Private Pop Eye:
The Life and Times of Spiggy Topes
Macdonald, London, 1969
The blurb in the front:
Introduction by Professor Hans Killer
Private Eye in the old days (i.e. when Richard Ingrams was still editor) had many virtues, principally the bringing together of some of the greatest satirical writers of the late-20th century. Ingrams, Auberon Waugh, John Wells, Willie Rushton, Peter Cook - that's a pretty damn good line-up. Unfortunately the magazine also had its problems, not least of them a perception in some quarters that it was shot through with hatred: hatred of women, Jews, black people, gays ... well, anyone they weren't at school with, basically.
The other major gap in the magazine was its absolute lack of interest in popular culture. This has changed since the arrival of Ian Hislop and Craig Brown, but back in the 1960s the dislike of The Beatles - and John Lennon in particular - swam resolutely against the stream. The absurd canonisation of Lennon in the mass media since his death means that being reminded of the Eye's relentless attacks on him (in his guise as Spiggy Topes, leader of The Turds) should be all the more welcome. Unfortunately it's difficult to take the piss out of something you know nothing about, so this collection of pieces from the magazine is of strictly marginal, historical interest. Probably the best bits are the reprints from Pseud's Corner featuring the likes of John Peel and his ilk.
Biglips is king oh yes he is the turned on king of the ectoplasmic galaxy
Oh hipster Jesus the fuzz will try and crucify you baby yes
But you will rise again Micky boy because you are such a biggy oh yes indeed.
- EL Threbbit
ENTERTAINMENT VALUE: 2/5
HIPNESS QUOTIENT: 2/5
rock & roll