After reading Mike Collum’s Scooter Boy Tale in the March edition, where he NEARLY was in the Fine Young Cannibals Video, Good Thing, I decided to put pen to paper.
It was another great Wednesday night at the Camden Palace in London, and after cutting some mean shapes on the dance floor a young bloke approached me... “Would you like to be in a video?” he said. Of course the first thing that popped into my head was ‘how X-rated is it going to be?’ But alas, no such luck. He then mentioned it was for a pop music video and would take place the following day at a disused warehouse in the East End. So the next morning, after phoning in sick at work, I arrived at the location and to my surprise found fellow Jokers SC mate Duncan Patey (later of the Vespa Club of GB) and two others I believe were from the A41 Eagles already there. They’d obviously gone for the four best looking blokes they could find, ahem. Also there was the man himself Jeremy Howlett and the infamous custom Lambretta... Wake. I thought I’d died and gone to heaven. What a day this was going to be! As you can imagine, the day turned into a typical video shoot. Lots of standing around waiting for retake after retake of the band performing or should I say miming to Good Thing. When it was our turn, the Eagle boys posed and gave the camera ‘the look’. When it was my turn they asked me to sit on the Lambretta and to “love the camera”. Yuck! While sitting on Wake I didn’t mind waiting; I just sat there marvelling at the intricate details of the paint and engraving. I remember looking at the switches and noticed there was a small piece of chromed metal that was glued over the plastic. Of course I had to touch and while flicking the headlight switch the bloody piece came off! It was like being in a Peter Sellers comedy.
There I was trying to put it back on, fiddling away, trying to quietly stick it back on while no one was watching; stopping each time they said ‘action’ before the make-up lady came over, only to carry on while they all fluffed away during takes. At one point the young lad asked if I could do the fancy dance I was doing at the Camden Palace. ‘What was it?’ he asked, so I had to try and explain Northern Soul and its history/life style. After a brief explanation the director asked to see it, and within a couple spins he loved it and asked me to do it for about 10 minutes, to no music, while he just got his shots. At the end of the shoot, he let the other three go but asked me to stay. Well, you can imagine how my ego ballooned, I was clearly ‘the man’. They got me to sit on a Lambretta chopper, 8ft off the ground, on a thick pane of glass. The camera went under, over and around me. In all I was there for another eight
...to my surprise found my fellow Jokers SC mate Duncan Patey and two others I believe were from the A41 Eagles. Also there was the man himself Jeremy Howlett and the infamous Wake custom Lambretta.
hours. They even put eye drops in me every few hours and they were getting redder and more tired as the night wore on. I remember talking to someone and asked ‘Why us?’ Apparently the drummer was a bit of a Mod/60s enthusiast. When he heard the song he mentioned, ‘Hey, we’re an Eighties band with a 60s kind of song. There’s a thing called Scooter Boys who are of today but love their 60s music. Let’s marry the two together.’ That sounded great to me. The next day they asked us to bring along some mates – they’d like to film us riding around town. So we got some fellow club members and met at R.Agius Scooters at the Edgware Road. After it was all completed they took the four of us out to a special launch at a fancy, members-only night club. The production team didn’t like the owner of the club so asked us to pretend we were the next BROS, and to pretend as if we were going to be the next best thing in the pop world. So there we all were in jeans and green bomber flight jackets covered in patches, we certainly looked the part. The band name? The Scooter Boys, of course.
The club owner took the bait hook line and sinker. We were plied with free drinks all night long and given our own VIP area. Numpty. When the vid finally came out I was proud as punch, though to be honest I was also a little gutted too. The extra eight hours of filming me on the chopper… well it ended up being two seconds on the video and all you see is the back of my leg. All that time and effort for two seconds of my leg! But if you freeze frame other parts, you can see I’m there in all my glory!
I spoke to the production team about all the lost footage. They stated that if I visit the office with some VHS tapes they’d be more than happy to load them up for me. Unfortunately, by the time I got there the master tapes had already been shipped off to the US parent company. You can imagine how gutted I was. It would have been so great to have for posterity purposes. I remember the reaction the video caused when it came out. Both guys and girls alike would come up to me as if I was some sort of celebrity, which I wasn’t. It was all quite strange but great fun at the same time. I was told by a professional once to always have something special on my CV, something interesting that’ll make me stand out. Well guess what, I’ve had it on my CV all my life even to this day.
When I applied for the company I currently work for here in New Zealand, it’s pretty much all they wanted to know about in the interview. I’ve been here 10 years now, so was it a ‘Good Thing’ to do? What do you think! Sorry Mike. John Bianchet