Commercial Break



I’m used to the more subtle and arty suggestiveness of later Flake ads so I was shocked — shocked! — at how blatant this 1960s one is. The lascivious look in her eyes, the way she pulls back the wrapper, and then the exploding waterfall! They might as well have changed the product name to Cadbury’s Cock.

Despite what it says in the caption at the top this ad wasn’t banned, and neither was this one which is pretty hardcore chocolate porn too. The whole country went to the dogs in the 60s didn’t it?

Bums on walls


The famous “Tennis Girl” poster sold two million copies in the UK in the 1970s and 80s, becoming as iconic a bedroom-wall hanging of the era as Farah Fawcett-Majors’ red swimsuit poster (though that sold 12 million), and has been much parodied and imitated, including by another well-known bum.

Tennis Girl did for naked bottoms what Farah did for nipples, providing a respectable way for teenage boys to get rude bits on their bedroom walls without being embarrassed in front of their mums. And while the Farah poster is all-American — bursting at the seams with teeth, hair, and have-a-nice-day vitality — Tennis Girl couldn’t be more British: It’s saucy rather than than dirty (cheeky, even!) and is really just a naughty seaside postcard given the soft-focus and gauzy lighting of upmarket “artistic” erotica like the movie Emmanuelle which was also a big mainstream success back then.

I didn’t have one on my wall (or Farah either) because even back then I thought it was a bit naff. Marilyn and Kate Bush were my choice of bedroom-wall totty, and I kept the naked bums hidden in my closet where my mum couldn’t find them.

Download: Pictures Of Lily – The Who (mp3)

Nice Chopper




Yeah, alright, it was a rubbish bike, but the chicks dug it.

Download: Ride My Wheels – T. Rex (mp3)

Saucy


Download: It’s Kinda Funny – Josef K (mp3)

(And it’s on Postcard Records too. I’m clever, me)

Picture Post


Download: Mrs. Brown You’ve Got A Lovely Daughter – Herman’s Hermits (mp3)

My Mother’s Records


There was a time when a person could look at a picture of some hunky, naked men having a bath together and think it was nothing more than sporty boys having good, clean, healthy, heterosexual fun, and that after the communal bath they’d all head down the pub for a skinful and a fight, then end the evening shagging some bird in a very manly way. Now, of course, it looks like the gayest record sleeve ever, queerer than a nine-bob note, camper than a row of tents, and a masterpiece of homo kitsch. We’re all so damn “knowing” these days, aren’t we?

I really have no idea why my mother owned this record and how it ended up sitting in our sideboard throughout my childhood. Like most Brits she liked bawdy humour and there was a whole series of Rugby Songs albums released in the 60s so they must have been fairly popular, but I can only assume — and hope — that someone bought it for her as a joke. I certainly hope she didn’t buy it herself because she liked the picture on the cover, I’d rather not think about that too much.

Despite the saucy sleeve the record itself isn’t actually that rude (by modern standards anyway) because all the naughty words are bleeped out so it’s more nudge nudge wink wink than truly filthy. While I don’t remember my mother ever playing it I used to play it a lot trying to work out what words those bleeps were hiding. I imagine they had to be very bad to be censored like that and figuring them out was like unlocking another door into the world of grown-ups. Some tracks were rendered almost unlistenable by the constant bleeps but my favourite song “Balls To Your Partner” was easier to work out:

Singing balls to your partner, bleep against the wall,
If you’ve never been bleep on a Saturday night, you’ll never get bleep at all.

Though I was still of an age when I was learning swear words from the older kids in the playground I knew enough to reckon that the first bleep was “arse” (I had no idea what “arse against the wall” meant though), and the second had to be “shagged”. Thanks to the magic of the internets I now know that “Balls To Your Partner” is based on an Irish folk song called “The Ball of Kerrymuir” but I can’t say for sure what those bleeps are as there appear to be several different versions of it. Oh well, guess I can just use my imagination the way I did back then, or maybe in these more liberal times someone will release an un-bleeped version of the album.

Download: Balls To Your Partner- The Jock Strapp Ensemble (mp3)
Download: It Was On The Good Ship Venus – The Jock Strapp Ensemble (mp3)
Download: John Peel- The Jock Strapp Ensemble (mp3)

(Yes, there’s a song called “John Peel” and they’re all performed by a group called The Jock Strapp Ensemble)

…and finally, Esther

I’m a college-educated, adult professional who has read novels by Joyce, Dostoyevsky and Kafka and many other great works of Western literature, I visit art galleries on a regular basis and enjoy films with subtitles — but half the time I have the sense of humour of a retarded little boy. I snigger at the mere mention of words like “pork” “horn” and “wood” and I can find a saucy double entendre in the most innocent comment. As my wife will tell you, I can’t make it through the fruit and veg section of the supermarket without making suggestive comments about melons, plums and cucumbers and chuckling over rudely-shaped vegetables. And few things have made me laugh more than seeing this on the shelf.


I know we Brits give the impression that we’re all dreadfully sophisticated people who love witty repartee and the intellectual Oxbridge japery of Monty Python but the truth is we love nothing more than Carry On movies and Mrs. Slocombe’s pussy.

Speaking of saucy double entendres, when this record came out in 1972 I thought the title was hysterical, sadly over 35 years later it still makes me giggle.

Download: Little Willy – Sweet (mp3)

(This might help explain the title of this post to those who have no clue what it’s in reference to.)

Ding Dong

Lord, I wish I was that suave.

What’s it all about?

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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