LEGACY, TRUTH, LIFE and TOP OF THE POPS

 

One of the first things I learned upon starting school in the year 1978. was there was an element in society – a percentage of every group of people – who did not share the same values as myself. People who, for a variety of reasons, just did not see what I saw and hear what I heard. It’s hard for me to put myself in their shoes, as we naturally become drawn to people more like ourselves., but as we are all different it’s part of life. As we grow into adults, the joyless often stay joyless, destructive stay destructive, and the creative, if they’re lucky, find outlets for their creativity. The creative often cause trouble for themselves in life, the joyless and destructive cause trouble for others.

In 21st Century Britain, the worrying trend seems to be ‘The Rise Of The Idiots’ (to paraphrase ‘Nathan Barley’, written by Chris Morris & Charlie Brooker ten years ago). Whilst any business – creative or otherwise – needs ‘bean counters’ to guide it, the extraordinary change in recent years is the creative mediums of television and radio have been slowly taken over by the more destructive less creative types. In order to inspire you need to be inspiring, and yet what used to inspire is being transformed into either background or distraction. Furthermore, there appears to be a very real media agenda to discredit the latter half of the twentieth century, playing on the lack of knowledge, context and common sense afflicting so many of those born after 1989. Tell them everything was terrible in the 1970s and that everything is “awesome” in the 2010’s – and the chances are they will accept what you dictate without question. “Put your faith in us, we make everything better” seems to be the message – those of us fortunate enough to be older than 25 know the reverse is true. The reality is ignorance and misinformation is the order of the day, a vile mainstream constantly indulging in peoples worst fears and prejudice. The majority of people these actually want to ‘believe the worst’ of people – and certainly want to dismiss what they don’t know or understand.

Even as a young child I had – via the medium of radio and television -already grown to love music. The visual aspect of music (aside from the wonderful pictures painted in the mind’s eye of course) came to me early, firstly via Yorkshire TV’s lunchtime “pop” show ANIMAL KWACKERS and then, shortly after. TOP OF THE POPS. By the time I was 4 years old, my weekly treat was to stay up to watch Top Of The Pops every thursday. I always looked forward to thursday evenings, and always enjoyed the mix of music presented on the show. My eclectic taste in music today is a legacy of the early impact TOTP and the singles chart had on me, as easy as it now to look back and sneer at some of the content of late 70s TOTP and radio playlists. I was very fortunate to have grown aware of music and the pop scene in an era of phenomenal progression and variety. The “new wave” of pop ushered in with punk lastly roughly until the point when I started Senior School (the Summer of 1985).

Good fortune and good timing. I can remember first hand so many TOTP performances over those years, even tracks I never heard again (step forward TOTP hater Roger Taylor and his solo flop ‘Future Management’ – I was on a snowy holiday in North Yorkshire the night of  Thursday April 23rd 1981 and had to watch The Pops on a black & white portable – and yet I can clearly recall the song even now). This is not just dewy-eyed nostalgia – I am talking about the days when most pop music had a genuine intelligence behind it.

In my humble opinion, TOTP went downhill a bit in the latter half of the eighties with the producers unsure how to counteract the MTV-led Videolution and update the show’s format, and the show itself locked into a limited 30 minute slot after Eastenders began in early 1985. It got good again in the 90s, only to fall apart once and for all (hand in hand with my beloved pop music) once the 21st Century kicked in.

Classed by some elitist snobs as forever tacky, Top Of The Pops was producing legendary moments long before I was born. Sadly, most of the pre-1976 shows were wiped, but the memories and influence remain. You will be hard-pressed to find a British pop star from the 76-86 era who’s life wasn’t changed by seeing ‘Starman’ by David Bowie & The Spiders From Mars on July 6th 1972 or Marc Bolan’s first brush with glitter when T.Rex presented ‘Hot Love’ to an eager audience in March 1971.

The sheer clamour for the rediscovery of Bowie & co performing The Jean Genie LIVE on Top Of The Pops in January 1973 when cameraman John Henshall gave the world access to his private surviving copy in 2011 and the amount of people who had been carrying fragments of this seismic performance in the back of their minds for almost 40 years was phenomenal – and more enthusiastic than the music industry can muster for any of it’s current product. That one discovery has probably done more for the reputation and profile of David Bowie in the run-up to his unexpected 2013 return than anything else. Similarly, discoveries of stupidly scarce footage of Top Of The Pops from the Summer of 1967 created a tidal wave of interest, particularly the original Syd Barrett incarnation of Pink Floyd performing See Emily Play. Now, THIS is a legacy to be proud of and, in the words of Danny Baker “meant so much to so many people”. Even now, despite almost every single one of the first 600 shows wiped, we still have footage of the likes of The Kinks, The Who, Jimi Hendrix and The Bee Gees on Top Of The Pops in the 60s. The UK – certainly during the years 1964-70 and then 1978-84 – was the international leader in the pop music boom, and Top Of The Pops is a historical weekly document of those times.

