Author Topic: Up Yaws ("Fucking Cunt/Awkward Bastard") anonymous comedy 12" - the revival!  (Read 23321 times)

Lee

  • It's discipline that begets love
    • My things.
A few years ago someone (Ambient Sheep?) brought up the topic of this mythical record from the 1980s, featuring no name, and a five-minute barrage of insults set to smooth jazz. As far as I can remember someone thought it might have been Robert Llewelyn, but I think that idea was scrapped (no pun intended). Fast forward to 7pm this evening, whilst watching Scrapheap Challenge I am reminded of this record and do a quick Google to see if any more info was found. That it wasn't, but I did find a copy for sale from a private collector named Chris. I've since reserved my copy, but like me, Chris was in the dark about the history of the record, beyond the label, which is apparently "Tell It Like It Is Records", and the release code, "TOK". He's since asked me if I know anything about the record, which brought me back here. Basically, what I'm asking is if anyone has any of the information about this release saved from the old board (I assume it was the old one anyway - the search is bringing nothing up) if they could post it up here please. Besides being for my own selfish purposes, it was a great old thread, and it would be interesting given everyone who's joined here since if maybe there might any new theories as to the singer's identity. Also, unless anyone' still got that old MP3 of the track (Neil? I remember it being on your first Cookd and Mixd show...) I'll do a rip of it myself when it arrives.

Incidentally, I looked up "Tell It Like It Is Records" for further clues, and the only other hit I found was to Belgian eBay sales of records by 90s dance act The Nile. So I suspect there's two labels of that name. I got excited for a minute, as I thought it might have been Belgium New Beat "band" Explorers Of The Nile, but apparently not. So no, no help there, and therefore nothing of any relevance in this paragraph whatsoever.

Rev

  • A Manufacturing Concern
All I can remember about this one was that Brian Conley was asked directly about it and denied all knowledge.  Oh, and that, after much wrangling, it was somehow established that UPYAWS was the name of the 'artist', and the song was called 'Dedicated to _____' or something very similar (there had been some debate about whether this was an actual title, just a mysterious note on the label, or whether UPYAWS was in fact the name of the song and the performer was anonymous).

The investigation just fizzled out after hitting numerous brick walls, I think.  But I said it then and I'll say it now:  that's definitely Tony Hawks doing backing vocals.



I still have the mp3. I'll try to upload it later today.

As far as I know, nobody has managed to ask Brian Conley about it...I asked Robert Llewellyn if he did it possibly with 'The Joeys' but he said it wasn't him.

My info about it was that I was played it in 1987 by a stagehand at the Grand Theatre in Blackpool and was told that it was done by Brian Conley on a portastudio. He was doing a summer season at that time in the Winter Gardens and the cassette ('cos that was what it was played to me on) was doing the rounds amongst the lads who worked in the Blackpool theatres.

The first I know of it as a recording was when Sheepy poste about it.

I've tried writing to Brian Conley via his management, but I'm not sure how seriously they'd take such an email!!! I drew a blank anyway.

Jemble Fred

  • ... And I ain't ashamed.
    • 100% BALLS
that's definitely Tony Hawks doing backing vocals.

Ask him then, he accepts emails on his official website, replied fairly regularly. And is a rather nice chap.

Perhaps this whole thing was a missing album track from Morris Minor...

Lee

  • It's discipline that begets love
    • My things.
Hm...... interesting. I'll fire an email off to Tony Hawks later on today. Had no idea Brian Conley had been drawn into the argument. Certainly makes watching Dirty Rotten Cheater a more entertaining prospect though.

Ambient Sheep

  • I owe lots of people PMs, sorry. Hopefully soon...
Hello people.  A little bird told me about this thread, and I couldn't resist popping in to contribute, as it was indeed me that first mentioned this record.


