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Date: Sun, 11 Feb 90 03:17:59 EST
From: email@example.com (Chris'n'Vickie of Kansas City)
Subject: Belated News Flash! (for UK Love-Hounds)
I just talked to Peter David Fitzgerald-Morris (professor of Kate Bushology and Homeground fellow) and he told me that Kate wrote a song for an episode of The Comic Strip.
It's the title theme for an episode named "G.L.C" (I don't know if that's the song title as well) and he thinks she may have written more incidental music for the episode as well, though he's not sure about that. This song will be on the b-side of L&A when it's released in England in March. The episode is supposed to air this week or next. Check your TV Times. According to Peter, GLC is "a film starring Charles Bronson (but actually Robbie Coltrane) as fearless Ken Livingston out to save London from the evil Ice Maiden (alias Margaret Thatcher)." Ok, so it's a bit obscure to non-British.
Date: Fri, 16 Feb 90 14:50:32 BST
Subject: Comic Strip
The G.L.C. episode of the Comic Strip was shown last night on BBC 2 TV. As mentioned in this forum by Vickie, it featured music by Kate. There was not only the title theme "G.L.C." (that's Greater London Council in case people are wondering) but also all the incidental music within the programme. Kate was credited for original music score at the end.
The G.L.C. song was featured about two or three times in the programme, though only for c. 30 seconds in ecah case. It is a very raucous, up beat number with Kate at her bitchin' best! The lyrics were hard to decipher behind the dialogue and sound effects, but the main refrain was "Ken is the leader of the G.L.C." (ok not particularly riveting). At times Kate's voice was almost screaming. As this song will be available soon on the next single I will not embarass myself further by trying to describe it in more detail.
There was an instrumental piece at the start of the show which reminded me of Heads We're Dancing. At the end of the programme after the Ice Maiden has been laid to rest there was a very quiet, lyrical section but unfortunately again I could not make out the words. In one scene in a bar we heard Running Up That Hill. There were other short sections of incidental music some of which featured stings. In all, quite a varied selection, totally inadequately described by me - but I was trying to follow the dialogue as well (shame on me).
The scenario of the show was the story of Ken Livingstone's rise to leadership of the G.L.C. and his struggle with Mrs Thatcher (the Ice Maiden) with just a slight distortion of the truth in true Hollywood style. Ken with the help of Joan Ruddock, Tony Benn and later Prince Charles replaces Horace Cutler as leader of the G.L.C. by popular acclaim (Horace beaten into third place by Screaming Lord Sutch). The Ice Maiden plots his downfall and bans the G.L.C. leading to an armed battle between Ken and his followers with the army. Prince Charles persuades the army to lay down their arms only for the Ice Maiden to persoanlly join the attack. Slain by a flagpole heaved by Ken, she is revealed to have been possessed by an alien force.
Ken Livingstone - Charles Bronson - Robbie Coltrane
Margaret Thatcher - Bridgette Nielson - Jennifer Saunders
Joan Ruddock - Cher - Dawn French
Tony Benn - Lee Van Clef - Peter Richardson
Prince Charles - - Adrian Edmondson
Be seeing you
[Sorry, header accidently deleted. --WIE]
First of all, to clear up a misconception, GLC doesn't have anything to do with comic books. The Comic Strip is a generic title given to several series of short comedy movies broadcast on British television over the last few years, featuring some or all from a loose association of well know British comedians, including Rick Mayall, Dawn French, Jennifer Saunders, Adrian Edmondson, Nigel Planer, Robbie Coltrane, and several others. The movies usually satirise some specific cinematic style or some aspect of British life, and are most often written and/or directed by Peter Richardson, who usually plays one of the characters as well. The latest series, broadcast February/March on BBC2, included two movies which involved Kate Bush: <GLC>, for which she did the original music score; and <Les Dogs>, in which she played the role of the bride, Angela.
<GLC>, as with <Strike> from the previous series, is a pastiche on a major political event in the UK (in this case, the rise and fall of the Greater London Council), with the main characters played in the style of movie characters associated with well known actors. Here are some snippets to whet your appetite ...
J R Goldstein
in association with
Octopus Petroleum Products Corporation, Tokyo
G L C
the carnage continues ...
Dawn French plays Cher as Joan Ruddock
Jennifer Saunders plays Brigitte Nielsen as The Ice Maiden
Robbie Coltrane plays Charles Bronson as Ken Livingstone
Peter Richardson plays Lee van Cleef as Tony Benn
The movie begins outside the Warner West End, in London's Leicester Square, where the movie is being premiered.
"We've just heard that Cher has arrived, with the usual phalanx of highly trained bodyguards. - Miss Cher, Miss Cher, excuse me, Miss Cher, I'm from the BBC, might I have a few words with yo- ooff! - (crunch) - (thud) - aarrghh! - uurrgh! ..."
The movie charts Ken's putatively unwilling rise to leadership of the GLC (the song <Ken> accompanies the election campaign section), ousting the corrupt Conservative administration and implementing his socialist policies; the homicidal rage of the Ice Maiden (aka. Margaret Thatcher) as her candidate is defeated at the polls, and her ministers fail to prevent Ken's increasing popularity (they meet various unpleasant ends for their failure); the assault by her private army on the besieged 'good guys' in County Hall; and the final confrontation between Ken and the Ice Maiden.
