In-depth reviews of classic or neglected albums, mainly from the 1960s and 70s, plus a weekly newsletter featuring all the latest news, views and music. Artists covered include Beach Boys, Beatles, Belle and Sebastian, Buffalo Springfield, Byrds, Crosby Stills and Nash, Dire Straits, Grateful Dead, Hollies, Jefferson Airplane/Starship, Kinks, Nils Lofgren, Monkees, Moody Blues, Pink Floyd, Rolling Stones, Searchers, Simon and Garfunkel, Small Faces, 10cc, The Who and Neil Young.
Monday, 24 August 2015
The Hollies: Surviving TV Footage 1964-2010
You can now look through any Youtube window at the AAA Hollies playlist at https://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PLE977986F356039DA
Well, well, well. Little did I know when I started this series of semi-regular features covering all existing TV clips of all our AAA albums that some would be on the one hand so expansive to write and on the other so expensive to track down. The Hollies' column is our longest yet, for three possible reasons: they lasted longer than most groups, continued doing TV longer than most groups (when other bands like The Stones and The Who were big enough not to bother) and quite possibly I just have more Hollies contacts out there with access to this stuff (after all German and Swedish TV repeats their stuff regularly on their equivalent of VH-1, whereas UK and US viewers are lucky to see any Hollies stuff from year to year. Sadly in common with most of our groups very little of this stuff has been officially released to date. Some 24 video clips were featured on 'Look Through Any Window' (very much official) and some 33 on ''The Nash Years' DVD (a sort of enough-of-an-official-release-to-be-listed-for-sale-by-reputable-companies-but-not-enought-o-be-sanctioned-by-the-band kind of a release). Alas the other 30 odd now exist only in the ether, in that almost-lost world of dodgy VHS off-air recordings, TV vaults and the dustier corners of Youtube. The Pandora's Box of the digital age, it's now bizarrely easier to find a rare unbilled performance from 1965 than it ever would have been at the time and we've tried to make the most of it, compiling together playlists of all our 30 bands at our Alan's Album Archives page (https://www.youtube.com/user/AlansArchives) that's free to see - so why not give us a 'follow' and come and say 'hello' while scrolling through our 'Hollies' playlist? (You can have a look at our six Alan's Album Archives videos while you're there!) (***Note if you're reading this Uncle Andy - there is a Hollies playlist up at the moment but it's only about half full at present, am waiting to finalise all 30 closer to publication day!***) What a photogenic band The Hollies were for all their years - and what a shame that a planned Hollies feature film (circa 1966) never came about, based on the evidence of this lot it would have been fab!
Rather than merely ignore these clips - which may after all come out in the future - we've listed everything here that's known to exist somewhere and which I have seen with my very own eyes. Now despite the length of this list it's quite possible that more may be out there that I haven't seen. It's true too that stuff does get returned all the time (such as a rare clip of 'The Air That I Breathe' on Top Of The Pops in 1974, only returned to the archives in 2012). So unfortunately I doubt this is a complete list - and just add to the confusion there's a whole load of clips (mainly from Germany and Sweden) for TV shows whose names have been lost in the mists of time which have had to be marked here as 'unknown'. Please note too that while this list is as close to chronological order as I can work out, a few entries might be slightly the wrong way round (usually working this stuff out is easy as AAA bands tend to only play their newest material, but The Hollies had occasionally pangs of nostalgia and played old tracks every so often too). But hey ho, it's still as complete a list as I've seen of Hollies recordings anywhere and with a total playing time of some four hours if watched in one go is an awful lot of Hollies. Note too the fact that even though The Beatles always get the kudos for 'creating' the music video The Hollies were mighty early in using the practice - barring the 'A Hard Day's Night' clips (which are effectively music videos separated by bits of plot) The Hollies were actually first, their 'jukebox video' of 'Little Lover' beating 'Day Tripper' and 'We Can Work It Out' by a year. Apart from a few music videos most of this article is made up of one-off appearances on other shows from around Europe, America and Australia though occasionally The Hollies get their own shows and full length concerts. Plus Tony Hicks showing off his new guitar on UK children's favourite Blue Peter! So without further ado, come on little TV viewer, come on and discover, our love for The Hollies...
1) Little Lover (Music Video 1963)
The Hollies were a big enough name by 1963 to be lured into working for a short-lived craze for 'musical jukeboxes' which could be seen at some hip clubs and cafes for the price of a few pence - the MTV of their day! The Hollies got lucky in the sense that they had no music out yet to plug so could choose one of their own songs (Clarke and Nash's very 1963 'Little Lover'), earning their first real royalty, small as it was. However they were unlucky in getting a director who seems to have told the band to 'play up' to camera as much as they can while the footage is clearly extremely low budget and seems to be taking place in a plant sale. The song starts with Tony grinning into the camera before the camera tracks along with him, Eric, Graham and Allan suddenly peeking up from their hiding places Tellytubbies style as the song progresses (that's Don Rathbone, the band's original drummer, vamping away at the back though sadly the camera doesn't see much of him as he's forced to sit still). The impossibly young looking band are clearly having great fun on their first recorded commitment (even the normally taciturn Eric), especially when a smartly dressed young blonde suddenly decides to start boogie-ing the night away. However the setting is truly weird - note the scathing looks of all the elder and rather smartly dressed passers by (one of which looks like The Queen! Is this why Graham Nash got his MBE?!)) The video was important in another way too - it was the first time that fellow Mancunian Bobby Elliott had seen The Hollies after hearing so much about Manchester's biggest up and coming group and his immediate response was to turn to his friends and say 'I want some of that!' This fascinating piece of footage was used in 'Look Through Any Window'
2) Now's The Time ('It's All About Town' Film 1963)
'Yeah I've got this great idea for a film - see! It's about Willie Rushton as a hapless romantic on a motorbike- see! Lance Percival's deliberately mis-cast as a biker too - see! There's a lot of driving about for no apparent reason in the middle of the film so I was thinking - why not get a young hip band in - see! How about The Hollies, they're big right now and they'll probably do it cheap too! Naah don't worry, the clip doesn't have to have anything to do with the rest of the film - see!' Definitely one of The Hollies' weirder moments, recently re-issued on DVD in all its confusing random glory.
3) Top Of The Pops #1 ('Just One Look' UK TV 1964)
The 'real' first Hollies appearance on Top Of The Pops was performing 'Stay' on the very first episode of Britain's longest running music show. However the BBC wiped that important landmark so the earliest that survives is The Hollies; second show plugging their next big hit. You see this bit of film repeated a lot for some reason - it's perhaps the most commonly found of all in this list and yet it remains officially unavailable (keep your eyes peeled for TOTP sixties compilations though this one is always in there somewhere!) The band flash their teeth something rotten in this mimed clip but are clearly thrilled just to have a camera pointing at them in this early era.
4) UK Swings Again ('Here I Go Again' and 'Baby That's All' Film 1964)
'The UK Swings Again' was a cinema film that was basically a load of mimed performances of up and coming bands strung together. Filmed on the cheap and usually used as the 'support' to a main feature, with bands on their best behaviour and showing their cheeky grins off while they look uncomfortable (most appearing in front of cameras for the first time though The Hollies had been here a handful of times before), from its title down the film is almost a trailer for the British Invasion. The Hollies look particularly stilted on 'Baby That's All' as they sit or lean most uncomfortably, with only Bobby (still young enough to have lots of hair!) looking the part and mime unconvincingly to the words. Graham seems to have been told the camera likes his smile and is determined to use it as much as possible, while Tony seems to have ants in his pants and won't keep still! That said it's great to have colour footage of the band from so early in their career and they look a little more comfortable on 'Here I Go Again'. You can see both clips on the 'Look Through Any Window' DVD .