"TOK" is not the release code, but the publishing company: "(R) TOK MUSIC 1984".  Note, "(R)", not "(P)" nor "(C)" as you'd normally expect, so either a typo, or deliberate misdirection, or there's something I don't know.  :-)

"UPYAWS" is neither the artist nor the song title, but the catalogue number - "Up yaws 2".

The record label is indeed "Tell it like it is records.", but there's also something that looks like a distributor's logo that says "RLR".  Like Lee, when I went hunting based on these clues a few years back, I ended up at numerous brick walls somewhere in the dancey end of The Low Countries.

"Dedicated to _ _ _ _ _" might be the title, but I think it's more likely that it's just a mysterious note on the label.  The record shop I bought it from was an old-school independent (Parrot[t?] Records in Harlow), and they would put the cardboard sleeve of the record out into the shop inside a clear plastic sleeve, upon which they'd put one of those little white stickers you can get from W.H.Smiths, upon which they'd handwrite the artist and title - especially useful as there was a trend at the time for sleeves to be wilfully obscure at times, e.g. "New Order - Brotherhood".  In the case of our friend here, there were two stickers, one above the other, which said exactly the following (although the line-breaks might be slightly wrong):

File under: 'ONE-
SIDED 12" by UNKNOWN
TOP-TEN ARTIST'

(warning, contains
some naughty
words!!)


By which I took it to mean that the record had been supplied to them by the distributor under that name.

The only other clue is that on the run-out groove it says "BUCKIM + RISKIT   *" and nothing else, not even the "Upyaws 2A" catalogue number.

Most of my friends at the time thought that Captain Sensible was indeed involved (hello tagger!), especially as he'd been in the top-ten not long beforehand with "Glad It's All Over / Damned On 45", which was released on 24th March 1984 and got to number 6.  (He had, of course, also been to number 1 with "Happy Talk" back in 1982.)

I still wouldn't rule out the Brian Conley thing, but I'd say it sounds rather good for a Portastudio recording, something like a Fostex or Tascam 8-track reel-to-reel setup seems more plausible.  Quite a few muso shops were doing deals for a complete system (mixer and tape deck) for about £2000 at the time, as opposed to about £500 for a 4-track portastudio, I was almost tempted myself at one point.

Somewhere on an old PC I have my original post about this interesting artifact saved; however that's not up-and-running right now, but I don't think there's any more to add.  Except, here's my original scans of the label:

[spoiler=A-side][/spoiler]

[spoiler=B-side][/spoiler]

[spoiler=Run-out Groove][/spoiler]

also, here's a brand-new remastered-from-the-original-WAV-file 320k MP3:

http://www.sendspace.com/file/yb6anr

Once I dug out my own copy, it turned out that the original MP3 was only 128k, had been made with some ancient thing (well it was 2002!) called BladeEnc, and sounded a bit gurgly in places.  Sorry EFB if you've spent all day hunting for it - I spent quite a while looking for my own copy, which I found on an old CD-R (I wish I could be as confident that the DVD-R burns I do today would be so readable in six years time!).  Also, apologies for the dreadful turntable noise, in my defence I can only say that it wasn't MY turntable, it was done for me by a kind friend with good ripping skills but a lousy deck, sorry! 

By the way, how much did you pay for it, Lee?  I think mine was £2.49 or possibly £2.99.  And if you're still in touch with Chris, or if he visits here, I'd be interested to know where he bought it, as when Gazeuse and I were chatting about it a few years ago he wondered whether it had just been hand-distributed to a few shops near Brian Conley's home turf of Hertfordshire...

Lee

  • It's discipline that begets love
    • My things.
That's the stuff. Cheers for all that Sheepy, and for that MP3 (one for the laptop DJ sets methinks...). I'd rather not say how much I'm paying for it (it's more than £2.99 though) but I've just sent Chris an email asking where he got it from. It does seem he's been just as in the dark about the origins of this release as I am though.

Again, thanks for your efforts Sheepy and co. Oh, and I've sent Tony Hawks an email, so let's see what comes of that.

