Julian Cope presents Head Heritage

Televison Personalities
And Don't The Kids Just Love It


Released 1981 on Rough Trade
Reviewed by ricky nadir, 30/06/2003ce


in the year 1981 i was fourteen and like so many german kids then i thought i was a punk or what was supposed to be a punk. i dyed my hair, i wore a black leatherjacket that my cousin gave me, i started smokin cigs and drinkin beer, i went to see the boomtown rats, adam and the ants and the dead kennedys but most important: i began collecting records,
in those days we had a lot of nice record-shops in berlin. chains like zip, musicland and govi who were always busy to have the latest releases from uk and usa. on the other hand you had the specalists like zensor, vinyl-boogie, sun-records and screen who focussed on the independent labels. after a while i became addicted to go to these stores. sometimes i would stay for hours just posing, listening to music or watching what other customers may buy.
my budget was very limited then but i always managed to buy about three albums per month. some items cost me a fortune like the metal box which i purchased for about 13 quid (the only pil-albums that stood the test of time imho). anyway i was quite disappointed when i bought a crap album just because of a strong review in german sounds magazine which happened from time to time.
one of these "crap-albums" was "televison personalities - and don't the kids just love it". i guess it was high in the indie-charts, they were like stiff little fingers and spizz energi on rough trade and somehow i liked the cutup back cover. when i gave it a spin at home i thought: what kind of shit is this. i was used to fast three chord punk like the ramones, sham 69, lurkers and 999. this was not far from three chord but it had slow songs and a terrible dated sixties feel. worst of all my father (who never liked any of my records) had a soft spot for it. since i never sold a record i once bought i filed the thing under crap and thought it would stay there forever. little did i know.
in 1983 punk (already dead when i discovered it) bored me to death. british punk went goth, american punk went louder, faster, harder. i just couldn't relate to sisters of mercy or millions of dead cops (either musically or contentwise). i got into the early stones. another record i admired (after i rejected it for going nowhere) was sandinista by the clash (this group turned me on to reggae) .
the other day i smoke a little pipe and put on the tvp-albums and suddenly it's getting clear. i listen to these little london stories about everyday life. since i devote my attention to sixties music i understand the references (creation, barrett, townsend, pop art, reeefer, clockwork orange). now i was aware that there was about rock-music than "one, two, three, four,... bang it out). my friends loved that record too. i was the only one who owned a copy. even in the eighties it was very rare. when it was rereleased on fire records in early nineties i instantly got one.
i became a rock n roll researcher. first i digged in the sixties (them, who, burdon, floyd, seeds, sonics, stooges, mc5, flamin groovies, ? and mysterians, freakbeat) and found they played the more competent punk. as time went by i got into prog, jazz and kraut which is kind of funny because there was a time when i hated every song that lasted over 4 minutes.
the tvp-album developed my musical taste. i don't hear it very often nowadays. sometimes i give it a spin when i'm in a sentimental mood because there are plenty memories connected to it. still it's a very good album and i guess tracks like "geoffrey ingram", "a picture of dorian gray" or "silly girl" have stood the test of time well.
in 2001 i purchased the "part time punks" single by the tvps from 1978 on a record fair for seven quid and i didn't regret it. "where's bill grundy now" made me laugh. what a brilliant song.


Reviews Index