Confessions of a Pop Performer
Futura, London, 1975
For Ted Seago and the Boston Boppers
dedication: For Ted Seago and the Boston Boppers
The blurb on the back:
Teenyboppers, hungry groupies, payola, crooked DJs, foreign tours, golden discs, TV spectaculars, screaming fans and packed out concert halls...
The only real question here is: How bad is this book?
And the answer is: Absolutely appalling. It's dire, dreadful and disastrous. Poor, pathetic and pitiful. Words cannot do it justice.
Let me put it this way: it's much, much worse than the film. At least in the film, you get Robin Askwith, who had a certain awful charm to him, (apparently Richard O'Sullivan, Dennis Waterman and Richard Beckinsale had already turned down the role before it was offered to him), together with a shockingly long list of British stalwarts: Bob Todd, Peter Jones, Jill Gascoigne, Ian Lavender, Tony Booth (Tony Blair's father-in-law, let us not forget) and so on. In the book ... oh, I can't be bothered to describe it.
Nor can the book, which is part of the problem with the whole Confessions series. It aimed to be a modern, saucy take on the Carry On tradition, but (a) it wasn't funny, and (b) its fear of showing anything more than 'some bird's tits' meant that it didn't even make it to the level of Keep It Up Downstairs in the sex farce stakes. 'There are limits beyond which I dare not go for risk of offending the more sensitive of my readers,' writes Timothy Lea. Wimp.
Timothy Lea, incidentally, was a pseudonym used by Christopher Wood; later volumes in the series appeared under the name Jonathan May, which - like Mick Norman - concealed the identity of Laurence James. (See this interview with Mr James for further comment.)
Robin Askwith and Helli Louise
NOTE: Just in case you're interested in this kind of thing, IMDb tells me that Ms Helli Louise (pictured above) was a Danish actress born Helli Louise Jacobson c.1950, who starred in films like Daddy, Darling, Dagmar's Hot Pants and I, A Woman 3 before moving to Britain. Here she became a regular in low-rent saucy movies - she was in Carry On Behind, The Ups and Downs of a Handyman and The Hot Girls - as well as making an appearance in The Goodies and the Beanstalk and giving us her Second Girl in Pub in a 1975 episode of The Sweeney. She was last sighted in The World Is Full of Married Men (1979).
the first edition
ARTISTIC MERIT: 1/5
It's a Knock-Up