’hilarious’ hospital sitcom “Only When I Laugh”. Figgis!

    Fischer-Z? New entry? You’d need to double the mugshots to get their new entry in the frame! I liked the singer’s Z-top.

    Hot Chocolate obviously bought a Del Boy job lot of white trousers for the show but didn’t have Errol’s size. Or the drummer’s, unless he wanted to be a maverick.

  14. Yes, when you think about it, Paul Burnett - like the late Roger Scott - was one of those understated, underrated greats. I believe he's still knocking about on some computer-driven commercial station today?

    For a 1976 record, The Lone Ranger seems to fit quite nicely into the 1979 scene. Well, no-one has said "urgh, it's so 1976!" have they?

    Peaches & Herb again, being so touchy-feely it almost made me puke. We don't do that sort of thing over here in the UK. We give them microphones to hold.

    Chas & Dave with that infamous word - don't know whether its inclusion near the beginning was accidental or rebellious. You beat me to it Arthur, it's strange how Elvis Costello can use the 'n' word and Rupert Hine can use the 'p' word but 'cow son' is a no-no. Today the exact opposite would apply. There's nowt stranger than folk.

    I got the impression that there was not enough time to organise a 'complete' Legs & Co routine with costumes, sets etc. so it was simply a case of picking a US disco number in the charts (turned out to be an inspired choice!) and putting some basic dance moves to it. Nice to see the audience included though.

    As for Sparks, I found their appearance in Rollercoaster on YouTube the other day. With pyrotechnics and Ron smashing up his piano stool, it's not the Sparks we're used to here in Europe.

    Halfway Hotel would have been something I'd have completely forgotten about if it wasn't for (a) its memorable promo and (b) the inclusion of said promo on The Rock 'N' Roll Years 1979 VHS release circa 1990. I too was waiting for the lead vocal chappie to adjust his mic, but it looked like he had very rubbery legs and his height varied throughout the performance. Today of course, the name Voyager is synonymous with noisy, smelly, underlength and overcrowded crap trains which run to all non-London destinations from Birmingham New Street.

    Earth, Wind & Fire - twirling trumpets and tumbling tambourines. Squeeze - I've always thought that this was a lacklustre follow-up to Cool For Cats even though it is stronger in lyrical terms.

    Ah, Edwin Starr, makes me go all misty-eyed remembering the days of 'proper' radio with turntables and cart machines. Of course, it was the socio-economic climate, the political climate and the music being released which made/makes radio what is was/is, not the technology. Perhaps. Like Noax, I'm too young to have 'hands-on' experience - by the time I joined our hospital station it had gone over to the Discart system, but we still played plenty of vinyl. Even so, I seem to have ended up with a load of old 1980s carts and a machine to play them on amongst the junk upstairs...

    I agree that the show went a bit downhill towards the end. Hot Chocolate have the distinction of achieving a charting single every year from 1970 to 1984 inclusive, but it must be said that some were nothing more than placeholders. But I'm being spoilt at the moment with an all-time fave at No.1!

    1. presumably "carts" is short for cartridges of some kind - 8 track? audio cassettes? specially-manufactured things only for use in radio stations for playing jingles etc?

    2. Regarding Peaches & Herb, it was not so lovey dovey at the beginning of the song. If you look closely right at the beginning of the video, she moves his hand off her shoulder, as they are still not 'Reunited', and she still has the ump with him, but a few nice words from him later seems to win her over back into a touchy feely as you call it Mr Relic.

      We could all take some example of what words to use to win back your lover when things are not going well - so thanks P & H for your example of love turnaround.

      It was a good thing that Peaches & Herb and Dollar were not on the same show but on alternate shows, as we would have all found it too much, and would have to find a room no doubt, as these two loved-up couples were nicely embedded in the top 30 at the beginning of June.

