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'The Golden Oldie Picture Show' (Part Two)
In the mid-1980s, the BBC ran a show featuring Radio One DJ Dave Lee Travis (DLT) sitting by a roaring fire, introducing videos. Sound boring? It was anything but. The songs were 'golden oldies', hits from before the advent of the video era, so the BBC commissioned videos to be made to fit the music. The resulting videos were clever, surreal, funny, and touchingly sad. Some were brilliant, a few were predictable, but others had unexpected twists. The show ran for two series, which left viewers wanting more; the material that was unused would have kept fans happy for years. Lots of the specially-created videos were unforgettable, and are still remembered upon hearing the featured songs on the radio two decades on.
Here are a categorised few which never made part one:
'Dedicated Follower of Fashion' - The Kinks
A sad tramp walks deserted streets in a town centre very late one night. He stops by a shop window and gazes in at the mannequins which are all dressed in the latest fashions. The male and female models begin moving jerkily in time to the music, their upper bodies doing the full robotic dance but they don't move from their own stands. The delighted tramp swigs some more drink from his brown paper bag-wrapped bottle while glancing from one anchored artiste to another, their faces set in stone but torsos full of energy. By the end of the song the tramp is dancing on the spot and grinning inanely, but the mannequins freeze in their original positions as the tramp heads off to the park bench.
'Kites' - Simon Dupree and the Big Sound
A Japanese geisha paints for a while then takes a walk through a traditional Japanese garden. She looks up and sees a white box-type kite with gold lettering on it. Following the kite as far as she can only to lose sight of it, the geisha returns home and writes a reply to the kite by candlelight. In the morning while out walking in the garden again, she tears the letter up and drops the pieces into the flowing stream. She then retraces her steps home, not knowing that the kite is just a short distance away behind a tree. The scenery in this video is absolutely breathtaking, and the woman playing the part of the geisha looks so authentic it's difficult to believe she's an actress.
'The Show Must Go On' - Leo Sayer
A whole day's-worth of people filmed passing one tap-dancing busker, speeded up and crammed into three minutes. Some ignore him; others smile, enjoy the show and drop a few coins into his hat before continuing on their way.
'Seasons In The Sun' - Terry Jacks
A wounded soldier on the Western Front is remembering his childhood as he's trying to reach a place of safety. We see images of the battle behind him, a tank looms and a cannon fires. The soldier can see himself, in his mind's eye, as a child running through the woods with a small dog. Then the image is replaced by a current view of his parents at home, his father smoking a pipe while reading a newspaper and his mother cooking a meal. The exhausted soldier lies down and looks up at the sky and he has a vision of his own wife playing with their daughter, a few moments before he dies.
'The Sun Ain't Gonna Shine Anymore' - The Walker Brothers
The scene is a nuclear shelter where all the adults are apathetic and the children are scared. Suddenly one man opens a cardboard box containing dressing up clothes and wigs, which he puts on, and persuades another man to join him. Together they act out a scene from Shakespeare's Romeo and Juliet to the delight of the children.
'Lola' - The Kinks
The naï ve young man who is approached by transvestite Lola in his first venture into a Soho club elicits mirth from other tables occupied by more knowing patrons. While the couple are smooching, however, it's patently obvious that the new arrival knows exactly what he's got his hands on, and judging by the expression on his face he's one happy bunny.
