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Apr 08

BILLY CONNOLLY – “D.I.V.O.R.C.E.”

FT + Popular113 comments • 5,824 views

#381, 22nd November 1975

The Tammy Wynette original has one of those gimmicks so deathless that every songwriter in Nashville must have wished they’d hit on it first. Connolly’s parody skewers it without sneering at it, and a lot of the spelling-out fun is just carried over from the source. It doesn’t have a great deal of replay value but it makes me smile, which is as much as you can reasonably ask of it.

In a way its gentleness surprises me – Connolly had a playground reputation for unbridled filth, the kind of comedian wicked older brothers would own albums by: I didn’t have an older brother so I never got to confirm or deny it. Surely “D.I.V.O.R.C.E.” wasn’t this clean live? Of course he wouldn’t have been allowed any more than the bleeps he gets, but anyhow this works better clean – an affectionate pastiche rather than a dunk in the gutter.

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Comments

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  1. 91
    Mark G on 23 Nov 2010 #

    I think I like “Why did you do it” better than any FMac single, “Oh Well” excepted, possibly.

  2. 92
    punctum on 23 Nov 2010 #

    Interesting Wiki entry on Stretch and this song in particular.

  3. 93
    Mark G on 23 Nov 2010 #

    and here’s a one for Danny Kirwain, tremendously unsung hero of early Fleetwood Mac.

  4. 94
    Conrad on 23 Nov 2010 #

    90 …and hello Take It Away, McCartney’s 1982 hit, especially the wonderful brass arrangement on the fade

  5. 95
    Conrad on 23 Nov 2010 #

    This discussion on 70s Mac gives me the opportunity to relate a moment from the great Peel-voiced Rock Family Trees doc from a few years back.

    During Mac’s wilderness years Peter Green turned up at their rural retreat looking somewhat the worse for wear.

    Then guitarist Bob Welch recalled in his wry, slow drawl:

    “I knew he was in a bad way. He came to the door with a piece of cheese in his hair. And it was still there when he left
    Now, I don’t know what cheese it was, whether it was caerphilly, cheddar or whatever but I do know that if I had a piece of cheese in my hair on Monday, I can guarantee that by Tuesday it would be gone.”

  6. 96
    Jimmy the Swede on 23 Nov 2010 #

    Bob Welch was one of the Great Train Robbers. Peter Green wasn’t. I bet Peely didn’t mention that in his tree!

  7. 97
    punctum on 23 Nov 2010 #

    Which reminds me of this forgotten yacht rock beauty.

  8. 98
    wichita lineman on 23 Nov 2010 #

    I love the Fleetwood Mac story – you get beyond the Peter Green/Jeremy Spencer disappearances and there are still guitarists who refuse to go on stage (Danny Kirwan) or are sacked for developing ‘warm feelings’ towards Mick Fleetwood’s wife (Bob Weston). Lindsey Buckingham must have seemed stable and reliable by comparison.

    Clifford Davis, the manager who put Stretch together as Fakewood Mac, released a single of Man Of The World b/w Before The Beginning in 1969. Peter Green gets the writing credits, but every other conceivable credit includes the words Clifford and Davis. So it’s not so surprising that he got up to such underhand antics five years later.

  9. 99
    Mark G on 24 Nov 2010 #

    Not to be confused with Clifford Davis, the pannelist on “New Faces”.

    Yep, I thought it was the same bloke until recently.

  10. 100
    Erithian on 24 Nov 2010 #

    Is this the slowest thread to reach a century of posts, having taken 2½ years? With a nod to the Ashes starting tonight, this is the Chris Tavare of Popular!

  11. 101
    Jimmy the Swede on 27 Nov 2010 #

    Oh no, Chris Tavare! Dear God, I remember him well. During the 1981 Test series at Old Trafford (I think it was), Tavare was scoring so slowly that whenever he did eventually edge a single down to the third man boundary, white smoke was released from the chimney at Lords. He was the most boring man ever to pick up a bat. Mind you, looking at the parlous state of the current Test, as I write, we could do with the muppet at the crease just now.

  12. 102
    wichita lineman on 27 Nov 2010 #

    Muppet At The Crease. Sounds like a Kevin Ayers album.

  13. 103
    Jimmy the Swede on 27 Nov 2010 #

    Oho! And then there was “Muppet At The Gates Of Dawn”…

  14. 104
    a tanned rested and unlogged lørd sükråt wötsît on 27 Nov 2010 #

    Muppetty Woman
    Muppet Sounds
    Pastor of Muppets

  15. 105
    Jimmy the Swede on 27 Nov 2010 #

    All of them Days Of Muppets Passed, I think you’ll find, Mark!

  16. 106
    lonepilgrim on 27 Nov 2010 #

    The Immuppetulate Collection has some hits worth celebrating

  17. 107
    swanstep on 28 Nov 2010 #

    In the spirit of Monsterpiece Theater:Twin Beaks, and Nine Inch Snails, I suspect that Henson productions might be able to do something with (the excellent) Pastor of Muppets.

  18. 108
    Erithian on 28 Nov 2010 #

    At 255-1 in England’s second innings, maybe we can drop the muppet gags for now. My dad and I were at the first day of Old Trafford ’81, Botham out first ball and Tavare at his slowest. Two days later Both hit a classic hundred and I was watching it on the telly.

  19. 109
    Jimmy the Swede on 28 Nov 2010 #

    Yes, my muppet prayers have been answered. Strauss and Cook both make tons and Cook’s still there with Trott as we reach 309-1 at stumps, 88 in front. Phew!! Mind you,there’s always our patent middle-order collapse (Bell, Pieterson, Collingwood…) to overcome tomorrow as soon as the next wicket goes, so England are not safe yet.

    Jimmy The Swede, News At Ten, Brisbane. Well…Eastbourne.

  20. 110
    Jimmy the Swede on 29 Nov 2010 #

    And so ends the best Ashes Test for many a long year. Astonishing stuff. And to think that Cook’s place on the tour was once in doubt.

  21. 111
    Erithian on 29 Nov 2010 #

    Yes, bit of a statfest on those last two days wasn’t it?

    Coming back at least partway on-topic, the last I heard of Billy Connolly’s old mucker Gerry Rafferty was that he’d been dangerously ill but was now off organ support machines. Hope he’s recovering.

  22. 112
    hardtogethits on 14 Feb 2011 #

    Effectively, this is a ‘bump’. I don’t know if that’s against house rules, but as I stumbled across this thread (and I cannot remember why), I read concern (111) and kindness (89) expressed towards Gerry Rafferty. Maybe it’s fatuous, shallow and ill-timed of me to say this, but I was moved that people do not always wait until someone has died before paying tributes, and it seemed nice that goodwill was heading in Rafferty’s direction as recently as last November. Erithian and wichita lineman, your comments in retrospect seem very special.

    And as much as I thought that all of these feelings didn’t add up to much, I thought I might as well post a posthumous tribute to Gerry Rafferty, as Popular won’t have a thread which can do so in its own right.

  23. 113
    Mark G on 1 Jul 2017 #

    I dunno, it must be the only number-one to have the c-word in it, even if it’s rendered ‘*u**’ (took me years to work it out)

    Then again, funny how the singing and audience drops during the bleep, but the guitar is uninterrupted.

    Is it unbleeped on the album? Could it be a potential c-bomb on ‘pick of the pops’ et all?

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