20
Aug 07

PETERS AND LEE – “Welcome Home”

FT + Popular122 comments • 11,862 views

#334, 21st July 1973

Suppose one wanted to give “Welcome Home” a low mark – what actual grounds would one have for saying it’s a bad record? It’s a catchy, memorable, uptempo song, delivered in a friendly and honest way. It’s sentimental, but a level of sentimentality is almost inevitable when you’re trying to communicate big emotions in a small song. Certainly its sense of calm and relief doesn’t transmit as phoney.

But I don’t want to listen to it again, either – I can make myself empathise with it but that doesn’t come naturally. It’s not an exciting record. It doesn’t want to be, so this is another unfair criticism, but one which gets closer to the contentedly huge gap between what “Welcome Home” offers and what I want. Pop music needs to agitate me somehow, contain questions or conflicts, provoke reactions (physical ones are fine!), build imaginative worlds – but “Welcome Home” is all resolution, a happy ending without a story to lead me to it. In the end I can’t respond to it, not because it’s bad, or poorly crafted, but because it feels too complete. Maybe later.

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Comments

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  1. 61
    Erithian on 28 Aug 2007 #

    There’s summat up wi’ summat here – New Faces, as in the ITV talent show, began in 1973/74, long after the Bonzos came to prominence. Yet various parts of the Web refer to their appearing on a show called New Faces in 1966 – presumably this was a different show?

  2. 62
    Mark G on 28 Aug 2007 #

    56: Waldo:

    Wolfgang Plugge!

    One child playing beethoven, aggressively.

    Won every week, until he had to go back to school, or got stopped for winning embarrassingly.

    Never seen again?

  3. 63
    Mark G on 28 Aug 2007 #

    OK, found some:

    Wolfgang Plagge’s music is being performed by musicians, ensembles and orchestras all over the world, and his reputation as a composer is ever growing. In 1996 he was created “Composer of the Year” with the Trondheim Symphony Orchestra. He received the American ASCAP Award for 2001 and won the Vocal Nord composers’ contest 2003. A number of works are recorded on CD; scores can be obtained through 2L e-scores, Musikk-Husets Forlag AS Oslo, or the Norwegian Music Information Center. Wolfgang Plagge is a member of the Norwegian Society of Composers.

  4. 64
    Chris Brown on 28 Aug 2007 #

    #42: It’s a running gag between my brother and my dad that we once missed the start of The Simpsons because my dad insisted on watching some footage of “the bloke who hits himself on the head with a tray” on some ghastly clip show.

    Speaking for myself here, I’m not of an age to have any memories associated with this song other than the Linekar advert, but it’s a record I’d have to make a real effort to dislike. Mind you, I’ve got all the Richard Hawley albums.

  5. 65
    Waldo on 29 Aug 2007 #

    Thank you for the update on Wolfgang, guys. I knew I wasn’t losing my mind this time.

  6. 66
    BRIAN MATTOCKS on 29 Aug 2007 #

    Peters and lee were one of my fave acts, I grew up with them and still hear from Diane and Rick price (her hubby) now and then. Welcome home is not their best work, but the one thats well known….they did 11 albums and 22 singles. And old fasioned way was not a follow up to welcome home, but by your side/clear on my mind It wasn’t a big hit as don’t stay away too long sadly……but Ive LOVED everyones memories of peters n lee here, even the ones who diddn’t like them or the song!

    BRIAN

  7. 67
    dave cotton on 30 Aug 2007 #

    what ever happened to “Wolfgang Plug” a James Harries lookalke who played piano? only me and our drummer ever seen him…..never met any one else who remembers him! HELP

  8. 68
    Erithian on 30 Aug 2007 #

    Brian M – welcome along mate. It’s a nice by-product of Popular that fans or even friends of the acts covered can stumble across our discussions via Google. Best wishes to Dianne and Rick. And Brian, if you look around on the site you’ll find a discussion on Wizzard that I think you’ll enjoy too (*SPOILER ALERT* – and another one shortly!)

    Wolfgang Plugge? Now even I’m starting to think you’re making it up!!

  9. 69
    Marcello Carlin on 30 Aug 2007 #

    Even I don’t remember WP.

