“John, Paul, George, Ringo & Bert. Got drunk. Bloody good musak all.”
This was a college trip to London’s West End and the Lyric Theatre. I was amongst a coachload of students, many drinking copiously on the way up, then – despite our age – hitting a pub or two before getting to the theatre. Those were the days my friend, sometimes they had to end!
“John, Paul, George, Ringo… and Bert” was Liverpudlian playwright Willy Russell’s first big ‘hit’. Russell would later gain fame and notoriety for penning such smash plays like “Educating Rita” which was turned into a movie starring Julie Walters and Michael Caine. Other stuff he is known for include “The Blood Brothers” and “Shirley Valentine”
JPGR & B’s story arc has been describe elsewhere as “an accurate and honest account of the Beatles’ rise and fall, culminating in an abortive attempt to stage a reunion concert. The show was notable for it’s ironic juxtaposition of songs against dialogue, and the author’s sparkling Liverpool humour“. I’ll have to take their word for it because not only are we dealing with my notoriously poor memory here, but we are also dealing with it whilst it was originally under the effects of a few pints of London’s finest! My review of the performance – “bloody good muzak all” – could just as easily have been based either alcohol consumption as much as fact, something I will leave you, dear reader, to decide.
Yes, for what ever reason, I have held on to the programme from this 1975 evening’s event, and yes I plan to share the contents of it. It’s a fascinating document of its era, not just for the adverts it contained but also when you realise who I saw perform in this play and who else was involved in it…
This is the back cover. I hope everyone can read it OK?
Please note that in amongst the plethora of big name acts (Presely, The Beatles, Dylan, Zeppelin etc) I have included such other musical giants such as Man, Deke Leonard, and the Bonzo Dog Doo Dah Band. What?
“Rock” was the main ‘fireball’ it would seem – apt I guess given Deep Purple’s dominance at the time – but please note that “Ballad”, “Motown”, “Soul” and “the Classics” have also been deemed worthy of inclusion for the years beyond 1973.
I REALLY hope I knew how to spell “future” and my attempt was merely covered by tape?
“Everything” is apparently included, from “Frank Sinatra and the Inkspots” to… erm… “Gary Glitter and Focus”. Dear oh dear, oh dear.
Nice to realise that the cover, sleeve notes and artwork were ALL by l’il ol’ me. Nothing like some self-delusional ego-promotion at the age of 15 is there?
“Borrowed Imagine & Ram off G.Kemp”
Like many other people, one of my more memorable early introductions to music was listening to The Beatles. More precisely from a Danish cousin who played me the Hard Day’s Night album over and over when I was maybe 7 or 8 years old and staying for one of those extended summer holidays with my grandmother in Copenhagen.
With the notable exception of McCartney’s “Band on the Run” I’ve never really shared the enthusiasm of others with regards to the Beatles’ solo releases.
I’ve always found Lennon’s “Imagine” to be a particularly maudlin affair, the title track just FAR too overplayed over the years for me to even whistle it without grimacing. The big fuss at the time was the song “How do you Sleep?“, apparently some kind of retaliation for the snidy remarks Paul made on “Ram” about Lennon.
Talking of, “Ram” is an almost totally unknown quantity to me now, so I can’t have been impressed at all back then. I remember “Uncle Albert/Admiral Halsey” – as most people do – but the rest are off my radar. The one song of Paul’s that I did like from this immediate post-Beatles period was “Another Day“, but he didn’t include that on “Ram“, leaving it as a single-only release.
It may be the case that I borrowed these album just to appear ‘cool’ with the attractive young girl who loaned them to me. My friend Paul knows who I mean.