A Tribute Brian Pern


A Tribute

Following the death of musician Brian Pern, film-maker Rhys Thomas presents an exclusive, cobbled-together tribute to the star with whoever he could get hold of at short notice.


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Transcript


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This programme contains very strong language.

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Brian Pern was a one-off.

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He was a gifted musician, a great songwriter,

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and, possibly, the best frontman ever in Thotch.

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I can think of three Brians in rock music,

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and he was certainly one of them.

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In the early days, of course, we were rivals.

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His band famously ripped off ours,

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and I gazumped him to the part of Buster.

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I'm Buster Edwards. Which one of youse is a grass?

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But, as time went on, we grew closer and closer.

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And we became great, great friends, although I never actually met him.

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Whether you liked Brian Pern's music or not,

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his heart was always in the right place.

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Even if sometimes the notes weren't.

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He will be sorely, sorely missed

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by some people.

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Available now, £14.99.

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Was that sad enough?

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# Civic centre... #

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Brian Pern's death shocked the world.

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In this special documentary,

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I'll be talking to those who knew Brian best.

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-His lovers...

-He was such a magical part of my childhood.

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And, sadly, a not-so-magical part of my adulthood.

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Brian is the only husband I truly loved.

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No!

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His band...

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His fans...

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He wasn't afraid, Brian, to push the boundaries from pop to rock,

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from rock to pop, from pop to pop, and rock to rock.

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And the man himself in his final-ever interview.

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Believe it or not, I was the first choice to play Lofty in EastEnders.

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# My love is the window And yours is the pane... #

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I think of him as one of the giants of the music business.

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He is an absolute stone-cold genius.

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What a record maker this guy is.

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He was somebody, you know, you wanted to please.

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With him, you were like a lapdog, you just, you know,

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"What can I do to make it better?"

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If there is such a thing as spirit or soul,

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I think he was one of the ones who had a great soul, a great spirit.

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Brian was a songwriter, singer, drummer, guitarist, you know,

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he can do it all.

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He's not bad.

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# The triffids descend from the skies... #

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If everyone looked after their teeth as well as Brian did,

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I'd be out of a job.

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Every song had its hook that we could all sing collectively,

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no matter where you were.

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You could be in Japan, you could be in Botswana, it didn't matter.

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I know that Brian was very precise.

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I will be coming across here as if I were a giant bird, swooping.

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That is one of the things I love about him.

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Brian was funny, shy, ever so clever, great musician,

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and a total twat.

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# Why are there no black folk in Jersey?

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# Why are there no black folk in Sark...? #

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What a tremendous honour to be in a position like that,

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where you can affect people's lives.

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How many people in their lives get

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the chance to do something like that?

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'Hello and welcome to BBC News.'

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The rock star and campaigner Brian Pern has died at the age of 66,

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his spokesman has confirmed.

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The news comes just two days after the classic line-up of Thotch

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released their first new single in 40 years.

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As far back as I can remember, music has always been a part of my life.

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I was born making music. And I guess I'll die making it, too.

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He lived at number 37.

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Now, fuck off! Jesus!

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'In January this year, Brian Pern and Thotch secretly reunited to

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'record a brand-new album, and I was asked to film an exclusive

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'interview with Brian that would turn out to be his last.'

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If you were to die tomorrow, what would be your biggest regret?

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That's a hard question.

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I guess...

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I'd liked to have seen the film La La Land.

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See what all the fuss was about.

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I was thinking more, you know, in terms of not seeing your

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son grow up or spending more time with your family.

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Not seeing my son grow up, and seeing more of my family.

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It's very... It's hard to think

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about Brian in the past tense, you know?

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I think we're still, um, well, we are in shock, aren't we, really?

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I'm actually over it now.

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Yeah.

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What was it that brought you all back together again after,

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you know, 35 years?

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Well, it was a sad occasion, it was the death of Bennet St John,

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who was a founder member of Thotch, a great friend of mine who I

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hadn't seen for 40 years, but just because you don't see someone

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doesn't mean that you don't still think of them a lot.

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-Did you think of him a lot?

-No.

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Brian called me, out of the blue, and said,

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"I've written a song for Bennet, called A Song For Bennet.

