Rubbish, piffle, tommyrot, drivel and utter bilge

Tuesday, June 29, 2010


"Now it is the time of night

That the graves, all gaping wide,

Every one lets forth its sprite,

In the church-way paths to glide:

And we fairies, that do run

By the triple Hecate's team,

From the presence of the sun

Following darkness like a dream,

Now are frolic."

From A Midsummer Night's Dream V.ii

by William Shakespeare

Saturday, June 26, 2010

Close Encounters of the Celeb Kind

Today at work I met a celebrity. For those of you that don't already know, I work at Sissinghurst Castle Gardens, in the Granary Restaurant. Sissinghurst was the subject of a BBC documentary/reality show a couple of years back, following the trials and tribulations of the place after Adam Nicolson, grandson of Harold Nicolson and Vita Sackville-West (pair of old literary fruitbats famous for, well, being literary fruitbats, and of course, Sissinghurst Castle gardens), moved back into the place with his famous celeb-gardener-and-chef missus, Sarah Raven. I won't go into the details of the show because (a) I haven't watched it; and (b) it generally painted a not-too-pretty picture of Sarah, among others.

I've worked at Sissinghurst since the end of March, and today I was outside clearing tables and making small talk with a pair of lovely punters, when the fella asked if I'd met Sarah Raven. I replied that I hadn't, that I'd only ever seen a couple of pictures of her and probably wouldn't recognize her if she slapped me in the chops. No sooner had I said this when the guy says, "Isn't that her over there?".  Sure enough, striding towards the restaurant was none other than the delightful Sarah herself. I went inside and she approached and asked if she could go upstairs to look for something, and I said, go right ahead. I went back outside to retrieve another tray of dirty plates and cups (why oh why do smokers like to stub their fags out in saucers? It's horrible) and Sarah came back out a moment later. The fella then turned and bellowed, "Hey, Sarah!!" She spun on her heel and he let rip with "WE LOVE YOUR SHOW! WHEN YOU GONNA BE BACK ON TV!! YOU'RE MAGIC!!" and other unfortunate words to that effect. Poor Sarah, I think she didn't quite know where to put herself.

I have met quite a few celebs in my time. Some you may know, some you may not. Here's a rundown:

Jess Conrad
Jess Conrad was a teen idol, popular in the late 1950s and early 1960s with a number of hits to his credit, "Cherry Pie", "This Pullover", "Mystery Girl" and "Pretty Jenny". Since then his live performances have continued to be popular, with an ovation in 2005 at the London Palladium when sharing a bill with Eden Kane, John Leyton, Marty Wilde and others.
I met Jess twice - once when I was working as a waiter in a local hotel and restaurant, and once when I went on holiday to Butlin's at Bognor Regis, when Jess was part of a '60s revival show along with Ricky Valance ("Tell Laura I Love Her") and The Fourmost ("Hello Little Girl"). In the show, Jess came out wearing leather drainpipes and a pink jacket with padded shoulders, and said, "I'm a poser, not a singer." After the show I and my buddy Nigel, who was on holiday with me, went to the Regency bar for a couple of drinkies. While sitting there reclining, sipping on our adult beverages, we spied Jess, still attired in pink, walking into the bar. We nodded a greeting to him and he said something like, "How ya doin', fellas?". And that was it.

Julian Clary
Hugh Jelly aka Philip Herbert.
Julian Clary (for the non-Brits among you) is a well-known British comedian, entertainer and novelist, whose stage career began under the pseudonym The Joan Collins Fan Club. He later had his own "game show", Sticky Moments with Julian Clary where he would award points based on whether he liked people more than for any actual skill or aptitude. He was accompanied by actor Philip Herbert in the guise of 'Hugh Jelly', a large man with a booming voice and clothing almost as flamboyant as Julian's.
It was during this period that I met him. The series was produced by Toni Yardley, daughter of Joss Ackland (who stole the show during one of my favourite films, The Pet Shop Boys' flick It Couldn't Happen Here), and wife of video editing whiz David Yardley. My first wife Kristin had briefly done a spot of nannying for the Yardleys and they invited her (and me) to a Halloween bash at their house. We of course wangled invites for a few friends too, once they got wind of where we were going, because I think secretly everyone wondered if Julian would make an appearance. Well our son Charlie was only about 3 weeks old at the time, but we took him anyway. The house was huge, and the party was in full swing when we got there, complete with fire breathers and jugglers in the front yard. Joss was there, as well as Luke Cresswell from STOMP (of course in those days he was better known for his work in the bands Pookiesnackenburger and Yes/No People). It amused me somewhat to see the MTV MoonMan that David had received for his editing on Dire Straits' "Money For Nothing" video being used as a door-stop.

