The priceless footage of Teddy Boys & Girls dancing and talking about their cult lifestyle in the early 70s at the bottom of this post comes from the East Anglian Film Archive, which provides access to 200 hours of moving images relating to the part of the UK 100-or-so miles east of London.
//Chuck Berry with Paul Shaffer, Thames TV Studios, Lower Ground, Waterloo, London, May 16, 1995//
I saw Chuck Berry play live twice, and have written previously about the first time when, supported by David Bowie-endorsed revivalist rockers Fumble, he performed a truncated set at the Rainbow theatre in north London’s Finsbury Park in September 1973.
The second time was frankly bizarre. He and Little Richard sat in with Paul Shaffer and his band during a live broadcast of The David Letterman Show from the UK capital in 1995.
//Berry lower right and Little Richard, top, performing with Shaffer and his band//
This commenced, I kid you not, with a rendition of Knees Up Mother Brown.
I had been invited to be in the audience at the Thames TV studios in Waterloo by Warner Music’s press office after interviewing another of Letterman’s guests, Elvis Costello, for British trade weekly Music Week. That evening Costello performed Little Richard’s song Bama Lama Bama Loo in tribute.
The experience of sharing cigarettes at the bar of the crowded green room with Joanna Lumley and Jennifer Saunders (they were promoting the latest series of AbFab) was topped only by the sight of the lean Berry striding into the room with his guitar strapped on, wearing a sizeable pair of red Lionel Blairs. So similar were they to the trousers he had worn at the Rainbow 22 years earlier that I wondered whether they were the exact same ones.
Berry looked amazing, as did the more retiring LR. I was too awestruck to approach either, a fact which of course I now greatly regret.
Sayonara Chuck Berry, a titan who changed Western culture for the better.
He and Little Richard are introduced around the five minute mark in the clip below.
Derek Boshier is the next subject of the BBC strand What Do Artists Do All Day? – Zara Hayes’ film, which was shot in Los Angeles and shadows Boshier on his daily routine, will be screened at 10.30pm UK time on BBC Four next Monday (August 24).
//Boshier features in these panels from BBC Four’s Pop Art-style run-down of the season elements//
British artist Derek Boshier – subject of Rethink/Re-entry, the monograph I have edited which is published this autumn – is to be featured in next month’s BBC season of programmes about Pop Art.
Boshier has been commissioned by the broadcaster to create a new BBC Four ident which will run throughout August alongside new logos produced by his fellow Royal College graduates Peter Blake and Peter Phillips (who starred with Boshier and the late Pauline Boty in Ken Russell’s groundbreaking 1962 BBC documentary Pop Goes The Easel).
This album is titled Fans. It’s about wearing your emotion on your sleeve, just as fans scream out from the audience or want to get on stage so they can kiss him or are terrified they’re going to have a nervous breakdown if he don’t come round the corner and sit beside them. They all bear the frustration… we’re all fans waiting to jump out.
//Is this Shinobu Kanai aka “Shinny” in a Seditionaries top in Episode 9 of the first series of The Return Of The Saint, broadcast November 1978?//
//Kanai in The Great Rock N Roll Swindle, 1980//
// As “Japanese Woman” in the opening sequence of Insignificance, 1985//
Currently doing the rounds of the punk groups on various social networking sites is this clip from the cheesy 70s revival of classic 60s British television series The Saint.
Entitled The Arrangement, episode nine of The Return Of The Saint was broadcast on November 5, 1978 and starred such UK TV drama stalwarts as Carolyn Seymour, seen here looking glam in a car in Soho’s Wardour Street outside The Marquee where the great Aussie band The Saints are crashing through Swing For The Crime from their Eternally Yours album. Read the rest of this entry »
Continental Europe appears to have gone bananas for British popular culture this Jubilympics* summer, hence Franco-German arts channel ARTE’s new four-part series London Calling.
The programme was made by seasoned documentarist Simon Witter and looks to be a treat (particularly the intelligent use of archive material; great to see rare footage of John Stephen striding along Carnaby Street).