Thursday, 1 May 2008


I outed myself as a Bee Gees fan a few weeks back so you shouldn’t be too surprised at my choice of song for the 1st of May.

mp3: Bee Gees - First Of May

I also wrote a piece about the charming little film called S.W.A.L.K. (aka Melody) that featured this song and thought about posting the other songs but I decided against it. My indecision isn’t final so it may appear one day.

The picture above is of the Mayday celebration of 1941 in the small Dorset town I grew up in. That’s my mum standing at the back on the far right. According to my calculations she’s 13 on this picture.


Planet Mondo said...

Great photo - and I love Dorset too, I've had so many holidays there. In fact the best Fish and Chips ever was from a little back street chippie near Weymouth 'Cob'

Firewalled for sound at the mo' but will try the track later.

I've got Astrud Gilberto doing the Bee Gee's 'Holiday' somewhere will upload if you're tempted.

Mick said...

Yeah, why not. Sounds interesting.

JC said...

Never been to Dorset.....but I did once live in Dorset Street in Glasgow.

Nice photo by the way.

What else can I say to avoid mentioning the tune as I dont want to be rude???

Love this blog....

Davy H said...

What a great photo - 1941, but it could be from any of almost a hundred years before that...

Wish my girlies had had a Maypole to run around today...

Mick said...

Be as rude as you like about the music – I won’t take it personally. I have very robust discussions about music with friends and family. I do genuinely love the Bee Gees but I am aware of the reaction some people have to them.

I’m tellin’ my mum you said she could be 180 years old.

I got that picture from a wonderful book featuring pictures of my home town going back as far as they could, with everyone named where ever possible. My kids are really impressed that their great grandfather was a fireman. The caption for that picture reads: “Mayday celebrations in Dr Walker’s garden.” I’m guessing Dr Walker had a pretty big garden.

dickvandyke said...

Fear not Michael, I've always loved this song - and others of its vintage - far more than the bollock-squeezing disco stuff.

We should always remember that The Bee Gees were around long before the falsettos and chest wigs set in. What’s more, they had a wildly different sound. ‘New York Mining Disaster 1941’ showed off the flair for melodramatic, tear-jerking balladry that constantly teetered on the sequinned boundary that separates emotion from high camp.

‘Bee Gees First’, (released in 1967), as Arthur Negus might have said, .. "Is a wonderful period piece, with its groovy Klaus Voorman cover and appropriately Beatles-flavoured pop. There’s even a genuine psychedelic classic in ‘Every Christian Lion-Hearted Man Will Show You’".
The extravagant song titles revealed a penchant for wacky lyrical concepts - a result of too much Aussie sun perhaps? ‘Craise Finton Kirk Royal Academy of Arts’,‘Red Chair Fadeaway', and ‘Cucumber Castle’!

Their albums show an almost casual facility for adopting every fashionable style of the day - Beatlesque pop, soul, touches of pyschedelia, and ever-present weeping strings.

Though a featherweight band compared to the '67-era Beatles et al, they were one of many bands of the time who filled a gap left by the move away from ‘Help!’ to ‘Sgt. Pepper’.

I guess it's the innocence and nostalgia this conjours up for me that makes my glasses a tad rose-coloured. In the late 60s, I Maypole danced as a 9 year old in Roundhay Park in front of a few thousand people. (Such May Day events were huge back then). The missing 2 front teeth, the white shorts, socks and pumps are still a subject of great mirth in my house.

Ta mate.

and 'Don't ask me why the time has passed us by'.

I Am Not The Beatles said...

Lovin' the old photo - whereabouts in Dorset is it (if you don't mind sharing the information) ?

Mick said...

What a great comment you've left there. I would have responded earlier but blogger didn't notify me a new comment had been left, so I've only just read it. Needless to say I agree with everything you say and you said it much better than I could. I even have a high regard for the disco stuff, especially 'Main Course' era. See the live clip here if you haven't already.

It's a town called Gillingham in north Dorset, pronounced with a hard G (unlike Gillingham in Kent). The locals tend to get upset when it's mispronounced on TV and radio.

I Am Not The Beatles said...

I know Gillingham very well indeed. How exciting!

Mick said...

You can't just say that and leave it there. Tell me more. Who? What? How? Why? Did you grow up round there? Live there? Know someone there?