What Top Of The Pops was NEVER about – not until the preening faux-ironic likes of Fearne Cotton in it’s dying years anyway – was the presenters. Sure, many of the faces who presented the show added something to the mix – be it the current ‘elephant in the room’ the late Jimmy Savile (64-84), Alan ‘Fluff’ Freeman (64-69), Tony “gaff” Blackburn (69-78), Noel Edmonds (72-78), Peter ‘Woo! Hey!” Powell (77-88), the under-fire and terminally uncool DLT (73-84), Simon “Timecheck” Bates (79-88), Mike Smith (82-88), Janice Long (82-88), Steve Wright (80-89),Bruno Brookes (84-95), ‘Woo’ Gary Davies (82-91), Simon Mayo (86-96) or the wonderful combinations of David ‘Kid’ Jensen (76-84) and John Peel (81-88) – but they were only ever there to link the tunes and performances, a little advert for BBC Radio 1. To now see the legacy I have described above reduced to hushed-tones and apologetic asides on the national network that produced that show on a weekly basis and still produces end of year specials is an absolute disgrace. What we have is all sides playing to the ignorance and immorality of our present sick society, planting “opinions” in the heads of people who actually have no idea what they are talking about. The “celebration” of the BBC’s legacy at Television Centre last week was somewhat tarnished by a reluctance to raise the issue of Top Of The Pops – a show that was filmed at TVC for over 25 years. The impression I got was TOTP wasn’t to be mentioned – with only the outspoken Danny Baker and (to a lesser extent) former TOTP presenter Noel Edmonds breaking the silence.

The BBC is ALLOWING the legacy of Top Of The Pops – not just a ‘National Institution’ but an international brand – to be destroyed. That Sir Jimmy Savile presented the show for the first twenty years is fact – that he did what he, in death, is alleged to have done many years ago is not, despite what The Metropolitan Police or ITV defective Detectives say. People connected to the show know the allegations of dressing room wrongdoings are at best highly dubious, so what I cannot understand is why the BBC are joining in on this attack on themselves when they should, on behalf of both themselves and us the TV license payers, be defending the show millions watched and loved. The legacy of Top Of The Pops is something that should be celebrated – somehow this cheaply-made show in a clinical TVC studio transcended the sum of it’s parts and changed many lives for the better over the course of over 30 years. Instead, to add insult to the injury of wiping 12 years worth of shows, the repeats many of us waited 35 years for have been ruined by an agenda set by ITV, a disgraced Police Force, a dubious unqualified TV “expert” working for ITV and several of their own artless self-serving so-called “investigative producers” wishing to engage in a tug-of-war amongst themselves at the expense of the BBC Light Entertainment legacy.

The present situation paints a picture of one host of the TOTP team running amok in the TVC dressing rooms – when the truth is Jimmy Savile spent as little time on set as he possibly could. A team of producers, lighting & sound engineers, cameramen – not to mention FEMALE dancers, make-up artists and designers – not to mention an audience policy of NO UNDER 16’s. We’re expected either to overlook the overwhelming evidence or assume every member of the Top Of The Pops team was covering up grave wrongdoing? If you believe that, you probably believe in Santa Claus too.

We are living in Orwellian times. The current position is very few people feel able to defend either Top Of The Pops or the pre-Matthew Bannister Radio One for fear of being picked off. There is a current police operation in place that appears to be serving an agenda of silencing those were there at the time – witness the arrests of Max Clifford and Jim Davidson after they had the audacity to publicly question the agenda of said operation.

No working DJ dare speak up against this shameless witch hunt in case they are either targeted themselves (after the mainstream round on them) or find themselves out of work by their mainstream media employers, and there are only a couple with the courage to speak out who aren’t ‘in that line of work’ anymore. They simply have to remain silent.

