The Greatest Movie Never Made

The Attractions Story!

… featuring Nicholas Lyndhurst  as the Drummer, Gabriel Byrne as the Keyboard Player, and Frank Carson as the Singer.   I would demand to be played by Kiefer Sutherland — but most likely Donald would get the call.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Mike Miller asks who would play “the Manager”.  Step forward Harry H Corbett of Steptoe fame.  The Manager himself seems OK with the casting , but Harry H doesn’t look too sure.

Perhaps we should make the movie a musical; it offers abundant employment opportunities for other lookalikes.

 

 

A cameo role as The Boss for ex-Manchester United player Lou Macari.

 

 

 

 

 

By request … Danger Man himself, Patrick McGoohan, as country music producer Billy Sherrill.  A generous bit of casting, I know – on another day, it might have been Archie Bunker.

 

 

 

 

On reflection, Donald would make a much better Nick Lowe.

Posted in Music, Uncategorized | Tagged | 105 Comments

105 Responses to The Greatest Movie Never Made

  1. Nick S. says:

    The great “gun debate” is back in the US. And England is being cited by some as a good example for outlawing guns. For a long time, I’ve believed guns are as American as apple pie. But I say that with some mixed feelings. There is no American Revolution without guns. No America. I don’t know. But I don’t support outlawing all guns here, as some do. There is probably some reasonable middle ground.

    Bruce, do you think England feels better off with strict gun control laws?

    • Bruce says:

      It’s too late to get rid of guns now in the US, they’re to interwoven into the fabric of society there. Even if the law changed most people would ignore it. England is better off in as much as we never let them get a hold in the first place. At least, that was the case until recently — now pretty well all the police are armed and it ain’t that difficult to get hold of an illegal weapon if you really want one.

      In the US you can shoot an intruder on your property. In England if he tries to stab you and trips on your carpet he can sue you for compensation and cite his human rights (and I’m not joking).

      So I’m not sure who’s better off.

      • Nick S. says:

        Here, word on the street is, if a home intruder is shot, better shoot him dead. Otherwise, as you’ve cited, wounded invader can sue you. How backwards is that?! Home invaders have NO business in one’s home. Period. It’s hard for me to sympathize for slain home invader.

      • Bruce says:

        I’ve no quarrel with you there.

    • Mike Miller says:

      And while they’re at it they should outlaw pot, cocaine and heroin…Oh yeah, they are illegal.

  2. David Witherington says:

    Hi, Bruce! Listening to “Get Happy!!” tonight. This album remains as fresh as when I first heard it in 1980. The band is as tight as a rubberband on every track, and your bass carries the most melodic album of the catalog to my ears. I was a high school kid when it came out, and the fact that it had 20 tracks in the vinyl days was unique for a single album, unless it was a K-Tel comp! Hehe. I just wanted to say I love your work on this gem. 🙂

  3. Nick S. says:

    “Man Out Of Time,” live, on what appears to be David Lecherman’s show. EC & The Attractions was always first and foremost to me about the great, lyrical bass parts. Good recording. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lYftZ0hd4FQ

    • Bruce says:

      I remember I was so knackered when we did that, I was almost falling asleep on my feet. And the bass paler of the house band (Will Lee?) was trying to put me off by staring at my fingers all the way through — probably helped me concentrate in hindsight.

    • Mike Miller says:

      “Kid About It” was excellent as well. I had a cassette of those songs that I recorded off the TV speaker (pre VCR days) that I listened to for years. Probably still have it somewhere. Sidney Miller “Doorman of the Year” was also a guest.

      Glad you were knackered and not a knacker…

      • Nick S. says:

        Had to look up “knacker.” I thought it meant a member of The Knack. Got a cassette recording of early EC & The Attractions show, in which The Singer introduces Bruce, saying something like: ” . . . he’s not in The Knack, but he’s got the knack, Mr. Bruce Thomas.” Then Bruce plays a bit of “My Sharona.” Always liked that memorable inro and response.

      • Bruce says:

        “Knackered” — means tired and shagged out — the knacker’s yard was where they sent old horses. Bit of English social history for you there. “The knack” is something else — that’s like your “mojo”.

      • Nick S. says:

        This is a beauty of the English language. Multiple meanings. Some words can even take on opposite meanings. A pretty limitless potential for wordplay.

