|In July the Television Personalities returned to Scotland for yet another big tour, but something was missing, and that something was Dan. Well, where is he? "He said something about flying up. Didn't say anything about a plane though". Undeterred, Jowe and Jeff decide to play their three dates... Jowe changing from bass to guitar and vocals, Jeff remaining his usual solid robust self on the drums, plus three different "special guest bass players"... the first night in Aberdeen featured a very drunk, but very talented Geoff Duffy from Edinburgh's Onion Cellar... He had half an hour to learn the songs after he arrived at the Venue to "can you play bass?" (he replied "No, but I played 'Silly Girl' in my bedroom once"), in Glasgow that famous chap Sean Dixon fulfilled a life-long ambition, and became a Television Personality, for the night. He managed to learn lots of songs, having had guitar lessons when he was a wee boy, but Jowe decided to add a few more songs which had Sean panicking, but his talent managed to keep everything together (what a guy he is!). The third and final night was in Edinburgh and this was probably the best of the three... Angus from the Fizzbombs on bass, Banarama songs (as opposed to the Madonna medley played in Glasgow), "Cake Shop Girls", "Magnificent Dreams" and many more... this was probably the closest they got to being a proper group, whereas the other two nights, despite being enjoyable, were all in a very jokey atmosphere... mind you, not many folk noticed - a certain Glasgow pseudo-fanzine failed to realise that Jowe was not Dan, as did lots of other people. All in all good fun, but it'll be nice when they return with Dan to play.|
The Jowe Head & Jeff Bloom interview (with added bits from somebody called "Paul from Hackney" and a very drunk ex-journalist who did not give his name, but said he wished to be known as "The Twat".)|
CCC: Do you (Jowe) think that you look like John Hurt?
Jowe: I have been told by many people that I look like John Hurt, amongst other things.
CCC: Do you like coming to Scotland & can you notice any differences to England?
Jowe: Ummm, the air is much nicer up here and the water is very nice, and everybody is very kind. Girls come up to us at railway stations and pick us up.
CCC: Who are your musical faves?
Jowe: James Brown, Lou Reed, Iggy Pop, Dusty Springfield. What are your musical faves Jeff?
Jeff: The Rezillos as well as the ones he mentioned.
Jowe: Madonna. I got a Madonna record last week, "Dress You Up", that's one of my favourites.
CCC: How much longer do we have to wait for the Househunters EP?
Jowe: It's only just been finished, it had to be re-recorded.
Jowe: Oh, well two of them managed to completely erase the multi-track tape. I think they didn't like it or something, I mean, it was their first time in the studio and they got some funny idea that the mix wasn't right, and it hadn't even been mixed. It was too slow as well they reckoned, but I always speed things up when I mix them.
(the Househunters disc was released shortly after this interview. It's called "Cuticles" and is totally wow)
CCC: Is the Palookas drummer (Richie) totally sane?
Jeff: He's as sane as the rest of the Palookas.
Jowe: Yeah, he's a shipbuilder, he's from Hull. He failed an audition for Test Department. Actually James the bass player used to play for the Bay City Rollers. I'm not kidding, he's a mate of Woody and Stu y'know. It's true really.
Twat: I'll ask a good question. What do you think of liberal sex?
Jowe: Ummm, well I prefer conservative sex. Or labour sex even, anything but liberal sex.
CCC: Would you (Jeff) like to talk about sex?
Jeff: I don't know anything about sex. My mum never told me.
Twat: What's this got to do with wearing silly waistcoats?
Jowe: What's silly about this? A complete stranger came up to me today, this girl, and she wanted to have my waistcoat.
CCC: Do you think that you can sing?
Jowe: Many people have told me that I cannot sing, including Nikki Sudden. I don't think I need say anymore.
CCC: Is the Carmel McCourt who sang on your LP the famous Carmel?
Jowe: Yes. I did a record with Epic Soundtracks and she sang on that. She sang better than she does on her own records I think.
CCC: Do you think that the TVPs have gone downhill since the multi-talented Joe Foster left?
Paul: They have gone downhill since Joe Foster left. Greatest star in the music business ever. A brilliant man who put the TV Personalities on the map. He was the one who really knew what the TV Personalities were about.
Jeff: My favourite person ever. I really like his leather trousers.
Paul: And you should see his parties. His parties are really out of this world.
Jowe: Joe's an archaeologist now, actually. It's true, that's what he told me. He's doing Roman excavations in the city of London.
CCC: Have you ever seen Dan without his hat on?
Jeff: No I haven't.
Jowe: Yes, in bed once. I'm feeling very Kafka-esque tonight.
Paul: "I Love Kafka" sounds like a good idea for a song...
All (singing): I love Kafka, yeah, yeah, Kafka loves me, Kafka is my friend, yeah, yeah...
Paul: Put it on the next flexidisc.
