Homework assignment: building a better robot

We can do it!

Gerry Anderson Andromedan Warbot. 1979. UK.

Starlog Japan. 1981. Maximilian.

Continue reading

Just can’t get enough (of 7-inch vinyl records)

A TVTA Special

 

Presenting: a gallery of seven inch vinyl records spanning the 1970s, 80s and 90s, direct from the collection of TVTA. 

 

Missing records… but look at how cool these sleeves are from the Columbia company.


Put the needle on the record!
7 inch vinyl story book records and other interesting discs. The fun starts here!

Planet of the Hoojibs. 7 inch vinyl record and book. Buena Vista Records. 1983.

Below: Masters of the Universe story books and records, French pressings
Below: The Muppets print advert

The Muppets Take Manhattan storybook and record. 1984 print advert.

Below: web-slinging, disc-spinning, abominable audio at 33​ 1⁄3 RPM on 7 inch vinyl! Phew! An Amazing Spider-Man story from Power Records.

Below: California dreamin’ Barbie

Beach Boys 7 inch flexi-disc Barbie doll record: Living Doll, Brother Records, 1987.

Below: Les mysterieuses cites D’or (The Mysterious Cities of Gold),1982

Les mysterieuses cites D’or 7 inch single. French pressing. Saban records. 1982.

Below: Albator 7 inch single, 1982

Albator 84 TV series theme. 7 inch single. 1982. French pressing. Carrere.

Below: La chanson de Kiki, 1978

La chanson de Kiki, 45 RPM record, 1978.

Below: Pac-Man as sang by Willy, 1983

Pac-Man French pressing 7 inch vinyl record, sang by Willy. 1983. Polydor Records.

That’s all folks!
Thanks for always looking on the bright side of life with us 🙂

Review: Kim Wilde, live in concert, La Garde, France

Place de la République. 29 July 2019.

It’s only taken me thirty odd years to see the wonderful Kim Wilde and her band play live in concert, and she came right to my front door… okay, it was a five minute walk to the stage from where I live, but how much closer can you get to seeing an international pop-rock superstar without needing to take the car or public transport?

When I learned some weeks back that Kim Wilde and her band was going to play a free outdoor concert in town, I couldn’t quite believe it. I cleared out my schedule for that evening and made sure the trusty TVTA camera would be charged and ready to document the event.

Finally that night came, and I arrived early to get as close to the stage as possible, passing the time for the band to come onstage by chatting with Steve, a French megafan of Kim’s, who filled me in on the five albums she’d made since her success in the 80s and early 90s when I first bought some of her singles, an album, and bopped along to her music on the radio. I confess right now, I haven’t listened to Kim in a long while, but that’s going to change thanks to the incredible show I witnessed tonight. There’s her last album for starters – 2018’s Here Come the Aliens, then an upcoming live album (her first) which Kim announced on stage she was going to release.

Onto the show… I’ve seen some fantastic concerts by amazing bands over the years. After tonight, Kim Wilde and her band now rank among the best of them. With a near two hour performance including many of her seemingly endless 80s hits, and a barrage of her newer songs, plus many in between, there wasn’t a single moment when the energy dropped or the foot came off the pedal. How refreshing to see an artist and band enjoying themselves to the absolute limit. As an eight piece line-up which includes Kim, two guitars, bass, keyboards, a backing vocalist/dancer, and two (yes that’s two!) drummers, there was plenty to watch and admire from a band who were quite evidently having the time of their lives.

Top marks to Kim and guitarist/songwriter – her brother Ricky Wilde, for assembling across the years such a talented and enthusiastic troupe, who not only played magnificently but performed magnificently. Top marks must also go to the sound and lighting engineers. And Kim, ever humble and sweet, sincerely thanking and merci beaucoup-ing the crowd in between each and every number. In her own words: “Thank you so much for coming to see us on this beautiful summer night in the South of France, this is just so beautiful. Thank you. Merci beaucoup!”

Beautiful. I couldn’t agree more. Kudos and spaceships and love to Kim and her band and crew, and thank you for bringing a bit of rock, pop and magic to this little city in the South of France.


TVTA bonus!

Going through my French 45 RPM collection this morning I came across this 🙂

Kim Wilde. View From a Bridge. RAK 1982.


TVTA update September 2019!

I bought Kim’s album Here Come The Albums on CD 🙂

Kim Wilde Here Come The Aliens 2018 CD. Artwork by Scarlett Wilde.


Thanks for looking. Words and photographs by the editor. ©TVTA. 2019.

Music makes the people come together, yeah!

“A life without music is a solitary trek along a darkened path trod souless and bare. Let music be your joy, your comfort, your inspiration. Sing, dance and play upon your journeys. Let music be your lantern.”  

I believe in angels…

“And if these are my final words I will attempt to sing them in tune; to draw sweet harmony with the divine muse. To celebrate you. Embrace you. Love you. Praise your sweet gift of music bestowed, here, there, now, onwards, and over the very next hill.”


Thank you for joining us. Dedicated to music, friends, family, loved ones, Madonna, and Primus in all suckiness 🙂

Poem: Idles when idle

There I was, propped up in bed, a thousand thoughts forming
in the holiday of my head, mask off, headphones on, YouTube,
streaming, dreaming, coming to terms with a recently-deceased aunt
who had trouble breathing. Yes I loved her so, she helped me find sense
in the mess of teenage years, she gave me shelter from the helter
and the skelter of life’s tests, used to tell me: follow your dreams.
Loved her, loved her so, even though she voted Leave.
She’ll never know I’m that close to needing a visa to attend her funeral
in ruled Britannia, God save the Titanic, and all who sink with her.