      • Bruce says:

        Yep — mind you, some songwriters overdo it 🙂

  4. David Witherington says:

    Hi, Bruce. I just thought of a potential bonus track for a potential reissue of “Mad About The Wrong Boy” – that rare recording of you guys with Elvis singing “Sad About Girls.” When that appeared on the Rhino “Trust” bonus disc, it was a real surprise.

    • Bruce says:

      Once it’s in a digital format — it’s no longer rare.

      • David Witherington says:

        True that! Still, the price to get the out-of-print official CD from Amazon these days is impressive….check this out: http://www.amazon.com/Mad-About-Wrong-Boy-Attractions/dp/B000007X9F

        I’m glad I bought my copy back in ’91! 🙂

      • Nick S. says:

        Bruce, you got a take on digital “file sharing” that you’d care to share here?

        In my mind, The Grateful Dead are associated with starting that sort of thing with “tapers.” It seems numerous artists have been ripped off by record industry.

        In an interview, James Taylor approved of file sharing . . . he said musicians make their money playing live shows. He also said that although songs of his have generated LOTS of money, he didn’t really see any of that money. Bad deals/contracts.

      • Bruce says:

        My accountant has a take on digital file “sharing” — I don’t do many live shows these days. So much for my retirement home in the Seychelles 🙂

  5. djgger says:

    You may have a problem casting Harry H Corbett as I have it on good authority that he was cremated.

  6. Nick S. says:

    Here is probably my favorite live version of “Lipstick Vogue.” http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uCaxjRAZ3GQ

    The video quality is not so great here, but I really like the audio as it pertains to you. You sound particularly “in the pocket” during this fine performance. Sounds like your hands are literally flying on that instrument. Dumbfoundingly dazzling and dizzying dexterity! Is “LV” as difficult to perform as it would seem?

    Dittoing Mike Miller . . . Happy New Year to y’all @ BT Blog!

    • Mike Miller says:

      If you can locate the”import” recording of “50 M Fans Can’t Be Wrong” recorded on the MAIT tour in the US in ’77, you’ll find about a 50-50 split of MAIT and TYM songs even though TYM hadn’t been recorded yet. Excellent quality recording and you will continue to be dumbfounded, dazzled, and dizzied.

      Me, I don’t know if I’m dumbfounded or found dumb.

  7. Mike Miller says:

    Wishing you and others here a Happy New Year!

    Thanks for the banter and I look forward to more in 2013!

  8. charlie rogers says:

    I was rather hoping Bingham Press and mad Victor burst into flames in 2012.
    Ah well. LMAO
    Prefer your book’s NEW cover and your NEW and waay better truthful/’bona-fide’ publisher!!!

  9. Nick S. says:

    Hey, Bruce. I recently revisited great, film noirish “New Lace Sleeves” video: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=–y_TaofYek

    Often for me, music videos don’t do justice to songs. But I feel “NLS” video is an EXCELLENT complement to a FANTASTIC tune. The first time I heard “NLS,” it grabbed me. Still does today.

    I learned that Barney Bubbles directed video (and equally cool Clubland). When I saw BB’s name linked to video, I instantly thought of Hawkwind, Bob Calvert and the GREAT album art BB did with them (and you guys, I found out). Small world sometimes.

  10. David Witherington says:

    I was playing “Mad About the Wrong Boy” recently and wondered if you sang lead on your songs? It’s really an interesting listen 32 years later…experimental pop sounds and the lyrics make intriguing images. This album is underrated and I like to revisit it from time to time. Nice work, and I’m grateful that it exists as part of the canon. Oh, and Merry Christmas! 🙂

    • Nick S. says:

      I’ll say . . . .

      Actually, I will TRY to resolve from “saying.” (But honestly, I do agree with sentiments.)

      It seems a strange series of “Accidents” that thrust EC & The Attractions first together — a most EXCELLENT rocking pop combo. I’ve read your interesting account of how it almost DIDN”T happen. I know I’ve been ungracious to The Singer here before, and will try not to go there in the future. After all, because of — and in spite of! — him there was an Attractions. BUT without YOU, there is NO Attractions. In every sense, as I feel and understand it. I am a fan of EC and The Attractions, but The Singer’s frequent pretension and ungraciousness towards other artists in interviews and such make it easy to cast the “DDT Mirror” back his way. Don’t like the way (I perceive) he treated you, either. (I better stop before that mirror gets pointed MY way!)

