I thought I'd start a little thread about things that happened during the tenure of Pan's People. I will post these things on the specific anniversaries, so for today this is what happened on October 12:
12/10/1972: Pan's People danced to "In A Broken Dream" by Python Lee Jackson. The Australian band recorded the song in 1968 with an aspiring, yet largely unknown session vocalist called Rod Stewart. The original release in 1970 did not make the charts. After Stewart had a big No. 1 hit with "Maggie May", the 45 was rereleased in 1972 and this time entered the UK Top 50, peaking at No. 3. The routine has unfortunately been wiped, but the song is always worth a listen, not least for the extraordinary guitar playing of Mick Liber:
Python Lee Jackson - In A Broken Dream
14/10/1970: Opening of the musical sex comedy "Lie Down, I Think I Love You" at the Strand Theatre (now known as the Novello Theatre), London. Described as the UK answer to "Hair", it survived just thirteen performances. The play featured Louise Clarke & Tim Curry (of Rocky Horror Picture Show fame).
15/10/1970: Pan's People dance on Top of the Pops to the Carpenters' "(They Long To Be) Close To You". The edition is in the BBC archive but Tony Blackburn's links are muted (which may not be a bad thing after all).
16/10/1975: Pan's People dance on Top of the Pops to Elton John's "Island Girl". This is the sole publicly available six piece routine from late 1975, if only as a rehearsal. Most sources claim that the song is about a prostitute, possibly even a male one. The record was released before John's "coming out", so people probably didn't get the full meaning at the time. It's uncertain however whether the line "he one more John who make the mistake" refers to an experience of the writer himself.
For the Pan's People performance the second verse was edited out with the instrumental break directly following the first chorus (unlike in the dubbed rehearsal version which has the instrumental break edited out).
17/10/1974: Pan's People danced on Top of the Pops to Santana's "Samba Pa Ti" ("Samba For You"). The instrumental track was first released on the album "Abraxas" in 1970 and soon became a firm fan favourite. Initially it wasn't issued as a single though.
Around the time of the release of Santana's "Greatest Hits" album in 1974, "Samba Pa Ti" finally made its debut on 45 rpm in its unedited album version (4.46 mins). It became the band's first single to enter the UK Top 50, peaking at No. 27 for three consecutive weeks in October 1974. Pan's People danced to the tune in its second week at No. 27 - the static placing just saved the performance from becoming another 'frisbee routine'!
Alas, the show has been wiped from the BBC archives, and the PVL didn't tape it. For all we know no copy of this dance is existing, so all I can present you today is a link to the song:
Thanks for this VV. Reads very interesting. I always questioned the lyrics myself (well those that I understood and unfortunately the lyrics did not make the Disco 45 magazine). Now I know why radio never plays this song even when some are playing an hour of his music - this always gets skipped. #controversial
Everywhere, wherever you look, manipulation rearing it's head.
18/10/1973: Between 1968 and 1976, the only 18th October with a Top of the Pops episode was 18/10/1973. Unfortunately we do not know what Pan's People danced to on that show. There are three major contenders which were all marked as 'disc' in the old BBC database:
Elton John - Goodbye Yellow Brick Road: this used to be Popscene's guess before they adopted our list. Not very probable in my opinion as a video for that song had been shown the previous week.
Detroit Spinners - Ghetto Child: Pan's People had danced to that record the week before, so quite unlikely as well.
Isley Brothers - That Lady: maybe, just maybe a repeat from the 500th episode two weeks earlier (sadly wiped) was shown. Your guess is as good as mine but I'd say this is the least improbable option.
You may ask yourself, why all these conjectures? Perhaps I should just freely admit it: the sole purpose of this post is to remind our members that we have two lovely pictures from "That Lady". The first obviously hails from a photo session (a black and white version can be found on page 2 of "Our Story", the colour version was used for the back cover) while the second is an actual frame from the performance! As discussed about a year ago, a wee bit of the routine has survived because it was used for the title sequence. So here is what is left of "That Lady":
Really interesting this Vin and somehow I missed that discussion last year and I always wondered about these Harem-like outifts and had some mistaken thought that they might be from the Pans All Right Now dance. I had assumed the 500th show t-shirt pics were from the That Lady dance all this time. I live and learn so thanks for this
Some Dancers who gave a good time, broke all the rules, played all the fools, yeah yeah yeah they blew our minds
Yeah I had a sneaking suspicion that the discussion in the "PICTURES OF UNIDENTIFIED AND LOST ROUTINES" thread last year might have passed a few people by. I remember that we always wondered about the dresses for "That Lady" and if they wore those "500" shirts. So I thought it would be a good idea to remind everyone that we know better now.
Thanks to the old BBC database, we have a list of songs and artists that were featured on that episode. The database also distinguished between performance, video & 'disc'. Now, 'disc' usually meant that just the record was played - that could have been the chart countdown, the end credits, audience dancing - but in some cases also a dance routine by Pan's People.
For that particular show, the database listed in alphabetical order (the running order on Popscene is more or less pure guesswork):
Bob Dylan - Knockin' On Heaven's Door, Video
Bryan Ferry - A Hard Rain's Gonna Fall, Performance
David Cassidy - Daydreamer, Video
Elton John - Goodbye Yellow Brick Road, Disc
Mud - Dynamite, Performance
Nazareth - This Flight Tonight, Performance
Peters & Lee - By Your Side, Performance
Simon Park Orchestra - Eye Level, Performance
Status Quo - Caroline, Performance
The Detroit Spinners - Ghetto Child, Disc
The Isley Brothers - That Lady, Disc
So you see that Carpenters & Stevie Wonder were not listed.
If we assume that the database was correct, then there are only three possible contenders for the Pan's People routine. However it must be said that the database wasn't always correct. In that case any of the songs mentioned above could have been danced to by Pan's People. Very rarely it even happened that a record was completely missing from the database (George McCrae - It's Been So Long for example wasn't listed at all!). So theoretically it might as well have been Carpenters or Stevie Wonder. We simply don't know.
19/10/1972: This is another 'missing week' in our list. These records were marked as 'disc' in the BBC database:
Alice Cooper - Elected
Family - Burlesque
Gilbert O'Sullivan - Clair
Shag - Loop Di Love
Several years ago our good friend Jez presumed that Pan's People might have danced to 'Burlesque'. Alas, when Dee Dee was asked at the book-signing event two years ago if she could remember that particular routine, she replied 'No'.
A couple of years earlier, Dee Dee had already said 'No' to 'Loop Di Love'.
21/10/1971: Pan's People dance on Top of the Pops to "Sultana", an instrumental track by the Norwegian (!) rock band Titanic. Originally the B-side of "Sing Fool Sing", the record peaked at No. 5 in the UK during a healthy 12 week run after sides had been switched. The group released several follow-up singles, yet they never made the charts again and thus remain another one-hit wonder.