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"But it's not just for Bennet, it's a song for everyone we've

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"lost in 2016, apart from Prince," - he made that very clear.

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-What was it with you and Prince? Why not him?

-I never got on with Prince.

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We never saw eye to eye, because he was only that big.

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For their first album in 38 years,

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Brian wanted to share creative control with the rest of

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the band, apart from writing all the music, lyrics,

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designing the sleeve, the barcode and bringing in his own producer...

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-Are you ready?

-..Luke Dunmore.

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What was it like working with the whole band,

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as opposed to just Brian?

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Him on his own was bad enough,

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but it was like having five fucking Brians in the room.

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Can you imagine that? What's his name, Tony, he was all right.

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He was the most rock and roll,

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and by that I mean he ate meat, now and again,

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but the rest of them, mate, they were a bunch of fucking flannels.

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The bass player, we might as well have been a fucking bollard.

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But he's the richest one, you know?

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Wrote all of Thotch's biggest hits in the '80s.

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-Tight as fuck, wouldn't give a door a bang, the cunt.

-It was marvellous.

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-Just six men making music with no distractions.

-Come on!

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It was without doubt the most wonderful time of my life.

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And I've been present at several of my children's births and at

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least three of my own weddings.

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I don't think we ever got on so well. Bar one argument about Brexit.

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# A psycho just killed the USA

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# Building walls with racist tools

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# The land of the free don't come so cheap no more... #

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At the start, he was phoning it in a bit.

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You know, relying on the old tricks from the Spirit Level days.

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I said, "Brian, you've written all these angry songs about Brexit,

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"about social injustice, climate change, stranded donkeys,

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"and you're singing them like a fucking pop star."

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I said, "Sing them like it's the last thing you'll ever sing in your life."

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# Whoa.... #

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The story of Brian's fame began here, at Stowe,

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where he met Tony Pebble, Pat Quid and Bennet St John.

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They formed a band who would become known as Thotch,

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and would change the face of music forever.

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When the band left Stowe,

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they signed up with their first manager, "Big" Basil Steel.

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I will never forget hearing them playing live.

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Proper hair standing up on the back of your neck.

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In fact, the hair at the back of my neck wouldn't go down for

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a fucking week. It was like a fucking porcupine.

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Back in 1971, I managed to get them on Top Of The Pops.

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Cos I was having it off with Pan from Pan's People at the time.

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They refused to go on. "We don't do Top Of The Pops, it's not cool."

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Well, I hit the fucking roof.

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-I've still got a bump to prove it, here. Here, see.

-Right.

-Here.

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-Come and get... See. Feel that.

-No, it's all right.

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Feel the fucking head, feel it! What's the matter with you?

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-Yeah.

-Yeah.

-It's bad.

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Despite losing their drummer to drugs, bass player to board games,

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and part-time rhythm guitarist to politics and eventually

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alleged war crimes, Thotch went on to become one of

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the biggest-selling artists of the 1970s.

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# Christmas comes but once a year

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# All the people raise good cheer

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# Eat your turkey, scratch a leg

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# Pray to Santa But don't you beg... #

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But Brian left the band at the peak of their success to pursue a solo career.

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That's when I invented the first rock video,

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which led to MTV, MTV Classic, MTV Punk, the ITV Chart Show,

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The Box, VH1, VH1 Classic, VH1 Alternative, and VH1 Classic 2.

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While Brian was alive, he refused to talk about the true struggles

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behind his early solo career and how close he came to bankruptcy.

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But now he is dead, we can reveal all.

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Which is what he would have wanted.

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After Brian left the band, there was his commercially fallow period.

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He'd never accept this, but his career was virtually finished.

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But a lifeline came Brian's way in 1982, when Hallmark invented

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cards that played music when you opened them,

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and Brian was asked to write the songs.

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I was contacted by Hallmark, and they said,

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"Can you do a whole string of these songs which will echo

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"the various sentiments of Hallmark cards?"

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I said, "If I'm helping people, I'll do it."

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Several of the songs Brian recorded under the Hallmark contract

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were released and made a decent impact on the Top 40.

