Green River (Rehearsal) _________________________________________________________________________________
Performed byCreedence Clearwater Revivaland reaching number 19 in the UK charts _________________________________________________________________________________
Original broadcast date01/01/1970Duration of dance - 2.10 mins (app.) _________________________________________________________________________________
Dancers: Andrea, Babs, Dee Dee, Flick, Louise, Ruth _________________________________________________________________________________
A link to the dance:
Barefoot girls, dancin' in the moonlight
When The Golliwogs changed their name to Creedence Clearwater Revival early in 1968, they had no idea that the three letters C.C.R. would still make hearts of music fans all over the world leap for joy some 46 years later. Brothers Tom & John Fogerty, Stu Cook and Doug Clifford formed the band, but their main songwriter was of course John Fogerty. While the first self-titled album was a bit of a mixed affair as it included a number of covers and an old single A-side by The Golliwogs, one of those covers proved to be C.C.R.'s first substantial US hit (#11), a song called "Suzie Q.", edited from 8 ½ mins to 4 ½ mins for the 7" version. In 1969 they conquered the UK with "Proud Mary" (#8) and "Bad Moon Rising", their only UK #1 record (incidentally, they never made it to #1 in the US!). That was followed by "Green River" which peaked at a rather unspectacular #19.
It is an often bemoaned fact that no Pan's People TOTP routine dating from before 1970 seems to have survived. "Green River" is the earliest available footage from TOTP (albeit as a rehearsal), a performance that was broadcast on New Year's Day, 1970. Yet it is most probable that the existing clip was actually recorded in 1969 as it originates from a rehearsal tape that may have been shot on Wednesday, 31 December, 1969 (Note: It seems I was wrong there. Please see the first comment for this routine by PansLegs).
On the tape we can see the girls dancing to "Sugar Sugar" by The Archies before the music abruptly changes to "Green River". Over the years this clip has become (in)famous for a couple of obvious lapses by one of the dancers. Fortunately that isn't all there is to view. Silver boots, white hula bikinis, plus some of the wildest and most ecstatic dancing that you've seen by any of the troupes amount to a real standout performance with the music and the dance conflating into a celebration of the hippie culture.
In our "Pan's People Top 5" thread from about 2 years ago, this routine ended up as the joint winner (together with "Barbados"), and deservedly so. No it's not as polished as other dances and it's not perfect either, but the sheer energy of the performance is overwhelming. Imperfection in perfection.
Right. Is it possible to pick a favourite dancer here? After many repeated views I've decided to nominate Louise but it was a tough decision and I wouldn't be surprised if most of the girls got a vote.
10 / 10
P.S.: Isn't it peculiar that Pan's People danced to two songs within two years that mention a bullfrog in their lyrics?
Very much a different era for Pan's People, well within their sixties style go-go dancing phase, but sadly still not Top of The Pops footage of the troupe from the 1960s, being the afternoon rehearsal from the first day of the 70s. It would be another 3 weeks before the format changed and the show was no longer broadcast live but instead recorded the previous evening. Despite the fact that the actual broadcast version of the performance is not known to exist, what does exist is no less important as:-
The earliest TOTP footage of Pans People
Rehearsal footage with Flick still dancing (although a 1971 bad take exists)
A 1960s choreographed routine (even if the recording isn't)
Only a few weeks into the colour service on BBC1 and the Top of The Pops team are still experimenting with techniques and combining camera images together, even for the introductions.
Andrea is not having the best time with her costume (and what costumes!), which no doubt puts her off the steps required, but even Ruth loses track on occasions and there's a general sense of mistiming for almost everyone. However, the previous night would have surely been a New Year's Eve to remember... the end of the 1960s, the most radical decade of change ever, with the youth of the day well and truly coming to the fore - so possibly some under par concentration is to be expected!
What the existing recording lacks in finesse is more than made up for in the energy and raunchiness of six girls doing what they wanted to do and having found their place on prime time television, so garners nothing less than a 10/10 rating. Both Dee Dee and Louise seem to nail the routine but as 20 year old Louise is afforded the front and centre spot, she is my DotD.
High octane dance in even higher octane costumes makes this a sure fire winner, even if Andrea's costume is malfunctioning a little during rehearsal and therefore disturbing her concentration. (It didn't during the broadcast !) Really like the energetic choreography which Dotd Louise really nails so a 10 for the dance.
Apart from that famous Reflections Go-Jos clip this is where it all starts for us. This is for me the best go-go dancing I've ever seen and thank the Gods that we have this precious footage. Absolutely no way for me to dip below 10/10 for this hypnotic 60s hangover and Louise is completely on fire here for DotD.