    I do remember a Bobby Crush-style pianist on either OpKnox or New Faces slightly later in the decade who may or may not have been Australian but who bore the remarkable stage name of Wayne King.

  10. 70
    Waldo on 30 Aug 2007 #

    Perhaps Wayne Kerr would have been more appropriate…

    Brain M. Yes, welcome to the party and all the best to Dianne and Rick. I’m sure that “Old Fashioned Way” was on the flip of “Don’t Stay Away Too Long”. Perhaps this should have been a Double-A.

  11. 71
    Marcello Carlin on 30 Aug 2007 #

    It certainly was the flipside and possibly should have been a double B side but anyway…

    “Don’t Stay Away Too Long” was an odd one; the same tune and arrangement, but with different lyrics, was a hit for Bobby Vinton in the States at exactly the same time under the name of “My Melody Of Love.”

    Meanwhile, Aznavour’s original of “The Old Fashioned Way” hit later on in ’73 and went on to sell 200,000 copies despite never climbing higher than #38.

  12. 72
    Waldo on 30 Aug 2007 #

    Lordy, was that 200,000 copies just here in the UK?

  13. 73
    Marcello Carlin on 30 Aug 2007 #

    Yep. It was in the Top 100 for just over a year, largely because Wogan wouldn’t stop playing it.

  14. 74
    Waldo on 30 Aug 2007 #

    That’s a remarkable stat from MC. Although to prevent the risk of setting off Spoiler sirens all over the place perhaps further discussion vis a vis French Charlie should be deferred until 1974 when he emerges in his own right into our affections.

  15. 75
    intothefireuk on 30 Aug 2007 #

    We had a fellow at our school who really was named Wayne Kerr. Wonder whatever happened to him?

    AFAIK The Bonzos, unfortunately did not feature on the 70s/80s version of New Faeces we all know & love.

  16. 76
    brian on 31 Aug 2007 #

    aww, ta for the few welcomes……what a nice lot you seem to be! If anyone is interested or just want a laugh, I do have a peters and lee website! (Don’t laugh!) Heaven knows what the site address is (and I made it) but its easy to find in a search engine….anyway, dont stay away too long/old fasioned way was their third single, came after by your side/clear in my mind for thoes interested. I was only 3 when they won opp. knocks so love all your memories. Just wish I remembered more than a few seconds I can…..they even had their own TV series in 1976 for one series in april/may, on ATV. Love to see that now. But ATV have wiped it….the sods.

    BRIAN

  17. 77
    Billy Smart on 1 Sep 2007 #

    The series was called ‘Meet Peters & Lee’ and ran to six episodes in April and May of 1976. Charlie Drake co-starred in all shows, with musical support from either The Ladybirds or The Maggie Stredder Singers.

  18. 78
    Waldo on 1 Sep 2007 #

    The Ladybirds! Cor! Don’t get me started!!! I wouldn’t mind betting Charlie Drake tried to jump them, the mucky wee devil!

  19. 79
    Marcello Carlin on 3 Sep 2007 #

    YouTube results for “charlie drake” “ladybirds” “jump” = 0.

    They did sing backing vocals on Hendrix’s “Hey Joe,” mind.

  20. 80
    Erithian on 3 Sep 2007 #

    Now if we could only find a clip of the Ladybirds backing Clodagh Rodgers…

  21. 81
    Waldo on 3 Sep 2007 #

    Dear God, don’t torture me, Erithian…

  22. 82
    Tez Burke on 5 Sep 2007 #

    What a thoroughly enjoyable trawl through the “joys” of oily Hughie Green-era OpKnox this is proving to be. Many thanks, Marcello & co.

    Now my question is; did Mud appear on the show, a good few years before Les Gray and his outrageous wing collars started to trouble the chart compilers? Maybe my memory is not what it was, maybe things are being conflated after nearly forty years; but I’m pretty sure they did, at around the same time that the horrendous Gerry Monroe won it.

  23. 83
    Marcello Carlin on 6 Sep 2007 #

    I mainly remember pre-chart Mud being regulars on the Basil Brush Show, but I think you may be right about their being on OpKnox; that definitely rings a bell. At that time IIRC they were much more of a Barron Knights type of comedy group.

