Monday, July 6, 2009

you dirty f@cker...

william grundy, the younger.

This is not the first time we have featured Dan Treacy's
Television Personalities, nor is it likely to be the last.

Manchester born, Grundy - the scion of a factory owner - began broadcasting for Granada Television way back in 1956 just when Elvis began sticking it to one and all. The first brilliantined tv presenter to introduce the Fab 4 to a British audience, no less - some six years later - let it be clear from the start that Grundy was no Ed Sullivan.

A graduate in Geology, the one shared characteristic lay in personality. Like that of an upturned stone; seemingly chiseled on the outside but wet and uncommonly slimy underneath.

As host of Thames TV's 'Today' show, of course, he prompted a nationwide scandal in December, 1976 with his baiting of the Sex Pistols. It was Jones and not Rotten, fittingly, who infamously turned the on air blue.

Cue "the filth and the fury".

Grundy was suspended in the ensuing outrage. For a fortnight, on full pay, one presumes. The tabloid press fanned the flames and 'Today' ultimately bit the bullet, choking on its own bile. Hilariously, it became public knowledge that the Pistols found overnight notoriety only as the result of a last minute folly, when camp lovelies Queen pulled their scheduled appearance.

A royal fiasco: a
silver jubilee Catherine Wheel of choreographed sparks more than chance encounter. In those original closing moments, as the studio lights dimmed and the captions slid into a commercial break, Grundy seemed genuinely stunned. Only just resigned, perhaps, to his role in the show's descent into chaos and the woeful looming specter of accountability.

An experienced presenter at the peak of his game, it must have infuriated him to have so visibly lost all semblance of control. Jones, on the contrary - while Rotten looked on bemused - was clearly delighted. Glen Matlock merely seemed baffled.

And God save one and all.

"Where's Bill Grundy Now ?" was a little piece of reverential genius, though not quite in the same league as the "O-Level" EP also name-checked.

The incident derailed Grundy's career. A broadcasting pariah, prime time turned its cheek and then its back as Grundy failed in his appeal for clemency. William Grundy died in Stockport, Greater Manchester in 1993 as the result of a post-traumatic cardiac arrest.

"Oh, shit...", he was seen to mutter.

Recorded at I.P.S. Studios, Shepherds Bush.
Total cost @ £22.50

Mastered at John Martin of Reading.
Total cost @ £34.00

TELEVISION PERSONALITIES: WHERE'S BILL GRUNDY NOW ? from "Where's Bill Grundy Now ?" EP (Kings Road / White Label) 1978 (UK)



Your driver said...

TVP's will always be on my list of all time favorites.

ib said...

There was a song on that O-Level EP - I believe they were somehow close to the TVP's, siblings of sorts - called "Stairway to Boredom".

Quite excellent.

Denier said...

I love when at the end Grundy says: we won't be seeing this lot again!

ib said...

A moment, I find, which makes me inwardly cringe where once I used to guffaw.

The Q & A as this songs fades sums up the answer to the question posed in the title nicely:

"Well. I haven't seen him..."

Poor sod.

Mr. Beer N. Hockey said...

They don't make Jubilees like they used to.

CLARK said...

This one is undeniable

ib said...

You are right, Beer.

That golden jubilee one was a big let down. All the kids were too busy dreaming of Neverland and waiting for Michael Jackson to check out.

I hope we don't sound too much like those aging teddyboys of yore who griped about punk rock in 1977 and waxed lyrical about the day Gene Vincent came to town.

ib said...

Thanks, Clark.

I like that picture of Dylan hurling a brick. I mistook him for John Cooper Clarke there for one moment.