Ambient Sheep

  • I owe lots of people PMs, sorry. Hopefully soon...
Looking at it again with a fresh perspective, I suppose it could be

Artist: RLR
Title:  Dedicated to _ _ _ _ _

except for that stickered note on the sleeve by the record shop saying what it should be filed under, which is why I've always gone for that instead, plus the "RLR" looks more like a logo than a band name.

How on earth did you find him selling it, Lee?  What did you search on, "UPYAWS", I'm guessing?


Oh, and you might be better off doing your own rip for DJing purposes, Lee, as there's a helluva lot of turntable rumble going on underneath it all, although rather less noticeable since I cut 1.4 seconds off the beginning of the old version.  :-)

Lee

  • It's discipline that begets love
    • My things.
Yeah, I just did a Google of "Up Yaws" and found it that way. I'd never have done it if I hadn't watched Scrapheap Challenge last night. Funny how things happen, isn't it?

Oh, thank GOD! Cheers to you, Lee & Sheepy.

I first became aware of this track last year when Neil re-uploaded an old Cookd&Mixd comedy mix he'd done for the old board.

I thought it was hilarious at the time, and I recall I PM'd him to see if he had any info on it, and the reply was much along the same lines as the disproved Robert Llewelyn theory above.

Have tried to find out some more information on it via Google on several occasions but, given that all I had to go on in the search criteria was "Fucking Cunt Awkward Bastard" you can imagine how dissapointing my results were.

The version I heard last year was in glorious 32kbps, so it's good to hear the "Digitally Remastered" version, complete with previously unheard turntable rumble" that Sheepy's just posted.
Cheers for the fresh upload, sir.

Having listened to it again, I must agree that it really does sound like Brian Conley.

Ambient Sheep

  • I owe lots of people PMs, sorry. Hopefully soon...
Fuckin' hell, 36 downloads already, so Sendspace tells me!  Wow, glad to be of service.

Rev

  • A Manufacturing Concern
As far as I know, nobody has managed to ask Brian Conley about it...I asked Robert Llewellyn if he did it possibly with 'The Joeys' but he said it wasn't him. (...)

I've tried writing to Brian Conley via his management, but I'm not sure how seriously they'd take such an email!!! I drew a blank anyway.

See, this is what happens when I attempt to remember things.  It was your questionning of Robert Llewellyn that I was thinking of, but as Conley was the main suspect when this all cooled down I got them mixed up.

The pain about this is that even if the right person is identified, there's a good chance that they'll deny all knowledge of it, because it really begs a second question.


These threads are why CAB exists and why i love to spend time here. Would love it if this were solved.  Are the two words scratched on the words anagrams?

Ambient Sheep

  • I owe lots of people PMs, sorry. Hopefully soon...
I just assumed the words were a wry way of saying "Buck Him And Risk It".

However, whether that's the person behind the song talking about the song's target, or just the record-cutter's comment about sneaking a dodgy job in behind his boss's back (pure speculation there, but surely it would be odd to have a job that didn't even have a catalogue number on the pressing), who knows?  Maybe there is some deeper meaning there though, perhaps it was the name of a pub duo who were behind it, or something?

55 downloads and counting...

Lee

  • It's discipline that begets love
    • My things.
Fuckin' hell, 36 downloads already, so Sendspace tells me!  Wow, glad to be of service.
I've put it on a couple of other forums, but I doubt there'll have been many downloaders in either.

Is the same track on either side?? Whats on the other if not.

23 Daves

  • Break a leg!
    • Left and to the Back
It seems like I know even less about this disc than you lot, but even so, I'd be almost tempted to place money on it being Captain Sensible.  He's known for doing tons of home recordings in different styles, a number of which saw the light of day on his sprawling 2 CD set "Meathead" (which is supposedly extremely dull according to everyone who has ever heard it).  This would seem to be right in keeping with that, and more to the point I've always thought he sang "Golly baby I'm a lucky caaaaant" on "Happy Talkin'" as well.

