The Human League, my part in their success

My brushes with fame and celebrity are limited and that’s ok.  I quite like my life being the way it is.  This week I got a flashback to my past.  An event I’d erased from my memory.  Not from shame.  But there’s only so much space in my brain and somewhere along the way the memory of me being in a pop video got wiped.  Until I saw Phil Oakey on The One Show last night.

Phil Oakey was lead singer of The Human League, a successful pop band in the 1980s.  One morning in 1984 I was listening to Capital Radio.  Now I should stop there because in itself that’s shameful enough.  A commercial station that plays safe, takes no risks and plays mostly crap 24 hours a day.  But whilst listening the DJ said that extras were required for a video of a forthcoming single.  Not being particularly  bothered with being academically successful by this stage of my life I made my way to the Theatre Royal in the West End where I, along with many others, were required to enthusiastically gyrate to a track called The Lebanon which eventually charted at no. 11.  Wikipedia states;

”The audience were invited extras and bit part dancers were placed in the front of the stage. This is very noticeable when the camera pans onto the audience where certain extras desperately try to play up for their ‘shot at fame’.”

Not me.

One verse from the track is this gem of poetry;

”Before he leaves the camp he stops,
He scans the world outside,
And where there used to be some shops,
Is where the snipers sometimes hide”

In 2007 this track polled ninth for the worst lyrics of all time in an NME reader poll.  What’s it like being an extra?  Boring.  Lots of waiting around.  Lots of retakes.  And I left before they finished.  Walking past the piles of 7 inch singles, badges and other tokens of appreciation I was due to be given.

This is the video, I might be in there. Somewhere.

This week the term ‘post-truth‘ was declared the international word of the year.  This is defined as

‘objective facts are less influential in shaping public opinion than appeals to emotion and personal belief’

Or to put it another way

‘telling lies’

so often, without shame, that some people believe they’re hearing the truth.

I am involved in a battle with Google Play.  One of my clients is in financial difficulty due to Pokemon Go apps and I am on the case.  I’ll let you know how I get on.  I think they can afford a refund.

This morning I read the sad news that Sharon Jones lost her battle with cancer.  Still only 60 I have been a fan of her material for some years.  One evening whilst driving back from watching a film in Eastbourne I was delighted to hear for the first time a cover of This Land Is Your Land, a cover of a Woody Allen song.  In the same week that telling lies proved to be successful in sweeping Donald Trump to power it is a potent reminder that America  belongs to everyone, not just the rich and powerful.

Have a good weekend and keep on keeping on.

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