'Donna' - 10CC
The 'Donna' of this film is a young woman preparing herself for a night out. She arrives home in her work outfit and the red telephone in the living room is ringing but she ignores it and heads for the bathroom. As she is undressing, we see a young man in another place holding his telephone receiver but getting no answer. Back at Donna's, she is now behind a shower screen and all we see is her pert bottom just behind the glass and steam rising from above the door. In the living room the red phone is ringing again. Out of the shower steps Donna wearing a towel turban and she's struggling to fasten another towel over her breasts as she pads barefooted to her bedroom. From the rear we can see that she has great legs which go all the way up. As she is selecting lingerie from her chest of drawers, her red telephone rings again. Donna smoothes some moisturising lotion onto her legs, then chooses black lace underwear and a pair of lacy-top stockings which she steps into, gently pulls up and affixes with the suspenders. The red telephone has stopped ringing by now and we see the young man heading for his open-top sports car. Donna applies fresh make-up and checks her appearance in a full-length mirror before leaving her flat. She skips down the stairs excitedly as we see the sports car turning into the road where Donna lives. Unfortunately the driver is just in time to see Donna climbing into the sidecar attached to a waiting motorbike, which then drives off.
'Down Down' - Status Quo
A biker couple arrive at another chapter's stomping ground and go into the bar for refreshments. The female begins flirting with the pool-playing locals while her partner takes a comfort break. When he returns from the Gents, he makes an aggressive move towards the Angel who is now chatting up his girl. The other players brandish their pool cues and the cuckolded man runs out, jumps on his bike and escapes. He rides a few more miles and pulls into a dirt track which leads to a farm. There a young woman offers him a drink, while making it plain that she fancies him. They end up in the loft of a barn, which is literally shaking as another motorbike pulls up. Off the pillion climbs his original partner and she twigs what's going on in the barn pretty quickly. The Angel who has given her a lift laughs and drives off as we watch the first girl climbing the ladder to the loft. Bodies fly as a full-scale fight erupts. The farm is soon covered in bikes, as the lift-Angel went to fetch his mates, then led them all to the free cat-fight show.
'Girls' - The Fourmost
A teenage boy is celebrating the advantages of summer by girl-watching in the park, at the swimming pool and in the street. We see everything he sees: windblown skirts, tight hot-pants, accentuated breast movements, wiggling bottoms, see-through tops, nipple-outlines, etc, but with his wishful thoughts: lots of smiling faces, winking eyes, blown kisses, beckoning fingers, etc. In reality, of course, the girls are ignoring him.
'You Wear It Well' - Rod Stewart
This video was obviously inspired by Lewis Carroll's Through the Looking Glass. A devastated man is sitting at a desk leafing through a photo album while pictures on the walls come to life. As he is sitting immobile, behind him we can see the seasons passing through varying weather outside his window in a kind of stop-motion effect. In the end he gets up and looks in a mirror and he sees his girl dancing and twirling alone. She reaches out and her hand comes through the mirror, touching his shoulder, and he steps forward into the liquid mirror which closes behind him like water swallowing a stone.
'Tired of Waiting' - The Kinks
A lonely old man is sketching a rocket on a large piece of paper and as he completes each part it comes to life and starts moving. As he continues to work, the camera pans around the room and we are looking at all his life mementos. One by one they begin to become animated until the whole room is full of moving things. The old man looks up at the large clock on the wall but its hands are frozen — the internal cogs and wheels have stopped working.
'Paranoid' - Black Sabbath
A country scene with strange people; they're either veiled or their faces are covered in white make-up. They watch in silence as a steam train approaches, but as we look through the carriage windows, the passengers have no faces. The watchers, now dressed in ballroom outfits, are then transported to a beach where they dance with their masked partners on the sand by moonlight.
'Side Saddle' - Russ Conway
A very cleverly scripted black-and-white 'silent' Western clip featuring two cowboys acting out a high noon duel, rescuing a damsel in distress and trying to ride a stuffed horse.
'I Can See Clearly' - Johnny Nash
Filmed in an art studio, several artists paint portraits of models who are adopting poses of Old Masters' subjects.
'With A Little Help From My Friends' - Joe Cocker
A hotel worker puts on an impromptu performance silhouetted against a hotelroom window for screaming girls below, who think he's the pop star they've come to mob.