  24. 84
    brian on 7 Sep 2007 #

    yes thats the one, Charlie drake did appear in all the episodes of the main “meet peters and lee” series. However they had also a couple of Christmas episodes as well and he wasn’t in these I don’t think, Leslie Crowther was in the 1974 edition…..And yes, the ladybirds did aapear in the episodes n all….gee I wish they still exsisted now to see…love to see some of that stuff now. Does anyone recall much more about the series at all?????

    BRIAN

  25. 85
    Waldo on 8 Sep 2007 #

    I guess the Basil Brush show featured “Mr Derek” at this time, who went on to save his career by appearing in the wonderful “Yes Minister” as Sir Humphrey’s number two as well as in one episode of the unbeatable “Morse”. As for Charlie Drake and Peters and Lee, I don’t recall this at all, which is just as well as it sounds terrifying. Did Pat Coombes appear on this as well, or is that perhaps a bridge too far?

  26. 86
    intothefireuk on 9 Sep 2007 #

    I seem to have erased most of these names from memory over the years probably not a bad thing – but Pat Coombes was a bridge too far and I fear I will be having some horrendous flashbacks over the next few nights now. Thanks Waldo.

    Mr Derek also of course made a few quid by starring in countless episodes of the enigma that is ‘Heartbeat’.

    And, yes, Mud did appear in OpKnox but didn’t win – more of them later I suspect.

  27. 87
    brian on 9 Sep 2007 #

    awww….so none of you recall much about the “meet peters and lee” series then? I dont think Pat coombes was in the series though. I know there were some dodgey storylines though as Dianne lee told me of one where she lost her voice and one with a mouse in Lennies piano and Drake comming on in combat gear to get it (as a joke!) They do a song on hobbies with Drake in ep. 1 and this is about as much as I know of the series. But this is all I know of sadly.

  28. 88
    Waldo on 10 Sep 2007 #

    INTF – Sorry, buddy but Pat Coombes flashbacks are simply a fact of life for those of us who were teenagers back in the seventies. Their effect can be nothing short of horrific but the wonders of modern medicine have offered hope that they can be eventually suppressed. This is done by a session of home therapy where the patient must take down liberal quantities of Wray & Nephew overproof rum mixed with cranberry juice, vodka, fresh limes and Toilet Duck. One simply continues to drink this nourishing brew until all remembrances of “Patty” dissolve like plant feed into the soil.

    The downturn is that you also forget your own name. A compromise most sufferers willingly accept…

  29. 89
    Billy Smart on 10 Sep 2007 #

    Happily, at least 13 editions of variety shows featuring Peters & Lee do survive in the archives. Here’s a list, Brian;

    THE BIG TOP VARIETY SHOW: Featuring Peters and Lee, Duanes, Keith Harris (1980)

    CILLA: Featuring Peters and Lee, Jim Dale (1976)

    THE DAVID NIXON SHOW: Featuring Anita Harris, Johnny Hackett, Peters and Lee (1973)

    THE DAVID NIXON SHOW: Featuring Dinardi, Peters and Lee, Victor Burnett and June (1977)

    LONDON NIGHT OUT: Featuring Peters and Lee, Jerry Stevens, Tammy Jones (1980)

    LOOK–MIKE YARWOOD!: Featuring Peters and Lee (1974)

    THE ROLF HARRIS SHOW: Featuring Nina Bader-Semper, Liesbeth List, Peters and Lee (1973)

    RONNIE CORBETT’S SATURDAY SPECIAL: Featuring Peters and Lee, Rod Hull And Emu, Dana (1977)

    SEASIDE SPECIAL: Featuring Peters and Lee, Billy Dainty, Stu Francis (1975)

    SEASIDE SPECIAL: Featuring Tony Blackburn, David Hamilton, Peters and Lee (1976)

    SEASIDE SPECIAL: Featuring Peters and Lee, Mike Burton, Brian Marshall (1978)

    SEASIDE SPECIAL: Featuring Peter Powell, Little and Large, Peters and Lee (1979)

    STARBURST: Featuring Peters and Lee, Grace Kennedy, Sheena Easton (1980)

  30. 90
    Marcello Carlin on 10 Sep 2007 #

    It was, literally, a different world.

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