If it were him, I don't see any reason why he wouldn't own up to it, though, unlike Conley who may have more to lose.

There again, the last time I listened to a mystery MP3 and tried to identify it for somebody I got the artist hopelessly wrong, so I don't exactly have a proven track record with this sort of thing. 

On the Brian Conley thing he may deny it due to current career. I worked out he would have been early 20s when it was recorded in 84 or earlier. He might have been young but after being in Pontins (blackpool connection) he was in a comedy showband called "Tomfoolery" so they could certainly have been behind it. He may also have plain forgotten he was ever involved as there was no real release and nothing else to go with it like publicity etc and the recording only took an hour or so. They may have just had enough cash to do a few copies for themselves and that makes sense of the rarety of it. He also may not have fronted the thing so again has no knowledge. the band (if they were involved) could have asked the unknown top 10 singer instead.

Just ideas.

Ambient Sheep

  • I owe lots of people PMs, sorry. Hopefully soon...
Is the same track on either side?? Whats on the other if not.

It's completely blank, no groove at all.  The label's advice is to be taken seriously!

Lee

  • It's discipline that begets love
    • My things.
Well I've heard from Chris, and he says he picked it up in an Andy's Records in Peterborough at some time between 1985-87. Copies of the record had been stored in an basement somewhere filed with stickers along the lines of "This record is not for sale and remains the property of the record company", and he goes on to speculate that "naughty Andy" had found these surplus copies and distributed them across his stores. Not much to go on there, but it does keep the record's location within the Eastern counties just about.

He's also planning on playing Sheepy's MP3 on his radio show, which I'm sure he won't mind me plugging:

http://www.radioseagull.com/

A rare 1980s comedy record being played on a Netherlands pirate radio station, Andy's Records, Captain Sensible... How much more nostalgic can this thread get? All we need now are some references to teasmades and Jim Bowen.............//

Ambient Sheep

  • I owe lots of people PMs, sorry. Hopefully soon...
Well I've heard from Chris, and he says he picked it up in an Andy's Records in Peterborough at some time between 1985-87.

Uh-huh.  Of course, Andy's stretched as far south as at least Cambridge, while Parrot Records went up as far as Norwich I think - like Andy's it was a small independent chain of about six or seven shops across the region.  A quick Google shows that it used to have branches in at least Cambridge, Southend, Colchester, and there's a Myspace page for what looks like a record label of that name based in Norwich, not that that's really relevant to the discussion.


Copies of the record had been stored in an basement somewhere filed with stickers along the lines of "This record is not for sale and remains the property of the record company"...

Fascinating!  At last, some fab new info!  Could they have just been standard stickers used for promos (some companies do that these days, but hadn't heard of it back then), or something special for this release?


...and he goes on to speculate that "naughty Andy" had found these surplus copies and distributed them across his stores. Not much to go on there, but it does keep the record's location within the Eastern counties just about.

Indeed it does.  Parrot[t?] in Harlow had more than one, by the way.  As soon as I heard it, I went out and bought another copy from them, and I got the impression they still had a few more on the shelf behind the counter; something in my head's saying they had five in total.  In any case the sleeve stayed in the rack for a few months afterwards, so it wasn't just a bizarre one-off or even two-off.


He's also planning on playing Sheepy's MP3 on his radio show, which I'm sure he won't mind me plugging:

http://www.radioseagull.com/

Oooh, so that'd be 10pm til midnight this coming Sunday, or from 3am-4am early Monday morning a few hours later, then...or 8pm-10pm on Tuesday, depending which Chris he is (the first, I think).  Not that I expect I'll be able to get it from here, but you never know, I might if the weather's right...oh they have a webcast too, duh.  Heh playing Genesis "I Know What I Like" as I type.  Apparently it's both the predecessor of and successor to Radio Caroline, according to the website, lovely!


