Sunday, 24 April 2011

Rock Follies

Do you remember 'Rock Follies' on telly back in 1976 and 1977? If you do, you're probably of 'a certain age'. I bought the albums back then, 'Rock Follies' and 'Rock Follies of 77', and later the CDs and finally the DVDs. There was always some kind of copyright war over Rock Follies but I never paid enough attention really. I liked the music, the characters and the gutsiness of the show.

It was a strange time to produce a show about three women actresses getting into the "rock" business, with punk already gobbing its way through London and out into the rest of the country. The language and images in the show were all wrong for the time, and that was obvious even back then, what with all the hippyness, smoking joints and talk of drugs, ending sentences with 'maaan' and the like - that just didn't work. But we all forgave the details for the whole and for the Little Ladies, the name of the fictional group.

Julie Covington, Charlotte Cornwall and Rula Lenska meshed together nicely, each different but adding something to the whole. It made household names of Julie and Rula, and Rula is still going strong today and instantly recognisable with her mop of curly hair. Charlotte was always in a slightly different space, a bit more serious, more 'Play for Today' than sitcom. Julie made an album, had a couple of minor hits, sang the original 'Evita' (and I still think her 'Don't Cry For Me Argentina' is the best and most touching), went on stage and was part of the 'Guys And Dolls' revival cast (that has been drummed into me). I don't know what she's done since.

Anyway, the reason for posting is that I woke up this morning with the chorus from 'Biba Nova' in my head, the blast of 'We're all gonna live forever' that livens up the otherwise rather camp song. Here it is:

That's from the episode when they're taken up by a rich businessman who want to get into the "rock" business and hires image consultants to mould them into a different space. I do love the chorus though...

This is more the Rock Follies I loved and still do, silly dance routines and all.

It really was ground-breaking for its time, with the narrative of the show being broken up by the songs and video sequences - they were always the highlight. More money was spent on the second series but it was still studio-bound. Just imagine what it would've been like if they'd been able to shoot some of the live performances in front of an audience in a real venue. I would've gone. A series with the same actresses set now, having them meet up again after all these years and swap stories... wouldn't that be a great idea? With a few new songs as well, of course. We can always dream...

1 comment:

David said...

I'd love a remake of it too