Demise Of Leg's & Co

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Demise Of Leg's & Co

Andeebee
This post was updated on .
Not sure if this has been discussed before (sorry if it has)

Just wondered why L&CO were not really as memorable on TOTP as Pan's People. Most people tend to put them together.

The demise came about because of the shocking/shameful use of the girls as scenery filler for bands performing, or the change of attitude towards dance troupes in general (Hot Gossip would be over by the end of the year (1981) when Cuddly Kenny moved to BBC). Just wondered what the girls thought bout it all

Did Sue think that the whole notion of the dance troupe was coming to an end, so near the end of 1981 whose decision was it to call it quits, and what were her experiences to at the end and her time cabaret & club appearances, which were more lucrative I would assume.

Maybe the attitudes towards women portrayed as objects on TV had changed and dance troupes were deemed sexist and classed as exploitation (well Hot Gossip did take it a bit far) or as TOTP tried to move with the times (not very well) they deemed the dance troupe as old hat (even though they tried to replicate Ruby Flipper with Zoo - and not very well)

I, myself lamented the end of L&CO (Sue and the other girls were a highlight of my life for 4/5 years), because of this I kinda knew that things were changing for the worse (in my opinion) for TOTP.

I mean TOTP without a resident dance troupe is like Chas without the original Dave (I know not a good metaphor, actually not the best)


Any thoughts........
Hopelessly Devoted to Sue

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Re: Demise Of Leg's & Co

BeautifulBabs
Any comparison with Chas n Dave is criminal
On the street or even at the picture show
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Re: Demise Of Leg's & Co

Paperboyplod
Hang on, I thought that it was Pauline who left when Legs & Co. were still on TOTPs, & maybe because she didn't like how they were being treated, Sue was one of the members who, remained with Legs & Co. during their post-TOTPs cabaret days!
Justin
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Re: Demise Of Leg's & Co

PattiForPM
This post was updated on .
In reply to this post by Andeebee
I'm not sure I understand ADB.  There were two distinct events as I see it; first the criminally insane "backgrounding" then misguided dropping of Legs & Co in favour of the Zoo party experience in late 1981, which has been debated and roundly condemned on here before, and secondly the eventual end of Legs & Co after a couple of years of touring, cabaret and TV performances.  I can't recall any mention of Sue "leaving Legs & Co" in either event but I think as the most prominent member she had more career moments after Legs left TOTP than the others so it may seem to you that she left but this is not so.  In the end the Dance Troupe era as we love it did end and it was for reasons like the advent of the expensively produced pop video and the trend towards Artists having their own troupes of trained professional dancers (like Madonna and MJ).  I hope Sue will correct me if I am mistaken here but we have heard that she was loyal to Legs & Co to the end and had no part in the decision to stop the golden run of Legs & Co on TOTP.
Some Dancers who gave a good time, broke all the rules, played all the fools, yeah yeah yeah they blew our minds
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Re: Demise Of Leg's & Co

Lookmacinanger
This post was updated on .
In reply to this post by Andeebee
Andeebee, I think you'll find Sue, Lulu and Patti were with Legs and Co right up to the end of the road. Pauline was already married and decided to leave, Rosie left to work with Guys and Dolls ( 70's/80's pop group), Gill left aswell. If you look under the pictures thread there are some images of the Legs and Co line up post TOTP.
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Re: Demise Of Leg's & Co

Andeebee
have appended my original post, was in a real real rush this morning and was thinking bout other things whilst watching a few L&CO routines and got distracted by Sue performance in Man with the child in his eyes......
Hopelessly Devoted to Sue

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Re: Demise Of Leg's & Co

Suefan
My understanding has always been that Flick was the driving force behind the visit to the Zoo (that creative muscle needing some new flexing again) and I seem to remember a quote to that effect in one of the articles that has been posted in the picture thread.
On reflection I'm wondering a little if it was entirely at her own instigation or, with the obvious antipathy of the Hurll towards the all girl troupe, there was also an element of "shake things up or have a P45".  As to why Pans are better remembered by the general public this must be down to them being the first troupe with a regular weekly spot on the show.
Suefan
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Re: Demise Of Leg's & Co

Lookmacinanger
In reply to this post by Andeebee
No worries Andeebee, I know just where your coming from. I haven't been able to stop singing 'Roadrunner' all day,  (and admire the girls routine) especially that line where Jonathan Richman mentions Eleanor Roosevelt!, not many songs have been able to give a name check to FDR's first lady.
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Re: Demise Of Leg's & Co

Andeebee
In reply to this post by Suefan
true Suefan - but I was never a big fan of early PP routine's I found them samey, but of course when a certain lady joined it was completely different, but apart from that I find L&CO and some Ruby flipper routines to be exciting and rather imaginative (sometimes the odd PP routine will slip back in - David Soul 'Don't give up on Us' being one) even now 35 years later (I remember them exactly)

But makes you wonder why they went down the route of the faceless Zoo members when the boy/girl combo failed with RF, and again failed with Zoo....I would of liked to have seen what L&CO would of been like if they continued on.....but alas not.

