After The Mockingbirds disbanded Kevin Godley joined Lol Creme.
YELLOW BELLOW ROOM BOOM
Their first single together was as ‘Yellow Bellow Room Boom‘ with A-side “Seeing Things Green” and B-side “Easy Life” on CBS. Other band members were Stan Dulson a.k.a. Stan ‘Red’ Hoffman (The Measles), Stuart Sirrett (who had worked with Wayne Fontana) and Jeff Walters.
FRABJOY AND RUNCIBLE SPOON
By ’69 they were a duo, ‘Frabjoy and Runcible Spoon‘ and I was their manager. This 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 stars such as 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) – called ‘Snack Attack‘ in U.S.A. (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” reached No. 16 in the Billboard Hot 100 chart in 1985 and the brilliant video they directed was a big part of the single’s success, inspiring 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 & Creme were strangely positioned at both sides of the lens as pioneers in a new format, the music video.
The landscape changed ‘overnight’; now it was de rigueur that a good song wasn’t enough, it must be synchronized with a good video.
Godley & 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“
- George Harrison: “When We Was Fab“
- 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!
But in 1989 Godley & Creme split up and went their separate ways:
In 1992 Lol directed his film, “The Lunatic“, a comedy set in Jamaica about a good-natured madman (Paul Campbell) who talks to trees and finds love with an oversexed German tourist (Julie T. Wallace).
SOAL (STORY OF A LIFE) NIGHT LIVE – The Musical Talk Show feat. Kevin Godley – 14th October 2021
For this episode Kevin Godley drops by the show and we take a ‘deep dive’ into his history. The chat is 3 segments:
1. Early years and Strawberry Studios (0:0:0 to 0:51:50),
2. A slide show looking at all the albums and cover art with candid comments from Kevin (0:51:51 to 1:44:08).
3. The last portion is a slide show highlighting a variety of iconic 80’s videos he and Lol Creme directed touching on the evolution of video making (1:44:09 to 2:37:58).
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