02 March 2007

Cliff and the Shads - Move It!

(And they certainly do ...)

I swear YouTube will be the death of me ... all my early heros within a click's distance.

Cliff is now *Sir* Cliff and a devout Christian who puts his sunny hideaways at the disposal of senior pols, so he's long lost to us. But back in the early years, he was a baad boy and we weren't allowed to listen to him on the school radio. Those who brought back his records from the school hols had them instantly confiscated - he was like THE coolest and we'd meet in the gym and spin those 45rpms and maybe jive a bit with the prettiest juniors.

"Move It" was the ultimate and coincided with me setting up a cosy little band of those whose parents had lavished expensive gear on us: me on my sunburst Hofner (complete with tremolo arm), Hayward on bass, Baum on rhythm ukelele (hey, you fight with what you got), and Smith III on drums, OK his dad's bongo and the top of a Kit-E-Kat tin as high hat.

And Greensted on vocals. Ah, that Greensted - captain of rugger, best bowler on the cricket team, thug in the boxing ring.

Normally he wouldn't bother to pee on our shadows (pun!) but our Sunday practice time in the geography classroom coincided with parents walking around with little Jimmy or littler Barry and, as often happened, *sister(s)* of the little Wotsits.

He wanted to despise us; he *did* despise us - it really cost him - but in the end vanity won thru. There was no way he was going to pass up the chance of being seen in vocal action - nay, wiggly knee action - by those visiting chicks.

Greensted was the school hunk and sisterly sighs would go up each Sunday when he walked down the aisle and took his place in chapel. Of course he would time it just right so everyone was in place to see him strut his thang.

We weren't allowed long hair so we couldnt possibly emulate Cliff's amazing coiff - thought the height of sexiness at the time, of course - but Greeners somehow teased his regulation hair cut into a close approximation.

But where he really scored was with the Cliff scowl - and the quivery leg. He also did a damn'd fine imitation of Cliff's wacky dance.

Zounds, I don't know how I emerged hetero from that place with the likes of Greensted sashaying around. Nor do I know how I pulled off the lead guitar bits to sound so like Hank B Marvin. Years later when I was attracting sordid publicity as a high-flying book PR, I'd be phoned at the office by total wankers from those school days, people I never mixed with but now claimed blood brotherly kinship, and they'd invariably touch on the guitar stuff.

"Do you still keep up the old strumming? Fuuuck you were great. You know, old boy, I was playing some of the oldies the other night and it struck me how amazingly good you were - shit, you really got the Hank B sound. God, you should have turned professional ..."

And so forth.

The video won't mean a thing to you but I get guilty goosebumps just watching it.

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