» Introduction & Index
» 1 Lemon Sherbet
» 2 Newsreaders
» 3 Targets: Max & Des
» 4. Goodies Turning ...
» 5. Beanz Ads
» 6. Targets: Nichola...
» 7. Goodies In Love
» 8. The Trandem
» 9. Targets: Tony Bl...
» 10. Inventions
» 11. Tim In Drag
» 12. Targets - David...
» 13. Bill's Outfits
» 14. Live Music
» 15. Targets: Mary &...
» 16. Goodies Relatives
» 17. Tim's Patriotic...
» 18. Targets: Rolf H...
» 19. Bill & Graeme i...
» 20. Sports & Games
» 21. Targets: Lionel...
» 22. Guest Stars: Pa...
» 23. Graeme's Computer
» 24. Monty Python Re...
» 25. Targets: Eddie ...
» 26. Memorable Animals
A COLLECTION OF GOODIES THEMES #14
LIVE MUSIC PERFORMANCES
While 'The Goodies' is renowned for its live cartoon / silent movie-style visual effects and slapstick humour, another vital element of the overall package are the wonderful songs which permeate almost every episode to varying degrees either as backing music or live performances. With a considerable number of the songs written by Bill Oddie and all of them tailored specifically to fit into a particular Goodies storyline, they have a particular leaning towards pop, country and old-fashioned sing-along musical style, but also encompass a wide range of other styles such as disco, blues, jazz and rock.
Many of the Goodies' songs are purely used as backing music for a particular scene, however this article will look at the instances where the songs are performed as a distinct part of the plot; much like in a stage musical where one or more characters will suddenly break into song and that song actually furthers the storyline of the show.
Leaving aside a couple of little cameos like Bill's advertising jingles in 'Snooze' and 'Radio Goodies' and the three Goodies' rousing chorus of 'Roamin' In The Gloamin'' in a vain bid to impress the Scottish tourism operator in 'Loch Ness Monster', the first notable instance of a live music performance in The Goodies comes in 'The Music Lovers'. Graeme suspects that someone has deliberately stealing various bands and musicians and he proposes that the Goodies should also become famous performers, so that they also get stolen and then find out who is responsible and put a stop to them. The main problem is that they can't play anything, but after Bill expertly tunes the piano (with a big wrench like it's a motor car) and Tim and Graeme stretch the accordion to breaking point, they realise that their other problem is a lack of numbers. G: "We have got to become a Philharmonic Orchestra" B: "But there's only three of us!" G: "Well we'll just have to move around a bit!" Fortunately Graeme has programmed his computer to do the backing music, so they are now ready to rock and roll. Unsure of what to play, Tim suggests 'Land Of Hope And Glory' "just in case they want us to do the Last Night At The Prom", so Bill unleashes a sizzling rendition of it on his electric guitar, with Graeme on piano and Tim and his two pretty glee singers providing the high notes in the background. The thugs duly arrive afterwards, but only take Tim's two glee singers, leaving the Goodies indignant that they weren't taken as well only to be told by one of the thugs that it's because "You ain't good enough!"
Following this, the Goodies decide to stage a live open-air concert on Hackney Marshes in a bid to be stolen, though this is primarily a visual sequence with the backing song of 'Philharmonic Glee Club Rock & Roll Band'. Later in this episode however, Bill strikes up a lively square dance rhythm along with organ accompaniment by the Music Master, and with lyrics such as "Now everyone stop and doe-se-doe, punch your partner on the nose. Slap his face, kick his shin, all join arms and around again!" the Goodies are able to make a temporary getaway from their distracted captors.
Interestingly the next main music performance comes in the episode featuring the second appearance of the Music Master aka "Nasty Person": "For Those In Peril On The Sea". This time he is disguised as the oil millionaire Stavros Monopolopolous, who is aboard a huge oil tanker which is spewing vast amounts of filthy black oil into the South Pacific Ocean. The Goodies claim to be "humble shipwrecked sailors" but Nasty Person's suspicion is aroused by them not recognising that his sailors are wearing bellbottoms (with one bell ringing on each hip!). This suspicion is confirmed when the Goodies run out of puff on the very last note of an otherwise rousing rendition of 'There Is Nothing Like A Dame', with Nasty Person triumphantly declaring: "Haha, I knew it! You're not real sailors! That last note always sorts 'em out!" Their punishment is being promptly forced to walk the plank, with Nasty Person's dopey offsider Gerald brandishing his gun to encourage them to make a quick jump at the end!