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I did a...Get Well Soon.

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Get Well Soon entered the chart at number 13,

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where it stayed for three consecutive weeks.

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Congratulations, You've Passed Your Driving Test.

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Well Done, You've Passed Your Exams. There were a lot of different songs.

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I'm Sorry To Hear Of Your Loss sold over a million cards and

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spent nine consecutive weeks at number one on

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the Clinton Card chart, thanks to this ground-breaking video.

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# I'm so sorry to hear of your uncle's passing

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# Only last week he was upstairs dancing

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# Life and soul as he always was

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# Life can't get any cheaper... #

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There were a lot of different songs.

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I mean, it got to the point where I had to say, "No, no more."

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Because it was diluting the message.

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Around '83, '84, Brian was dropped by his record label,

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so he started his own, called Poggle.

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It was named after our cat.

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Poggle had climbed into the new Zanussi and was accidentally

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put onto a 60-minute tumble.

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And when it came out, it looked pretty whacky.

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Brian funded his own records, tours, publicity, everything,

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which meant we had no money.

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# Equinox! Worm Power...! #

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My album, Worm Equinox, had failed to chart, mainly because I

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released it solely on a CD-ROM, which hadn't been invented yet.

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So Brian, like many other pop stars before him,

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turned his hands to acting, to make ends meet.

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Brian Pern had to be the worst actor we ever had on Doctor Who.

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Takes some beating, believe me.

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I'm the Doctor, are you in charge here?

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You will remain silent.

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Sorry, it's just I'm quite concerned about a couple of friends

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-I left here.

-Who is this primitive?

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When I was working with Brian, it was pre-Plasticine,

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so his career was really in the sink.

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He was trying to forge a career as an actor.

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-You must think me a fool.

-Not at all.

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The trouble was he was shit. Utter shit.

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Talk about watch from behind the sofa.

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Fuck me, I didn't want to come out for a week.

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I could destroy you now.

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I could destroy you now. I could destroy you now.

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-I COULD destroy you now.

-Let me see you try.

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I, I, ah...

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Just kept uttering the same line over and over again.

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Drop the sonic device.

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-Drop it.

-It isn't my day, is it?

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Drop the sonic device.

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I feel as though you've just killed an old friend.

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Drop the sonic device.

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Luckily, his next album was a success so he never acted again.

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Thank Christ.

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In 1987, Brian had the honour of singing the latest James Bond

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song, as he teamed up with Britain's other biggest recording artists.

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Hey, you, don't watch that,

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watch this!

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This is the James Bond sound -

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the most Secret Service sound around.

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# Hey, driver, where we goin'?

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# The Living Daylights

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# I swear my nerves are showin'

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# The Living Daylights

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# Set my hopes up way too high

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# Living's in the way we die

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# Ah, ah, ah, ah The Living Daylights

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# The Living Daylights. #

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Hey, you, don't watch that,

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watch Octopussy!

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Um...

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Yeah.

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A load of crap.

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LAUGHTER

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The single flopped horribly, so they asked some Dutch blokes

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called A-hum to do it, and that's the version that's in the film.

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# The Living Daylights... #

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I mean, I preferred the original.

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Surprisingly, one of the biggest hits of Brian's career

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involved an unexpected collaboration with some stars of Eurovision.

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So I called Brian, and I say, "Brian, are you sitting down?"

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He says, "No." So I said, "I just had a phone call from Bobby G.

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"The Fizz wants to work with Thotch."

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And Brian says, "Eh."

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I said, "Dude, are you crazy?! This is the fucking Fizz!"

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# Love in the shadows

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# Like a smoking gun... #

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Went down to Pebble Mill and we did this tune.

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# Is it really what you want One more broken heart?

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# One more lost and lonely... #

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We're making magic, OK?

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It's one of those Pet Sounds moments.

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And the tune got to number 87 in the UK charts.

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I don't have any memory of that collaboration.

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But the fame and the fortune came at a price.

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# In the cool light of the dawn... #

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I was on my own a lot, and Mike Batt lived up the road in Laurel Canyon.

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The kids loved him, because he was the Womble guy.

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# Remember you're a Womble... #

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He would come over and chat, play me songs.

