How tickled I am


We thought we were so funny singing this is in the school playground:

A penis, a penis
The greatest gift that I possess
I thank the Lord
That I’ve been blessed
With more than my share
Of a penis

Download: Happiness – Ken Dodd (mp3)

My Sister’s Records


For a boy band looking to gain some artistic credibility there are a few options they can choose. Hook up with the latest trendy producer who can give their sound a hip edge; record an album of moody acoustic ballads to show what deeply poetic souls they really are; cover a Joy Division song in an “ironic” way; or have the lead singer reveal that he has a heroin problem.

But in the pre-punk 1970s there was another option that probably isn’t available these days: the concept album. This was the choice made by The Osmonds who, in an effort to prove that they were more than just toothy pin-ups, released the self-composed and produced “The Plan” in 1973 which was a concept album about their Mormon faith of all things. Hardly the most rock and roll of subjects to choose from but they were at least sticking to something they knew a lot about. The Osmonds were the world’s most famous members of that religion and the only things I knew about it I learned because of them. For instance, Donny Osmond’s favourite drink was 7-Up because Mormons weren’t allowed to drink alcohol or caffeine. I read that in one of my sister’s Jackie or Fab 208 magazines and for some bizarre reason I still remember it.


This was the only Osmonds album my sister bought and she probably got it because it had the big ballad “Let Me In” on it which is a lovely song but in the context of the album it sounds more like they’re singing it to Jesus instead of some young girl. It’s so dreamy I doubt if she noticed or cared though.

Download: Let Me In – The Osmonds (mp3)

Unfortunately for her the rest of the album was nothing like this. Instead the brothers went all out for the grand artistic statement and produced an overblown brew of acid rock, psychedelia, funk, and rootsy soul numbers with some dreadfully earnest and preachy lyrics. It has its moments but songs like “Traffic In My Mind” probably just made my sister wish she’d spent her record token on that David Cassidy album instead. In the lingo of the day, this is heavy, man.

Download: Traffic In My Mind – The Osmonds (mp3)

Something for the weekend

Even though this is a shameless steal of “The Jean Genie” it still sounds bloody marvelous.

The cheap “psychedelic” colour effects the BBC used back then reminds me of watching TOTP ’round my Grandparents house and my Granddad joking “Telly’s on the blink again!” I guess he had to get some enjoyment out of being forced to watch the horrible racket we liked.

Air Pie and Windy Pudding


When I was a kid I’d ask my mum what was for tea and she’d sometimes jokingly reply “Air Pie and Windy Pudding, with a cup of Fresh Air.” Apparently this was something her mother used to say to her when she was young but I was wondering if anyone else knew this expression or if it was just peculiar to my family.

Download: Life Is A Minestrone – 10cc (mp3)

Only a vaguely related song but it has a “food” theme which will do. One of their best singles I think, despite the rampant clever-dickery of the lyrics.

Something for the weekend


At my old blog I use to post dance music on a Friday in celebration of going out dancing at the weekend. Now I post nostalgic old videos which is the blogging equivalent of a quiet night in front of the telly with a mug of cocoa. What an old fart I’ve turned into.

But, damn it, I feel like another go around the dance floor. If the old joints can take it that is, this is over 7 minutes long so I might need a sit down and a drink before the end.

Download: Lets Start To Dance Again – Hamilton Bohannon (mp3)

Back to the Future


The future used to look like such a brilliant place to live when I was a kid, all sleek and shiny surfaces, rockets, hover cars, robots and talking computers. But now that we’re actually living in what I considered “the future” back then — 2001 was eight years ago — it doesn’t seem half as exciting and the long-term outlook is even a bit grim. Given the choice I think I’d rather live in the future of Gerry Anderson‘s 1970 tv series “UFO” which had all the usual science fiction gizmos and vehicles but was also a very hip and groovy-looking world of mod interiors and futuristic babes in cat suits and silver mini skirts, all set to a brilliant theme tune.

Download: UFO (Main Theme) – Barry Gray (mp3)

I was a big fan of the show when it was first broadcast — I even made my own SHADO badge out of cardboard — but as I was only 8 at the time I was more interested in the Interceptors and Ed Straker’s car than all the space age dolly birds lounging around on modular furniture. But even I took notice of the girls stationed on the Moonbase who wore tight sparkly uniforms and purple wigs (the function of which has never been explained but who cares), especially Lt. Gay Ellis played by the lovely Gabrielle Drake* whose forceful command of “Interceptors! Immediate launch!” in that posh Head Girl voice of hers conjures up all sorts of, um, thoughts. Innocent though I was, I definitely had the feeling that there was more going on in the show than I understood (it had “adult” themes — ooooh) and scenes like this left a mark on my impressionable young mind.

Unfortunately we don’t have this sexy future to look forward to as it’s been and gone — “UFO” was set in 1980 which, far as I remember, didn’t look anything like that. Though with all the silver outfits and purple hair I like to think Gerry Anderson predicted the look of both Glam Rock and Punk.

*Gabrielle, as you may or may not know, was the older sister of mopey folkie Nick Drake — though in that outfit she looks more like David Bowie’s sister — and there’s a duet between the two of them on the “Family Tree” collection of Drake’s early home recordings which is rather lovely. Though I can’t help but picture her singing this wearing a purple wig.

Download: All My Trials – Nick and Gabrielle Drake (mp3)

Something for the weekend*

I had hoped to post some more this week but I’ve had a miserable bloody week at work which left me too tired and stressed for that. As they say in the movies “I’m getting too old for this shit.”

This makes me feel a whole lot better though.

*It’s the 4th of July holiday here on Saturday so the weekend is starting on Thursday this week. Not a day too soon if you ask me.

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The sentimental musings of an ageing expat in words, music, and pictures. Mp3 files are up for a limited time so drink them while they're hot. Contact me: lee at londonlee dot com

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