Last Thursday there was a benefit gig for Dan Treacy of The Television Personalities held at the 100 Club on Oxford Street. I couldn’t make it but Thomas Zimmermann, was there. I first met Thomas in 1984 when he promoted and toured managed my band Go! Service supporting The T.V. Personalities round Europe. A few of the German musicians we met on that tour also made it over for the gig. Dirk, Matthias and Key.
Thomas in a dressing room, somewhere in Europe, 1984.
Thomas wrote this:
Props to Dave Musker, Jeffrey Bloom, Alan McGee, Jowe Head, Texas Bob and everyone else who contributed to this wonderful evening by buying a ticket, performing on stage, selling/buying merchandise and donating funds. My life would have taken a different course if I hadn’t turned up outside a pub called The Dive near Strand on August 26,1982. I realized that gear was being unloaded and picked up a guitar case, carried it inside the venue and somehow attracted the attention of some of the people around. In the end I found myself on stage with the likes of The Legend! and Alan McGee banging a tambourine. Apart from Jerry and Alan I got to know Stephen Pastel, Clive Solomon, Colin Swan (Direct Hits were on the bill too) and of course Mark Flunder, Empire and Daniel Treacy during the evening.
The following weekend (Sep 4) I saw them again at Knebworth Alternative Festival, where they performed with 23 Skidoo, Portion Control and others. I offered Dan to distribute his Whaam! label in Germany, started a mailorder, placed a few ads and soon received a letter from a guy called Macs from a venue called Forum Enger. He had heard of an imminent tour and asked if TVPs could play at his club. I did not know about a tour, but offered him to arrange it and so I booked a couple of gigs in Biel, Frankfurt, Berlin, Heiligenhaus, Hamburg, Munich and Enger in the first week of January 1984.
Approximately a hundred TVPs gigs followed all over the continent until 1991. Dirk Rudolph and I along with two other friends started Pastell and put out the Chocolat Art live album which was of course recorded at Forum Enger later that year during a three week long tour through Germany, Switzerland, Liechtenstein and the Netherlands.
I booked the Creation Records Package Tour (JAMC/Jasmine Minks/Biff Bang Pow) which took place in October and I was so glad to see so many of the band members and crew from that year at the 100 Club, all convening to honour Dan and his incredible songwriting skills and helping to raise funds to make his current life a little bit better, hopefully. Oh missing were Edward Ball, Stephen Pastel and Jo Bartlett.
I was sorry to have missed the 100 club get together, The Direct Hits, maybe The Times, probably Small World too, were one side of Dan’s love of both pop/mod music and the avant garde were much further over there. Six weeks ago I moved pretty far up north so to get back there for that night was just bad timing. We were absolutely in awe of Dan, he was such a lovely fella, and I’m proud to say he was quoted on more than one occasion as saying he regarded the songwriting in the band very highly and as songwriters we should be taken seriously, he felt we were writing good solid pop songs. well it doesnt get much better than that, does it! Geno and myself always thought Dan was a very smart guy, childlike in some ways, always very enthusiastic about the music he was putting out probably a much better musician than he led anyone to believe, the night he came in to play on ‘The Old Curiosity shop’ during the recording of ‘Blow Up’ he did it in one take, with such ease. he was / is a very competent musician and how the fuck he got into such a mess with drugs I’ll never know, because the Dan I remember despised anything to do with drugs, poked fun at junkies and I believe at the time, he was genuinely scared of them. i’m not sure about this of course, he may have been taking something weird and wonderful, but the real dan was always in the room, and on the ball. I only hope he can get to enjoy the rest of his life, and he pulls through his health issues I love the guy, I bet he would’ve loved to have been at the gig, just to know he’s touched so many people. He believed in what we were doing when nobody else did…all very serious at the time, and he gave us the opportunity to make a record.
For that alone, he’ll always be the man. – Colin Swan
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Thanks Colin! A lovely read.
I hope it goes someway to giving an insider view to being at whaam! at the beginning. It was a brilliant thing to be part of.
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