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One thing led to another.

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How did Brian find out?

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Brian was away as usual, some crap with Desmond Tutu.

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Mike came over and, for a joke, he put on his Orinoco costume.

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He said, "Have you ever been... F-worded by a Womble?"

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Well, it was great for me, because it wasn't Mike doing it,

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it was Orinoco, and I didn't feel so guilty.

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Then...the door goes.

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It's Brian. He caught Orinoco mid-flow and...

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..that was it.

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# I don't blame you... #

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Later that week, Brian performed his latest song on Top Of The Pops,

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and did this.

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We had absolutely no idea whatsoever that was going to happen.

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I don't think we should talk about Mike Batt.

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One of Britain's most successful pop singers is today asking

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a High Court judge to declare his recording contract null and void.

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The record company wanted me to produce three albums in

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two years, and I just didn't want to do it.

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I felt like a slave to the label.

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What's more, they owned the music, I didn't.

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So I had to sue my record company to get my life and my music back.

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-But you own your own record company.

-That's right.

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-So you ended up, you sued yourself?

-Yes.

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-So, how much did you pay yourself to get out of your own contract?

-Oh...

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£6 million. Give or take.

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# The Earth is dying

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# You're a bee who has died for me... #

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Brian Pern was more than just a rock star,

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he was a tireless campaigner and used his music as

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a platform to raise awareness of issues that no other rock star would

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sing about, long before the likes of Bono, Bob Geldof or Black Lace.

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Of all the charities, what is the one that is closest to your heart?

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It has to be my work with molluscs.

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This week is Mollusc Awareness Week.

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I have with me here the rock star and eco-campaigner Brian Pern.

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-Brian, very nice to see you here.

-Hello, Monty.

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Tell me about Mollusc Awareness Week.

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Well, I have a recording studio in the heart of the countryside,

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and many people come and lay down tracks there,

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and during the evening they may step out for a cigarette or just

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a breath of fresh air - crunch, they tread on a snail.

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Some of the more heavier artists, like Elton John or Adele,

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can kill up to ten snails in one fag break.

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And this is happening right around the globe,

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and it's snail genocide.

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So what can you do to help snails?

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I have been developing a new shoe,

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and the soul is made from a new polyfoam called Fedge.

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It's very light and very strong.

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And when someone steps on a snail, the weight is evenly

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distributed and the snail is free to slide away quite happy.

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-How much would that cost?

-Well, this would retail for around £1,500.

0:18:090:18:14

That's a huge amount of money.

0:18:140:18:16

It is a lot of money, Monty, but we are saving lives,

0:18:160:18:19

the lives of snails.

0:18:190:18:21

-Is it so much?

-Well, yes.

0:18:210:18:23

I'd love to see them work, if you can.

0:18:240:18:27

Well, I am wearing a pair right now. Here we go.

0:18:270:18:30

CRUNCH

0:18:300:18:32

Oh.

0:18:350:18:36

Despite two failed marriages, Brian finally found happiness at the end

0:18:360:18:40

of his life when he started a family with world musician Pepita Sanchez.

0:18:400:18:44

# Santa Claus won't make me happy

0:18:440:18:47

# Santa Claus won't make me happy

0:18:470:18:50

# With a toy on Christmas Day... #

0:18:510:19:03

-Longer?

-And what's life like as a married man and being a father?

0:19:030:19:07

Well, you know what?

0:19:070:19:09

It kind of grew organically, she was always around,

0:19:090:19:11

I produced her albums.

0:19:110:19:13

She recorded at Poggle Sound,

0:19:130:19:15

and all of a sudden she became part of my life.

0:19:150:19:17

-Can we bonk?

-No bonk.

-No wine, no bonk.

-No wine, no bonk.

0:19:170:19:22

-What is the point of life?

-I've got a very busy schedule...

0:19:220:19:25

-Jeez, I don't...

-Paolo Nutini coming in...

0:19:250:19:27

Oh, Paolo!

0:19:270:19:29

I need to sort out my bisa.

0:19:290:19:31

I don't know, think I have the clearance for the bisa to stay here.