      I always felt The Attractions gave each and every recording their very ALL. Tall talent and immense imagination. A standard of excellence. That, to me, is mostly why those records hold up so very well.

      Rock on, BT!

  11. Nick S. says:

    Stumbled on (ouch!) this interesting live version of EC & The Attractions’ “I Hope You’re Happy Now.” http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3dJH5IqUxrw

    I prefer the “speeded-up” version on Blood & Chocolate. Probably my favorite track on that record. (Somehow, this rollicking rocker always reminded me of The Beatles’ “Rain.”)

    • Bruce says:

      Are you suggesting there may have been some bass line pilfering?

      • Mike Miller says:

        I’d say “inspired by” and not pilfered from.
        With the exception of a couple of songs, B&C is an excellent record.

      • Nick S. says:

        Heck no!

        I know nothing about making music. My “song connections” have no validity. I make them all the time. I just said one song reminded me of the other somehow. I wasn’t even sure how or why. I like both songs.

        I do not wish to offend you in any manner. As I’ve stated, musically, you are something of a hero to me. As far as I was concerned, your contributions made all those great EC & Attractions songs. I apologize if I’ve unintentionally offended you. Not my intention at all. Sorry.

      • Bruce says:

        Pass the smelling salts! Don’t be daft, I never take offence at your comments. Season’s Greetings, bro.

      • Nick S. says:

        Bruce, I was born daft!

        It seems my “big mouth” has unintentionally gotten me in trouble before. Some of the last people I want to offend are artists I admire.

        Merry Christmas to you, bro!

  12. Mike Miller says:

    Don’t know if you’ve seen this…Someone finally posted. I have this footage in my collection as well.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BtJNH4K4zyk

  13. Nick S. says:

    Bruce, was Chicago (my “fair” city) a particularly fun or interesting city for EC & The Attractions to play? Any good Chicago stories (that you can tell)?

    • Bruce says:

      Lots of stories in Chicago — most of ’em in the Hancock Tower and the Sears building. (My turn for a bad pun.)

      • Nick S. says:

        HA! A couple of tall tales!

        Sears Tower was oficially renamed Willis Tower (a London connection). Chicagoans are a stubborn lot . . . I think most of us still call it Sears Tower here.

  14. Mike Miller says:

    Had you toured the US prior to November ’77?

    • Bruce says:

      Yep, I toured the US in 1973 with Quiver, supporting Elton John on his breakthrough tour. Bigger gigs than we ever did with EC! 🙂

      • Nick S. says:

        Listening to Sir Elton RIGHT NOW on radio as I type. Not a huge EJ fan, but I do like his hits from the ’70s. Like EC, Elton had a good, solid backing band (Attractions WAY better, IMHO).

        Interesting that EJ inducted EC & The Attractions in US Rock & Roll Hall of Fame. I see parallels between those 2 fellows. Starting with their names.

      • Bruce says:

        Would all have been very different if he’d done it the other way round and gone with Jerry Lee Abbott.

      • Nick S. says:

        GROAN. But funny!

        Actually, I need an alias, too. Never was crazy for the name my folks gave me. Can I take that one?

        JLA

      • Mike Miller says:

        There used to be a band here in KC called Elton Johnson. Always makes me laugh!

      • Bruce says:

        There used to be a band in London called Elton Morello. (Never amused me though). Oh what a tangled web we weave once we decide Reg or Dec doesn’t really cut it.

      • Mike Miller says:

        Elton’s Johnson would have been even better!

      • Mike Miller says:

        You had to know this was coming:

        If produced by Billy they would be called: Elton Morella

      • Bruce says:

        … or Ello Fitzgerald.

      • Nick S. says:

        Ha!

        Right on, Bruce. In my mind, the serious “singer-songwriter” is about sincerity, honesty, credibility and truth-seeking. The opposite of an actor. All sorts of other things are thrown in the mix, too . . . but starting out with a “persona” seems to run counter to goal.

      • Bruce says:

        An actor can be about those virtues too, there are some that have attained that. And any actor or singer’s persona is already another layer added on top of a layer. But the better of them use it “virtuously” and the lesser ones use it as a marketing contrivance.

