Cameras! Lights! Action!
There’s a new TV pop series starting in the autumn. It’s called Rebellious Jukebox and it combines “comedy, fun and live entertainment” and a lot of rather well-known people. Ian Cranna saw the first two days’ filming. Andrew Catlin took the snaps.
You’ve heard of Miles Copeland, wheeler-dealer brother of Stewart Copeland and manager of The Police. Well, these days he can afford to make TV shows and that’s why we’re down here in the classy plate glass and tubular steel Limehouse Studios in London’s dockland.
His TV pop series, Rebellious Jukebox, Is set in an “anything goes” club with a cast of regulars like Meat Loaf (the owner), Jools Holland (the manager), Marl Wilson (hat-check girl) etc, who do the linking comedy sketches, plus of course loads of bands. The directors are infamous video makers Godley & Creme.
It’s all semi-organised chaos, with cameramen running about under a battery of lights, highly-dressed extras posing and bossy floor managers shouting things like “Absolute quiet, gang!”
The linking sketches are particularly chaotic, especially those involving the bands, and since the heavily Americanized script is commonly agreed to be terrible, everyone’s ad-libbing madly.
Reactions to being involved vary among the bands. General Public’s Dave Wakeling is hiding by the make-up room ready to develop laryngitis at a moment’s notice, Frankie aren’t sure what’s going on and call for a conference, but UB40 throw themselves in with gusto, creating problems for the censors with dubious jokes.
Feargal Sharkey, who’s simply been told to turn up by his manager, finds himself involved in an exploding hippy sketch. “I was given the pleasure and distinction of being seated at a table with a rather large female American presenter and somebody chucked a blood-covered plastic arm into my lap.”
How does Jools find this show compared with The Tube?
“Here I’ve been particularly successful because, in acting, one doesn’t look at the camera. All I’m saying is his—
Finally it’s up to Godley and Creme to knit it all together. As Miles Copeland explains, “Godley and Creme are the only directors who came out of the rock ‘n’ roll world. And the whole idea is that the show is made by rock ‘n’ roll people. And if the people in the show love it, you’ve done the impossible.”