0:19:310:19:34

-Ah, your visa. Well, we can do that later.

-That's what I said.

0:19:340:19:37

At the moment, we must do this song and we must do it right.

0:19:370:19:39

OK. And then I get my bisa?

0:19:390:19:41

What's it like being a father at your age?

0:20:340:20:36

It's great, you know, I have so much more time to be with my little boy.

0:20:360:20:41

He comes out with me when we go down to the shop to buy croissants

0:20:410:20:46

and so forth.

0:20:460:20:47

What's his name?

0:20:470:20:48

When was the last time you saw Brian alive?

0:21:160:21:19

Um...

0:21:220:21:23

Yeah.

0:21:230:21:24

I actually had dinner with Brian two nights before he died,

0:21:240:21:28

with the wives, yeah.

0:21:280:21:30

Well, you know, I had lunch with him the day before he died.

0:21:300:21:33

Just the two of us.

0:21:330:21:35

Um...

0:21:370:21:39

I saw him, actually, the night before he died as well.

0:21:390:21:43

Just bumped into him.

0:21:430:21:45

Well, actually, I saw him the morning he died.

0:21:470:21:52

I spoke to him,

0:21:560:21:58

I was actually on the phone to Brian as he died,

0:21:580:22:05

I heard him go, "Aaaargh!"

0:22:050:22:06

-Splat! As he hit the rocks.

-No, you didn't.

-I did.

0:22:060:22:10

You didn't, we were having...a ploughman's lunch in the pub.

0:22:120:22:15

-I wasn't.

-Yes, you were!

0:22:150:22:19

What did you think when you heard he'd died?

0:22:230:22:27

What, he's dead?

0:22:270:22:28

Can you tell us about the last time you saw Brian.

0:22:280:22:32

Christmas Eve, 2016.

0:22:320:22:35

He, uh...

0:22:350:22:37

He came round to my apartment to drop off a present for Maddox,

0:22:370:22:40

my son, who idolised him.

0:22:400:22:43

Which was kind.

0:22:430:22:45

What did he buy him?

0:22:450:22:48

Some special shoes that didn't kill snails if you trod on them.

0:22:500:22:55

The main headlines again.

0:22:550:22:57

Tributes have been flooding in following the sudden death of

0:22:570:23:01

musician Brian Pern, who was killed in a Segway mistake this morning.

0:23:010:23:05

Tom Hiddleston wrote...

0:23:050:23:06

"..especially the one I did about Hank Williams,

0:23:150:23:17

"which was one of my greatest performances."

0:23:170:23:19

At first I thought it was fake news.

0:23:190:23:21

Then...

0:23:250:23:26

Then we realised that... that it was...true news.

0:23:260:23:31

PHONE RINGS

0:23:310:23:32

Although Brian's friends and family are devastated, there is one

0:25:160:25:20

person who has a very different theory regarding Brian's death.

0:25:200:25:24

No, I'm not glum today,

0:25:240:25:25

because Brian is very much alive and they've got it wrong.

0:25:250:25:29

-There are hidden symbols within the albums.

-What exactly do you mean?

0:25:290:25:33

-What are you talking about?

-Look at this.

0:25:330:25:35

-Can you see, just there, in there?

-I can't, I just see black.

0:25:350:25:39

That's what you see, just black,

0:25:390:25:41

but a real Thotch fan can see what's really there.

0:25:410:25:43

-Can you see it?

-Um, no, I...

-Look closely.

-I can't see anything.

0:25:430:25:47

-The Eye of Horus. The Eye of Horus.

-I can't see that.

-Can you...? There.

0:25:470:25:51

It's there, clearly.

0:25:510:25:53

The Egyptian symbol of good, protection, of health, of power.

0:25:530:25:57

It's there!

0:25:570:25:58

So, what, he's giving his fans a clue almost as to where he is?

0:25:580:26:01

He's set a trail.

0:26:010:26:02

It's like Hansel and Gretel with the breadcrumbs,

0:26:020:26:05

the hidden symbols will lead the fans to his true relocation.

0:26:050:26:09

-So why is he...? So you think he has faked his own death?

-He's faked it.

0:26:090:26:12

-100%.

-What proof have you got?