Next thing I knew, there was Julian (with Hugh), rather sedately attired in jeans and a T-shirt, and there was my sister, making conversation with him. We joined in the conversation and they noticed baby Charlie, and somehow or another Julian ended up holding Charlie for a minute, saying as he did so, "Hope the papers aren't here, you can just see that on the front page of News Of The World, can't you - Julian's Secret Child!"

I used to work for Thresher's Wine Merchants, and during my tenure, I encountered several famous peeps.
Donald Sinden  and Joanna Lumley were regular visitors. Kevin Godley of Godley and Creme and 10CC  moved to the area and came in for some Christmas booze. Chris Difford of Squeeze came in a time or two, and we once had a conversation about a tweed jacket he was wearing that had unusual pockets, one above the other. I asked him where he got it, and his reply? "Oh, I saw one just like it in the Victoria & Albert Museum and had my tailor make me one!"
Hint: Lol is the one without the beard.

Chris Difford

When my sister and I were quite young, probably 9 or 10, we were taken to a fête (where, I cannot recall) and the children's author Malcolm Saville was there, signing books. We both got a signed book, but I only vaguely recall what he looked like - old and crinkly.

Sis, and Tex.

On our first ever holiday to Butlin's in Bognor Regis, my sister had her picture taken while obtaining the autograph of Tex Ritter, the famous cowboy crooner ("High Noon"). He died the following year.

Best. Doctor. Ever.

In the town, I've bumped into newsreader Andrew Gardner, Dr. Who number four Tom Baker, and even seen Fab Macca Wacky Thumbs Aloft out shopping with his family. Several celebs such as Marti Pellow of Wet Wet Wet and Bob Mortimer live (or have lived) nearby. Jan Francis, Mike Debens (OK, scraping the bottom of the barrel now) and even Paul Merton have apparently been seen shopping in Tenterden (although not witnessed by myself), so it is quite likely that another celebrity encounter is on the horizon. Oh, and lest I forget... David Frost was born here.

Newsflash! I have just learned that Alan Titchmarsh is coming to do some filming at Sissinghurst!... on my day off.

Tuesday, June 22, 2010


When exactly did the national greeting of Britain change from "Hello" to "Hiya"? Wherever I go in my homeland, people in shops and restaurants now greet me with Hiya, or I should say 'Iya with the H dropped. This drives me crazy, and is just one of those things I find irritating. Another thing I find irritating: when people say Twenty-ten instead of Two Thousand ten. Last year, 2009, was Two thousand and nine. No-one said twenty-o-nine. Why say Twenty-ten? It is not gonna be the Twenty-Twelve Olympic Games, it is the Two Thousand Twelve Olympics. Puh-lease.

And when did we as a nation collectively decide to switch from Fahrenheit to Celsius? When I was young, all the temperatures on the weather forecast and on ovens were Fahrenheit. I'm away for 18 years and now were all Celsius. It's very confusing.

I have a theory. Wanna hear it?


Petrol used to be sold by the gallon. It is now sold by the litre. I suspect that back when the price of petrol started to rise, the oil companies panicked and thought, "If people see the price go up too much, they'll quit buying our product, and then bang goes our pensions and bonuses and houses in the country and BMWs and the stables and the kids' college funds. If we price petrol by the litre, it'll fool them into thinking it's cheaper than it actually is, and we can ride our gravy train for life."

So that's what happened, and people pay £1.20 or so per litre. An Imperial (UK) gallon is 4.54609 litres. So in actuality, people pay about £5.34 per gallon. How much is that in dollars? Well, at today's rate, that is $7.88. Of course, an Imperial gallon is bigger than a US gallon. Pints are 20 oz. here, 16 oz. in the States, so a US gallon is 32 oz. less. That works out to about $6.30 per US gallon. I remember the outcry of dismay a couple of years back when gasoline touched on $4 a gallon. Think your bloody selves lucky. If I had my way, we'd all be driving hydrogen fuel cell vehicles anyway. We all know, and have known for many years, that the supply of oil is not limitless. One day it will all run out, especially with wankers like BP running the show. Oh, and before you all get hot under the collar about BP...

