Monday, November 10, 2008

Come All You People Now, Smile on Your Brother...

A Story in Several Parts, not to be sung:

1. Not so long ago in a town far, make that: a long long time ago in a town not very near, I was a young bride. Not so much a blushing bride because this was post Sexual Revolution, or at least the start of it, so when I married to my college sweetheart, I was neither technically nor actually a virgin. However, I was a Nice Jewish Girl who aspired to matching Garland sweaters, A-line skirts and circle pins. I married an actor, an English actor,and post wedding, we hied to England so he could go to drama school.

2. The actor, a fine and handsome young man as you can see, was admitted to that bastion of British Acting, The Central School of Speech & Drama (known also as the Central School of Screech & Trauma). I, as befitted a young wife of that time, worked as a secretary. All of you post-feminists should know that back then EVEN WITH A DEGREE IN PHILOSOPHY, secretarial positions were the zenith of one's expectations, unless one was a teacher, which I refused to be (a story for another time). So, by day my hunky husband lounged about the halls of Central, mixing with all manner of other hunky people. And I toiled on Great Titchfield Street, typing the inanities of Mr. Platt, Vice President of Foreign Operations for Associated Dry Goods.

3. Was I a happy camper? Noooooooooo. But it is beyond the scope of this simple blog post to elaborate and enumerate all of the reasons why. Suffice to say, I was dependent on my mate for ALL of my social needs. Fortunately for me, people seemed to like him (he was quite hunky).

4. One of the people in his year at Central was Dave Clark, of the Dave Clark Five. You know, that Dave Clark Five. Not the Beatles, certainly, but the DC5 was hot shit to some. Dave was seeing the wrong side of his career as a teen heart throb, so he enrolled at Central (one presumes he did not have to audition) to try and get up to speed on an acting career. And Dave, Dave really liked my hunky husband. Consequently, I, that is we, spent an amazing amount of time with Dave and his posse. Ah, the stories I could tell....

5. This particular album photo was actually the cover for a single the DC5 put out sometime in the '70s. "Love One Another" was the song, and Dave thought it would be a cool idea if all you people was actually his friends from Central. We traipsed off to a recording studio somewhere and for an entire evening sang over and over and over again
"C'mon you people now,
Smile on your brother,
Everybody get together,
Try to love one another
Right now...."
over and over and over again. Dave and Mike Smith and the others of the DC5 did the verses. We were the chorus, and while we were singing our blessed little hearts out, someone was taking photos. Did I know that we were going to be featured on the cover? No, I did not. I had come straight from work and that outfit I'm wearing? It's a sweet doubleknit suit, pleated white skirt and navy jacket. My hair? It's up in a secretarial top knot; you could probably find a pencil in there if you looked hard enough.
6. When I look at this photo, I think what a fish out of water I was. All those drama students and me, the secretary. But you can tell that I sang away for all I was worth, and as I recall, a fine time was had by all. I think we even made an appearance on Top of the Pops, so the DC5 could promote the record. For that, I was dressed more appropriately, but I don't have a photo (and I don't remember what I wore), so you'll have to take my word for it.

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