This was another Beatles song to get the Sellers treatment and its meaning takes on a whole new dimension when we hear the two characters in this recording. The voice Sellers uses for the female character is reminiscent of the one he used for Crystal Jollybottom in his long run with radio’s “Ray’s A Laugh.”
David Bowie’s single take demos he made with John Hutchinson in an attempt to get a record deal with Mercury were released recently. These are stripped down versions, and they’re great. Here they are compiled into 1 video on the You Tube. Happy Weekend ya basterds!!!
These days, however, Morrissey prefers a different kind of onstage provocation. During a recent performance on The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon (and at a number of live shows in New York), the former Smiths singer sported a For Britain badge. For those unfamiliar with it, For Britain is a far-right political party. Even Nigel Farage believes it is made up of “Nazis and racists”.
To see Morrissey embrace the far right so openly was shocking. But was it surprising? Ever since the early 90s, he has flirted with the far right and fascist imagery – wrapping himself up in the union jack, writing a song called The National Front Disco, making inflammatory comments about immigration.
Yet in the last year there has been little doubt about his views. He has claimed Sadiq Khan, London’s first Muslim mayor, “cannot talk properly”, and declared “Even Tesco wouldn’t employ Diane Abbott,” – the Cambridge-educated shadow home secretary and Britain’s most prominent black MP. He has described the media’s treatment of the racist Tommy Robinson as “shocking”. And he has explicitly promoted For Britain on his Morrissey Central website: “There is only one British political party that can safeguard our security.” The party’s leader, Anne Marie Waters, posted a video online thanking Morrissey for his support.
Check out “Twink” miming with The Pretty Things for a bewildered French TV audience. Ever heard of Twink? I hadn’t, so I poked around on Google. Nicknamed after a British hair product, Twink was a mime, drummer, close friend of Syd Barrett, and general scenester of the London psychedelic underground. He played drums with an early version of T. Rex, with Syd Barret occasionally, on one Pretty Things album, and with the Pink Fairies. In the early 70’s, he was in Hawkwind with Lemmy. His band The Rings were on the ground floor of the London punk scene in ’77. Some refer to their lone single, “I Wanna be Free” as England’s first punk record. It’s not very good compared to what was about to come from the Damned, Sex Pistols, Buzzcocks, Clash, and Jam.
What led me to this video was my fondness for The Pretty Things, a very good British r&b band who never made any headway in the U.S. Their guitarist, Dick Taylor, had been in an early version of the Stones. Like the Stones, their forays into psychedelia were not always memorable, as you can hear above. You can hear them at their best here and here. Their raucous version of Roadrunner is my favorite cover of that song.
At the height of World War II on April 6th, 1943, the British Ambassador to Moscow, Sir Archibald Clark Kerr, wrote a letter to Foreign Office minister Lord Reginald Pembroke in an effort to simply brighten up his day–a letter which has since become a classic piece of correspondence for reasons that will soon become obvious. The letter is indeed hilarious, and proof, if it were needed, that name-based punnery and mild xenophobia did a roaring trade long before the Internet was fired up.
In this photo, Kerr is fourth from left in the pinstripe suit.