Earlier this week I returned to the British Library to do another two hours of listening to Kenny Everett’s tapes.
As I explained in February, dear Kenny Everett left his numerous audio tapes to the nation, in the shape of the British Library. You can go there and listen to them. They are endless and very entertaining.
The British Library have a “SoundServer” on which all their digitised recordings are held. You obtain a Reader’s Card and then you can listen to the recordings on the Soundserver in the library. I did this in February but then requested about a dozen of Kenny Everett’s tapes (some reel-to-reel and some NAB cartridges), which weren’t then on the SoundServer, to be added to it. Understandably, this took the elves at the British Library some time and then I had to find a date to go back to listen to the digitised result.
So that’s what I was doing earlier this week.
The recording which stood out, for me, was a little series of episodes of “Stan Friday – Hells Angel” which seemed to date from around 1981 and were done for Capital Radio. I didn’t hear them or of them when they were originally broadcast. They were in the same sort of format as “Captain Kremmen”. They were quite priceless to listen to – really beautifully crafted and very funny. They are found under reference C723/45 at the British Library.
Here’s a little end piece of one of the episodes which tickled my fancy:
“Question: What are your views on Red China?. Answer: Well, I think it looks very nice on a white table cloth.
Announcer: -Will Stan make it as a comic?
-Will we be sued by Bernard Manning?
-Is it true what they say about Dixie?
Find out in the next kidney-curdling, bowel-busting episode of Stan Friday – Hells Angel”
It all demonstrates that, although Kenny Everett obtained his greatest amount of fame from his TV shows, he was at heart a radio man and spent endless hours, days, months and years crafting radio shows. The depth and breadth of creativity, humour, techinical tenacity/brilliance and panache he put into his radio work was pure genius. We will never see his kind again.
Ah yes. The Troggs. Under reference C723/125 C10, there is an 11 minute 33 second recording of the Troggs arguing about a song in a recording studio. This was in Kenny Everett’s tape collection. It isn’t clear what song it is that they are discussing, but they are convinced it could be a Number One but have very strongly diverse views on how to achieve that! The argument becomes very heated indeed and is quite a treat to listen to!