FRABJOY AND RUNCIBLE SPOON
By ’69 they were ‘Frabjoy and Runcible Spoon‘ and I was their manager. In fact, this odd name was a whimsical nod to Simon and Garfunkel.
GODLEY AND CREME
I was conflicted when 10cc split in ’76, so I continued to manage Eric and Graham (as 10cc), with my other interests in Kev and Lol intact.
In late 1977, Godley and Creme released a triple LP, ‘Consequences‘. The project was conceived to showcase their Gizmotron invention, but things got out of control and it took about 18 months to record, with input from other luminaries like Peter Cook and Sarah Vaughan.
This was followed by a string of albums continuing into the late ’80s:
- ‘L‘ (1978)
- ‘Freeze Frame‘ (1979)
- ‘Ismism‘ (1981) – released in U.S. as ‘Snack Attack‘ (same as title song)
- ‘Birds of Prey‘ (1983)
- ‘The History Mix Volume 1‘ (1985)
- ‘Goodbye Blue Sky‘ (1988)
Most of their music was ‘experimental’ although they did flirt with the hit parade and on a few occassions got into the top ten with:
- “An Englishman in New York” (1979) – Netherlands No. 7 in Feb;
- “Under Your Thumb” (1981) – U.K. No. 3 in September; and
- “Wedding Bells” (1981) – U.K. No. 7 in November.
“Cry” peaked at No. 16 in the Billboard Hot 100 chart in 1985 and the brilliant video they directed was a very big part in the single’s success, and inspired sequences in Michael Jackson‘s (1991) “Black or White“.
MTV (a.k.a. ‘Music Television’) was well-received when it launched on 1st August 1981 and Godley and Creme were perfectly positioned at both sides of the lens as pioneers in this new format, the music video.
The landscape had changed overnight and it became de rigueur that a good song wasn’t enough, it must be synchronized with a good video.
Godley and Creme had proved their competence in this new medium and soon they were in demand to direct videos for other artistes too.
Some other memorable videos directed by Godley and Creme are:
- Police: “Every Breath You Take” & “Don’t Stand So Close To Me“
- Frankie Goes To Hollywood: “Two Tribes” & “Power of Love“
- Sting: “If You Love Somebody Set Them Free“
- Duran, Duran: “View To A Kill“
- Patti LaBelle: “Oh, People“
- Wang Chung: “Everybody Have Fun Tonight“
- Peter Gabriel: “Biko” & “Don’t Give Up” (featuring Kate Bush).
I think it was back in 1983 when David Bowie first criticized MTV for featuring very few black artists. Godley and Creme thought laterally to secure Herbie Hancock‘s “Rockit” lots of airtime by producing one of the first award-winning music videos to use automatons as actors.
By Hancock being kept out of the video the race factor is taken out. He appears only as an image on a televison, later smashed up (in protest) on the pavement at the front door of the house!
By 1989, Godley and Creme had decided to go their separate ways.
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Lol Creme moved to Los Angeles to direct commercials, and by 1992 directed his first film, “The Lunatic“, a comedy set in Jamaica about a good-natured madman (Paul Campbell) who talks to trees and finds love with an overweight, oversexed German tourist (Julie T. Wallace).
In 2006, he co-founded The Producers (a.k.a. The Trevor Horn Band).
He also conceived and started “One World One Voice” – a chain-tape video and album featuring various artistes from all around the world, which has evolved still further with Youdio (p.k.a. WholeWorldBand).