On the bed was where I met them, mask off, headphones on,
finding sense in a present tense, correct, this is why, this is why
you never see your father cry. Council flats and country piles,
apartments in France – renewed my passport before it turned the blue
they want to make us feel, and act and march in their same shoes.
This is why, this is why, my heart swells with pride, not theirs but mine.
Idles your Colossus is a bridge between my republic and my septic isle,
septic minds, this is why, I point to freedom which is mine,
which is yours, which is ours, it’s called sharing, and it rhymes with caring.

Gone past caring? Don’t give up. Don’t stay down. Get back up.
There I was, propped up on the bed, time for a tea and something on bread.
And there they were, my family, watching The Voice on French TV,
Happily yabbering away in French, and me, in English, bemoaning the lack
of decent tea bags, and the way in which no matter how hard you always work
you’re still broke by the end of the month. Back and forth in two languages,
add Frenglish, Brummie accents, mais, ne t’inquiète pas, pas de problème,
je parle français, oui, avec un accent merdique, c’est pour ça,
c’est pour ça, mon clavier est AZERTY et pas QWERTY.

And this is why, this is why, I love myself and always try
to send the love and give the light, to cry when I like and fight the good fight.
Your tee-shirt, it said: Voltaire. I noticed you wearing it the other day,
got me thinking it did, that tee-shirt, and slogans in general,
Choose Life, Frankie Says, Make Love Not War, #MeToo #Remain, Idles on Tour.
Fudge-packing Crack-smoking Satan-worshipping motherfucker Nirvana,
that I wore on my back in days when my aunty wasn’t a Brexiter.
Wouldn’t mind now: Fairy Remoaning Snowflake Traitor Enemy of the People
see their faces when I tell them I don’t like barriers, and I dream in European.





Poem by the editor. Thanks to Idles.

Broken Devices and Vinyl Albums

RIP the TVTA computer which died this weekend. I’d planned some 70s and 90s toy ads but these’ll have to wait for next time when we get a replacement device and reinstall our scanner.

In the meantime Wooof managed to locate our dinky old office netbook to keep things running. Stored in the files we found pics of some of my vinyl record collection, making today’s post an emergency rock’n roll LP cover takeover!

Enjoy the galleries, some truly amazing artwork and photography 🙂





In the 1980s this was my search engine for rock music …

And so was this …

Some industry ads from Kerrang issue 100 US Launch Edition

Vertigo Records. I don’t think the label would get away with an ad like this nowadays.

Play at 78 RPM!

Thank you for spinning with us 🙂

Rockin’ Wheels by Micro Machines

How cool are these Micro Machines official band tour vehicles! AC/DC, Deep Purple, Mötley Crüe, Cinderella … all logo’d up and ready to rock ‘n roll! 

There was also a Whitesnake set released, but this is not shown on the 1992 Galoob catalogue pages I scanned. As for the other bands in the line… never heard of them.

Galoob trade catalogue. 1992.

Galoob catalogue. 1992. For some reason the “Cruisin’ Cowboys” vehicles have “Cadillac Cowboys” as their logo.

Sing strong

“Don’t you ever let a soul in the world tell you that you can’t be exactly who you are.”
― Lady Gaga

“It’s not how much you have that makes people look up to you, it’s who you are.”
― Elvis Presley

Ladies and gentlemen of TVTA and Playmobil land, Elvis is in the building and Lady Gaga will be right by your side.

 

Top Seven Scariest Whistles!

We’re not talking about scary whistles like this …

Pinterest.

… Or even these …

Ghoul-head whistles by Bung Art Studios.

… We’re talking about scary whistles expelled from the pursed lips of the most callous, evil, monstrous, devious, or just downright ingenious characters from film and TV.

So, whet your whistles, take a deep breath, and join us as we count down from seven to one…

SEVEN The Shadmock’s whistle. The Monster Club. 1981.

Vincent Price Priceless Advice: “Vampires sup, werewolves hunt, ghouls tear, Shaddies lick, maddies yawn, mocks blow, but shadmocks only whistle.”

SIX Billy The Kid’s whistle. Young Guns. 1988.

Don’t let that smile fool you. And if the smile turns to a whistle then you’re in serious trouble!

FIVE Yondu’s whistle. Guardians of the Galaxy. 2014.

Whistle while you work? Don’t be messing about when Yondu purses his lips. You might get arrowed. Devastating!

FOUR Negan’s whistle. The walking Dead.

Not a very tuneful whistle from everyone’s favourite baseball-wielding pyscho, but there’s no way I’m telling Negan that! And just try imitating this whistle yourself. Not as easy as you might think.

THREE Hans Beckert’s whistle. M. 1931.

The jolly classic In the Hall of the Mountain King by Grieg expelled from the lips of serial child killer Hans Beckert in Fritz Lang’s 1931 classic crime drama.

TWO Omar’s whistle. The Wire.

Chain-smoking, shotgun-toting Omar swaggers into your neigbourhood whistling nursery rhymes. Time to be very worried.

ONE Elle Driver’s whistle. Kill Bill: Volume 1. 2003.

Classic Tarantino scene of the whistling Californian Mountain Snake arriving to kill the Bride. The tune is Twisted Nerve by Bernard Herrman from the 1968 film of the same name. I’ve included the original whistle by ‘Georgie’ as well as Elle Driver’s whistle.

Pheeeeeep! There goes the full-time whistle!

Thank you for sucking in your cheeks and blowing with us 🙂

Can you think of any other scary whistlers in cinema or TV?

Ghoul-head whistle pic courtesy of Bung Art Studios

Whistling Dracula Teeth pic found on Pinterest