5) NME Pollwinner's Concert (Live 1964)
The Pollwinner's concert was sponsored by music magazine The New Musical Express and took place every year at Wembley Arena between 1963 and 1966 and saw all the big names of the day taking part (the 1964 one was particularly good - other bands that year included The Beatles, The Rolling Stones, The Searchers, Gerry and the Pacemakers, Manfredd Mann, The Merseybeats and Freddie and the Dreamers). All the bands performed from a tiny stage out in the middle of a horde of screaming fans and curiously was shot mainly from a distance before suddenly and violently moving to giant close-ups. With poor equipment and hordes of screaming fans no band ever played a good show at these gigs but while ragged The Hollies get by on enthusiasm, knocking out cute versions of their recent hit 'Just One Look' (which is about as out of tune as the Nash era Hollies ever got) and 'Rockin' Robin' a full decade before The Jackson Five. Both clips appear on 'Look Through Any Window'.
6) Shindig #1 ('Too Much Monkey Business' 'Just One Look' US TV 1964)
A classic gig by the impossibly-young-looking Hollies rattling through their latest hit and a popular album track at high speed and clearly having the time of their lives whilst playing. The 'Monkey Business' clip is particularly interesting as it gives all three members air time and features an early version of their miod-60s parlour trick of Graham getting the words wrong and singing whatever the latest hit single happened to be (this time it's 'I Feel Fine' - see the 'Long Road Home' box set for another variation, the Lovin' Spoonful's 'Daydream'.
7) Sunday Night At The London Palladium ('Look Through Any Window' UK TV 1965)
By 1965 the London Palladium call-up was a bit like getting your papers to be shipped off to war: you didn't really want to do it, it wasn't 'hip' like it had been for the generation before but there'd been such a fuss if you didn't do it and turned it down that often it was easier to go along with it. The Hollies look unusually tired and bored during this clip, which starts with them 'on a carousel' (well a revolving stage at any rate) and singing their hearts out to not much re-action. Huh if the Queen's going to be that sulky she could at least give her tickets to a Hollies fan!
8) Hullabaloo! ('Look Through Any Window' 'Yes I Will' US TV 1965)
The Hollies were taped singing two of their biggest hits of 1965 for madcap American show Hullabalooo. The sound of the live performance of 'Yes I Will' is subtly different, the band singing it with laidback cosiness rather than fury and passion.
9) Unknown ('I Can't Let Go' German TV? 1966?)
What is it with The Hollies and water? Anyway here we go again with The Hollies miming to their latest big hit while standing next to what looks like a freezing cold river. This is - I think - Bernie Calvert's first TV appearance as a Hollie (his hair's shorter than the next clip anyways)and must have been a nerve-wracking moment as the camera starts off with a close up of him miming to Eric's distinctive bass opening. The band seem to be doing their best to keep warm, Allan flapping his arms like a bird at one stage, though Bobby keeps his sunglasses on just in case the sun comes out again!
10) Beat Club ('Look Through Any Window' 'I Can't Let Go' German TV 1966)
By 1966 The Beatles were getting rid of most of their media commitments and with an ailing Brian Jones The Rolling Stones were slowing their down too. The Kinks and The Who were still thought too 'lively' for most self-respecting European broadcasters. Other bands like Gerry and the Pacemakers, The Animals and even beloved AAA group The Searchers had been sacrificed at the altar of Merseybeat. That left The Hollies as one of the few bands popular and prolific enough to keep touring through Europe and in many ways 1966 was the band's breakthrough year when they never seemed to stop touring. Germany was particularly keen to re-hire the band and they played some great shows over there starting with this early year run through the band's two buggest hits from the previous year. The extremely smartly dressed Hollies are clearly enjoying being able to play live without a screaming crowd of people while Bobby is on particularly strong form. Look out for Clarke adding a more 'conversational' tone to the middle eight of 'I Can't Let Go', the singer suddenly spotting a camera on him and pointing and grinning towards the end of the same song and new boy Bernie Calvert making one of his first TV appearances right at the back (although his bass is inaudible - a particular shame on 'Let Go'). Both songs are featured in the 'Look Through Any Window' DVD.
11) Shindig #2 ('I'm Alive' US TV 1965)
Did you ever see a Hollies fan with poor eyesight? Baby that was me, trying to work out what was going on in a clip I can barely see. That's a shame because a) of all the semi-regular shows that crop up on this list I think Shindig might well be my favourite - its zanier and wackier and more 'youthful' than most of the other 60s music shows and b) The Hollies play a cracking live rendition of this song which comes across as being much 'tougher' than the finished version. As ever with Shindig the whole things gets interrupted by loads of booge-ing girl dancers anyway - though they're a world away from the seductiveness of Pan's People, as they're dressed up like Medieval knights with blocks of colour on their tunics, which wasn't really a look they could pull off even in the sixties. Look out for Clarke's killer haircut (it won't be this short again for the rest of the century!) and Graham in the opening shots, deciding to give up miming to a guitar track that wasn't on the record and simply tap his sides in rhythm with the song.
12) Milwaukee Interview (1966)
An oddly serious interview - one of the few conducted with the Nash era Hollies - which starts off with Graham apologising for missing a show ('the fault of our booking agent') which could have seen the band deported for 'violating' the terms of their immigration passports. Nash adds that he hopes the sales of 'I Can't Let Go' won't be affected by it, leaving Tony to joke 'what was the name of our record again?!' Hicks is asked about Manchester and interestingly compares it to Chicago (on that basis my hometown is Cleveland - yeah I see that now) and jokes that they always think the band could have written whatever the latest Beatle release is! ('A Hard Day's Night' we nearly wrote!' is Graham's answering quip). Nash then has to explain to the American interviewer what Wales is ('it's a county...well, no I guess it's another country') and tells the story of how Tony went to stand on a piano only to discover it was glass and he fell into the inside, still playing his guitar! (Tony looks mortified that this story is being told by the way!) Tony's reply is the story about the band having to build their own stage by hand before they could appear on it - they should have got The Hollies to do the electrics what with so many trainee electricians in the band! Eric wears a rather good Stetson hat but typically says little while a very dapper looking Bobby in tweeds only appears right at the very end of the clip. Interestingly Nash gives all the credit for the idea of the band to Eric 'that cowboy chap over there!' before the interviewer adds 'nice to have him around, huh?' Ironically this will be almost Eric's last appearance as a Hollie! A fascinating clip, not least for the group dynamics in this period with Graham clearly the leader with Tony as his second in command and Allan unusually quiet.
13) Rooster ('I'm Alive' Dutch TV 1966)
One of the most curious - and one of the few truly unseen - bits of Hollie footage in the 'Look Through Any Window' DVD is a performance of the band's first British number one about six months or so after release. What's puzzling is that this is clearly a live performance with the studio record superimposed on top - the band are sweating and going at it for 'real', not just for the cameras and Clarke's ever so slightly too fast, the 'extra' time made up by some clever editing of Hick's guitar solo. Was this footage originally part of a news reel with the narration on it taken out? Strange - and a shame we can't hear it given how intensely the band seem to be playing.
