To be fair, ‘Grease’ was never a favourite film of mine. I saw it first, like the other cool(est) kids, with my mum. It was the summer of 1978 and if I had been the player I am now I would have realised it was bloody filthy. I mean really Bernard Manning-blue stuff.
Danny Zuko was pretty grim. He basically dumped Sandy for not getting down and dirty with him, until she felt obliged to wear skintight leggings and show off her wibblewobbles to all the kids at the (crap) funfair. Danny couldn’t dance either and he had a shit car.
Anyway the reason I am talking about ‘Grease’ is obviously because of the character Kenickie played by Jeff Conaway.
Until now I had never realised that this same actor was Bobby in the amazingly good comedy series in the late 70s and early 80s, ‘Taxi’ which also starred my real father, Danny DeVito.
Who would have known that – Bobby the dude is to be found below. Not to be confused with Bobby Grant off Brookside.
So what? Well this is the thing, I was on my home on the tube on Thursday night – after a great drink or two with Raquel, Bergman, J-Dawg, Hagrid, John and BoM – listening to some tunes on my ear things. Actually the ear things did belong to Mrs Bob but she let me have them as ‘someone’ lost mine a few months back after I, I mean someone, lost them after a night out.
I got to listening to a song by a band I never rated or really knew from the 90s, Kenickie. That song is now one of my top tunes, ‘Punka’.
According to my sources (Wiki), a Punka is “A fan used especially in India, made of a palm frond or strip of cloth hung from the ceiling and moved by a servant”. In the song it is more about an attitude or way of life. I hope so anyway, otherwise the song is indeed a pile of dogdoo.
The song is great. Kick-ass home-made yoof anthem a-go-go.
Thanks to AllMusic for the following;
“Refining the riot grrrl aesthetic to a simple, bratty attitude, Kenickie were one of a rash of British teenage punk-pop bands that emerged in the wake of Supergrass’ success in the mid-’90s. More indebted to indie rock than either Supergrass or their peers Ash, but considerably less strident, amateurish and cutesy than the Bis, Kenickie’s music wasn’t necessarily revolutionary, but it had an invigorating energy that earned them a cult following within the UK music press before the release of their 1997 debut album, At the Club. Schoolmates Lauren Laverne (vocals, guitar), Marie Du Santiago (guitar) and Emmy-Kate Montrose (bass) formed Kenickie in August, 1994 as they were studying in secondary school. All three were the age of 16. Laverne’s older brother, Johnny X, was recruited as drummer, and the band chose to call themselves Kenickie, naming themselves after John Travolta’s sidekick from Grease.
May I just make the point here, that if you are after any reason for this ‘story’ so far, you really will be disappointed. This is just me thinking out loud.
So back to the ‘story’………
So there I am listening to ‘Punka’ and enjoying it so much I played it 4 times in a row and had a brainwave. I could track down the band members and interview them for a groundbreaking in depth look at this one song. On the back of this I would become a household music journo name and would be sent lots of money by music biz people to do the same for other top bands. I will admit, I was excited, and went to bed that night thinking about my new career and what to do with all the money.
I was too busy yesterday to refocus on my new career but today I am back on it. In the cold light of (Satur)day I am starting to question my business model here. It is a bit like my plan to adopt lots of elderly dogs for money. It is unclear who gives me the money and how much they would give me, and more importantly, why would they?
I am not disheartened though as you, one of my 4 readers, will pay for me to do one or both of these important jobs. Please send me a box of bank notes to Bob c/o The Carey Castle ASAP.
I do have a back up which is my retirement plan. Mrs Bob is dubious. I plan to get a piece of driftwood from the beach (this is in Swanage, Dorset btw) and whittle it into something like a bench or a desk. This will take an hour on average. I then sell it for £5k to a tourist. I repeat this at least once more in a week. Retirement plan sorted. I should be a financial adviser not a beefcake HR professional.
Back to music and genuinely upset by the passing of Bob Fish (#BobFish #autoharp #topbloke) last week. Bob was one of the main singers in a hugely under rated band – the biggest selling UK artist in 1978 (I think!), the year of ‘Grease’ – Darts. They were only matched in terms of Top 20 hits that year by the BeeGees.
(Thanks to David btw for spotting my shocking typo above. Now corrected!).
They were so uncool that they were cool. A sound of their own and such a blend and mix of band members at various time. Rita Ray is still a DJ. Den Hegerty went on to present Tiswas. Rob Davis used to be in Mud. John Dummer went on to write books one of which I am currently reading and greatly enjoying.
Bob Fish was such a likeable bloke and I had been following his posts via a Darts Facebook group. He had been ill and was stoically fighting it with the support of family and friends and what is obviously a hugely loyal fanbase. The same week as Charlie Watts and Phil Everley passed, but for me it was a loss that struck a chord as I loved all the Darts songs back in the day and still do.
Here is the fabulous Bob on lead vocals on one of my fave Darts tracks.
So from darts to football. Last week I saw the mighty Stockport County win 1-0 at Southend with my bestie Killer. Apologies to Southend-lovers but when it comes to pubs it is the pits. Superb fish & chips though.
Today I am off to see us win (as we’re the County, the mighty County, we always win away) at Borehamwood where I saw us get trounced a few years back. Going with the Hampstead Chuckle Brothers.
I had better go now. This really has been a literary masterpiece and something of a virtual page turner due to the enthralling content. Stay cool and high fives all round cos I am v v cool. Oh yes I am.