The Series 3 special 'Superstar' features three Goodies singing efforts; of which two were released on the seventies LP 'The Goodies Sing Songs From The Goodies'. The first of these is the revoltingly nice 'Sparrow Song' which is supposedly penned by Tim as an antidote to all of the rude and offensive songs that are dominating the pop charts at the time. Unscrupulous music agent Isobel Chintz is utterly unimpressed by this effort and tells the Goodies to get out of her office, even after toying with the idea that the song might be a good one for the kiddies: "Could be a real smash. Give it new words, new tune … smash!" However she is considerably more impressed by the Goodies' stomach-churning performance of "Mummy I Don't Like My Meat" on the Maxie Grease Show which has the studio audience reaching for paper bags and old Granny almost drowning in tears inside the Granny-O-Meter, so she hires Bill and turns him into a pop star so that she can exploit him. Despite him being "fat, hairy and horrible" (and not having released a record yet!), Bill as 'Randy Pandy' soon rules the pop charts and is booked by Isobel as the star of the new rock musical St.Augustine Superstar in which he will become a monk, enter a monastery and become a sex symbol for everyone, even those in the "twilight zone", according to her. This firstly involves a live appearance on 'Top Of The Pops' in which Randy Pandy performs a glam rock number called 'I Don't Want Your Love', with the assistance of Pan's Nuns and the Mincing Monks, to an audience of hysterical teenagers. Bill then has doubts about his new-found superstardom and these are confirmed when Tim and Graeme strut in as camped-up groupies to put him right off the whole idea of being famous!
In 'Hospital For Hire' the Goodies are determined to cure the ills of the National Health Service by hitting the road spruiking Graeme's new magic all-purpose elixir in an evangelical-style "I got that healin' feelin' " sideshow. In a very catchy gospel-style performance, Bill preaches the word by song that "You're gonna be cured", Graeme eulogises that his elixir cures " prostration, inflation and frustration ... pneumonia and old monia ... distemper, dat temper and bad temper ... sunburn, heartburn ... and Tony Blackburn!", while Tim is a "poor sufferin' boy" who is miraculously cured by the elixir's magic medicinal (and alcoholic) properties.
'The Goodies And The Beanstalk' features one of the show's most memorable live music efforts with a brilliant rendition of 'Who Wants To Be A Millionaire' (from 'High Society') as only the Goodies could do it – with the help of various animals in the giant's castle who have their footage superbly edited by the legendary producer Jim Franklin to make it appear as though they are singing along as well. The sheep, dog, owl, parrot, chooks and ducks absolutely steal the scene in this one, although Graeme's Groucho Marx impression is well worthy of a mention too!
The 'Housewife Of The Year' contest in 'Chubby Chumps' is kicked off by Bill masquerading as Lionel Bleeeah performing a very camp rendition of 'Les Girls' with the help of a troupe of pink-suited male dancers. As Bill sings "Boys, she'll really make you a man ..." one of the dancers sashays up to him and utters "Oh will she make me one too?!" and at the end of the song Lionel prances off the stage hand in hand with another of the dancers before Terry (Graeme in disguise) introduces the judges and housewives. From the same series, 'Wacky Wales' has the Goodies showing the repressed locals all of the fun that they are missing by livening up the eisteddfod (an old Welsh term for "bored stiff", according to Reverend Llewellyn) with a rousing routine of fan dancers, magicians, rock singers and plenty of bare flesh. Bill pumps out a rocking version of "We'll Keep A Welcome" but it still fails to impress or excite the locals, who continue munching stoically on their leeks throughout the Goodies song and dance spectacular.