14) Top Of The Pops #2 ('Bus Stop' 1966)
The Hollies are back again on their favourite haunt for a strangely rarely seen clip that's much better than most of the handfuls of 60s TOTP footage that gets repeated every five minutes. The band are in jokey mood, the camerawork studying the band in close up for most of the track, with Tony keen to show off his new sunglasses and psychedelic shirt (by contrast Graham is in pure black!) The back drop meanwhile is one of the strangest in this list - it looks like a low budget 60s equivalent of US sci-fi series The Time Tunnel. For the record, it sounds to me as if Clarke is singing along to an otherwise mimed recording.
15) Unknown ('Very Last Day' 'I've Got A Way Of My Own' Swedish TV 1966)
A real curio this one, with two songs you don't get to hear very often and the strains of a third - 'Mickey's Monkey' - heard in between. The latest wacky and confusing European location for The Hollies is...in front of a crane, which delivers a crate marked 'from Manchester England to Norrkoping Sweden' and which due to some camera trickery is opened up to reveal The Hollies rushing out 'Magical Mystery Tour' style. Nash stops to introduce the band in a breathless rush while the others walk in front of the camera and lower their sunglasses James Dean style into the camera while the others get the giggles from the sidelines. What is this, a Monkees episode?! Bernie is 'standing in for Eric who at the moment is poorly at home in Manchester', a line which Nash pointedly appears to say through gritted teeth while Allan is introduced as 'The Man in Black'. The band then mime to a version of 'I've Got A Way Of My Own' in front of said crane. Meanwhile 'Very Last Day' might be from a different date - the band are inside a studio - but it's near enough the same time period and clearly in Sweden again where this UK album track was a surprise #1 hit! It's a great performance, with much more of a contrast between the soft and loud passages and Graham seems genuinely taken back by the sheer power of Bobby's opening drum thwack! In fact this is more like a Who performance than a Hollies one with Clarke all but screaming out the lines, Bobby twirling Keith Moon style on some killer drumming and Hicks wind-milling away like he's Pete Townshend's younger brother!
16) Beat Beat Beat ('Bus Stop' 'Stop! Stop! Stop!' German TV 1967)
The Hollies' second German TV performance continued the pattern of an early year revival of the Hollies' two biggest hits from the year before. The Hollies look smart in black and their sound is noticeably a lot tighter than when they played the year before and the fashions have changed: Tony is now wearing his trademark frilly sleeves while Bobby has now taken to wearing a beret. Note how well Tony replicates his banjo part on a rather odd looking electric guitar (shaped like a triangle), even though for most future performance of this classic Hollie hit he'll pack his banjo specially for the song. These two clips were both used in the 'Look Through Any Window' DVD.
17) ('Dear Eloise' Italian TV 1967)
The Hollies are writing a letter (to make you feel better) with an American hit single full of atmosphere and visuals. So what does one director decide to do for the clip? Shoot The Hollies in a car park! In what must be the most low budget AAA music video ever The Hollies don't appear to even have a monitor, Clarke vaguely mouthing to the words but not exactly getting them right while the camera goes up each Hollies in turn very very slowly. You must read in between the lines a message you will see: the band have been locked out the studio again and the director has a budget of about 5p.
18) Abbey Road ('On A Carousel' UK TV 1967)
One of the most fascinating Hollies clips to have survived down the years was shot - without warning! - by a film crew hired to shoot The Beatles' recording session for use in a promo (the 'Any Window' DVD suggests 'Penny Lane' though the date and the studio presence suggests the unseen film of the orchestra overdub on 'A Day In The Life', rejected for transmission before being revived for 'Anthology' in the 1990s). The Hollies didn't know they were coming and at the time rather resented the cameras getting in the way and the footage went originally unseen for some 44 years! However it's now agreed to be well worth it - this is the only shot we have of the band in their natural habitat at Abbey Road studio number three and by luck they are quite genuinely recording their hit single 'On A Carousel'. All the band look thoughtful and are not making much eye contact whilst singing the harmonies, although the chance to see Hicks running through the guitar chords solo is particularly fascinating. Presumably more footage exists which was cut into shape for the 'Any Window' DVD, although the clip was a surprise when the DVD came out having never been bootlegged before.
19) Smothers Brothers ('Carrie Anne' 'Dear Eloise' US TV 1968)
...And suddenly, *Boom!*, we're into the colour years - not just any colour but a whacking great big psychedelic smorgasboard of colour with Bobby in pink and Graham wearing yellow trousers in front of a psychedelic orange drum riser. This was The Hollies' big moment in the States, invited to appear on one of the biggest shows of the day in the wake of 'Bus Stop' (although I've never got why the Smothers Brothers were ever popular - is it an American thing, a 1960s thing or both?) The band largely sing along with the records, which makes 'Carrie Anne' especially sound weird as if its double-tracked. 'Dear Eloise', an American-only single, is the more interesting of the two, featuring Nash in the foreground writing hurriedly away whilst the band stand still moodily in silhouette behind him (amazing how recognisable they still are: that's Allan, Tony, Bobby (in distinctive hat) and Bernie left to right). Alas the song then turns into a close up of a psychedelic quill lit to look orange but there are some good close ups of the band in there somewhere (some of them upside down!) too with Nash looking particularly studious. Psychedelic, man.
20) The Mike Douglas Show ('Dear Eloise' US TV 1968)
The Hollies were splitting in two in 1968 - and performance like this one didn't help. Mike Douglas and his co-presenter make fun of the wild way Graham is looking while he looks embarrassed and the rest of the band look sulky the camera isn't on them. Things get better when the band are given a gold record for sales of 'Stop! Stop! Stop!' 'Carrie Anne' 'On A Carousel' and 'Hollies' Greatest'. They then go rapidly down hill again as the rather older co-presenter starts flirting with the band and asks if they're single (for the record Allan and Graham still say they are - even though some reports have Nash divorced by 1964 - and the others are all bachelors). After all this mayhem the colourful (in every sense of the word) performance of 'Dear Eloise' seems almost normal. This is by the way the only 'live' recording of this song I've heard the band do (although the bookending organ part is apparently taped) - it didn't last long in their live set. Nash decides to sing his backing vocals slightly differently, splitting the words into extra syllables seemingly just to confuse Allan ('You should have de-par-er-ted before he got stee-ar-e-art-ed'). Listen out for the studio band desperately trying to wrap their heads around the song's tune for the linking piece (proof horns cannot do psychedelia!)
21) Split Festival (Live Yugosalvia 1968)
For some reason many concerts of The Hollies exist in 1968 but not for other years. All of them reveal Nash to be in a particularly mischievous mood as he hollers behind the other's vocals and makes cheeky asides to the crowd before forgetting his own vocal parts - he's clearly getting on Clarke's nerves by this point. Sadly the clips seen to date ('Carrie Anne' 'Jennifer Eccles' and 'Do The Best You Can' were all used on the 'Look Through Any Window' DVD though others exist) are only in monochrome, which is a shame given that the set screams psychedelia! Presumably the first two clips clip was used not just because they're rare shots of the band playing their hit singles 'Carrie Anne' and 'Jennifer Eccles' but also because it features their popular 'jokes' of the day where in the former the band would look round in mock shock as the 'steel band' solo was played from a tape recorder (although on this occasion Clarke resists the urge to look down his trousers as he usually did at this point in the show!) and the latter begins with the band teaching the crowd how to 'whistle' with mixed results. The only surviving footage of The Hollies' European hit (though not a UK single again) 'Do The Best You Can' is the first clip of Hicks playing an actual banjo and is very ragged right up until the a capella break which the band impressively get more spot on and elaborate on more than the original record!