There's a lot of misinformation about BP from you Yanks especially, concerning who owns it. It used to be called British Petroleum, shortened a few years back to BP because it wasn't all British anymore. Here, from the BP website, is a pie chart showing the ownership stats.
As you can see, it is 40% British owned. But it is 39% American owned, and the remaining 21% is divided between Europe and the Rest of the World. So do your homework before you start to spout off at the mouth about the damn Brits polluting the Southern shores. We English did not get asked if it was OK to build an oil rig there, and this Brit in particular has never thought that oil drilling was a good thing. And don't even get me started on nuclear power, unless you have a couple of hours to spare.

Anyway - back to my theory. Once petrol was being priced in metric, other things began to change. Other weights and measures began to follow. Your groceries were priced by the kilo. In grocery stores, things have had Imperial and metric weights on them for almost as long as I can remember, and it's all because of the Common Market, Europe, all that stuff that happened in the early 70s when this fair isle was browbeaten into becoming a part of what is now known as the European Union. Now there's the bloody Euro to contend with, which, I'm happy to report, we do not accept at our restaurant - - yet. When I was in school we had to do maths and geometry in millimetres and centimetres, although we measured ourselves in feet and inches, knew that a mile was 1760 yards, and nobody ever said 'kilometres per hour'. Anyone remember the old rhyme - "A metre measures three foot three, it's longer than a yard, you see"? Anyway, so we Brits had been groomed for this changeover.
Everything was changing, so the powers that be thought - "Fuck it, let's change the temperatures to Celsius too, while we're at it." But I am sorry - when it's a hot day, I like my temps in good old F - not C. A 70-degree day I can understand, but it just sounds weird to say it's 21 degrees outside. That sounds cold to me. Brrr, 21 degrees. Not, phew, what a 21-degree scorcher. Just plain wrong. And I cannot deal with baking a cake at 180 degrees. To me, that just doesn't seem hot enough.

At least all our signposts are still in miles. Let's face it, who ever heard of a kilometre-stone?

Sunday, June 20, 2010

100 Records That Shook The World, #65

(I Can't Get No) Satisfaction

The Rolling Stones

During the Stones' third tour of the USA in1965, Keith Richards woke up in the middle of the night with the opening riff from Satisfaction running through his mind. He turned on a tape recorder, recorded the riff, wrote the words "I can't get no satisfaction" on a piece of paper, and promptly went back to sleep. He later described the tape as "two minutes of Satisfaction and 40 minutes of me snoring". He played the tape to Jagger the following day, who loved it and immediately started writing lyrics to fit it, lyrics that concerned the rampant commercialism that he and the other Stones had witnessed in the US. Some of the lyrics were also sexually charged, and the song was considered too suggestive by some major radio networks, and initially only received airplay on pirate radio stations. 

Richards was not too sure about the riff at the time, thinking it sounded too much like Martha and The Vandellas' Dancing In The Street. The rest of the band outvoted Keith, however, and a good thing too, because (I Can't Get No) Satisfaction became The Rolling Stones' 4th UK Number One single, not to mention an iconic song that has inspired generations of rockers, and placed at #2 on Rolling Stone magazine's 500 Greatest Songs Of All Time.

Thursday, June 17, 2010

My Freaky Lookin' Eye

At work on Tuesday afternoon I was putting all our glass bottle empties into the giant recycle bin at the back of the restaurant, when a piece of plastic debris flew up out of the bin and hit me in the eye. I thought no more of it until I went inside to wash my hands, looked up into the mirror and - GULP! What in the name of Harry Hill is that?

I got it checked by the doc, who informed me that it was known as a Subconjunctival Haemorrhage. In basic terms it is caused by a blood vessel within the eye rupturing, which then makes the white part red. Apparently it is 'of no consequence', and the blood will eventually get reabsorbed back into the eye, but for now, I am Mr. Crazy Eye! Able to scare old women and children with a single glance!