Their First, No-one's Last and My Everything
Some Dancers who gave a good time, broke all the rules, played all the fools, yeah yeah yeah they blew our minds
For a dress rehearsal version, this is an awesome dance routine, although, I'd liked to have seen more of the Green River, rather than just what looks like occasional green clouds drifting swiftly by the dancers, apart from all of that, it was a nice ,& simple performance, mainly dancing on the spot, but those silver boots have really won me over.
A candidate for the sexiest ever costumes, decent song, raunchy routine. But i'm not sure i can go with the `good ole boys` who are dishing out the tens like candy. Yes its great this footage survives, but can i give a max 10 to a performance were the dancers are in obvious rehearsal mode only, no i will decline. Im at `9 out of 10`
DOTD--Always a pleasure to see `Flick` dancing, even if we see rather a lot of her in this from the knickers down, but she is my choice.
A superb routine from start to finish.Together with River Deep i think this is their best dance routine.In both they just get down and dance with a kind of energy that's great to watch.
Vin mentions the tape this comes from,and it's a shame that about 7 seconds of the start of the dance has the song Sugar Sugar on it.Similarly half of the promo for Bridge Over Troubled Water is ruined by the sound of Je T'aime Moi Non Plus with English translation.Still,better than nothing.
Back to the dance - 10/10
What's that green background? It looks like an armchair for us critics.
I feel much of this ones great popularity is down to cleavage, tassled belts and silver boots. (More appealing than the rather too ubiquitous flesh-toned variety)...and there's something about white. There's no doubting it's the pinnacle if you love this kind of dance but shaking it about in a domino-six formation to unmemorable blues rock, without the kind of girl-to-viewer close-ups that came later, isn't enough to float my boat to the max. That said this is quite a way to start a new decade. The raunchy raw energy isn't lost on me as I watch the girls lose themselves in the music. Even a bit of air guitar seems to creep in near the end! As we're rating this performance I'm taking into account the raggedness, but to a lesser degree than I would were we watching the final article. I hope the camera-work was alright on the night as well.
In the absence of footage from the actual show, having a clip of the rehearsal is the next best thing. I find this an awkward one to rate though as there are obvious imperfections which were no doubt ironed out, and I am sure that the finished product was very impressive. I can only judge from what I can see however, so my score is 8 out of 10 with Louise as DOTD.
Thanks for all the comments so far. It's also good to see mojo2007 back on this thread. Surely this outstanding effort deserves a couple of more ratings. I noticed that some of my regulars haven't commented yet (the same goes for last week's offering by the way), so here's hoping they're making good use of their spare time this weekend
Whilst it may be a rehearsal this is brilliantly energetic stuff, i almost forget there is a track playing in the background, it could be anything really. The choreography is unsubtle and clearly aimed at tantilising male viewers and it works. A few of PP are struggling to keep up, giving a facinating insight to the recording process more polished performances don't reveal. Not much to complain about with the outfits either given there is hardly much of them, best use of tassles ever probably, and the silver boots are an added bonus.
Some of the camera work is blurry, so in the end i decided on 9.5/10
DOTD, Louise and Flick really shine, but Louise seems to make no errors at all and has a mad grin towards the end so gets the vote.
I wonder what Andi said at the end, answers on a post card...
I have always loved this one for a number of reasons :
it's a bikini version with beautiful costumes
it's an on the spot go-go style dance typical of early Flick style
shows the imperfections of a rehearsal which adds to the charm
the girls look beautiful and sexy- low camera angles help
the song is great with and the title is from green river being a brand of fizzy drink remembered on the song writer's camping summer holiday ..with dancing in the moonlight..
I admit I have bought quality improvements of this routine a few times and not regretted this
if i have had a bad day this is the first routine I play its so uplifting.
one of two excellent pans routines with bullfrog in the lyrics
It would have scored even higher ( over 10) if :
Babs had not been in the back row - grrrr
also if :
Andrea had carried on despite her wardrobe malfunction risking all exposure
A no brainer desert island 10 from me and Andrea dotd
Vin thanks for great summary here
GD you need to explain your meany 8 to me next time we meet up
I always enjoy watching this routine. It is so raunchy and the outfits are just lovely. I will award this dance ten out of ten and best dancer awarded to Andrea. She looked so lovely here. It was a shame this song did not make the Top 10 as it was so catchy and the perfect sing-a-long anthem.
Everywhere, wherever you look, manipulation rearing it's head.