22) Croatia (Live 1968)
A fascinating half-hour show that must have been a big deal in its day (no bands ever went to Croatia from other countries, never mind top ten regulars like The Hollies!) and amazingly survived the ravages of time safely. The Hollies are dressed in black versions of the 'Sing Dylan' suits and Nash for one looks rather uncomfortable in his. While The Hollies played much better, tighter shows before and after this is a fascinating document of what the band were performing during Nash's last year with the band. The set is particularly notable for two things: the first a song The Hollies never released: 'Dang Me', a country standard tried out after Nash left the band but never released then either. It's not that good to be honest (the chorus runs 'Dang Me! If you had a bit of rope you could hang me!' which doesn't immediately scream 'Hollies', but the band are well suited to the scat singing chorus line. The second a performance of 'Very Last Day' with Hicks on banjo, prefaced by Clarke admitting this might go wrong as the band have never tried it before, introducing 'Tony on banjo and Graham on...whatever it is' and a mock-intro where the band stop after the opening riff as if this is the 'whole song' (this is a bit of stage patter Paul McCartney has used endlessly down the years, although it's the only time The Hollies did it I think). It's a great performance by the way, much closer to Peter Paul and Mart's original without any drums of electric instruments and Clarke is superb even when compared to the record. The complete setlist is: 'Stewball' 'On A Carousel' 'Dang Me' 'Very Last Day' 'Do The Best You Can' (with a fab a capella middle eight!) 'A Taste Of Honey' 'Jennifer Eccles' 'Carrie Anne'
23) Popside ('Dear Eloise' 'Wings' Sweden TV 1968)
'Dear Eloise' is another of those why-are-we-in-a-car-park-and-what-happened-to-the-budget? music videos. Nash starts off solo scribbling a letter in a suspiciously Elizabethan looking notebook before the rest of the band appear out of nowhere across a river and surrounded by trees. The result looks a lot more like Britain than Sweden (they've all got thick coats on!) but that's where this clip was screened, with this popular song a big single there in 1967 (peaking at #7) despite never being released as a single at 'home'. Weirdly 'Wings' - a song about the outdoors amongst other things - is shot inside in a studio as the camera moodily pans around the band. The shots of the group superimposed on top of each other and walking away from each other is strangely apt for the mood in the band of the time and is one of their better 60s videos. Good on Sweden for giving this obscure yet gorgeous song so much attention! Both clips were featured on the 'Look Through Any Window' DVD.
24) Twein (Holland TV 1968)
A Hollies Holland special featuring a whole host of mimed clips, mainly of old songs, which unwittingly serves as a rather well-timed snapshot of the Graham Nash years. The band seem to have come to terms with the impending split a bit more, though Nash was doubtless fed up at some of the curious performance 'gimmicks' - to date the only officially released clip of their then-new release 'Listen To Me' features the band sitting in a row of chairs one in front of the other (front to back: Allan, Graham, Tony, Bernie and Bobby). The two at the front are taking things perhaps a little too earnestly, while the trio at the back have got the giggles!
25) Bobbie Gentry Show ('Louisiana Man' US TV 1968)
One of the very best Hollies clips, sadly unseen officially since 1968, is The Hollies' appearance on country legend Bobbie Gentry's show. This is where The Hollies learnt the song that will be recorded in 1969 for an aborted country album and appears on the 1988 set 'Rarities' - but this version is very different. Bobbie sings leads but Graham is right there with her, the pair plus Allan alternating lyrics and clearly enjoying himself whereas Clarke just looks uncomfortable (perhaps if The Hollies had done 'Sing Country' instead of 'Sing Dylan' the line-up might have stayed together longer?!) Bobbie gets into the spirit of things, getting the giggles worse than the band when they start sitting up and standing up at random moments, having got lost where they are in the song! The arrangement of the song is much closer to Gentry's original too, with the main phrase played by horns not guitars and the song taken at a slightly slower lick with a 'ah-hummm' backing humming sound dropped from the finished product. Listen out for Hicks' stylish country twirls on guitar too, dropped from the later recording. Listen out for a slight lyrics change too: 'Poppa done promised me that I could go...'
26) Do The Best You Can (Music Video 1968)
...Or at least that's how this clip always seems to be listed in all the website articles/youtube videos but I'm willing to bet that the introduction from a German version of Dave Lee Travis suggests that this video was actually shot for German TV again. Only a B-side in most of Europe, this song was a big hit over there (#5) perhaps because of this inventive-for-the-times video where The Hollies' five faces are seen together, one or other 'enlarging' whenever they're playing the lead role on a particular song (at least until the end when Tony's face turns into a banjo!) This video was included in the 'Nash Years' DVD.
27) Beat Club ('Jennifer Eccles' 'Listen To Me' German TV 1968)
A final return to one of the band's most popular TV shows, these clips feature a rather silly putting performance of 'Jennifer' and a rather serious one for 'Listen To Me'. In the former the camera seems obsessed with Clarke's eyebrows, which are seen several times in close up and elsewhere seems to mistake Bernie as a 'frontline' member of the band and he gets more camera time than the other three for a change (he sings along a lot in this clip!) In the latter the band appear on a giant ferry dressed in their immaculate white suits while a crowd of teenagers dance as if they've just been stung, all for no apparent reason. Alas all the clips of this show I've seen seem to have been in poor quality, with several glitches in the sound - presumably why these clips weren't used for the 'Look Through Any Window' set like the other German TV clips.
28) Blowin' In The Wind (Music Video 1968)
How many Youtube playlists must a fan walk down before he can say he's seen all the Hollies videos? Quite a few as it happens - I've only just discovered this one by chance. Shot in colour once again, this looks like a warm up for the be-suited Dylan loving 'In Concert' from the following year but Nash is still very much along for the road. It looks as if Clarke is singing live and the others miming, Nash on one of his very last (the last?) TV performances torn between his natural professionalism and his hatred of The Hollies turning back into a covers band - he's smiley when he knows the camera's on him but looks pained when seen in long shot a lot of the time! There's no orchestra shown either, which give the band difficulties when trying to mime the lengthy instrumental in the middle!