'Lighthouse Keeping Loonies' has the lads looking for some entertainment to relieve their boredom from being marooned in a lighthouse for the next five years, thanks to Graeme misreading the ad: "I thought it said a little light housekeeping!" In the 'Bumper Book Of Sea Shanties' they find the 'Song Of The Jollyrock' and are initially excited (T: "Hey hey, that's us! Fancy having a song about our lighthouse!"), launching into their singing with gusto until they gradually realise that the Jollyrock isn't such a jolly place to be after all according to the lyrics. Despite lines such as "But you've heard of the Jolly Rock, of that I am sure, Go there and your loved ones will see you no more" and "Oh funny things happen there, it's such a disgrace, 'Coz people get killed there all over the place!", they keep merrily singing away until the final non-rhyming verse of "Oh your blood will run cold and your heart fill with dread, 'Coz the Jolly Rock is filled with the souls of the dead, If you stay there one night, you'll go clean off your head, And in no time at all you'll probably catch mumps ..." fulfils its dire prophesy on Tim!
'Hype Pressure' in Series 6 features three live performances; firstly the tone-deaf warbling of a little song titled 'The World Is Full Of Women And Men' by folk singers Bill and Graeme on Tim's new TV (lack of) talent show that is a surprise hit with the judges, much to Tim's frothy-mouthed fury. The second song has the Goodies reviving the fifties rock 'n roll era with a wild and rowdy number called 'R.O.C.K. Rock,' which degenerates into them using hammers on drums, and chisels and paint rollers on the piano. In a surreal twist, Graeme and Bill are watching this performance on TV, and the "devil's music" is enough for Graeme to jump up and down on the couch yelling "Nobody understands me!", and start slashing the cushions to bits with a razor blade, until Bill turns the TV off in despair and a contrite and embarrassed Graeme says "I really shouldn't be doing this, should I?!" The third song comes about when Bill will only appear on Tim's TV show if he can sing a "song of peace", so the hippy William and Grayfunkel head into the studio to 'Sing A Song Of Flowers', only to find an obnoxious director Tim doing his best to ruin their performance by cueing for all sorts of objects to be pelted at them while they sing. After he initially cues for flowers to be dropped on them, Tim gets increasingly loonier and orders them to be doused with flour, water, wind, balls, fertilizer and furry toys. He also interferes with all sorts of different TV programs on other channels, then finally detonates landmines, which blow the entire set up.
Two rather short but very catchy songs bob up in latter part of Series 6 as integral bits of the episodes that they appear in. The little advertising ditty of 'Everybody Loves String' by Bill and Graeme ("String, string, string, string, everybody loves string, String, string, string, string, everybody needs string, Pull up your pants, slip on your vest, everyone agrees, string is best!") gets a good workout during the final chase scene of 'It Might As Well Be String' while Tim and his fellow MCC old-timers get to clear their throats for a brief rendition of 'We Are The Lads Of The MCC' during '2001 And A Bit' before getting to do a longer version while the credits are rolling. The final episode of this series, 'The Goodies Almost Live', is also worth a mention as it fits the criteria in basically being a collection of live music performances put together into a concert showcasing the Goodies' hit songs, containing short but snappy and very enjoyable video clips of tracks such as Funky Gibbon, Cactus In My Y-Fronts, The Inbetweenies, Sick Man Blues, Black Pudding Bertha and a legendary rendition of Wild Thing towards the end of the show.
'Punky Business' in Series 7 contains two sensational live Goodies music numbers and another cameo, even if their target audiences were suitably underwhelmed on each occasion. The irresistibly catchy and very colourful 'Shiny Shoes' routine at the start of the episode is just magic entertainment, made all the funnier by the Goodies getting booed and pelted with fairy cakes by an audience of obnoxious punk grannies, while Bill's solo performance of 'I'm In Love For The Very First Time' at the Trendsetters Ball is nothing special music-wise, but quite hilarious visually. His epic self-torture of the Oddie body using a plate, bricks, mallet, rake, weight, giant pliers (recreating the Nutcracker Suite!), sandbag, bowling ball, hangman's noose, etc while staying in tune is indeed worthy of him being declared "Officially Amazing", despite him being upstaged by the mysterious entry of Punkarella before the judges can give him a score. The cameo comes when the Little Laddies decide to go out "on the road" – playing their music in the middle of heavy traffic (with Graeme's drum kit poleaxed by a motorbike) before they are taken away by the cops (who at least appreciate the 'Shiny Shoes' routine as they've all got "socking great feet", according to Bill!) for a full booking of police social club gigs.