And yes writing the lead post on this thread got me a bit scatterbrained, typing but not thinking.  So apologises if it came across different than i had expected it to.....re-reading the original post I was confused over what I meant.............

I was only thinking of the Roadrunner one today, not an exciting routine but the end freestyle by young Sue was hypnotic to the point I couldn't look anywhere else.....
Hopelessly Devoted to Sue

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Re: Demise Of Leg's & Co

Andeebee
the old adage - if it ain't broke.....springs to mind with L&CO.

But bearing in mind a shake-up, didn't exactly mean get rid of all the girls completely, I guess this is what I wanted clarified - that's the bit that mortifies me - but Flick does say in one of the TOTP articles (which I posted in the picture section) that she only picks girls up to  a certain age (which doesn't ring true as Patti was older than the stipulated age she wanted)  

Again re-reading the articles it was the TOTP audiences decision to not go for RF....now that is odd.....
Hopelessly Devoted to Sue

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Re: Demise Of Leg's & Co

SuPaLu
In reply to this post by Andeebee
I don't know about the politics at the BBC in 1981,but everything has to change.No doubt  what Hurl was trying to do was make the show better;more exciting for the viewers and the audience.With more and more promo videos being used by bands if they didn't want to appear on TOTP,the days for a resident dance troupe were numbered.I've been looking at alot of 1981 dances,and i think it's worth remembering Legs did great work during Hurl's reign:eg Lonely Together,Jones v Jones,Ai No Corrida,Lay Al Your Love On Me,Rainy Night In Georgia and Hold On Tight.I don't feel sad that they ended,because everything does.For five years Legs & Co were great,and left more of an impression on me than most of the singers they danced to.
Glenn
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Re: Demise Of Leg's & Co

Say When
Whilst it doesn’t do to dwell on the personal lives of the dancers on this forum, I am happy to correct one small misconception. Pauline didn’t “move on to get married and start a family”, romantic though that notion sounds! She had already been married for the best part of two years when she left Legs & Co. A family did come later but, at the time, life was proving to be far too much fun to allow the ‘baggage’ that comes with parenthood to get in the way!

Pauline won’t mind me saying that the simple reason was that, after 4½ years, she had reached the point where she felt it was time for a change. It would also be wrong to make any connection between the reason for Pauline’s decision to leave and any factors which may have contributed towards the subsequent demise of L&C on TOTP later that same year. Her decision was simply a personal one.
Mike
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Re: Demise Of Leg's & Co

PattiForPM
Thanks for that clarification Say When.  A lesser blogger might note that Pauline knew the right time to say when.  I think her timing was pretty good considering most of the Legs & Co "background atrocities" occured after she left the group although I would have liked to have seen her dance in the some of the performances SuPaLu mentions above.
Some Dancers who gave a good time, broke all the rules, played all the fools, yeah yeah yeah they blew our minds
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Re: Demise Of Leg's & Co

RYAN
Administrator
In reply to this post by Say When
Thanks for your input as ever Say When. I do agree the dancers personal lives are not up for discussion on this or any public forum. You have kindly cleared up the confusion that was apparent over Paulines departure from Legs & Co. But this is a discussion forum dedicated to the dancers and dances of all the TOTPs troupes, so you must forgive a little speculation over certain topics. The title of this thread is `Demise Of Legs & Co` and id like to throw something in to the mix. As Pauline had already left the troupe 6 months previously, this is more about the others.
  Its my belief that Legs & Co probably gave a huge sigh of relief once their TOTPs tenure came to a halt in October of 1981. As mentioned in an earlier post on this thread, some of the best dances they ever produced were done under the Michael Hurll inspired TOTPs of 1981. But for every well worked routine, they were also asked to provide backing dancing to a whole array of acts, some good, most bad. Whilst one could argue we were getting two doses of Legs every show, the sight of our lovely ladies being reduced to `Dancing decoration to enhance the artists` was i guess a sign their days on the weekly show were coming to an end.
  The thorny issue of earnings must be mentioned at this time. Total speculation and conjecture on my part but one would assume that a TOTPs dancer wouldnt be earning a fortune from their role on the show. Infact they were probably just names on the BBC light entertainment pay role to the managers of that department. As 3 days a week were set aside for TOTPs work, the weekend club circuit was a way of bolstering pay to some degree. But once the shackles of TOTPs were released from the girls, i would imagine they were free to explore other avenues of income. Under the stewardship of their new manager Ms Cartwright, the cabaret scene over-seas especially must have been viewed as very lucrative indeed. They probably earned as much in 3 months as what they did in a year pre Oct 81.
   So in essence, the demise of Legs & Co on TV, though not viewed as a good thing to us, was i guess a chance for the girls to bolster their pay, whilst having no BBC restraints on them. I hope they did make a bob or two during this 2 or 3 year period, they bloody well deserved it.
RYAN
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Re: Demise Of Leg's & Co