29) BBC In Concert (UK TV 1969)
One of the BBC's better music related ideas was a regular half hour concert that ran for quite a few years in the late 1960s and early 1970s. In time everybody who was anybody in the era performed on it - including Nash with partner Crosby just a year later. However this concert is one of the first Hollies appearances with Terry Sylvester in the line up and is something of a baptism of fire (The Hollies only ever play one concert of a similar length on TV and that will be only seen in Germany). The Hollies clearly took up the invite as a means of 'introducing' their new singer to their audience en masse and Terry looks - as anybody would - petrified for most of the show, but the idea is challenged by the sheer averageness of the material. The Hollies are reluctant to do too much from their past, but that means that all they have to plug is a pretty awful new single in 'Sorry Suzanne' and a Dylan covers LP (they're even dressed in the white suits from that album cover). However the show, like others in the series so beloved of BBC4 repeats these days, has its moments: the harmonies are already highly impressive despite the fact that Terry's been in the band a mere matter of weeks, the Dylan material sounds a whole lot better live than on the record and there's another exclusive track The Hollies never did on record, the downright odd 'Help Me Brother' (which is the lyric for 'All The World Is Love' with the chords for Too Much Monkey Business'). This is also a rare opportunity to see The Hollies perform live with an orchestra. Not exactly The Hollies' Greatest then, but still remarkable given the circumstances. The full set list is as follows - but note the fact that the current BBC4 edition includes the 'full' unedited broadcast which includes material cut down by seven minutes for the original show: 'Carrie Anne' 'Just Like A Woman' 'Hits Medley: Just One Look/Bus Stop/On A Carousel (with Terry on his first ever lead vocal for the band!)/Sorry Suzanne' 'Quit Your Lowdown Ways' (with a funky Bernie Calvert bass part!) 'I'll Be Your Baby Tonight' 'Help Me Brother' 'Stop! Stop! Stop!' 'A Taste Of Honey' 'Stewball' 'Mighty Quinn' 'Blowin' In The Wind'
30) Stop! Stop! Stop! (Music Video 1969)
A curious Hollies music video featuring a straightforward performance of the band miming to one of their hit singles but with one important difference - that's Terry not Graham stage left (the only time he is seen to mouth to Graham's voice). Why the band did this is unknown - my theory is this catches the very end of the fuss over the 'Hollies Greatest' compilation and the band picked this one because Tony happened to have his banjo packed that day.
31) Live In Finland ('When The Ship Comes In' Finland TV 1969)
A quick plug for the new 'Sing Dylan' market for Scandanavian TV, shot in moody black and white (and in rather grainy footage from the only copies I've seen). Another big welcome to new boy Terry Sylvester, the band clearly haven't worked out their new line-up yet, with Terry stage right of Allan instead of stage left (where Tony is). Bobby mimes the piano playing which he played on the original recording while the band seem to be giggling about something (it moves like a Mexican wave from Tony to Allan and Terry!)
32) Top Of The Pops #3 ('Sorry Suzanne' UK TV 1969)
Hollies TOTP show number three starts with a big close-up of Bobby's bass drum and features the band in the white suits they wore on the cover of 'Sing Dylan'. Bobby is the star in fact, flailing his arms around as if trying to drum up interest in one of the band's silliest songs and it sounds to me as if he's the only band member playing live, adding a thumping drum beat to what was played on the record. Full marks though to the director who gives all the band airplay for a change instead of just the singers (Bernie gets lots too!)
33) This Is Tom Jones #1 ('Sorry Suzanne' UK TV 1969)
Tom Jones' short-lived variety show was a curious mix of the earthy and the twee, with The Hollies representing both halves during their two very different singles of 1969. Unlike some shows Tom Jones did he doesn't appear with the band onstage (not like CSNY in 1970 where he turns the hard-hitting political protest 'Long Time Gone' into a singalong much to Crosby's horror and Nash's amusement!) This is however a rare chance to see The Hollies in colour - glaring colour given the set although the band themselves are in their white suits from their cover of the 'Sing Dylan' LP. A live and horrendously ragged 'Sorry Suzanne' sounds even worse than the record - five different parts that don't coincide with each other at all. Amongst the worst Hollies clips, though despite that it was used in the 'Look Through Any Window' DVD.
34) This Is Tom Jones #2 ('He Ain't Heavy, He's My Brother' UK TV 1969)
Tom Jones shows number two is such a change it's hard to believe this is the same band just a few months further down the line. Playing live again (with no pianist) the band are in black suits this time and offer a sturdy performance of their classic ballad with a be-wigged Bobby giving this performance an added extra rattle. Interestingly no pianist is seen though there's clearly one playing a very different part to Elton John's on the original. Once again used on the 'Look Through Any Window' DVD.
35) Top Of The Pops #4 ('Gasoline Alley Bred' UK TV 1970)
A nice video of something of a forgotten classic, this song has become rather popular with 'TOTP2' style compilations recently and not before time. This clip is most remembered for Terry's memory of his mum not quite believing he was in The Hollies until she saw this song on TV, with Terry getting the whole of the second verse to himself! Another mimed performance by the way.
36) Blue Peter (UK TV 1970?)
Presenter Peter Purves is showing off a new design that he thinks might interest the kids - a wireless guitar. At last, no tangled up wires on stage! To show it off he invents Hollie guitarist Tony Hicks to play a few bursts as he wanders around the studio. Goodness knows why they asked him in particular - the other Hollies don't seem to appear at all. The response? Well the Blue Peter dogs don't like much, one of them coming over to say 'hello' and leaving Tony to complain 'your dogs ripped me trousers!' One of the odder Hollies clips around and one that made a surprise repeat appearance in a documentary on the show a few years back.
37) Unknown ('Hey Willy' German TV 1971)
Somebody in the control room for this TV performance has just found the button marked 'psychedelia!' We gets lots of effects and styles across this one, not all of them suitable, although this does give The Hollies' most uptempo single in years a feeling of energy and adrenalin. Interestingly Tony and Terry are the 'wrong' way round again - they must have taken a while to work out which way round to stand. The band mime sadly (I bet this song would have sounded great live but I've never heard it played in concert anywhere in any era) but certainly look the part, cooking up a convincing rock and roll groove.
38) Unknown ('The Baby' German TV 1972)
There are only four clips surviving from the Mikael Rikfors years - this is the first, a mimed performance of the band's moody yet brilliant single by a moody yet brilliant looking band. Rickfors' taste for loud shirts sits in contrast to his shyer personality and for once the camera is keen on seeing all of the band, not just the lead singer. Terry is having a lot of fun in particular while the band mime impressively well considering that their stage has been invaded by the audience! (is this where The Who got the idea for 1973 promo 'Join Together'?!)
39) Magic Woman Touch (Music Video 1972)
Needing to re-introduce themselves to the market and fast, The Hollies put together their first bona fide music video in nearly a decade. 'Magic Woman Touch' is a great forgotten song and this is a great even more forgotten video with the band hard at work in AIR studios and seen behind-the-scenes as it were including the main song (which mainly consists of Bobby reading, Bernie fiddling with an organ, people twiddling knobs and lots of moody shots of the band preparing for a vocal take). Perhaps the band modelled it directly on the unseen 'On A Carousel' footage at Abbey Road as the two are very similar - and the band every bit as self-conscious. I think that's Peter Bown doing the engineering work by the way. For all this effort, the song was the first Hollies single ever to miss the UK charts.
40) ABC In Concert ('Long Dark Road' Carrie Anne' US TV 1973)
The ABC concert is particularly interesting in Hollies lore because it features the 'wrong' vocalists on so many songs - Rickfors naturally takes the lead on some Hollies hits in Allan's absence but even more remarkable is Tony singing lead on his own 'Long Dark Road' (which has a real folk lilt to it, alongside Rickfors' harmonica playing and soulful cries on the fadeout) and most of 'Carrie Anne' (Allan's verse as well as his own). The whole show sounds rather good actually, with a harder edge than the Rickfors era records. Other songs exist as audio track by the way but sadly not as video footage anymore ('Bus Stop' 'He Ain't Heavy' and 'Long Cool Woman') - presumably these two songs were 'cut out' and re-used on another programme that happened by chance to have been saved.