Jowe: It'll have a one note piano all the way through it, and a lone voice of despair echoing in the background. Can you picture it? Tonight I was doing an impression of Robyn Hitchcock, or Probert Hotchkiss as he's known to his friends. Hotchkiss is the name of a French tank. There was a French armoured vehicle of the 30s called the Hotchkiss. Strange but true.
Jeff: Is that in your book? He's got this really good book on a thousand useful things to know.
Jowe: No. I've got lots of lots of books about armoured fighting vehicles of the past and present. I like tanks.
Jowe: I just like looking at them. They've got really interesting shapes and a bit on top that squiggles round and points at things. Actually, I've got a really good battery operated police car that's on the next Palookas single. It sounds really good. That's the only thing I do on the whole record, I just press the top and it goes... "you are completely surrounded by policemen. Thrown down your guns and you will come out unharmed. Trrr trrr trrr...". And then Richie our drummer starts singing. That's his party piece, we decided he would do that for the single. He says he nicked it from, er, not Rolf Harris, er, Elvis Presley. Can you imagine Rolf Harris doing "Hound Dog"? (starts singing it in Rolf-esque fashion). It's a great idea isn't it?
Jeff: Did you know that Victoria Gillick's* daughter has just been photographed topless in Greece? And did you hear what she said about it? She said "the Sunday Mail are a bunch of bastards. When I get my hands on them they're gonna want me for homicide. Shit".
Jowe: They're very mean with money for pictures I've found out. Ripped off every time. Two thousand for pictures like that. That wasn't the only one either. The one with the dog they just couldn't use y'know. You can't print pictures of someone like that being friendly with dogs in a family newspaper, can you?
CCC: Do you know any dirty stories about Alan McGhee?
Jowe: He's always got plenty of dirty stories about everyone else. He's always going... (in terrible Glasgow accent whilst slobbering everywhere)... "Stephen Pastel, he's a homosexual. Yes, I've seen him do it. Sorry about the saliva all over the microphone". That's a dirty story. Actually, that's why Bobby had to leave the Mary Chain, because he caught Aids off Alan McGhee, 'cos he spat at him when his mouth was open. He's in intensive care at the moment with a drip.
Jeff: Alan McGhee's standing there with the drip coming out of his mouth.
CCC: Do you have any Thunderbirds, Joe 90 or other F.A.B. Dinky toys?
Jowe: No, but I know who's got a good collection though.
Jeff: When I was younger I used to have a Captain Scarlett outfit.
CCC: With a hat and the microphone that popped down?
Jeff: Yes, and the sash and a foam waistcoat. It was a red foam waistcoat.
Jowe: Our video director has got a good collection. He's got two Thunderbird 2 Dinkys with Thunderbird 4 inside.
Paul: Jowe's the greatest toymaker in the Western Hemisphere.
Jowe: Oh, I just dabble.
Paul: He just dabbles, but he's brilliant.
CCC: Have you ever worn leather trousers?
Jeff: No. He (Jowe) has though.
Jowe: I own a pair. I only wear them when I go to the laundrette.
Jeff: I've got a suede t-shirt. I don't wear it much.
Jowe: Even Stephen Pastel has these days, but he's been on Creation, so he's been washed in the brain.
Jeff: What's her name who plays drums with the Pastels (Bernice), she wears leather trousers.
Jowe: Oh, that's weird that is, playing drums in leather trousers.
Jeff: She wears bicycle clips and when she takes them off... pssshh!! She walks about going pssh! pssh!
CCC: Are you (Jowe) the biggest star in Stoke Newington or is there someone taller than you?
Jowe: Jeff lives two miles north in Stamford Hill. Slaughter Joe lives in between us.
Jeff: Not in the biblical sense.
Jowe: He's an archaeologist you know.
Jeff: He's searching for something older than himself. Older than his riffs.
Jowe: Oooh, miaow.
CCC: Is Stoke Newington a hive of musical activity?
Jowe: It is. It's much better now, there are all sorts of things going on... Francis Anthony & The Underworld, they're really good, the Larks...
CCC: And the Househunters.
Jowe: No, they just visit me occasionally and I put them up on my floor. So many pop stars have slept on my floor, it's incredible. Angus has slept on my floor, all the Shop Assistants, the Pastels.
Jeff: Stephen Pastel left a pair of underpants.
Jowe: I told you not to say that. I've still got his underpants.
CCC: Have you washed them?
Jowe: I haven't touched them.
And that's it.
|* * *|
|* In the mid-Eighties, housewife Victoria Gillick unsuccessfully challenged the British
Government in the courts over regulations which allowed doctors to issue contraceptives to girls under the age of 16 without parental consent.
'Coca Cola Cowboy' was produced by Mike Smith and Paul Henderson of Glasgow, and Ewan Mathieson of Edinburgh.
Thanks to Chris Davidson for the loan of this fanzine.