Sue Menhenick
This post was updated on .
I would just like to clarify a few points regarding the end of the Legs era on TOTPs , which I have mentioned in the PP interview. Certainly , all good things must come to end eventually, one way or another, which is what happened at the end of '81. As I have previously stated, all the producers / directors who worked on the show were keen to make their own mark on it, and with M.H.... he also had an agenda of changing the format and the look of the show to make it look more up to date. There were 'cuts' made in various areas including the dancers and budgets ,which were always limited.
Once we had left the show in late 81, we no longer had the commitment to TOTPs, and were given the freedom to explore other areas .... our cabaret shows increased as we could do more during the week and for the first time we could also travel further afield than we had before because of previously having to be back in London for TOTPs rehearsals and recording the show. We worked hard and enjoyed our freedom as well as what we did.... you cannot be in this business (especially dancers) if you have no love or strong commitment to your profession... you wouldnt last 5 minutes.... its that simple.
 As things continued and progressed, Patti, Lulu and myself decided to manage ourselves .... Lulu did not become the manager, it was a shared responsibility between the three of us. Similar to the way PP ran themselves .... there were also certain areas that each of us took charge of and covered .....costumes. photos and publicity, choreography, sound and lighting, contracts and travel arrangements. As well as being self sufficient, we also used an agency from time to time for bookings.
However whilst income is obviously important , the 'freedom', (if you will) of being able to continue to perform as dancers in a successful group in your own right, or even individually .... working with very talented dancers whom you like ,respect and are friends with, as well as a fantastic and reliable crew..... is  very rewarding.... and much more so than being a tokenistic backing dancer for a band / group that dont really want you there anyway but the producer decided it was a good idea.
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Re: Demise Of Leg's & Co

BeautifulBabs
we are so lucky to have such thoughtful insights on here
much appreciated Sue
On the street or even at the picture show
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Re: Demise Of Leg's & Co

RYAN
Administrator
Thankyou for that insight Sue into your post TOTPs days and for clarifying the position over the management of the troupe in the later years. As BB as just said, we are so lucky to have you putting a mere mortal like me right with the facts as they were.
RYAN
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Re: Demise Of Leg's & Co

Lookmacinanger
In reply to this post by Say When
Say When, sorry for any discrepancy, that post has been amended.
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Re: Demise Of Leg's & Co

PattiForPM
This post was updated on .
Rereading my last post I also want to make it clear that I am not minimising the value of Legs& Co's work after Pauline left or indeed after TOTP.  It's just that the late 1981 period was the beginning of the TOTP implosion process as far as I'm concerned.  I have made it clear that one of my biggest wishes is to somehow see some film of the Legs Cabarets which sound really exciting (confirmed by Sue and those few on here who were lucky enough to see them).  
Some Dancers who gave a good time, broke all the rules, played all the fools, yeah yeah yeah they blew our minds
LNV
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Re: Demise Of Leg's & Co

LNV
1981 was a year of change for many as that is when the Monetarist restriction on Government spending was really starting to bite. The BBC was caught up in that economic tidal wave of cut-backs too, which swept through the economy [and swept away a large percentage of Industry] and Legs & Co’s termination was partly a consequence of this. The music business had moved on also, Videos gained greater importance in shifting units of music product. Didn’t MTV start in this year and influential videos such as ‘Don’t You Want Me’ get shown on TOTPs which would, I am sure have been viewed by the corporate music bosses as helping it to reach Number One in the Charts? Then there is the not unimportant factor of the Dancers ages, I like the mature look of Ai No Corrida, Razzamatazz et al. However for a show aimed at youngsters and moving in that direction ever more so as the years went by, towards the Teenybopper end of the market; Legs & Co were seen as not in step with those trends, which continue to this day and resulted in the demise of the TOTPs programme itself with its output becoming so limited with the Acts that could be shown and thus artistically stagnant.

Was Lulu responsible for the financial aspect of the post TOTPs Legs & Co dance troupe, as I think has been mentioned? Who then I wonder took on the task of creating the choreography? Was there a shift away from Flick’s style of Dance arrangements, either slightly or even to a radical degree? ‘The Chair’ Routine performed in cabaret sounds like it would have been a marked departure from anything done previously in the TOTPs days.

Rosie as we know joined the Guys & Dolls pop group. I suppose to broaden her horizons by allowing her to sing as well as just to be viewed as ‘eye-candy’. Did Rosie sing later on in a musical called ‘Matador’?
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