      • Nick S. says:

        I hear you, Bruce.

        For whatever reasons, I’ve always been much more interested in music/musicians over actors. Actors tend to be part of a much more collaborative effort. There seems more individualism and “purity” in music. More of a “folk” art.

      • Bruce says:

        Are you saying musicians don’t collaborate! And actors don’t have egos!

      • Nick S. says:

        Ha!

        No, I’m saying outside of the one man band, musicians in a band must collaborate . . . it’s just a smaller pool of collaborators. Less diluted, it seems to me.

        Movies have producers, directors, cinematographers, actors, and a zillion other collaborators that get credited at the end of the movie. And I think actors tend to have bigger egos than musicians, and less talent.

        But I’m biased . . . I can appreciate both art forms, but favor music.

  15. David Witherington says:

    Great casting, Bruce…and this post made me wonder who came up with the name “The Attractions” all those years ago? Any memories or stories on that?

    • Bruce says:

      I came up with that one, David. A certain singer wanted to call his band the “Sticky Valentines” — uuuggh. I suggested we have soemthing a bit more Motown-ish, and once we’d brain-stormed as far as the Temptations, we were there. I was on a bit of a roll that day, because shortly after that a certain young keyboard player was heard to ask “What’s a groupie?” “Oh, Steve,” I said,”you’re so naive.”

      • David Witherington says:

        What a great background story. Thanks so much for shedding light on those historic moments. I’m with you on “The Sticky Valentines” – uuugh indeed! Kudos to you for both brilliant ideas. 🙂

      • Nick S. says:

        “Sticky Valentines” would have been a “Brilliant Mistake.” Uuuggghhh is right. Unimaginable. (I’ll bet that “naive,” young Keyboard Player got hip to “groupies” right quick!)

      • Bruce says:

        1) That’s enough puns for one day. 2) No comment.

      • Mike Miller says:

        Why was a brilliant Royal Academy student with, according to the lore, no knowledge of rock or pop music, auditioning for this group?

      • Bruce says:

        Is it called thinking outside of the box?

    • Mike Miller says:

      Was Clover ever considered to be the full time band?

  16. Nick S. says:

    Re. “The Attractions Story!” and its director, Ed Wood . . . wasn’t his specialty the “B Movie”? (GROAN. Sorry . . . couldn’t help myself.)

  17. Nick S. says:

    HA! Stately!

  18. Nick S. says:

    Bruce, who will play Nick Lowe — my favorite EC & The Attractions producer?

  19. Mike Miller says:

    Who do you suggest for the part of the country producer?

  20. Best movie pitch EVER! Oh if only it were true! Reading this post, I’ve just laughed harder and louder than I’ve done in quite a while!

    • Bruce says:

      Thank you! You’ve just inspired me to add a cameo appearance …

      • Nick S. says:

        Did EC & The Attractions ever share a bill with Bruce Springsteen

      • Bruce says:

        No, but we shared a dressing room … early in our US touring, the Attractions dressing room was visited by a young man who came in as if he had a right to be there but said nothing and smiled occasionally. It turned out to be the Boss (in his apprentice days) — the very same chap who went on to become the Obama groupie.

      • Nick S. says:

        At least The Apprentice smiled some.

        It’s unfortunate when first impressions aren’t so great. Personally, as I grow older, I try to remember to cut people some slack . . . give them the BOD. (And hope they do the same for me.) It’s easier to do so, if they apologize, explain, etc., and it’s not their usual way. We’re only human after all. But we still do recall those first and often lasting impressions.

        Re. “Obama groupies,” HA! There’s a term I heard and have used, that I find amusing . . . “Obama Zombies.”

      • Bruce says:

        I didn’t have a bad impression about Mr Springsteen at all — I thought he was a pretty chilled guy. No attitude or anything. In fact, we found a small mouse in the dressing room and spent most of the time teaching it to sit on our hands.

  21. John Anderson says:

    I would love to see these dudes played by the originals. They do wonderful things with makeup nowadays.

  22. Mike Miller says:

    If Harry’s busy maybe Pesci or DeNiro would be available.

  23. Mike Miller says:

    You would need someone for Bebe…I’m thinking Phyllis Diller.

  24. Mike Miller says:

    I see Frank signed on with “Stiff Records” earlier in the year.

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