Save Me ________________________________________________________________________________________________________________
Performed byDave Dee, Dozy, Beaky, Mick & Tichand reaching number 3 in the UK charts ________________________________________________________________________________________________________________
Original broadcast date21/02/1967 (Vibrato, Belgium)Duration of dance - 2.57 mins ________________________________________________________________________________________________________________
Dancers: Barbara "Babs" Lord, Patricia "Dee Dee" Wilde, Felicity "Flick" Colby, Lorelly Harris, Penny Fergusson, Ruth Pearson (possibly) ________________________________________________________________________________________________________________
A link to the dance:
Can you spot the mystery dancer?
L-R: a bit of Dee Dee, Lorelly, Penny
Dave Dee kissing Dee Dee's hand
All are having fun!
This week's featured routine on the Pan's People Comments Thread is special in many ways. It is common knowledge by now that Pan's People made a lot of appearances on European TV in the late 60's, especially on Dutch and Belgian TV. But apart from a few performances on German TV, not much is left in the archives. Therefore the year 1967 can be considered a 'dark' period in the history of the dance group, much darker even than 1972. As a matter of fact only a single broadcast performance from 1967 may have survived - the clip that is featured this week.
"Vibrato" was a music show on Belgium TV during the years 1967 and 1968, as it seems, and Pan's People were regularly hosting that show from 08/01/1967 on - just one month after they were officially formed ("Our Story", p. 38). On 21/02/1967, Dave Dee & Co. were scheduled to perform their current Benelux Top 10 hit "Save Me" on "Vibrato". The record had been their 5th hit single in the UK, successor of their biggest smash up to that point, "Bend It!". Unfortunately both singer Dave "Dee" Harman and bassist Trevor "Dozy" Ward-Davies have passed away by now.
The clip produced for "Vibrato" was widely different from what was shown on Top of the Pops. The film was shot in a country house and depicts the band not just playing their instruments but also monkeying around, as it was the fashion for pop groups during the latter half of the 60s (like, err, "The Monkees"!). The most interesting scene displays Pan's People sitting on a staircase with Dave Dee giving Dee Dee a kiss on the hand! This must have been a forerunner of the music videos that became so very popular more than 10 years later.
Not only can we enjoy the earliest available broadcast footage of Pan's People here - you will have noticed by now that the line-up for this routine is unique as well. Firstly, the clip features early Pan's People members Penny Fergusson and Lorelly Harris. If you have trouble identifying who's who, have another look at the staircase scene. From left to right (front to back) it's Flick (with dark hair), Babs, Dee Dee, Lorelly (blonde hair), Penny (dark - actually ginger - hair).
But there's another "mystery dancer" in this performance. During the first 30 seconds of this clip you can clearly see not 5 but 6 girls dancing around the band. I guess due to the nature of the filmed material we will never be 100 % sure about who this dancer was, but chances are that it was Felicity Balfour, a schoolfriend of Dee Dee who was among the founding members of Pan's People but left after merely 3 months and was replaced by Ruth Pearson in March 1967. It's unclear why she only appeared at the beginning of the clip and was not seated on the staircase with the other 5 girls. Yet a possible explanation would be that the band consisted of just 5 guys, and the director wanted to allocate one girl to each guy, with poor Felicity drawing the short straw. But if it is Felicity Balfour dancing with the other 5 girls, then this is probably the only existing footage of this short-term Pan's People member! (Note: we now have confirmation from Felicity Balfour herself that the sixth dancer was not her! It may have been Ruth but we are not 100 % sure about that.)
The clip was released commercially (with the original hit version of the song) in 2004 on a DVD called "40 Jaar Top 40 1965-1966" (by BRMusic). The performance is also mentioned on this page about the band.
When I started hosting the Pan's People comments thread about two years ago, I decided that only routines which feature at least 30 seconds of dancing would be eligible for ratings. With only 14 seconds of (simple) dancing and another 14 seconds of sitting on the stairs, I don't think it would be fair to allow ratings for this performance. I do however welcome your comments about the greatness and historical importance of this clip!
While it's great for any film to exist from this period... talk about criminally underused! In only 15 % of it! An early trademark costume though, with the zig-zag striped skirts seen in many photos of this period. Unfortunately, I don't hold DDDBM&T in very high regard so ultimately it's disappointing viewing.
Fun to see this very early Pans line-up "in action" albeit as brief as the appearance is. I like the Lorelly hair-sniffing bit and I like to think it was Beaky doing this although I have no idea to be honest. From the Pans book it sounds as if Lorelly was a free spirit and regarded as a striking blonde even by her fellow dancers. Odd that the Dancers didn't appear in the latter portion of this historic piece when they surely would have added to the slapstick action but them's the breaks. Thanks for this chance to view it again Vin and here's hoping that one day we have other 1967 fare to view.
Some Dancers who gave a good time, broke all the rules, played all the fools, yeah yeah yeah they blew our minds
Nice to see something so early and yes, the girls were very underused. I guess DDDBM&T were mainly considered as a band for teenage girls - so they didn't want Pans People hogging the camera. They were merely decorative to show what a good time young girls could have with those crazy guys. Ah well. A shame more footage of the girls does not exist from this early period.
Thanks for that Mikey - though I have seen it before - I really meant (TOTP's or other) finished routines rather than rehearsals but I don't think we can be too picky given the situation so anything works and that recording is always nice to watch again :) It did lead me to the Kaleidoscope "lost Pan's People routines" advertising something at a hotel in 2013. I hadn't seen the snippets of routines they posted before (except maybe the first time round).
As everyone seems to agree the best thing that can be said for this is that it's a rare little document that wasn't wiped. The band seemed to have an uncanny knack of scoring hits without memorable songs.
The band seemed to have an uncanny knack of scoring hits without memorable songs.
That's really a bit unfair I think. Several of their recordings have stood the test of time quite well and are still deservedly popular, such as Hold Tight, Bend It!, Okay, Zabadak & The Legend of Xanadu. Most people above 40 will know several if not all of these songs even if they are not aware of the artist. I definitely remember hearing some of these songs in my childhood.
The only one I know of those is Legend Of Xanadu...but I've forgotten how it goes. It may be that I would recognize others you mention if I heard them. You could well be right that more people remember their hits than I supposed, but it does seem that they haven't lingered in the collective memory as well as songs by bands of the era with roughly comparable success such as Manfred Mann and The Small Faces.