Similarly 'Saturday Night Grease' in Series 8 features more than one memorable musical moment. There are two reasonably brief but suitably manic send-ups; firstly of 'Summer Lovin' where Tim is smitten with "Australian plastic bint" Livvy while Bill and Graeme provide the backing "oom bop bops" until their embarrassment finally overrules their enthusiasm, and 'Greased Lightning' which becomes 'Greased Cycling' in the Goodies version where they "need wheels" to get to the disco, only to make an almighty scramble of their trusty trandem when they try to remodel it. Later in the episode, the Mixed Dancing Contest at Disco Bilius is all set to be declared null and void due to a lack of contestants until an unlikely duo emerge - Tim Revolta, complete with straightjacket and shackles, and the stunning Olivia Newton Grayboots battling a lethal combination of tight jeans and very high heeled shoes launch into a somewhat rickety rendition of 'You're The One That I Want'. This proves to be a hit with the distinguished panel of judges, even though Graeme is ultimately disqualified after he is dewigged by an annoyed Bill who wants to keep the prize money from the contest for himself.
The final LWT series doesn't tend to feature as much Goodies music as the BBC run, with vocal group Bones doing much of the backing singing in various episodes. However there are two main instances of live Goodies music; the first being a colourful pantomime-style performance of 'M.A.N - That's How We Spell WORK' in conjunction with the princesses who have taken over the castle. The Goodies are forced to dress up in an incredible variety of weird and tasteless costumes including bellhops, chefs who pepper each other with pies in the face, lion rugs which are jumped on by the girls, genies from a magic lamp, geese which are flogged to produce golden eggs, and cannibals with bones in their noses, before the princesses ultimately show their lack of gratitude by turfing the Goodies out of the castle and onto the scrapheap with the other pantomime men. There is also a brief cameo of the rather silly 'I Lift Up My Finger And I Say Tweet Tweet' which the Goodies soon leave the dwarfs and other men to sing while they usher the princesses out of the palace and far far away.
The final Goodies music number comes in 'Holidays' where their initially gentle musical entertainment soon degenerates into a shouting punk rock rendition of 'Oh I Do Like To Be Beside The Seaside'. With Bill doing a fair impersonation of Animal from 'The Muppets' on the drums, Tim creating an interesting sound effect by blasting a nosy sheep away from the window with a shotgun, and the dropping of the f-bomb in the lyrics at the end, the three of them morph into rioting punk rockers who have great pleasure in trashing their hellhole cabin to bits.
While only a few of these songs actually made it onto the Goodies commercially released LPs, they are fortunately embedded in the show right throughout the whole spread of episodes for us to enjoy, sing along with and laugh along with as well!
2/5 The Music Lovers
Bill lets rip with Land Of Hope And Glory
Tim and his pretty glee singers
The Music Master's henchmen doing the Square Dance
3/5 For Those In Peril On The Sea
There is nothing like a dame ...
Special - Superstar
St. Augustine Superstar
4/3 Hospital For Hire
You're gonna be cured ...hallelujah!
Special - The Goodies & The Beanstalk
Who wants to be a millionaire ... we don't!
5/3 Chubby Chumps
Lionel Bleeah performing Les Girls
5/8 Lighthouse Keeping Loonies
Singing the Song Of The Jollyrock Lighthouse
6/2 Hype Pressure
The "devil's music" of rock 'n roll sends Graeme berserk!
William & Grayfunkel singing a song of flowers
6/5 It Might As Well Be String
Everybody loves string!
6/7 The Goodies Almost Live
C'mon everybody, it's Funky Gibbon time!
Wild Thing, you make everything groovy!
7/4 Punky Business
The Little Laddies and their sh-sh-shiny shoes
On the road ... right in the middle of it in fact.
Bill in love for the very first time
8/2 Saturday Night Grease
Tim Revolta & Olivia Newton Grayboots singing "You're The One That I Want"
Special - Snow White
M.A.N. that's how we spell work in the pantomime castle
Oh I Do Like To Be Beside The Seaside punk-style