I was reading up about these forms of injury online and discovered that they can be caused by a variety of things, including:

  • Prolonged stress
  • Minor eye trauma (that's me)
  • Spontaneously occurring with increased venous pressure (like when someone strangles you?)
  • Strenuous Exercising (never heard a better argument for sitting on your ass)
  • Coughing
  • Vomiting
  • Touching/widening eyes (Dear God! Don't touch your eyes!)
  • Sneezing 
  • Pulling extreme g-forces ("Yeah, baby, I work at NASA. Got this pulling 7 g's.")
  • Choking
  • Straining (Straining what? Like, on the toilet?)
  • Blood dyscrasia (rare)
  • Severe hypertension
  • Leptospirosis
  • Blood thinners, such as ginger, capsaicin, ginseng, garlic, aspirin, or Herba if taken in high doses or combined. These can also make the vessels in the eye more susceptible to the pressure causes listed above.
  • Diving accidents-Mask Squeeze (volume inside in mask creates increased pressure with increased depth)
  • Severe thoracic trauma, leading to increased pressure in the extremities, including around the eyes. (So eyes are extremities now? WTF?)

With all the mundane things listed here it's a wonder we all haven't got crazy red eyes.

Apparently this type of haemorrhage occasionally appears in infants, and can be the result of scurvy. Arrr, matey. A lot of them baby pirates about.

Monday, June 14, 2010

100 Records That Shook The World, #66

The Byrds

Mr. Tambourine Man

Interesting story about this one. Bob Dylan, who composed this song, originally wanted to record it as part of his last fully acoustic album, Another Side Of Bob Dylan, and in fact did record a version with Ramblin' Jack Elliott. However, the take was not used for that album. The Byrds somehow had acquired a copy of this recording and thus were able to release their own version a mere two weeks after Dylan included a newer recording on his Bringing It All Back Home LP.

So here we have yet another instance of a cover version, done in a different style, becoming more popular than the original, and giving birth to a new subgenre of music - this time, folk-rock, one of several musical styles that The Byrds were instrumental in originating, the others including raga rock (Eight Miles High) and country-rock (Sweetheart Of The Rodeo). The Byrds' use of harmonies and jangly 12-string transformed an acoustic-and-harmonica-driven folk song into an instant pop classic, and ushered in the era of psychedelia. The song hit the number one spot on both sides of the Atlantic, and it is listed at #79 on Rolling Stone's 500 Greatest Songs Of All Time (Dylan's version is at #106). 

Friday, June 11, 2010

100 Records That Shook The World, #67

The Times They Are A-Changin'

Dylan recorded this song in October 1963. The night after the assassination of JFK, Dylan opened a concert with this song. He later talked about this in an interview:  "I thought, 'Wow, how can I open with that song? I'll get rocks thrown at me.' But I had to sing it, my whole concert takes off from there. I know I had no understanding of anything. Something had just gone haywire in the country and they were applauding the song. And I couldn't understand why they were clapping, or why I wrote the song. I couldn't understand anything. For me, it was just insane."

When the song was released as a single finally in 1965, folk music was closely allied with the civil rights movement, and Dylan recalled wanting to write an anthem for change, a song for the moment. He said he was inspired by the ballads of Ireland and Scotland: "I wanted to write a big song, with short concise verses that piled up on each other in a hypnotic way." 

 Whatever the reasons for writing the song, it has become the archetypal protest song, and even though it was more or less out of date as soon as it was released, its lyrics are somewhat general in their direction and thus they are still ringing true today. The song was ranked #59 on Rolling Stone's 2004 list of The 500 Greatest Songs of All Time. Enjoy.

Bob Dylan- Times They are a Changin

Jeffrey | MySpace Video

Wednesday, June 9, 2010

New Faces

I remember the days when I was happy to play
For a penny or two a song
When a fella in a black sedan
Took a shine to my one-man-band
He said 'We've got plans for you, you've never dreamed...'

So went the theme to New Faces,  an early 70s British talent show that spawned such great acts as Lenny Henry, Dave Allen, Mick Miller, Victoria Wood, Marti Caine, Les Dennis, Michael Barrymore and Aiden J. Harvey as well as musical group Showaddywaddy.

Well, here's my own version of New Faces. Some talents that you may not have seen or heard of just yet, that i think deserve a shot.

First up: Cha-Cha.

The Vanish Affair (Sorry, no video available yet!)

Lucy Kitt (The one video posted on her MySpace was unavailable).

Vic Spanner Local remixer and techno geek.

Poetic K!