41) Midnight Special ('Long Cool Woman In A Black Dress' 'He Ain't Heavy He's My Brother' German TV 1973)
A fascinating clip of The Rickfors era Hollies on German TV performing one of their best known songs, but with Terry singing the lead vocal. He does a good job although his softer, gentler harmonies take the song to a very different place compared to the hit version (you can hear the words for a start!) Interesting that Rickfors doesn't sing it the way he had 'Courage Of Your Convictions' - this is one track he'd been 'allowed' to get his English pronunciations wrong on! Odd too as his version of 'He Ain't Heavy', another song only Clarke could get away with, is really good too - Rickfors' powerful soaring lead so similar and yet so different to his predecessor's. There's a nice organ lick that's been added to the arrangement and an inventive way of getting round the perennial problem of the harmonica playing over the final line - which is given to Terry to sing while Rickfors puffs away (another hidden skill - is there nothing he can't play?!) I wonder what Clarke thought of seeing this clip of his old band singing his song? Then again he won't have long to wait until singing them again for himself, this being the last time the Hollies are seen with Rickfors on TV.
42) Top Of The Pops #5 ('The Day That Curly Billy Shot Down Crazy Sam McGee' UK TV 1974)
Perhaps the best of The Hollies' many performances on Top Of The Pops is this blistering attack on Clarke's cowboy story. The band are playing live for a change and both Allan and Bobby are on top form, seemingly competing for who can give the best rock and roll performance (although that said the harmonies sound suspiciously good even for The Hollies so perhaps they're playing to a tape?) The performance easily beats the slightly stilted feel of the finished record and proves what a storming infectiously fun rocker this track can be when done in the right way. After a couple of years of mellowing out with Rickfors The Hollies have really got their rock and roll mojo back tonight with this the first fruits of the band's reunion. One of the very best Hollies vids, although infuriatingly my copy is ruined by some Steve Wright nonsense from the 'TOTP2' archive show where he starts talking about it being unusual to see Cowboys in Shepherd's Bush studios - Curly Billy should have shot him in protest!
43) Top Of The Pops #6 ('Air That I Breathe' UK TV 1974)
With any luck this list will be out of date almost as soon as it's printed because TV clips are appearing all the time in dribs and drabs, found mislabelled in studio vaults or taped by accident on the end of other programmes. At the time of writing two editions of Top Of The Pops from the 1970s are the most recent excitement to come to light, featuring 10cc and The Hollies, thought lost for some thirty years. Admittedly there's nothing that special about this clip really - it's another mimed song so famous that we've seen The Hollies perform it lots of times down the years and nothing much really happens in it, but a welcome newcomer to the Hollies archives all the same.
44) Russell Harty Show ('The Air That I Breathe' UK TV 1974)
The Hollies uncharacteristically struggle to re-create their studio sound live during this performance on the famous chat show host's programme. Clarke struggles a bit with the pitching, while the rest of the band cook up a rather dooby-dum-thwack backing that's at odds with the rest of the song. Hicks seems to bottle out of his solo too, the band using the recording while Tony simply strums along with the chords oblivious - ditto the tapes orchestra although that's a bit more 'normal' for the day. Still, it's a welcome chance to hear a 'live' recording of one of the band's most popular tracks, a worthy finale to the 'Look Through Any Window' DVD.
45) Unknown ('Another Night' Sweden TV 1975)
A terrific live performance of a flop Hollies single that knocks spots off the 'Live Hits' version, this performance comes with lashings of extra wah-wah guitar and Pete Wingfield centre stage with the song's distinctive riff. It's great to see Tony taking so many risks with his guitar playing, while Alan's lead and Terry's harmonies together have rarely sounded better. A real delight.
46) Unknown ('Sandy' aka '4th July Ashbury Park' 1975)
A slightly lopsided rendition of one of The Hollies' better known 70s flop singles. The song loses much of its lushness when heard on stage and Terry and Tony sound much louder than normal. It's still a good performance, though, with a particularly strong synth accompaniment from Pete Wingfield and a slightly different reading from Clarke (who speak-sings the 'Waitress I was seeing has lost her desire for me' verse with quite a different accent on the notes).
47) Unknown ('I'm Down' German TV 1975)
'Ha! Ha! Ha! Haaah!' No it's not The Bee Gees doing 'Saturday Night Fever' even if Allan Clarke is dressed in a white jumpsuit but the mid-7-0s Hollies in their prime on a mimed version of a lovely song. The band are unusually serious during this song, with none of their usual joking around. The most memorable moment comes right at the ends as the song concludes with that big held note as the camera fades into a giant spotlight. Fab.
48) Unknown ('I Can't Tell The Bottom From The Top' German TV 1975)
A nice live performance of a song that was some four years old by the time the band performed it here. That's Bernie getting his big moment playing the piano part, which he takes at a quicker speed than Elton John on the original while Clarke (who was never very keen on this song) finds a new way to 'play' it, dropping down to a lower more natural register and almost speak-singing this piece as a confessional. It works very well actually, it's a shame The Hollies then reverted back to doing it the 'old' way a couple of years later!
49) Supersonic ('Long Cool Woman' and 'Draggin' My Heels' UK TV 1975)
The earliest footage of the Clarke-era Hollies singing the Clarke-composition 'Long Cool Woman' comes four years after the record and two after the Mikael Rickfors era Hollies were seen singing it. The live performance is certainly atmospheric, the studio being filled with lots of smoke while Clarke's echo-drenched vocals are much more lively than the more sultry version on the record. The biggest 'event' of this video is a rare chance to see Clarke playing guitar on the riff he helped form - the only Hollies song he ever strummed along to in concert. Clarke's perm has by this time grown quite considerably and despite the smoke in the room he has his jacket wide open to show off his hairy chest, while Bernie plays the concert out sitting down perched at the front of Bobby's drum-riser. 'Heels' meanwhile features an odd bit of postmodern banter from the director lining up the band before the band start up on a very fast and rather crowded preview of the Russian Roulette' song with Pete Wingfield particularly busy on keyboards and piano, sometimes simultaneously. The band are having fun playing something a bit out of the ordinary (with Terry abandoning his guitar to fly around some maracas) and there's an extended piano solo in the middle that's more like the 12" mix of the song, though it's not particularly good. The former clip was used on the 'Look Through Any Window' DVD, though not the latter unfortunately.
50) Sound Unlimited (Australia TV 1976)
A very rare one-off featuring Tony and Terry chatting rather than Allan or Graham. The pair discuss which songs they wrote but can't remember them very well ('Carrie Anne...and a few others!' Tony laughs, 'On A Carousel' 'King Midas In Reverse' and 'Jennifer Eccles' all briefly slipping his mind!) Another hapless presenter (where did 70s TV find them all?) mistakes Clarke co-writer Tony McCauley with Graham Gouldman - Tony speaks rather proudly about how he's now an even bigger draw than The Hollies in 10cc nowadays 'doing some lovely things'! (they're obviously not fan enough to know about The Mockingbirds the, Gouldman's rather good psychedelic band with fellow 10cc man Kevin Godley). Tony adds that the band only get together for 'about six months' of each year too which is surprising given the band's work rate this year in particular.
51) Twiggy's Juke Box ('Daddy Don't Mind' UK TV 1976)
No I don't know what model Twiggy waas doing with a jukebox either. What I do know though is that The Hollies are on great form for this funky live performance which has a very different 'feel' to the record. Bobby plays a slicker, quicker drum riff, Pete Wingfield adds a vamped piano part and there's less emphasis on the harmonies all round. Strangely it rather suits the song despite the harmonies being the whole point on the record and there's audible fireworks, even the few parts of the performance where there aren't real physical fireworks. Why didn't this fun song do better as a single?
