Wednesday, December 28, 2011

You really lost me

Gentle readers, after years of searching, I believe I may have found the Eldorado, or possibly the Pinto, of music television: the worst television recording ever made of a band playing a song. It comes, not surprisingly, from Germany, a country where people are very keen on both the Rock and the Roll but, because of cultural and economic circumstances, have never quite managed to be hip.

This televisual experience comes from the television programme "Beat Club," which in Germany was having great success in the Sixties. This recording was made in 1972; perhaps not coincidentally Beat Club was [ahem] canned in the same year. It features England's finest, the Kinks. For some reason they are playing a song they made eight years earlier and for some other reason they are mostly wearing red - against a blue background. It is all quite startling.

 Consider how this clip progresses. One camera operator seems quite fixated upon Dave Davies, perhaps because of that regrettable beard. While his brother Ray sings, the camera remains firmly upon Dave. Then, Ray suddenly appears, perhaps from another studio: the brothers' difficulties are well-known. Ray's appearance is brief, just filling in before the cross back to Dave and the bass player, John Dalton. But then, just as Dave's solo comes up, attention is directed to the hands of the keyboard player, John Gosling, and remains there for the duration of Dave's solo. Next we see Drummer Mick Avory - who either did not get the memo about wearing red or chose the wrong wash cycle; then a brief glimpse of Ray (nice bowtie) and more of the over-dressed Gosling, or is it John Peel? We see Ray again, almost out of camera and still with no indication that he is with the rest of the band. Then it is back to Dave.

 Still, it was nice that they went to all the trouble of wrapping the microphones in red plastic.


1 comment:

Stephen Stratford said...

The drummer always gets it wrong.

Not Bill Bruford or the jazz guys, but in rock it's a reliable proposition.