Poetic K! "lost and found"

Poetic K ! | MySpace Music Videos

John Keenan - "Bus Ride Away"

Reachback -  "Hands Up, Hearts Down"

Nina Clark/Carnelian 

'Allo Darlin'

Bobby Conn

Jay Jay Pistolet

There's Something Nasty In The Woodshed

I was recently watching Britain's Got Talent, and was dead impressed by Janey Cutler, the 80-year-old lassie from Bonnie Scotland with a huge voice, singing "No Regrets". The crowd went bonkers, the panel (Simon Cowell included) loved her and we at home thought "wow!".

She continued to shine in the semi-finals, and moved on to the final. In the final, she was going to sing once again "No Regrets", the song that knocked us all dead in the auditions.

However, she missed her cue, came in late, and struggled to play catch-up the whole way through. It was at this point that I uttered the words "I cannot watch this", and left the room. I cannot bear that kind of thing. I feel so badly for the people involved, because you know they are up there giving it their best shot and when a technical error screws things up for them, it makes the part of me that wants to impress shrivel and hide in a corner. Still, Janey had two good showings and I am sure that even though she did not get into the Top 3 she'll probably be getting some offers, if she hasn't already.

It's the same with dramas and especially soap operas. If I can tell what's just about to happen, I have to either change the channel, turn it off, or leave the room. Maybe it's the eternal optimist in me that makes me always want things to turn out well. If a plot is chugging along nicely and things are all in place to have something go right in Walford or Dallas or Dynasty or CSI or whatever, that's when those writers know to chuck a spanner in the works. To have some creepy person appear round a corner, accompanied by some eerie music. What we Hickmotts refer to as 'nasty in the woodshed'. Used to be that when I was a kid certain things would make me run and hide behind the sofa, especially Doctor Who. Certain cliffhanger moments were just too hard to watch, I knew what was coming and did not like it one bit.

It would be a boring and predictable world if everything always turned out for the best, but just once, just one time, dontcha wish that they'd show happy stuff happening on Coronation Street or EastEnders? Okay, they do from time to time, but it is all too infrequent. Just this evening Lucas killed some random girl and Ben's case got sent to a higher court and Billie went off to the army.

The only soap I actually enjoy from time to time is Doctors, and that is purely because of the contribution of one of Britain's most underrated actors, Owen Brenman. I first came across Owen in a short-lived late night comedy series on channel 4 in the late 80s, hosted by one Paul Merton, still fairly unknown at the time, and starring such legends as Josie Lawrence, Jonathan Kydd, and Michael Fenton-Stevens (who along with Angus Deayton and Philip Pope was part of the spoof musical trio The HeeBeeGeeBees), as well as Owen himself. The show was taped in front of a live club crowd, and the sketches were interspersed with Merton's deadpan-delivery standup. A brilliant show. I can still recite some of the sketches and routines verbatim.

Anyway, I have rambled on a bit in this post, I guess. Night all.

Monday, June 7, 2010

Come Out And Play

Me, 57 pounds ago.
I absolutely refuse to grow old gracefully. Frankly, I do not know why anyone would even entertain the idea. Life is too short to be the same as everyone else. With this past week giving me more reminders of my own mortality, the stronger I want to cling steadfastly to my mantra of 'do NOT act your age'.

All my life I've been this way. My family, bless 'em, are resigned to it now, as is my wife. I'm stubborn, I guess, and I don't like being told by people that I have to do things a certain way (especially if I know damn well that there is more than one right answer, or solution). Basically if you want to get me to do something, then tell me that I can't. Unless, of course, it happens to be something that I can't stand or feel is pointless and stupid, because then I won't do it no matter what anyone says.

My first wife found out that telling me I was dressing way too young for my age only spurred me on. I'm sorry, but I'm not ready to join the pipe-and-slippers set just yet. I probably never will be. I've been criticized for my dress sense through the years, but it's MY dress sense. Not yours or anyone else's. I'll dress in what I like and I'm old enough to make my own decisions. So if I want to wear shorts in the depths of winter, I will.

The infamous blond hair with the blue shirt.
Note the Casio wristwatch. Well '80s!
When I worked for Thresher's I used to dress in floral shirts with waistcoats and pocket watches and earrings, with my hair dyed blond or purple. I'd wear chinos and a denim jacket dyed magenta. Shorts and fingerless leather gloves. I wanted to make a statement. I wanted to put my stamp on the world. "Here I am, world! Take a good look!" When I lived in a flat with my first wife there was in the living room a wooden trellis affair on the wall (we were renting the flat from a woman who was a textile artist - there was a great big loom in the corner, and some Bauhaus-style armchairs, too). I used the trellis to display my multi-hued collection of over 60 neckties. Functional and decorative.