52) Unknown ('Write On' Canadian TV? 1976)
I've never really taken to the title track of this album before - it seems a bit unreasonable of The Hollies to complain that their songs aren't selling and they're going to do things their way anyway and then wonder why the album didn't sell. However this gorgeous lush version makes a lot more sense: it's slower, more dignified and sounds like a thoughtful philosophical statement on the music business in 1976 rather than an angry snub (after all, it was less than two years since the band had had a hit with 'The Air That I Breathe', even some of the really big bands went for longer!)
53) Live In Koln (German TV 1976)
A fun concert by the mid-70s Hollies, similar in both set list and feel to the 'Hollies Live Hits' album. While the singles sound as professional as ever it's on the band's newer songs where this concert really comes alive, including a funky take on 'Star' with Pete Wingfield a blur round his synthesisers, a nice moody take on 'Another Night' and an excellent 'Sandy'. Interestingly the generally black or white dressed band are all dressed in very bright vibrant colours: Allan's in yellow, Tony in red and Terry in green.
54) Unknown ('Harlequin' German TV? 1978)
The only footage that exists from the brief period when Clarke left the band a second time in 1978, this is The Hollies filling out their commitments and making the best of things before hiring a replacement (they had their eye on Gary Brooker, who can be heard on the fadeout of this lovely song). With '5317704' in the works at the time, it made sense to promote Terry to lead singer for one of his featured pieces and he does a great job, eking out the nuances of this last in a series of Hollie 'clown' songs. The first time The Hollies are ever shown as a four-piece, although it happens again a few times in the 1980s.
55) Hello To Romance (Music Video 1979)
So few copies did this single sell and so obscure is the band's promo video that I didn't even know this existed until stumbling across it searching for something else. Clarke sings live while the rest of the band mime and gives a much more understated performance than on the record which suits the song a lot more actually. Clarke and Sylvester seem to be making a lot of eye contact for this piece, in contrast to how their partnership will end in a year or so's time. Otherwise it's business as usual except for Bernie propping up a piano while uniquely Terry plays the bass (or mimes to it anyway). One last point though: why there is a lone and rather decrepit looking rubber plant right in the middle of the studio floor? A crazy steal indeed.
56) Starburst ('Soldier's Song' UK TV 1980)
It's the end of an era, the last (we think) ever performance with Bernie and Terry in the band. Not that you see a lot of them as the camera is rightly fixed on Clarke performing a great version of one of a track that really showed off his ability and range. I presume all that smoke is for effect by the way and the studio isn't on fire!
57) Russell Harty Show ('Take My Love and Run' 1981)
'It's now been twenty years so you're obviously survivors...' An interesting bit of footage from a rare period most notable for the deeply unusual interview. After discussing the former names of the band (including 'The Dolphins', a name that new bassist Denis Haines finds particularly funny). 'Why are you wearing a hat?' asks the hapless Harty, with Bobby raising it to show off his bald head. 'Get out of that!' quips Tony. More seriously Clarke is asked about 'Mr Nash', comments on how he was asked to go to the States but 'didn't like the way of life over there' but is still in contact with his old school pal from time to time. The mimed performance is a good one too, sounding slightly faster than normal (did they speed the tapes up?) and Clarke winking at persons unknown. That's short lived member Brian Chatton playing the melodica by the way (the blown-down keyboard).
58) Top Of The Pops #7 ('Holliepops' 'Take My Love and Run' UK TV 1981)
The hit medley was a peculiar early 1980s invention that was a cheap way of re-issuing songs in a new way without bands having to lift a finger (or give permission) - all the work was done by the editor. The band then mimed to their current single, the pre-Nash version of 'Take My Love and Run'. These clips are noticeable for being the second and last to feature Brian Chatton in his all too brief period as a Hollie (he'll bow out when the band take most of 1982 off and regroup with Nash in 1983) and for not featuring a bass player. A rather stilted Clarke speaks to the audience in the middle but only to announce that after playing a medley they'd like to do a 'new one'.
59) Top Of The Pops #8 ('Holliedaze' UK TV 1981)
'I can't believe what I'm looking at there...' No nor can I, but if you can get past the Jimmy Saville introduction (which sadly means this clip will never get shown on BBC4's TOTP repeats worse luck!) then there's a real story to be told with this vintage promo clip. The Hollies and Top Of The Pops had always had a special bond since the band appeared on the very first show and when the 'Holliedaze' medley became an unexpected hit they were eager for The Hollies to celebrate with them. After years away from the world of the BBC and TOTP Graham eagerly agreed, while this is also the last time original bass player Eric Haydock ever appeared in anything as a Hollie. The medley is, of course pretty awful but the band are just so pleased to be there that the enthusiasm and the love in the room (even amongst the famously stilted TOTP audiences) is infectious. No wonder Graham decided to hang around...
60) Stop! In The Name Of Love (Music Video 1983)
Graham Nash came on board a little late to have any influence over the song choices for reunion album 'What Goes Around...' However he had plenty of say in the promotion, getting the band on some of the hipper TV networks in the US and was instrumental in putting together this music video for the tie-in single. The Hollies probably meant 'Stop!' as a romantic warning, the same way that The Supremes' original had intended, but with Nash in tow the song becomes a warning about nuclear energy (this is one of his first videos following his concert film 'No Nukes' raising money for anti-nuclear activists). The Hollies aren't in this video much at all, but it will be of interest to CSN fans in particular while the use of different faces all round the world united in the same idea seems suspiciously like the one Godley and Creme got all the credit for with 'Cry'.
61) Vorsicht Musik ('Stop! In The Name Of Love' German TV 1983)
A German TV promotion for the single release of reunion album 'What Goes Around...', this clip is notable for how much fun the band seem to be having again just like the old days (Clarkey just can't sit still!), the large 'STOP!' sign right behind everyone's head and the fact that Paul Bliss' keyboard seems to be covered with 'Stop! Warning!' red tape. Unusually the camera doesn't seem to look at Nash much even though his return is the 'big news' of the song really. You have to say, though, this is a real return of the old punchy youthful Hollies who haven't seemed this energetic since about 1965!
62) Mike Walsh Show ('He Ain't Heavy He's My Brother' 'Stop! In The Name Of Love' Australia TV 1983)
Recorded straight after Nash has left the band again (telling the band 'it's been nice - but I want to make some real money now!') this is the first chance to see Terry's proper replacement Alan Coates in action. Alas the band are miming to both songs so we don't really get to hear him, although he's pretty god at miming for first Terry and then Graham. Note the fact that Allan doesn't even carry a harmonica around with him any more to mime the opening and ending of the song!
63) Eldorado Lux (Denmark TV 1984)
They really liked plugging this song didn't they? This time they're miming to it on Danish TV, to not much effect by their standards. Let's move on quickly...
64) ('Hard To Forget' UK TV 1986)
'Why are you here?' 'We're here out of the kindness of our 'earts!' The Hollies as The Marx Brothers on daytime TV! This clip is a mess - but for once The Hollies aren't the cause of it. Anne Diamond introduces the band and gets it wrong ('Tommy Hicks!'), a cameraman ends up looking the wrong way leaving the hapless presenter mouthing 'what?!' while Clartke jokes 'excuse me vicar!' in the background and the band are in mischievous mood throughout ('Do you enjoy doing it Tony?' 'Singing she means!' quips Allan). The interviews are revealing too, though, Clarke revealing that it took ten years of hits to convince his parents that he could make a living through music and Hicks that playing music and touring is 'hard to work'. The band also reveal that the band have become a big hit in Recyavik all of a sudden (leading Anne to joke that there are eskimos everywhere writing out 'Hollies' in the snow), Hicks adding that the band were 'there fifteen years so we're back by popular demand!' Anne adds that Clarke is 'hell to interview' because he's given 'sixteen different answers' about whether their new single 'Hard To Forget' is out yet and that even EMI haven't heard it yet. Alas the song will never come out officially, EMI deciding not to sanction it although its one of the better Hollies tracks of the 1980s with a great hook-filled power pop chorus and a punchy rock and roll riff. The song also leads to the best gag of the night when Anne asks the band what the band are going to play and Clarke asks Tony 'what's it called again?' leading him to laugh 'Hard To Forget!'