In being swept back, via the BBC4 repeats, to the time in my life when Top Of The Pops was my introduction to my lifelong love of music and the charts, I find it reprehensible and disgusting that at the exact week we arrived at the point in the run were no more episodes were missing from the archive, a shoddy ITV documentary made an unqualified charlatan full of unprovable allegations against a dead man backed up by  a transparent witch-hunt by a famously corrupt police force and spineless present-day BBC management have resulted in 40% of those shows being banned. I can’t help but feel that not only is my intelligence being routinely insulted by these ridiculous claims but they are destroying a time I lived through and loved, a time were music progressed so quickly and effortlessly – like a time capsule of real life being blown to pieces by that group of artless loveless destructive kids who have pushed their way to the front of the queue as adults.

To add insult to injury, one final point. BBC4 are refusing to show Top Of The Pops presented by Dave Lee Travis due to his arrest by the ‘Savile Police’ for fear of being criticised by the vile scum of The Daily Mail and the Murdoch rags. Challenge TV – owned by Sky – have no such qualms about repeating the BBC-made ‘Jim Davidson’s Big Break’. Is that fair and just?

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YEW-TURN – SUDDEN DE’ATH

 

Scotland Yard attempted to dump news of the their case against Wilfred De’Ath being dropped due to the sole complainant withdrawing her statement very quietly. Unfortunately, amongst the bigger news of widespread legalised theft in Cyprus and ‘Teflon Boris’ vs Eddie Mair it was noticed by a few pesky truth-seekers. And, my, what a tangled little web of intrigue it is.

For a deeper analysis of Wilfred De’Aths contribution to Mark Williams-Thomas’ shallow character assassination of the late Sir Jimmy Savile I will guide readers to this EXPOSITION

http://jimcannotfixthis.blogspot.co.uk/2013/03/exposition-pt2.html

For the sake of this article, I will recount some background details. Wilfred De’Ath was one of the ‘Star Witnesses’ on Mark Williams-Thomas’ “Exposure: The Other Side Of Jimmy Savile” aired at the beginning of October last year. Now, Mr De’Ath was a very strange choice for a star witness on a show claiming to shine a light on sexual abuse, and for more than one reason. Firstly, Mr De’Ath is a convicted – and very self-congratulatory – fraudster who has written at length about his deeds in both magazines (particularly ‘The Oldie’) and an autobiography, published in 2008. However, ‘fraud’ is one thing – perhaps former policeman come self-qualified television presenter Mark Williams-Thomas thought he would be still be a credible witness? Given his target was a dead man facing allegations of sexual misconduct, fraud does not make a witness completely unbelievable. Doubly strange, therefore, that in his book “Uncommon Criminal”, Wilfred describes himself as a sex-obsessed voyeur and a sexual predator. Not, one would imagine, a very credible mix for a ‘star witness’ in a supposed “Exposure” of Jimmy Savile?

http://www.pickabook.co.uk/bookdetails.aspx?ISBN=9781857252248

In common with his own ‘colourful’ past surely Mr De’Ath’s account of Jimmy Savile would not be very convincing? It certainly wasn’t – the fraudster described him meeting up with JS and an unnamed – and still unidentified – “girl” who might have been underage in circa 1964. It certainly wasn’t convincing, for a number of reasons (but again, rather than repeat Moor Larkin’s thoughts on this I’ll simply refer you to the ‘Exposition’ link above). My opinion is that Wilfred wasn’t the only witness on the show clutching at straws, but that is not relevant here. A few voices raised the issue of Mr De’ath’s incredulous account, particularly Private Eye, but the show was made to stir up a hornet’s nest as opposed to convincing intelligent people who knew only too well about ‘background’ and ‘context’.

Exposure’s discredited ‘star witness’ was discredited further on Remembrance Sunday when he was arrested at the break of dawn at his address. As expected, the arrest of this man in his 70’s at his home by a team of several police officers was much publicised. The charge against him was he was alleged to have ‘sexually assaulted’ a teenager in a cinema in 1965. Curiously, this teenager of the 60s was now a well-known actress and presenter with strong links to ITV – the network that had produced and broadcast Mark Williams-Thomas’ “Exposure” on Savile, and already had a ‘follow-up’ show planned. She is said to have seen and recognised Mr De’Ath on the said ITV shocumentary, and felt obligated to call The Metropolitan Police – who by then had embarked on a transparent post-Savile witch hunt against any ageing male they could lump in under Yewtree under a sly strand they named ‘others’, with some of their officers now known in MediaLand as “The Savile Police” – an ironic title for several reasons. A more sinister side of “Operation Yewtree” was the fact that each arrest was highly publicised – each of the accused stated clearly, as their names were dragged through the mud, that they wished to co-operate with police to clear their names. Despite these statements and the low risk entailed, each arrest was made using teams of highly visible police officers and mainstream journalists. In the case of Dave Lee Travis, his arrest in November was tied in to happen on the day one of his monthly stints as presenter of Top Of The Pops 35 years ago was due to be rebroadcast, therby causing maximum publicity for the arrest and maximum embarrassment to both Mr Travis and the BBC. Mr Davidson was swooped in Heathrow Airport as he landed in the UK for a stint on Celebrity Big Brother. These were not coincidences.