-I'll show you. OK. You see this?

-Yeah.

0:26:120:26:18

This is the numeric placing of the alphabet. This is A-1, B-2, C-3, you see.

0:26:180:26:22

-B, 2...Brian.

-I see, right.

-And then Pern.

-Yes.

0:26:220:26:27

-The relative numbers to the letters in the alphabet.

-I see.

-Right.

0:26:270:26:31

-So, multiply two.

-Yeah.

-By 18.

-Yeah.

-By nine. By one.

-Yeah.

-Times 14.

0:26:310:26:36

Now you divide that by the number of Thotch albums and solo albums.

0:26:360:26:41

-This is mad. Yeah. 3.4653?

-That's it.

-Right.

-Yeah.

0:26:410:26:47

So what does that mean?

0:26:470:26:48

Well, I didn't know either, I was baffled.

0:26:480:26:50

But I googled it, I came up with 3.4653 degrees, 62.2159 degrees.

0:26:500:26:55

-Yep.

-The Amazonian rainforest.

0:26:550:26:58

-So you think Brian is living in the Amazonian rainforest?

-Absolutely.

0:26:580:27:01

100 %. Do you know why Brian left us? Because he was sick of the fame.

0:27:010:27:04

He was sick of the stardom, he was sick of the public harassment,

0:27:040:27:07

he was sick of the paparazzi.

0:27:070:27:09

He wanted freedom.

0:27:090:27:10

That's what Brian wants, is freedom, and I am going to go there,

0:27:100:27:13

to the South American rainforest, with the fan club, we're going

0:27:130:27:15

to hold a little convention, and I'm going to bring him back home.

0:27:150:27:18

Right. But if Brian has faked his own death

0:27:180:27:20

in order to escape the fans,

0:27:200:27:22

why would he leave clues for you to find him?

0:27:220:27:24

I'm going home.

0:27:300:27:31

You're wasting your time, you've got the wrong house.

0:27:330:27:36

One person I found hard to pin down was Brian's manager of 40 years,

0:27:360:27:39

John Farrow.

0:27:390:27:41

However, he finally agreed to give me three of his precious minutes.

0:27:410:27:45

-Is this going to take long?

-No.

-Good.

0:27:450:27:48

Cos I've got a game of rounders in ten minutes with

0:27:480:27:51

Roger Waters and Joan Armatrading.

0:27:510:27:53

So, what does Brian's death mean to you?

0:27:530:27:56

-Mean to me?

-Yeah.

0:27:560:27:58

Well, I don't know.

0:28:000:28:03

20 million?

0:28:050:28:06

Because there's the new album, TV sales,

0:28:080:28:12

the tribute concert film, rights to the Brian Pern biopic,

0:28:120:28:15

which now has a very sad ending, of course.

0:28:150:28:18

And once the documentary goes out,

0:28:180:28:20

there'll be a huge spike in back catalogue sales,

0:28:200:28:22

and I'm not talking about this drippy BBC Four thing, I mean the

0:28:220:28:25

proper one that Martin Scorsese is doing for HBO and Netflix.

0:28:250:28:29

Where were you when you heard that Brian had died?

0:28:310:28:34

Done that already with Scorsese, next question.

0:28:340:28:37

When did you see Brian last, and can you remember what he said to you?

0:28:370:28:41

I can. But I just told Scorsese.

0:28:410:28:45

Right.

0:28:460:28:47

So, the record company want to put out

0:28:470:28:49

a greatest hits album to coincide with the show.

0:28:490:28:51

-Happy with that?

-What about the one that went out last year?

0:28:510:28:54

That was the Best Of, not a greatest hits.

0:28:540:28:57

What about the one before that?

0:28:570:28:59

That was the Essential Collection, not a greatest hits.

0:28:590:29:02

And the one before that?

0:29:020:29:04

It was the Absolute Greatest,

0:29:040:29:07

which only contained the best of the best of the essential best.

0:29:070:29:10

-But aren't we just ripping off the fans?

-Yep. Fuck 'em.

0:29:100:29:15

People are saying that you are cashing in on Brian's death,

0:29:150:29:18

what with the rumours of the band reforming without him and then

0:29:180:29:21

all these remixes you've released very quickly after his death.