A rare 1980s comedy record being played on a Netherlands pirate radio station, Andy's Records, Captain Sensible... How much more nostalgic can this thread get? All we need now are some references to teasmades and Jim Bowen.............//

...and Williams Defender machines.


...and me, I'm just a lawnmower, you can tell me by the way I walk.
« Last Edit: July 30, 2008, 01:55:38 AM by Ambient Sheep »

Ambient Sheep

  • I owe lots of people PMs, sorry. Hopefully soon...
Errrr, just seen the latest tags, which I'll record here in case they get cleared or tagging abandoned at some distant point in the future:

Quote
It's The Damned about the ex-bass players girlfriend /  or just Paul Gray, Rat's doing the awkwardbastard /  Dave Vanian the Barry White impression

...if any or all of those are true, thank you very much for the info!  Settled at last?


God, I've just realised how po-faced this discussion must look to any newcomer.  :-(  I've had a lot of fun over the years playing this record to people, so thanks for the good times, whoever you are.  :-)

Meanwhile, 78 downloads and counting...

JesusAndYourBush

  • Earnest silky coconut shell
    • http://www.google.com
I always thought one of the voices in it sounded like Dudley Moore.

Jemble Fred

  • ... And I ain't ashamed.
    • 100% BALLS
I always thought one of the voices in it sounded like Dudley Moore.

Well when I was 12 me and my brother had 'Come Again' on the same tape as 'The Best Of Kevin Bloody Wilson', and I wondered why Dud put on an Australian accent for all those songs...

I downloaded this a few days ago, so i'm one of the mysterious bastards not saying thanks - thanks!! it's a very interesting story behind this, i'm interested to see how this turns out and if Tony Hawks gives any info.

Captain Sensible has a myspace which he seems to either run himself or has someone doing a very good impression of him, it might be worth asking over there if everyones settling on The Damned.

EDIT - i asked him myself via messages with some of the info culled from here, if no one minds. And pointed whoevers running the place in this direction.

Good work, GT. Fingers crossed. 

Went on Brian Conley's website the other day out of curiosity.  Looks very doubtful that he actually runs it himself, so thought twice about e-mailing "Hello Brian.  Loved Nick Frisbee.  That lottery show you did was good wonnit.  'Ere, did you do Fuckin' Cunt Awkward Bastard 24 years ago?"

Hopefully the Captain might throw some much-needed light on this?

JesusAndYourBush

  • Earnest silky coconut shell
    • http://www.google.com
It can't be Brian Conley.  Looking him up on wikipedia, by 1984 he hadn't done very much, and definitely not a top 10 artist.  Even now in 2008 he's still not a top 10 artist is he?

I was thinking how to give this more publicity and possibly help solve this.  My first idea was a viral spam type of thing - send it to a friend and he passes it on etc, but that's no good as by the time it gets to someone who has any information they've no way of getting the info back to you.  2nd idea was a domain called something like upyaws.com that has the song and a small forum where people can leave their ideas.  That'd be too much hassle to set up.  How about a video on youtube where people can listen to it and read some text telling them what we know so far?  Anyone up for making it?  I could give it a go if someone can collate what information we have so far into some concise little sentences to bung on the video, except it'd have to include the scans of the record labels and I've no idea how to get a jpg into a video.

Just now I was googling for "buckim + riskit".  All I found is buckim is Korean for pancake and riskit is Finnish for risks.  Pancake risks?  Nope, that's no help.
« Last Edit: July 31, 2008, 07:20:00 PM by JesusAndYourBush »

Ambient Sheep

  • I owe lots of people PMs, sorry. Hopefully soon...
A Youtube video is a great idea and I'm up for doing it if we don't hear back from the Captain, Tony Hawks, or anyone else.  For the moment though I'd like to hang fire as it'll be a hassle - if a fun hassle! - to do, so let's see if we get any replies first.

Oh, and we've just hit 100 downloads.  :-)

eluc55

  • Member
  • **
  • bleep
Oh, and we've just hit 100 downloads.  :-)

Aye, ta sheepy.