For each accused, the result is akin to being paraded through every town centre in the land, holding a banner with “make a complaint about me” written on. In the case of well-known well-established entertainers like Davidson and DLT, this method of trawling has worked a treat. In the case of Wilfred De’Ath it did not, primarily – one presumes – because very few people know who the hell he is anyway.

With no other “victims” coming forward to report our erstwhile fraudster/star character witness, the ITV colleague and friend of Mark Williams-Thomas felt, understandably, uncomfortable. The upshot is she has withdrawn her statement against Wilfred De’Ath, and “The Savile Police” have also dropped the case due to ‘lack of evidence’. The gameplan was to create a pool of complaints with each complainant effectively “verifying” the others, a ploy that may well make scapegoats of the other entertainers caught in this net.

It may also be that the seemingly highly contrived elements of this particular case – ITV star sees her accused on ITV show with the ITV documentary maker having a vested interest in the subsequent Police Operation, all parties very much part of what I’ll term loosely as the “Daytime ITV Family” also combined to influence the decisions to withdraw statement and block the case.

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-21930181

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-21936350

Mr De’Ath is surprisingly eloquent (or perhaps not so surprising given his Oxford background) and has elected to speak out against his treatment and against the reality of ‘Operation Yewtree’. He is also, sadly, still making ill-considered soundbites against the man who he had a couple of dealings with, fifty years ago. Still, there’s no fool like an old fool – as The Metropolitan Police are gleefully wanting to find out.

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OPERATION YEWTREE: AN IDIOTS GUIDE

“The Savile Police”. What an absurd concept, what are they? Policemen in blonde wigs and tracksuits? Sadly not, they are though as absurd as their chosen handle in the press. Set up as a knee-jerk reaction to a shoddy piece of so-called investigative journalism on ITV in yet another example – as if we needed any – of the continuing clandestine relationship between The Metropolitan Police and the gutter press (aided and abetted by their neighbouring force Surrey Police with their equally sinister relationship with the media), as if to raise two fingers at The Leveson Enquiry and all its legal and moral ramifications.

What is Yewtree for? This is a good question – for other than leading a media witch hunt against several former celebrities for crimes not involving “children” it appears to have very little purpose, certainly no element of real benefit. It is, to all intents and purposes, a media-led police trawl in which individuals are picked out by fitting a criteria – they either have to be apparently dislikable individuals of a probably right wing persuasion and with BBC connections (DLT, Jim Davidson), already ‘disgraced’ and ergo fit for the media bonfire (Gary Glitter, Wilfred De’ath) or – in a new Nazi-esque twist – pesky individuals who spoke out against this witch hunt and needed silencing (Davidson, Max Clifford). The only arrests connected to Jimmy Savile is any way shape or form were Gary Glitter and Freddie Starr (for an alleged and highly improbable orgy in an imaginary dressing room in the wrong building for a show in which neither appeared on the same edition of) and the easy target that is JS’ former Radio One presenter, the elderly Ted Beston. After 5 tedious months of maximum media exposure of this calculated trawl nobody arrested by “The Savile Police” has been charged. I must also point out – in targeting unpopular and/or risible individuals (‘easy targets’) precedents can be easily established. Once they are established, it will not just the right wing comedians of yesteryear or self-styled Hairy Monsters getting nick-nicked for whatever.