0:29:210:29:24

Hey, hey, stop! "They"? Who are "they"?

0:29:240:29:27

Well, you know, the die-hard fans.

0:29:270:29:29

The die-hard fans, I don't give a rat's biscuit what they think.

0:29:290:29:33

Brian used to read what these so-called die-hard fans said

0:29:330:29:37

about him and his work on forums and Twitter,

0:29:370:29:40

and it would tear the poor guy apart.

0:29:400:29:42

They think they own Brian. They don't. I do.

0:29:420:29:44

Did Brian make them the executors of his estate?

0:29:440:29:47

Did he leave it to one of his wives or his mentally challenged

0:29:470:29:50

offspring? No, he didn't. He left it to me, so fuck everybody, frankly.

0:29:500:29:53

Listen, I have to put any personal feelings about Brian's death

0:29:530:29:57

aside, and think purely on a business level,

0:29:570:29:58

because that is what I am getting paid 20% to do.

0:29:580:30:01

Brian's royalties do not pay me to grieve, they pay me to work.

0:30:010:30:04

To keep him in the public eye, to keep his music fresh and alive,

0:30:040:30:08

to attract a new audience, no matter what it takes.

0:30:080:30:11

Not for me...

0:30:110:30:12

Well, a bit for me, but for him, for his wishes. So, yes,

0:30:120:30:16

I happily admit I have to cash in now to make the most for Brian,

0:30:160:30:20

not in a couple of years when everybody has forgotten him.

0:30:200:30:22

Fuck, he's all right. He's got the easy bit.

0:30:220:30:25

He's poodled off the edge of the cliff and said goodbye to all his troubles.

0:30:250:30:28

Mine have only just begun,

0:30:280:30:29

so even in the afterlife the guy's a fucking pest.

0:30:290:30:32

Who had to tell his various families that he'd left them fuck all?

0:30:320:30:36

And who had to dodge the pots and the pans that were chucked at

0:30:360:30:39

him when he informed them that he'd donated his 50 million

0:30:390:30:41

fortune to a trust that pays for homeless snails to be

0:30:410:30:44

rehoused in synthetic shells?

0:30:440:30:47

And to rehabilitate bats that can't hang upside down for

0:30:470:30:50

psychological reasons?

0:30:500:30:52

Me.

0:30:520:30:53

So don't give me all this cashing-in,

0:30:530:30:56

heartless manager bollocks, because you don't know the half of it.

0:30:560:30:59

-Sorry.

-I should think so.

0:30:590:31:01

Um, you said just now how you had to put any personal feelings aside.

0:31:010:31:04

Can I ask what those personal feelings are?

0:31:040:31:08

You can ask, but you won't get a fucking answer.

0:31:080:31:11

Why, because it's too emotional for you?

0:31:110:31:13

No, because I just told Scor-fucking-sese.

0:31:130:31:15

Anyway, you should watch that one instead, it'll be better than this.

0:31:150:31:18

-It's in surround sound.

-I've got one more question.

0:31:180:31:21

What does the future hold for you?

0:31:210:31:23

Game of rounders in three minutes with Roger Waters and Joan Armatrading.

0:31:230:31:26

-Anyway, that's it. Ta-ra.

-Thanks for your time.

-It's a pleasure.

0:31:260:31:32

Three weeks after Brian's untimely death,

0:31:330:31:35

the remaining members of Thotch have begun preparations for a tribute

0:31:350:31:38

concert at the Royal Albert Hall in aid of Segway awareness.

0:31:380:31:41

And I was given exclusive access to the rehearsals.

0:31:410:31:45

Well, we thought this would be a good testing ground for a singer,

0:31:450:31:48

you know, who could take Brian's place, and, you know,

0:31:480:31:52

it would make him feel more comfortable, so that we can keep

0:31:520:31:55

the band alive, and I'm sure this is what Brian would have wanted.

0:31:550:31:58

So the Brian Pern tribute concert is basically a chance for you to

0:31:580:32:01

audition a new lead singer of Thotch to take on the road?

