In the adverts during the Budweiser UK Open darts on Sunday (yes, I am that rock ‘n’ roll and then some!!!!) – so close Rocky, so close – I kept flicking over to VH-1 and their Top 100 Something I Can’t Quite Remember To Do With Icons programme. And it set me thinking …
Television producers and schedulers are a bunch of lazy gits most of the time; the rest of the time they’re passed out drunk in a pool of someone else’s blood-riddled vomit. It’s not a generalisation: it’s a job requirement.
This laziness and drunken behaviour explains the sheer volume of programmes with titles like "Top 100 Handsome Boy Band Members" and "Top Moustachioed Female Divas Of The 1980s." Programmes of lists. The television equivalent of many blogs.
In order to have a list programme you need a list – and it doesn’t matter if it’s been done before so long as it’s got a new title – and some "celebrities" to endorse choices on the list. For instance, if you were about to fill in a four hour slot with "Top 100 Fashion Disaster Pop Singers Of The 1990s" then you’ll need to have people from the world of pop (Alvin Stardust, for instance), the world of fashion (Vivienne Westwood, for example), and the world of pretentious art reviews (I haven’t got a clue I’m happy to say.) As you watch more and more of these programmes you begin to notice something: some people crop up on almost every programme, they say pretty much the same things every time, and often they don’t appear to be connected in any way to the subject matter at hand (hmmm, why is John Major explaining why Christina Aguilera deserves her top 10 position on Top 100 Gusset Shots In Videos?)
One person who crops up again and again is Phil Oakey. You may remember him from such bands as The Human League and from his collaboration with Georgio Moroder on the soundtrack to the movie about love with powered inanimate objects, Electric Dreams. He had odd hair. There’s a picture of him on this page.
Phil Oakey will talk about anyone or anything, anywhere and anytime. That’s not to say that he’s a sell-out in any way; oh no, his integrity is as solid as a rock with a coating of RockBeHard™, the rock solidifier, as evidenced by the fact that at no time ever has he ever had a nice thing to say about anyone ever. Ever.
To prove it I’ve gathered up some Oakey quotes. All of these quotes are 100% genuine article reproductions from my head. My head, however, may be a forgery.
From: "Most Influential Popstars."
Regarding: The Beatles.
Quote: "When they came on the music scene there hadn’t been anyone like them before which helped a lot with their record sales. Except for me. I was there before and I did music just like them. They all copied me and they did a poor job in comparison."
From: "Top Iconic Icons Of The Century."
Regarding: Nelson Mandela.
Quote: "He’s given a lot more credit than he deserves really. During most of the time he was in his cell there were other more worthy people doing things outside. We released ‘Don’t You Want Me Baby?’ which was a massive hit."
From: "Top 100 Videos That Rocked The World!"
Regarding: Michael Jackson’s ‘Thriller.’
Quote: "Zombies at night really wasn’t all that inventive and there are a great many parallels with the video to our far better hit of the same year, ‘Don’t You Want Me Baby?’ which was also set at night, included a film set, and featured excessive make-up."
From: "Top 50 Sex-Related Shocks Ever."
Regarding: George Michael getting caught with his trousers down.
Quote: "I remember all the fuss about this at the time and I remember thinking that the fascination that everyone had for George’s private life was just like the fascination in our 1981 hit ‘(Keep Feeling) Fascination.’ If you check the lyrics out to our song you’ll see that I accurately predicted exactly this event decades in advance."
From: "Greatest Stuntman-Related Movies Of All Time"
Quote: "I know that women are supposed to find Burt Reynolds sexy but many women I know find me more sexy. It’s probably my intelligence and great dress sense. I’ve also got a much more infectious laugh than he has when I find something funny but I have a far superior sense of humour and very little amuses me."
From: "100 Worst Straight-To-Video Releases In The UK Since 1980."
Regarding: Weekend At Bernies 2.
Quote: "I don’t know why people found the opening sixty minute zombie-that-dances-when-the-music-is-switched-on scene one of the most horrendous examples of wasting celluloid in existence. I did worse in the video to my hit song ‘Don’t You Want Me Baby?’ and was obviously an influence on the film directors. It really should be me receiving this accolade."
From: "Most Amazing Human League Songs In The Universe"
Regarding: Don’t You Wan’t Me Baby?