This week it transpired that Dave Lee Travis – former Radio One dj and Top Of The Pops presenter – had been ‘re-arrested’, despite still not being charged with any offence 4 months after his initial high profile arrest – 20 or so officers, 7 police vehicles and 30-odd press already waiting. Coincidentally, CPS spokesman Nazir Afzal also chose this moment to announce to the disgraced Red Tops of impending “very high profile figures” will be arrested over the coming weeks as “a growing number of sex abuse cases are uncovered by police”. This chief crown prosecutor then added “There are people you will be interested in”.
At what point did criminal investigations become dependant upon an immoral media to rubber stamp and conspire with the Crown Prosecution Service and The Police? What sort of sick game is this?
Mr Afzam also added that “none are directly linked to Savile” and, very helpfully, “THIS IS A GROWING INDUSTRY. THERE ARE MORE ARRESTS SCHEDULED OVER THE NEXT FEW WEEKS. SOME ARE VERY HIGH PROFILE FIGURES”
“An Industry”. In all his brazen hyprocrisy, Afzal has confirmed what we thought. This is a wicked collusion between The Metropolitan Police and the media and the CPS, and they do not care who knows.
What sort of criminal investigation targets the elderly, and actually – as Mr Afzal has highlighted – is booking in arrests like job interviews and plotting the public downfall of these people in an operation that has yet to charge anyone? They will be arranging events to fall into place for maximum exposure, like their high profile arrest of DLT – who had already stated he wanted to be interviewed – on the morning one of his Top Of The Pops was due to be re-broadcast on BBC4, or arrested in an airport (Jim Davidson). Utterly contrived and utterly disgusting.
It should not surprise anyone, as the whole posthumous Jimmy Savile scandal, is – as discovered by Anna Raccoon – a conspiracy of epic proportions, were dissenting voices are arrested, vilified or – for those like Anna, the wrong sex and the wrong intellect to be made a monkey of – completely ignored despite being in possession of evidence that disputes and casts a cloud against dubious stories now, no matter how absurd, taken as gospel by a public overrun with false media reports. The scandal was based around lies broadcast on a shoddy ITV shockumentary, and the grew legs by the fact that allegations could be made by anyone – however fanciful – and never challenged. The sort of things dreams are made of if you’re a hand-wringing shifty former detective trying to make a name for himself on ITV, a disgraced “news”paper looking to increase crashing circulation and deflect your own much-publicised moral failings or simply a trash chat show looking for rubbish to talk about.
“The Savile Police” have created their Operation Yewtree as a witch hunt. Set up in the shadow of the dreadful ITV programme, it is divided into “three strands”: ‘Savile’, ‘Savile & others’ and just plain old ‘others’. Other what? Other TV personalities? Other old men? No, it would seem “other” means “literally anybody”. For any reason – anything can be rendered ‘sexual’ out of context, nothing can be proved and nothing can be disproved. It doesn’t have to involve anyone underage or have any timescale. Anything, anyone. To announce to a newspaper under investigation itself under another criminal operation (one that it actually producing real charges and real convictions for real crimes) that this “is an industry” and that you are booking in future arrests – presumably when the press are available – is beyond corrupt.
In making their high profile arrests and pontificating to a disgraced media about “more to come” is to trawl for complaints. Each arrested individual may as well be paraded through every high street in the country, carrying a banner with “make a complaint about me” on.
There is no purpose to this operation other than to create an illusion that the police are doing something about an illusion. They couldn’t investigate the many ridiculous claims against Jimmy Savile because, conveniently for all, he is dead. So they create a bogus operation to trawl for scapegoats and call it “an industry”. Is this justice, is this what society has been reduced to? Phony documentaries, phony reports and a witch hunt. Policemen and Crown Prosecutors making stupid comments to the press and, in the case of the NSPCC – never shy to push their own agenda – and the joke that is Yewtree Commander Peter Spindler, failing to see that making lunatic statements to the corrupt UK press is not protecting any children, past present or future. We are way beyond parody here.

Oh, almost forgot. In an attempt to justify the existence of “Operation Yewtree” the Met have been piggy-backing other sex abuse enquiries – the victims involved in those enquiries do not know why they are involved in Yewtree when their experience has nothing to do with Savile, nor with any of his associates, nor “others”. The involvement of Yewtree in this completely unrelated operations is slowing down their justice.
Which all begs the question – if we can’t trust the police to have a decent agenda, if the media conspiracy to stop the truth from getting out is all-encompassing and if telling the truth gets us arrested, what is the law for now, Persecution and promotion? It certainly isn’t “child protection” as healthy-minded children need to have healthy-minded adults in order to become healthy-minded adults themselves, and the society in which we find ourselves now is a slave to paranoia, suspicion and ignorance.

Vile corruption.