    3. Wilberforce - that's right, they're endless loop tapes which were used for jingles, announcements, adverts etc. right through the 60s, 70s and 80s, similar in size to the domestic 8-track but a completely different design. They may have been OK when new but a few years back I transferred some to CD and, 25 years down the line, I was lucky to be able to play 2 or 3 without stopping to clean the muck off the head. Dreadful things.

      Dory - I'm certainly not disputing the warm-hearted message of the song, I guess the point I was trying to make is that singing couples normally each have one hand occupied.

    4. I wouldn't say 'Up The Junction' was a lacklustre follow-up to 'Cool For Cats'; it was common practice back then to follow up an upbeat hit song with a downtempo number.

  15. A strong show this week, I thought.
    The inclusion of "Up The Junction" made me think of the old trivia question about hit singles where the title only appears at the very end of the lyric. "Virginia Plain" and "Just Like Heaven" also spring to mind.

    1. I think it also applies to One More Try by George Michael.

  16. God I hated Ring My Bell back then and little has changed. That bloody Syndrum! Funny chart this week with Linda Clifford at number 28 and Cheap Trick moving up one place to 29. And Bright Eyes has only dropped to number 8 even after two years at number 1.

    I remember the Quantum Leap record well, it was played by Kenny Everett a lot on Capital. The homophobic lyric and The Lone Ranger and Tonto grates now but it's heart was in the right place, in the same vein as Joe Tex's Willy's Dancing With A Sissy.

    I like Paul Burnette's quip that he's glad they called it The Lone Ranger and presumably not Taumatawhakata etc, etc...

    That P&H video again.

    Gertcha! Never understood the point of Chas's story about cutting out the 'cowsons' but leaving one in the first verse. Great song though of course pushed into the chart as it was used in the Courage beer ad.

    Why can't the crowds on TOTP ever behave like the crowds on Soul Train, they all look they've been forced to participate at gunpoint. I love the close-ups where they all look so miserable.

    Sparks still at Number 18 (not Number 1 yet) but they get a second performance anyway. Never sure if Ron's mad staring helped sell it or hindered it.

    Halfway Hotel was another track they used to play on Capital Radio a lot. I remember it well and thought it did better than it did. Is the first song to mention a credit card?

    That EWF video again.

    Ah Squeeze, now you're talking. I like Jools trying to emulate his New Orleans heroes by chomping away on a cigar, the way Glen Tillbrook sings the whole song without blinking and drummer Gilson Lavis's mad drum antics.

    Thank god for videos because without those we wouldn't have seen any of the soul acts on tonights how. I liked HAPPY Radio even though it is a bit cheesy. That cow bell breakdown was a trademark of many gay disco records circa 1979-80.

    I don't remember the Fisher Z track at all but it's quite good with the lead singer in falsetto against a reggae beat. The band are clearly miming and I often wondered if they minded doing it because it's quite a hard thing to carry off well (they don't quite manage it here)..

    This Hot Chocolate track is brilliant and is very much in the same vein as Heaven's On The Back Seat Of My Cadillac and would probably have been a hit had it been released a couple of years earlier. Still it gives us another chance to admire the keyboard player's long fingers and the drummer's home perm and wonder how Erroll got away with wearing such tight lurex trousers.

    In a dress, a shirt or a man's suit Debbie Harry was always sexy even if she does forget to mime at the end. Not sure about that illustration of her at the back which makes her look a bit like Joni Mitchell.

  17. My 18 year old son (very fashion-conscious) walked in as Errol Flynn was funking away, and in reference to Mr Flynn's glittrey attire said in mock bemusement "Was that trendy then?". Discuss.

    1. surely errol was a titan of what was trendy back then? by the way, do "young people" use the word "trendy" in any way other than in jest? even i can't use the word seriously these days - in fact i think it was already passe even when this program was originally broadcast...

  18. Goodness me, Mr Brown I meant, not Flynn... Where's my tablets?

    1. ah silver fox, i note that you now wish to be known more fomally - must be a sign of getting old (along with getting your errols mixed up)...

    2. Actually no, it won't for some reason let me through with that (old) name

  19. And now it will. How bizarre!