Frankie goes to hollywood

How Liverpool soon outgrew the Beatles

‘If any journalist asks you about the Beatles because you’re from Liverpool, say you hate them and you don’t listen to that old crap.’ Such was the advice that the DJ Roger Eagle, promoter and founder of the legendary (and there really is no other word for it) Merseyside punk club Eric’s, dispensed to a young Ian Broudie in the late 1970s. Little could either have imagined that almost simultaneously John Lennon, over in New York in the Dakota Building, was busy demo-ing ‘Now and Then’. It was a song which would resurface as the final Beatles single and top the charts some 40-odd years later, aided by a form

In praise of seasonal chart fodder

Christmas: the most vulnerable time of the year. I heard ‘A Winter’s Tale’ by David Essex on the radio the other day and, oh boy. It was Noël Coward who wrote, in Private Lives, that smart little line about the strange potency of cheap music. It is a truism never more apparent than at Christmas, when we allow the gaudy and sentimental access to our hearts with only the most cursory of security checks. Songs that would never make it past the bouncers in May are whisked directly into the VIP area come December. A quick google confirms that ‘A Winter’s Tale’ was released in the run-up to Christmas 1982,