Tag Archives: TV

➤ Come on, Davie Jones – it’s time you cheered us all up

David Bowie, tributes, rock music,TV, YouTube,interviews, funny,quotations

David Bowie telling a tall tale on TV: “He had seven daughters and seven sons. . .”

Self-reinvention is my middle name.
Ah, Benny Hill’s on. Excuse me.
Shush, I know that one. I can’t remember the title.

Don’t start. “Clean your desktop up!”
The things I could tell you!
I’m gonna get older and older and NEVER stop singing.

Shall I do Marcel Marceau?
Cashmere, cashmere!
I’m a bit of a Sunday futurist, you know.


2014 ➤ Curtain up on Spandau’s rollercoaster saga of war and peace

Spandau Ballet, SXSW, Vulcan Gas Company, pop music, Tony Hadley, concert

Hello America! In Austin, Texas, 28 years after their last vsit, Spandau Ballet return to play live

➢ UPDATE – First official review of SBWW from Mel Brown at Facebook:
I’m a very lucky girl. Got to see the worldwide premiere of Soul Boys of the Western World. Truly amazing. An emotional roller coaster. This film is not just for Spandau fans, it’s for anyone who loves a good story of friends growing up together. Can’t wait for its UK release. Thanks guys! Looking forward to the first US show in 28 years tonight.

❚ AUSTIN, TEXAS, IS SIX HOURS BEHIND THE UK so any minute NOW the curtain is going up on the world premiere of Soul Boys of the Western World. The documentary movie made entirely from vintage footage follows the rise and fall of the five london schoolpals who became one the the world’s half dozen pop supergroups of the 80s. And in two hours’ time we’ll know how much of a tearjerker it turns out to be. Take it away, Tone!

Spandau Ballet, reunion, TV, interview, Soul Boys of the Western World,movie,pop music, SXSW

Spandau Ballet all together on the Austin TV breakfast show: first public reunion since the Reformation tour ended in summer 2010

➢ Tony Hadley on Facebook early today:
A tiring but extremely successful day 2 at SXSW. We spent pretty much the entire day from 7.30am to 6pm doing promotion for the movie. The feedback from all the journalists that interviewed us was fantastic and there will be some reviews online later. In the afternoon we had a couple of hours to head out and check our back-line equipment for today’s show at a rehearsal facility here. In the room next door there was Kanye West and Jay-z rehearsing. 
Last night I had a chance to go and see London Grammar, Imagine Dragons and Coldplay playing at the iTunes Festival here. They all put on a great show.

“ Today is the main Spandau Ballet event…the premiere of Soul Boys of the Western World at the Paramount Theatre at 1400hrs. Very exciting!
 Tonight we play our first show here in the US for 28 years at the Vulcan Gas Company and we are all really looking forward to it. I’ll let you know tomorrow how it went!!


Soul Boys of the Western World, Spandau Ballet, SXSW, Austin, premiere, movie, pop music, George Hencken

After the screening of Soul Boys of the Western World: Spandau invite a Q&A from the Paramount audience… Far left, the film’s director George Hencken

Today’s Tweet from Gary Kemp ‏@garyjkemp
On stage with band and director @georgehencken for Q&A post screening. Thank you @sxsw, it was emotional.

Spandau Ballet, Vulcan Gas Company, concert, pop music, SXSW,Austin

Soundcheck for tonight’s live gig: Spandau onstage together for the first time in almost four years at the Vulcan Gas Company in Austin. Photo by Spandau’s first record producer, Richard James Burgess

Today’s Tweet from Spandau’s film director Henckenstein ‏@georgehencken
Tonight is going to be about this: #SpandauBallet #VulcanGasCompany

 Richard Burgess , Spandau Ballet, Steve Norman, film, Soul Boys of the Western World, premiere,SXSW

Another reunion! Steve Norman meets up with Spandau’s first record producer Richard Burgess today at SXSW

