Thursday, September 8, 2011

"I don't know who you are Sir, or where you come from, but you've done me a power of good."

Hello folks!  A September ramble here.  Computer was down, so I listened to an old Goon Show that I probably hadn't heard since the mid Seventies or early Eighties.  "The Great Regent's Park Swim" from October 1957.  Recently released on the BBC's ongoing CD series.  During those decades, I was fortunate to have had one of the most complete collections of Goon Show tapes from a variety of sources.  These included reel to reel tapes of BBC World Service recordings throughout the years.  David Ossman of the Firesign Theatre was kind enough to lend me his personal collection of transcription discs.  He had broadcast them originally in New York.  And over the years, I met fellow Goon fanatics who had the odd show, different from the original, highly edited EMI/Parlophone LPs or the later BBC vinyl series.  Each new show was a cosmic/comic find of immense psychedelic proportions.

So as we hit September 8th, the twin birthdays of Peter Sellers and Sir Harry Secombe, I feel that modern rhythm Min!

Those with nothing better to do have seen in previous pages my meager encounters with the Goons in varying degrees.  Peter Sellers was always a big influence.  I have spoken before of my involvement with the Sellers Estate, especially with his widow, Lynne Frederick.  Her initial blessing on the Sellers documentary I had put together, "Life is a State of Mind: The Life and Work of Peter Sellers," pretty much capped my obsession.

Earlier, I was proud to get Spike Milligan's consent to do a cameo in my "Space Pirate Video" pilot.  He turned down a video project with Rolling Stones member Bill Wyman, but agreed to mine.  No offense Bill, but there was a slight glow in the Space Pirate's intestinal system.  Spike's secretary, Norma Farnes, treated me very kindly in Spike's office off Hyde Park in Orme Court (having introduced the Italian band Le Orme to U.S. audiences on Space Pirate Radio, I was always fond of the street name).  I'm sorry the event did not come together, but I am pleased that Norma continues to carry on all artistic matters Milligna (the famous typing error).

Never met Neddy.  Probably the sanest of the three (or four if we count original member Michael Bentine).  Bentine or Milligan.  Which one is Syd?

Didn't connect with Sir Harry, or his daughter, whose phone number and address was always on the desk, but I never felt like intruding.  Son Andy, yes...see previous Star Wars entry.

Ray Ellington...Ellinga or Rage Ellington as Sellers called him in one hopped up episode.  No.  Nor his son, who portrayed his father in that HBO Sellers film.  Wally Stott or the transformed Angela Morley?  No.

But that great harmonica player, the butt of Jewish jokes and the Great Conk?  Max Geldray.  Yes.  He was cool.  And harmonicas are cool

Quick, into the re-Tardis.  But first, a Time Laird Gnote...

Sellers was born in 1925.  Secombe was born in 1921.  Milligan was born in 1918.

Sellers died first.  Secombe died second.  And Milligan died last.

It's all in the mind, you know.