It is an imaginative satirical fantasy, with both sides in the conflict being shown in an equally jaundiced light (although the socialist's indictment is rather more subtle), and most of it beyond the bounds of any probable reality. (If you don't live in the UK, however, you'll miss out on some of the humour, which is dependent on some knowledge of the real characters and events upon which the story is based.)
The Ice Maiden kills without mercy, being able to transform her right arm into various vicious weapons, and is eventually shown to have been possessed by an alien being; she keeps the Prince of Wales (Adrian Edmondson), an old man, imprisoned on a country estate, fed with drugged food to keep him docile.
(The prince, walking in the garden, finds a book amongst the flower beds.) "'Let's grow plums'. Hmm - that's interesting - never seen that one before."
Seeing that the prince's popularity goes beyond party boundaries, and could be used to unite the people against her, the Ice Maiden plans to dispose of him.
"Good evening. It is my sad duty to have to inform you that our beloved Prince of Wales, whom all of you know has been unwell for some time, is unlikely ever to appear in public again. His head will remain on the money and on the stamps - but not on his shoulders. (Ha, ha, ha - you can wipe that bit.) I can assure you he is receiving the very best attention, from my own personal surgeon." (Cuts to crazed headsman in the Tower of London, sharpening his axe.)
In the end the socialists have to call on the monarchy to save them, as they rescue the Prince of Wales from execution in the nick of time, and he subsequently persuades the attacking soldiers to lay down their arms.
(The prince, speaking from the steps of County Hall.) "... It is therefore my profound hope that the power of this country should rest with the people, and not with a woman who, one suspects, is not of this Earth."
The Ice Maiden finally dies, impaled by a flagpole thrown by Ken, and the spirit of the real woman is released from her torment.
| MARGARET HILDA THATCHER |
| free at last |
From: firstname.lastname@example.org (Bryan Dongray)
Date: Tue, 19 Sep 1995 00:09:20 -0500 (CDT)
Subject: Re: what's the GLC?
Not being too political (in my head, nor on this group) the GLC stands for the "Greater London Council" which used to exist and was "headed" by Ken Livingstone, before the Maggie Thatcher Goverment got rid of the idea of local governments. At the time I seem to remember Maggie "had it in for" Ken, but maybe that was just the media. They painted Ken to be a really nice guy, he seemed to be doing nice things for the people and the city, but it could all be fabrication, newspapers like to publish a good/bad story. The Comic Strip which consists of a group of modern comedians (not sure on all of them, but there's about 5 or 6, I'll guess at Rik and Ade - as you said, but also Dawn French, perhaps also Jen Saunders, Robbie Coltraine, Hugh Laurie and Steven Fry, I've missed someone or two), and they made a "Charles Bronson" parody of the GLC vs Maggie incident.
Please someone correct my mistakes!
From: email@example.com (Steve Thomas)
Date: Tue, 19 Sep 1995 09:25:54 -0400
Subject: Re: what's the GLC?
The GLC was the Greater London Council, i.e. London County Council.
Its leader from c.1981 until its abolition by Thatcher's Tory government on January 31 1986 was Ken Livingstone, now Labour MP for Brent East.
He was legendary as a hard left politician of whom there are very few in 1990s UK politics. Vilified by many and loved by just as many, he is one of the true characters of British politics over the last 20 years!!
"GLC" the film by the Comic Strip has various British comedy actors playing the parts of Hollywood stars trying to play characters from the GLC story. An example (I believe) was Robbie Coltrane as Charles Bronson playing Ken L. Thatcher was played by Jennifer Saunders (if I remember rightly - or was that another Comic Strip film?)
Date: Sat, 23 Sep 95 18:02:33 PDT
Subject: Re: what's the GLC? - the answer
Up until 1991, London had its own controlling authority called the Greater London Council (GLC). Its leader was Ken Livingstone (Labour) and his nickname was Red Ken! The Tory Party of the Day got really fed up with Ken (He hould do really annoying stuff like: the headquarters of the GLC were offosite the Houses of Parliament so he used to place the numbers of unemployed on a big sign on the roof facing the HOP every day so that all MPS could see it).
Anyway, The Tory Patrty of the day decided that Local Government for London had to go and so abolished the GLC. Ken Livingstone is now a Labour MP and I think is in the shadow cabinet!?!
On the last day of the GLC Red Ken held a huge party in Central London. Most Londoners want the return of the GLC. He subsudized Transport and provided arts and parks and lots of other stuff.....
From: firstname.lastname@example.org (David J. Zimmerly)
Date: Wed, 27 Sep 1995 06:20:24 GMT
Subject: Re: what's the GLC? - the answer
I haven't been onboard Gaffa for a while, but thought I'd add my two cents to this one. Right now, right in front of me (well, slightly to the right), but definitely very LEFT, is a button I picked up on my personal "Summer of Love" tour through Great Britain and France in 1984. It says "Keep GLC Working for London". I distinctly remember being handed this button by a punkish young woman along with some pamphlets about the GLC and the great crime about to be perpetrated by the Tories in abolishing it. Of course, this was at the height of Maggie's reign of terror, and the GLC was a particularly annoying thorn in her side, what with all their communistic talk about housing and feeding the poor, providing decent day care for children etc. Funny how Mikhail Gorbachev was a man with whom she could do business, but Ken Livingstone wasn't...Never could figure out those brain-dead Tories...Maybe if Ken had acquired an SS7 and aimed it across the street he would have gotten more respect.
On to Les Dogs
written by Love-Hounds
compiled and edited
Sept 1995 June 1996