Today’s tweet from Spandau’s first record producer Richard James Burgess
I haven’t seen them in a small room since 1980

Spandau Ballet, SXSW, Vulcan Gas Company, pop music, Tony Hadley, concert

After the soundcheck for tonight’s Spandau show: Tony Hadley relaxing as Steve Norman takes the snap

Today’s tweet from Steve Norman ‏@SteveNormanReal
The big man post sound check, pre gig madness @TheTonyHadley #SXSW

Soul Boys of the Western World, Spandau Ballet, SXSW, premiere, movie, pop music

Marquee of the Paramount in Austin, Texas: Soul Boys of the Western World premieres today

➢ Today’s SXSW 2014 print interview with Spandau Ballet and their film director George Hencken

➢ Click to view the trailer of Soul Boys of the Western World

➢ Previously at Shapersofthe80s: Spandau confirms live reunion gig in Texas – for a tiny elite!


2012 ➤ Will the newly restored Magical Mystery Tour rewrite our view of the Beatles?

Magical Mystery Tour , Beatles, TV, DVD, The Bonzo Dog Doo-Dah Band,, Ivor Cutler, Apple Films,  pop music, film,

Fabled charabanc outing in 1967: Find the Fab Four among fellow travellers on their Magical Mystery Tour. (Top left we see fanclub secretaries Jenni and Sylvia)

❚ ROLLING STONE CALLED IT “the most important rock’n’roll album ever made … by the greatest rock’n’roll group of all time”. Crowning the era of LSD-fuelled psychedelia in 1967 came Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band. Its impact was extraordinary. The Beatles’ eighth studio album marked the height of their rise to global fame. With Dick Lester’s pair of high-octane feature films behind them — Help! and Hard Day’s Night — the Beatles decided to go straight on to direct their own unscripted, improvised film and it backfired in their faces.

Magical Mystery Tour was a dreamlike story of the Fab Four taking a typically British daytrip by coach with friends and family and a cast of crackpot characters exemplified in the eccentric humorist Ivor Cutler. Their adventures were intended to be “magical” and indeed the I Am the Walrus sequence has passed into legend. Generations of British comics such as Monty Python point to the film as their inspiration.

Yet its TV audience greeted Magical Mystery Tour with outrage and derision. It was seen by a third of the nation on Boxing Day when an expectant family audience, hoping for some light entertainment, were confronted by a drug-rinsed shambles in festive prime time. Paul McCartney told the press later: “We don’t say it was a good film. It was our first attempt. If we goofed, then we goofed. It was a challenge and it didn’t come off. We’ll know better next time.”

The critical reception was so hostile that the film’s negative didn’t become properly archived, which makes tonight’s BBC TV premiere of its meticulous restoration, overseen by Paul Rutan Jr, a significant landmark. The new DVD with remixed 5.1 soundtrack is due to be released internationally on October 8–9, packed with special features.

What few of us remember is that, as well as its new Beatles songs, MMT gave a guest spot to the founding fathers of anarchic musical comedy, The Bonzo Dog Doo-Dah Band, with Death Cab for Cutie, a spoof “teen tragedy” song from their own seminal 1967 album Gorilla. The Bonzos performed it onstage at the Raymond Revuebar as accompaniment to a stripper and the number turns out to be a show-stopper.

The mystery tour itself proves to be an affectionate travelogue about Britain’s quintessentially working-class hinterland (in the fish-and-chip shop, we hear marvellous strains of She Loves You rendered on a fairground organ). In contrast to his band’s reputation as fierce cultural pacemakers, McCartney concedes that “the whole film has a bit of a village fete atmosphere to it”. Even so, as deejay Paul Gambaccini remarks in a new Arena documentary also broadcast tonight, the film fizzes edgily with the very elements of advanced psychedelia the Beatles themselves had introduced into the culture. One surprise is Martin Scorsese saying this film influenced a lot of the work he has done! Restored to pristine colour, MMT emerges as a celebration of a defining moment in harmonic innovation and of the energy that made British pop glorious.

