Tuesday, 31 May 2011

The Alternative TOTP Canon #10: The Associates - 18 Carat Love Affair

This isn't a performance you see very often but it's a story that's told quite a lot whenever the Associates' blend of luxurious Europa pop and financial extravagance is retold. While the octave swooping Billy Mackenzie exudes his usual magnetism without actually bodily doing too much Alan Rankine, stage right, is playing a chocolate guitar, £230 all in from Thorntons, and you'll see he has two of them. You'll see it if you're quick, mind, as whether the director had spotted it or not is unclear but you don't get to see his confectionary instrument all that much, or at least a good look at its constitution. There's a brief shot at 1:29, then at 2:00 he's trying his best to give the first one away before realising he'd best get the other one and continue trying to look convincing. Would you willingly take a lump of chocolate cradled by a masculine gentleman for several minutes under hot studio lights?


wilberforce said...

blimey simon how did you know about the associates' chocolate guitars! is it something you've been aware of for ages or just found out recently? in today's terms that must work out at over a thousand quid...

other from an obscure instrumental called "grecian 2000", the associates best moment by far for me was "club country", that i believe also featured the lovely martha ladly, then recently ex-of muffins. i had a real thing about her back then - with her looks style and blonde hair she was the grace kelly of the early 80's synth pop scene. take a look at her in the "club country" TOTP videos if you need proof:


and she must have had some bottle to model this slinky wet-look swimsuit number here:


but she's not just a pretty face either: she is currently a university professor! i remember someone describing her on the internet as rock's "first geek pin-up" ha ha - there's a contemporary pic of her on wikipedia that proves she still looks good (definitely in the MILF category ha ha!)


anyway, back to the usual more anally-retentive stuff: when the associates first did "club country" on TOTP, roxy music also appeared in the same episode with "avalon", and their backup "musicians" were the same i.e. martha plus the rhythm section (including ex-cure bassist michael dempsey)... maybe it was just a TOTP marriage of convenience, or perhaps they were playing with both bands at the time... can anyone shed more light on that?

wilberforce said...

sorry, forgot to add the roxy clip, in case anyone wants to see more of the magnificent martha:


ximeremix said...

I was there!!! Yes, I was in the audience at TV centre that week - there is one part of the show where Alan gives Billy the neck of the guitar. What you don't see (and this is where Martha laughs) is Billy biting a little off and then passing it to an audience member (girl), who giggled and went bright red.
Just one of those things you always remember!!