65) Unknown ('Baby Come Back' German TV 1987)
Die Hollies are at it again with another forgotten 1980s flop single. The biggest surprise of the video is - where the hell is Bobby?! Admittedly the drums on this song are electronic so he probably didn't play on them to begin with but - why the heck then is there someone in his place (looking particularly out of place given that he has the audacity to possess a full head of hair!) Allan Tony and Alan Coates seem out of sorts too, with no keyboardist miming along this time despite the fact that keyboards is pretty much all there is on this trite and poppy song. A disaster, let's move on...
66) The Birthday Show ('Reunion Of The Heart' UK TV 1987)
A barely seen clip from an obscure daytime show only remembered now for presenter Anne Diamond) of a barely heard song, this one features a rather static and distinctly 80s looking Hollies playing within a set of swirling lights. The performance is a live one (suggesting it's from a TV show, although it looks like a video the way this one is shot). Not classic Hollies but worth a look.
67) Unknown ('This Is It!' German TV? 1987)
One of The Hollies' most forgotten songs, I was surprised that the band had done any promotion for it at all given how quickly it dropped out of the charts. Somebody's being far too clever by halves with the video production, which puts the band in 'mirror images' for much of the shot (a new technique in 1987, which might be why it's being used to death). The Hollies' performance is also interrupted by some staple nostalgia - shots of Abbey Road Studios and the like. We just want to see the band play, although I'll forgive it all for the third Hollies video showing the band in action in the studio (following on from 'On A Carousel' and 'Magic Woman Touch'). Alas it's nowhere near long enough!
68) Unknown ('Shine Silently' German TV 1988)
Another rare promo for a relatively obscure single, although Nils Lofgren's 'Shine Silently' was always a favourite with fans. Allan wears very dark glasses while the band mime in front of a most peculiar backdrop that looks like the set of Indiana Jones and the Weird Fabric Collection. I think that's short lived member Dave Carey on keyboards, by the way - at least it doesn't look like Denis Haines or Paul Bliss!
69) Top Of The Pops #9 ('He Ain't Heavy He's My Brother' 1988 UK TV)
A staggering 24 years on from their appearance on the first ever edition of Top Of The Pops The Hollies were back again, with a rather ragged rendition of their recently re-issued hit. It's nice to see the Alan Coates-era Hollies on TV for a change although the band are beginning to look very old now - except for Tony, who now looks about 22. And not a Miller-lite Beer in sight!
70) Noel Edmond's Christmas Presents (1988 UK TV)
This is what I want for Christmas this year or, well, any year. No not presenter Noel Edmonds but the twist at the end of this good cheer programme about giving deserving people a 'special present'. Noel has sneaked into a music fan Brian's house and provided him with a brand new jukebox. Nice enough - but when the guy asks if he can hear The Hollies the sound seems a bit...weird. The pair go outside to have a look and there are The Hollies performing their big hit of the year 'He Ain't Heavy He's My Brother' in his very own garden. Brian's tears say it all: what a band, what a statement, what a powerful bit of television.
71) Bus Stop (Music Video 1989)
Back in 1989 music videos were all the rage and yet so many classic songs made in an age before MTV went unaccounted for. John Sebastian was hired to present a new compilation show 'Deja View', which living up to its name was pretty ghastly, in which a series of modern film-makers would set a series of classic singles to video as if they'd been shot in the late 1980s. 'Bus Stop' is one of the few AAA songs they ever dared touch before the series got the boot but is worth quoting on this list because the success of 'He Ain't Heavy' meant that in 1988 meant that a year later EMI were keen to re-promote other old Hollies hits and chose 'Bus Stop' at least partly because of this video. It's not exactly a masterpiece though - the footage literally depicts the events in the song without adding anything to the song that wasn't already there in your imagination (also this is a terribly American bus stop for such a terribly English song - I mean the romance happens because of an umbrella for goodness sake!)
72) Pebble Mill ('The Woman I Love' 1993)
The last regular Hollies performance comes from their 30th anniversary single, plugged on the BBC's daytime talk show (a forerunner of the inferior 'One Show'). Clarke is loo0king quite old by now, with his hair pulled back into a ponytail and having grown a grey goatee - which makes the fact that he's singing just a childish infantile song all the more obvious (Tony, meanwhile, has aged to the point where he looks nearly 30 rather than 13). The rest of the band, dressed in pink, don't look much better. Watching this near-enough farewell I'm struck by how similar it is to 'Little Lover' from thirty years earlier - the band are gurning away and over gesticulating in desperation to get someone to notice them, but it all comes over looking rather false in this woeful song. At least there are no garden plants or bemused passers by in this clip though!
73) 'A Tribute To Buddy Holly' ('Peggy Sue Got Married' US TV 1995)
Screened as part of an overall documentary about the making of a Buddy Holly tribute album, this show features a seven minute section about The Hollies' cover of 'Peggy Sue Got Married'. Nash's idea, he's back on board with the band one last time and this is also the last footage of Clarke in the band. The band all talk about being Buddy fans 'until the day that I die' (nice use of song lyrics there Allan!) and Graham talks about being asked to sing along with Buddy on the track for the 'Peggy Sue Got Married' film soundtrack - and Nash's first instinct to get Beatles, Stones and all sorts of people involved with the project! Particularly good for the footage of Hicks playing one of his greatest guitar solos.
74) BBC Breakfast (UK TV 2010)
A short news piece celebrating The Hollies' induction into The Rock and Roll Hall Of Fame, weirdly enough with the current line up of the band who couldn't appear (they had a gig at the London Palladium). The two clueless presenters have clearly never heard of the band and seem to think that being included in the Ra RHOF with 'some of the greats' is really something - apparently forgetting that at one time The Hollies were as big as any of them. There's a nice clip compilation though and it's a nice chance to see Peter and Steve talking as part of the band, although they don't say much. There's a nice acoustic version of 'Bus Stop' that's rather good though, even though it weirdly comes out sounding not unlike 'Magic Woman Touch'. A shame that the praise from Jimmy Saville about the band on Top OF The Pops ('A Group's Group') was brought up too but hey - it was 2010, it was a whole different world all those many years ago, you could talk about these things back then...
75) QVC (US TV 2012)
Oh. My. Days. Evidence that music has become just like any disposable medium comes with a four song set from The Hollies advertising their new live hits CD and 'Then, Now, Always' studio album in between hoovers, mops and endless trinkets and baubles that are destined to end up in a cash-my-gold envelope within weeks. The band perform workmanlike versions of 'The Air That I Breathe' 'She'd Kill For Me' 'He Ain't Heavy He's My Brother' and 'I Would Fly', not to any great effect. A small part of the fan in me has just died. Is it too late to ask for my money back?!
Phew! That really is everything for now! Join us for more Hollies next week!