➢ Magical Mystery Tour Revisited: Arena TV documentary full of fab Beatles archive material never shown before — BBC2, 21:45, Oct 6

➢ The Beatles’ Magical Mystery Tour (1967): Fully restored with a remixed soundtrack, here’s the original surreal and utterly misunderstood film — BBC2, 22:45, Oct 6

➢ Arena’s series editor Anthony Wall tells Radio Times that the new documentary about the Magical Mystery Tour will see it deservedly re-assessed

❏ Tonight’s Mystery Tour screening is preceded by a real treat from Britain’s leading arts documentary team, Arena, who have rounded up much unseen footage.

Series editor Anthony Wall says: “The idea that there’s anything you don’t know about The Beatles is startling enough. But the film was, consciously or unconsciously, suppressed. The out-takes were in the Apple vault, which is deep below the streets of London in a World War Two-type bunker. Sleeping down there for many, many years.”

Wall thinks Magical Mystery Tour will soon be re-appraised as “a piece of work in a very surreal, British, literary, visual tradition: from gothic to Lewis Carroll to H G Wells to William Golding to the Goons to what became Monty Python.

“For practical purposes it’s not been seen since 1967. The documentary tells the story — which in retrospect is hilarious, although it wasn’t for The Beatles at the time because they got such a drubbing — and contextualises it by looking at 1967 and what The Beatles were responding to: in London it was a very intense time, artistically.”

The cultural shifts of that specific part of the 1960s are key to understanding Magical Mystery Tour, Wall says, which meant the new Arena film had to represent the trends of the time accurately. “Very few films about the 1960s get it right. They usually mix things up hopelessly. It’s very important when you use archive to be precise — try to get it to the month. It invariably looks earlier than it is. When you see ‘1967’ it’s usually footage from 1970! … / Continued online at Radio Times

➢ View video: Unseen footage from Magical Mystery Tour as part of The Arena Hotel online

➢ How the West Was Won, 1: TV doc on the British invasion that conquered America in the 60s — BBC2, 23:40, Oct 6

Magical Mystery Tour , Beatles, TV, DVD, Apple Films, Arena, Jenni Evennett , pop music, film,

Fan Jenni Evennett bunked off school: she is captured at extreme left in this clip from the Magical Mystery Tour, with Lennon centre, Ringo and Paul to the right. Videograb © 2012 Apple Films Ltd

➢ Hear how Sylvia Hillier and Jenni Evennett were invited on board the Magical Mystery Tour bus — Radio 4’s Saturday Live, from the 62-minute mark

❚ TWO BEATLES FANCLUB SECRETARIES recall how they hopped on board The Beatles’ Magical Mystery Tour bus at 7am one day in 1967 as special guests of the Fab Four. Sylvia Hillier was a 19-year-old receptionist in a factory who lost her job as a result, while 16-year-old schoolgirl Jenni Evennett bunked off school to join the week-long filming. They told this morning’s Saturday Live on Radio 4 that it was a bit like a “happening” where nobody was given lines or seemed to know what they were doing. Sylvia was dressed all psychedelic in orange, “my flower-power stage, with kaftan, flairs, bells and beads”. Jenni said that for continuity they couldn’t change for a whole week: “I wore a little brown spotted dress with white collar, bells and beads and lots of deodorant.”

Magical Mystery Tour , Beatles, TV, pop music, film, Sylvia Hillier

Fan Sylvia Hillier from Bognor: seen here with Paul McCartney, she lost her job by ducking out of work to join the 1967 magical bus tour. (Pic from Facebook)

Magical Mystery Tour , Beatles, DVD,  Apple Films, Arena, Anthony Wall, pop music, film,

Sylvia seen aboard the Beatles Magical Mystery Tour bus in the Arena documentary. Videograb © 2012 BBC & Apple Films Ltd

➢ 1966, More popular than Jesus: the Lennon interview