How not to 'vogue'.
When I got chubby I started to wear whatever was comfy. Shorts, T-shirts, big baggy Hula shirts, T-shirts with humorous/musical messages, whatever covered my burgeoning girth. Still as loud as you please, but I hated having to wear anything that needed to be tucked in.

Now that I am losing weight (have lost 57 lbs since this time last year!), I am considering a return to my former sartorial self. I was in Classic Chaps recently, a shop in Rye that sells vintage weskits and chinos and other delights. I could see shades of my old self returning. I felt that urge to don a flowery shirt and a cravat and put in one of my star-shaped dangly earrings (I still have the hole in the ear, and it still works just fine), run a comb through my curly locks and go make a spectacle of myself.

My wife, bless her cotton socks, when she was still only my girlfriend, tried to encourage me to act my age and dress appropriately by buying me some preppy Tommy Hilfiger/J.Crew/Banana Republic type threads, which I appreciated, but found that although comfy, they weren't saying anything to the world about me. I did not want to fit in with the group. I like being this way and I have to express it visually as well as with my razor sharp wit, superior intellect, musical ability and dashing good looks. Oh, and my humility too.

The classic "inner child" photo.
So there we are. I'm out there. A little freaky-deaky. Weird. But - I'm not alone.

Wednesday, June 2, 2010

"He was friends with everybody"

Here in Britain we've slowly been getting more and more Americanized over the passing decades, adopting American customs and eating habits, first McDonald's, then Budweiser, watching all the American shows on TV.
I remember when high schools were called comprehensives and  secondary schools. We never had 'Prom' - we do now. All we had when I was there was the school disco on a Friday night that cost a quid to get into. 
Commercial TV stations now go to commercial with nary a flicker, just like in the States. Gone are the days of "End Of Part One" and "Part Two" with the station ID. Even our General Election of last month had a live televised debate for the first time ever. 
'The kids' have adopted all the American slang terms and all sound like a cross between Jay-Z and Del Boy Trotter. Pretty much all the Top 40 songs are by American artists or English ones that sound American. Even Madonna lives over here, and you guys got Beckham. I say that's a fair trade.

And today, a mild-mannered taxi driver from Cumbria who has thus far been variously described as a "quiet fellow" who was "everybody's friend" went off his chump and drove around shooting people, killing 12. The coverage on the TV today has been off the charts. All the TV schedules were messed up because of it. I personally have never heard the phrases 'shooting rampage' and 'killing spree' used so many times since Columbine.

Here's the link to the BBC story: Gunman kills 12 people in Cumbria rampage

Whatever next? Brits celebrating Thanksgiving and 4th of July? This needs to stop.

100 Records That Shook The World, #68

You've Lost That Lovin' Feelin'

The Righteous Brothers

The Righteous Brothers Bill Medley and Bobby Hatfield actually began existence as members of a 5-piece group called The Paramours. Performing in a local bar, a marine in the audience shouted out after one of their duets, "That was righteous, brothers!" They remembered the occasion and eventually renamed their group The Righteous Brothers for their first album.

Their first major hit single was "You've Lost That Lovin' Feelin'" on the Philles label in 1965. Produced by Phil Spector, the record is often cited as one of the peak expressions of Spector's Wall of Sound production techniques. It was one of the most successful pop singles of its time, despite exceeding the then standard length for radio play. Indeed, according to BMI, "You've Lost That Lovin' Feelin'" remains the most played song in radio history, estimated to have been broadcast more than eight million times.

It was written by the legendary writing team of Barry Mann and Cynthia Weil ("On Broadway", "We Gotta Get Out Of This Place", "Don't Know Much", "Somewhere Out There", "Running With The Night") along with producer Phil Spector, and a young Cher was part of the choral backing. The Righteous Brothers were actually sceptical about the song's potential, especially Bobby, who, after realizing that his vocal part would not come in until the chorus, asked Spector what he was supposed to do during Medley's solo. Spector, who had a knack for recognising hit potential, told Hatfield: "You can go straight to the f***ing bank."

 The song was also a lot longer than the standard three minute pop song, so Spector had the initial pressings labelled with the time at 3:05 so that it would not get ignored by radio stations. The song topped the charts on both sides of the pond, and Rolling Stone Magazine named it #34 on their list of the 500 Greatest Songs Of All Time.

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