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TIMOTHY LEA
Confessions of a Pop Performer


click to enlarge

Futura, London, 1975
(price: 50p; 160 pages)
(originally published as Confessions From The Pop Scene by Futura in 1974)

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...
For Timmy Lea, always on the lookout for a new career with plenty of openings, Noggo Enterprises spelled success, money and a chance to get his name into the bright lights - providing he could survive the partnership with brother-in-law Sid and his nephew Jason Noggett, the 7-year-old's answer to Mick Jagger, not to speak of Dyke Henna, the transvestite rock star (born Fred Nudger).
Even when business was slow, the manager of Noggo Enterprises found plenty of scope for his talents; in beds, bars and the back seats of sportscars there was always somebody who wanted a little piece of his action.
Would simple unaffected Timmy survive in the hard world of Pop?


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.)

Corrr!
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).


click to enlarge
the first edition

ARTISTIC MERIT: 1/5
ENTERTAINMENT VALUE:
1/5
HIPNESS QUOTIENT:
1/5


from the maker of:
More? Oh God, no!
It's a Knock-Up
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