20 December 2017

Satellite, The Hooters, 1987.

For me, this is the best song about corrupt televangelists of America. It came out in England not long before Christmas 1987, and as we didn't have satellite telly then, I had no idea what it was about really. A con in the name of religion, it seemed. I was right of course. Great, great song. Knocks Genesis's '90s effort, Jesus He Knows Me, into a cocked hat in my opinion.

And, somehow, to this day, it gives me a festive feel.

I hope you enjoy it.

The fabulous Hooters in 1985.

19 December 2017

Gilbert's Fridge: Calling For Bob...

Regular readers of this epic '80's work (bless you, both!) will know that I am a lover of that very 1980s celebrity Gilbert the alien. In fact, I adore Gilbert so much I have a Gilbert bendy in the bedroom and a Gilbert poster in the loo. Phil Cornwell, the man who brought Gilbert down from Drill, is plainly an English hero and the episodes of Gilbert's Fridge are something that we all want, as Victoria Wood might have said, to keep and keep again.

But is Bob a real painting or was he, like Helen Daniels's finest works in Neighbours, splurged out by somebody 'in scenery'?

But who IS 'Bob', you cry, the creepy chappie from Twin Peaks who was written into the script when the set dresser inspired David Lynch in 1989?

Well no, achuwarly. Bob was the Boston terrier or French-bulldoggie-type-doggie in the painting in the 1988 screen capture from Gilbert's Fridge above. Gilbert, posing as a frightfully posh fine art person, tried to flog him to Dieter Meier of Yello. Dieter was unimpressed and didn't seem to have a drawing room, which would obviously have been the best place to display Bob, so Gilbert gave up, having to admit that Bob was an 'ugly little blighter',

So, is Bob a real painting? According to Gilbert in 1988, Bob was painted by a chap called Merry Pottinger in 'the year 171766 or so', but knowing Gilbert that might not be quite right.

If you know if Bob is a real work of art, please drop me a line to

I imagine this plea will go unanswered, calling forlornly out into the inky blackness of the webby night - 'OOOWOOO! OOOWOO!' - with occasional breaks for a plate of Batchelor's Savoury Rice, a Bejam mini-pizza and a mug of Café Hag - but who knows!

Hoping to hear... one day...

I remain yours, in hoops...


21 August 2017

Music From Twin Peaks, Season 1... Produced in 1989, Not 1990

A scene from the 1989 Twin Peaks video - featuring Dale Cooper, the Little Man From Another Place and Laura Palmer in the Black Lodge. The video is basically the pilot episode, with a closed ending. It features the music of Angelo Badalamenti.

It has delighted us up at '80s Actual Towers to see the return of one of the 1980s final gifts to the world - the glorious David Lynch and Mark Frost creation, Twin Peaks.

 The Twin Peaks video - copyright 1989, Lynch/Frost Productions Inc. The music is all there.

So disappointing that our favourite character Catherine Martell, played by Piper Laurie, has not returned. But how wonderful to see Wendy Robie as Nadine Hurley at her shop - Run Silent, Run Drapes! Nadine realised her dream! And the fabulous Kimmy Robertson and Harry Goaz as Andy and Lucy Brennan. And lovely Peggy Lipton as Norma Jennings. The late great Catherine Coulson as the inimitable Log Lady. And, of course, Kyle McLachlan as Dale Cooper and his doppelganger. What an actor! We've waited a long time for this. And then there's Sheryl Lee - Laura Palmer herself - dead but still living...

Another scene from the 1989 Twin Peaks video - Laura Palmer.

The spine tingling soundtrack by Angelo Badalamenti was and is, of course, one of the most wondrous things about this show. So atmospheric. But when was the music for season one produced? asks PeaksFan:

I love this show. I'm too young to remember the original screenings, but I saw the first two series some years ago and now I'm hungrily devouring The Return. I have read recently that the music for season one was recorded in late 1989 and early 1990, but this does not correspond to a cassette I have from 1990, which lists each track as being (p) 1989. I know the soundtrack album is copyright 1990, its release year, but things are always copyrighted to their debut year. I know Twin Peaks didn't make its debut until April 1990, but you have written about its 1980s origins on here before so I wonder if you could help?

Yes, PeaksFan, I can. The pilot of Twin Peaks was recorded in February and March 1989, and work began on the first series about midway through the year. Julee Cruise's spine tingling Falling, set to the opening theme music of the show, features on her 1989 album. But even Julee seems a little confused about when the rest of the music was recorded. But then 1989 is a long time ago. I can tell you that the 1989 European video release of the extended pilot features all the main themes (beginning with Josie Packard in the very first scene, looking into the mirror as Laura Palmer's Theme menaces), and that, outside of the video world, a select few people got a preview screening of the pilot in September 1989. The music is all there. So, 1989, not 1990, is the year.

We believe further music, for season two, was recorded in 1990.

So, take no notice of whatever else you read. One viewing of the 1989 pilot will prove the truth. It is included on at least one of the DVD releases of the entire series.

The 1989 video is exactly the same as the pilot  episode, but with a closed ending. Here, Sarah Palmer (Grace Zabriskie) screams in horror. That's Frank Silva, demon BOB, staring at her in the mirror. In Twin Peaks The Return Sarah has revealed herself to be capable of some brutal and horrible behaviour herself. What possesses her?