'Travelling Light' - Cliff Richard
An absolutely superb video which features a young teenage lad escaping a prison-like boarding school, and being chased by male teachers wearing full Academic dress of cloak and mortarboard. Even though the teachers have transport in the form of a motorbike and sidecar, they don't catch the boy on foot. He spots something in a field, leaves the road and heads for it. It's a tethered, multi-coloured hot air balloon; he jumps aboard, fires it up and then casts off. The rest of the film shows the bird's-eye view as if the viewer is in the balloon basket with all the fabulous scenery on view below.
'You Really Got Me' - The Kinks
A young man enters a café where the object of his affection works. From the look she gives him, his feelings are definitely unrequited. She points to the hot water tank and he nods so she makes him a cup of tea. While he's still standing there gawping at her, she points to the menu, he nods and she serves up a full English breakfast. He doesn't take his eyes off her while he's heaping several spoons of sugar into his overflowing teacup. She escorts him to a table, plonks down the plate of food then walks off. As he is about to tuck into his meal the girl jumps onto his table, which was no mean feat considering she's now wearing red stilettos. As his eyes wander upwards, he sees the legs clad in black fishnets and up further to a black leather mini-skirt. He throws himself backwards in delight as she starts kicking the food off the plate and onto the floor. She jumps down and they begin jiving to the beat of the music. As the song winds down, we see our hero dancing crazily around the café alone, with the waitress and the rest of the customers staring at him aghast - and he's summarily ejected from the premises.
'Strawberry Fields Forever' - The Beatles
Predictably this is about people picking strawberries; the cameraman, however, has concentrated on the small children 'helping' their parents harvest the succulent fruit. Most of them are eating the ones they are picking, and then trying to disguise the evidence of their red-stained fingers and mouths. Some children are taking back just an odd one or two strawberries to the family collection basket, others don't even bother to keep up the pretence. One unfortunate little girl is happily filling the punnet on her arm but other children are stealing her bounty as they pass, unbeknown to her.
'Always Something There To Remind Me' - Sandie Shaw
A delivery man searches through a film studio for someone to leave a parcel with. He stumbles upon a room full of props and outfits, which he is unable to resist trying on. Posing next to wall posters, he recreates iconic images like Humphrey Bogart in Casablanca and Jimmy Cagney in Angels With Dirty Faces. However, it's his twirl while dressed as Marilyn Monroe in The Seven Year Itch which is witnessed by his discoverer, Mrs Mopp.
'Man Of Mystery' - The Shadows
This is a classic Film Noir featuring a thirties PI chain-smoking while standing on a street corner, watching and waiting.
'The Wedding' - Julie Rodgers
This film is drawn like the thoughts of a teenage girl as they would appear in a comic. She imagines meeting a handsome man who will fall in love with her, propose marriage then share a wedding day she has always dreamed of.
'Lonely This Christmas' - Mud
A mysterious silver ball leads a prisoner to the roof of the jail, where he's magically transported to a place which looks just like his cell except it has a turkey dinner on the table, a Christmas tree in the corner and decorations hanging from the ceiling. Oh, and a gorgeous female dressed in a red Santa outfit sitting at the table.
'In Dulce Jubilo' - Mike Oldfield
This jolly Christmassy tune was played to a montage of drawn or cut-out Christmas images such as bells, crackers, a snowman, a trumpet, a robin, a wine glass, a Christmas pudding and the Star of Bethlehem.
'I Saw Mommy Kissing Santa Claus' - The Beverley Sisters
Three little girls creep down the stairs on Christmas Eve and peep through the slightly-ajar living room door. Their mother is dressed in a ballgown, tiara and high-heeled shoes and she's dancing with Santa. The sisters giggle and cover their mouths as they see the dancing couple kiss under the mistletoe. Suddenly a key turns in the front door and in walks Daddy! The startled girls look back into the living room but it's empty except for a decorated Christmas tree. Their father greets them, then walks into the living room to kiss his wife, who is lying on the settee, wearing her normal clothes. The girls look surprised but then Mummy winks at them and points under the tree, where there are lots of gift-wrapped presents.
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