Sunday, May 06, 2007

The Bill

People I like called Bill.

My Uncle Bill. He's a good bloke.

Bill Oddie.
He was my favourite Goodie. He was always defending the workers. He somehow carried off being the bearded hippy because of his cheeky charm and revolutionary zeal. He did all the music for the show and the Goodies' music was awesome. (Spicks and Specks once featured a kick-arse version of Do The Funky Gibbon sung by the daughter of Bill Oddie's musical sidekick which I wish I could find on Youtube. I've looked. It's not there.)

Bill Bailey
You might know the name from the TV show Black Books. Fixit and I went and saw his sell-out Melbourne shows at the 2005 Melbourne Comedy Festival and I was also lucky enough to be part of the studio audience on Spicks and Specks when Bill made an appearance on that. He had me doubled over with laughter both times.

I think my favourite ever Black Books was The Backout when Bill's character Manny overdoses on coffee and assumes the persona of a police officer circa The Sweeney. When he sits on himself it makes me cry with laughter.

He is also a very talented musician and his musical parodies are superb. The version of the Hokey-Pokey that he used to close his Part Troll stage show is a masterpiece. And I'm not even a Kraftwerk fan.

Billy Bragg
He features very prominently in my CD collection. (Fixit very sweetly recently replaced my stolen Billy CDs) My friend Matt can't stand the tone of Bill's Cockney singing voice but I really like it and the poetry of his lyrics always get me.

When I used to work for Australian band Weddings Parties Anything I had a few opportunities to meet the great Mister Bragg. And guess what? I was too awe-struck to ever talk to him. I'd be there in the same room having just been on the guest list to his live shows, I'd be kicking back with Mick and the boys in the same room as Billy and I couldn't even get the guts up to say Hello. Working in rock 'n roll was completely wasted on me, I was too straight. And kinda shy around all those party-hard muso types. I never thought they should be bothered by the likes of me, even though any other drunk bastard who'd blagged their way into the bandroom never seem to feel the slightest qualm about boring on and on about themselves to the band. I've met heaps of great Aussie rock types and barely said anything at all to them : Paul Kelly, Tim Rogers, The Whitlams for example. I did a bit better with the more girly bands like Tiddas and the Waifs.... And anyway, I just wanted to do tap-dance and that doesn't cut a lot of mustard in ROCK!! Even though I probably worked for the nicest bunch of blokes in Australian rock. (Although, I have been recorded tapdancing on 2 cds purely because Mick Thomas knows me. Which is a good thing. The cd I did last year is looking like a July release so I'm excited about that and was really happy with the version Trish sent me in January.)

Anyway. The point of all this is : LOOKIT what I found on Youtube the other night!!!

TWO of my favourite Bills performing on stage together!

Enjoy. I certainly did.


  1. F'in BRILL!!!
    WE share a love of Bills.
    I also adore Bill Steamshovel ("Hurry up").

    I miss WPA. Still get the CDs out and reminisce about great shows at Tillys in Canberra...

  2. omg you are nearly famous yourself with all the stars you have rubbed shoulders with. Blackbooks Bill very funny!

  3. Bill Bailey.

    Is my hero.

    I have the complete series of Black Books here, if you need em.

  4. I love Bill Bailey especially on Never Mind the Buzzcocks (music quiz show over here).
    Best Black Books episode - when they get the security system installed and Manny gets locked in.

  5. I Love LOVE Billy Bragg as well. My American hubby cannot understand why, he says he can't sing (he says the same about Nick Cave!!!). Great Leap Forward is a song I often go to for inspiration.

    And yes to Bill Odie - or Blodie as Tim Brooke-Taylor used to call him ;)

  6. Oh, I love Billy Connelly so would just like to add him to the list of fab Bills :D

  7. Stomper, I'd marry you just for that list! I go on a pilgrimage each time Billy Bragg is in the country to worship at the altar of Bill. My bestest Billy Bragg friend Mary (between marx and marzipan in the dictionary there was mary) left the bloody country so now I have no one to pay homage with, hint hint hint hint.
    My fave Black Books Bill Bailey has to be where he goes missing and ends up as the little beard model. Bernard and Fran in the police station "Would you like a drink?"
    "Oh yes anything but chardonay"
    I think I might go and watch that now.
    And Bill Oddie the one where he yells at the soccer player to get up, you're faking, on the field, in the operating theatre and at the grave site.

  8. Oh my god, that was funny! I've actually seen Black Books over here in the States. Cracked me up. And Billy Bragg...I've liked him for ages but most people here say "Who?" when I mention his name.

  9. Caitlin: I'd forgotten all about Bill Steamshovel. But I think you'll find it was Blackboard who said "hurry up".
    I love Tillys too, I have probably crossed paths with you there at some stage!
    Jo: I would be more almost famous if these famous dudes actually remembered me - which they definitely would not!!
    Shula: I know. Hero. *sigh*
    Velcro: Occasionally I 'Youtube" (it's a verb now, shutup. It is) NMTB and I wish it screened here. Thank God for the internet.
    SF: LOVE GreatLeap Forward! And yes to Billy Connolly too!
    Sussanah: I think I should plan my next holiday up QLD way .. but I can't remember the soccer player episode. Which is really bugging me now. Go here
    if you would like to hear an mp3 file of "Wild Thing" it rocks.
    MB: Yeah, I'm never sure how much these artists I like have infiltrated into the States. You are clearly a woman of taste!

  10. You're weird.

    I like fiftydolla myself, and his brothers twentydolla, and hundreddolla.

    'Specially when they take me out shopping


  11. OK. That does it. I am getting the entire Black Books series on DVD. I have ummed and ahhed over it long enough!

  12. Stomper if you find the episode where Mark Lamarr has a go at Chris Moyles (about 1998) can you let me know. It is supposed to be a classic but isn'ton You Tube

  13. Billy Connelly rings a bell. I'm a little out of this loop. :)

  14. That is a fantiastic bunch of billies that you have collected. (What is the correct collective noun? Batch? Bevy? Busload?)

    I hope that Fixit has a name that is at least similar to Billy.

  15. I'm not up to date vwith all the hip Bills , but I can contribute a few. Our next door neighbour's name is Bill. Sweet old guy in his 70's. Can fix anything and talk your ear right off your head...Then there's Charming Billy which I recently read and enjoyed. Then there's the Bill who arrives with regularity in our mailbox; and Buffalo Bill....and my Uncle Willie, who could have been a Bill except in Ireland they shorten William to Willie or Liam---who's the genius who made the leap from William to Bill anyhow? Probably the same genius who made Dick from Richard......Stop, you say? PlEASE stop you say? ok......oh,oh! I have one more! BILLabong....

  16. Billy Bragg takes me back to my growing up days - even hearing a chord of two makes my heart change its beating pattern.

  17. Oh, yes, and you worked for Wedding Parties Anything? WOW.

  18. oooh I am so glad that I found your blog - Bill from the Goodies is one of my all time faves!!! I haven't seen that show in years (since I ended in Britain with nothing to do but visit the pub, read and watch telly) - just awesome!!!!


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