0:32:010:32:04

Exactly. That's what Brian would have wanted.

0:32:040:32:06

And now we can reveal the new lead singer of Thotch for

0:32:060:32:09

the first time.

0:32:090:32:11

Thotch, meet Mike Batt.

0:32:110:32:14

Sorry I'm late. Anyway, let's get started. Have you got a chair?

0:32:170:32:21

Everyone is going to be interested in what songs are going to be

0:32:240:32:27

on the set list.

0:32:270:32:28

Well, I will be singing The Honeycomb Is Over,

0:32:280:32:30

but in the middle, of course, I'm doing all my own stuff.

0:32:300:32:32

My new solo album, I'm doing all the way through.

0:32:320:32:35

And some old ones like maybe Remember You're A Womble,

0:32:350:32:38

Wombling Merry Christmas, Bright Eyes, A Winter's Tale, that sort of thing.

0:32:380:32:41

So you're going to sing one of his songs,

0:32:410:32:43

and basically everything else is going to be your material?

0:32:430:32:46

Yeah, because I think that's what he would've wanted.

0:32:460:32:48

Can I ask you another thing?

0:32:480:32:50

I mean, it is very well documented that you had an affair with

0:32:500:32:53

his wife.

0:32:530:32:54

-And...

-Well...

0:32:540:32:55

Well, it's just, I know some people will be asking, you know,

0:32:550:32:58

what is your motive behind doing this?

0:32:580:33:01

You did say we wouldn't be talking about that.

0:33:010:33:03

Would you mind, like, cutting so we can just talk about what

0:33:030:33:06

we're going to talk about before we actually talk about it?

0:33:060:33:08

-I mean, you said we were going to talk about Bright Eyes and...

-Yeah.

0:33:080:33:11

..all the work I've done with Steeleye Span and people like that,

0:33:110:33:14

so I don't think people are interested in, like,

0:33:140:33:16

whose porridge I stirred, like, 36 years ago.

0:33:160:33:18

Forget it.

0:33:210:33:22

I have to say that I did make my peace with him, you know,

0:33:260:33:29

before he went.

0:33:290:33:30

-OK.

-Yeah, yeah...

-You really made peace with him?

-Well, no.

0:33:300:33:36

-Do you need us to be interviewed?

-No, it's OK.

0:33:380:33:41

-Who would you say was closest to Brian?

-Well, probably...

-Me.

0:33:430:33:48

Actually, come on, it was probably me. Really, to be honest with you.

0:33:510:33:56

I don't think so, Tony. I mean... Brian and I, we...

0:33:560:34:00

We had a kind of sixth sense about each other.

0:34:000:34:04

Sometimes I could start a sentence and Brian could finish it,

0:34:040:34:08

and vice versa.

0:34:080:34:09

-Really?

-Yes, I'm pretty sure that...

-I just...

-..I was...

0:34:090:34:15

-closer to Brian than anyone else.

-I think you'll find...

0:34:150:34:18

Sorry, in his book, he does actually say he was closest to Pat,

0:34:180:34:20

you were like brothers.

0:34:200:34:22

He called you a bimbo.

0:34:220:34:24

Brian was my friend. When we were young, we...

0:34:440:34:49

-we messed it up.

-He wasn't interested in getting his nuts wet.

0:34:490:34:53

He... He wanted to work. And I will really miss him.

0:34:530:34:58

You know, I have been married many times, but I really think I

0:35:020:35:06

can say that Brian is the only husband I truly loved.

0:35:060:35:11

Apart from Shakin' Stevens.

0:35:120:35:15

And Fish from Marillion.

0:35:150:35:17

If you are listening up there, Brian, you...

0:35:190:35:22

You look after yourself, OK?

0:35:220:35:24

Can I read something? It's easier.

0:35:300:35:33

"Stop all the clocks. Turn off the telephone. Stop the dog barking.

0:35:350:35:40

"It's annoying. Collect the dry cleaning.

0:35:400:35:43

"Cancel the subscription to the TV listings magazine.

0:35:430:35:47

"Brackets - there's nothing good on the telly anyway, just buy the big bumper Christmas one from now on.

0:35:470:35:52

"End brackets.

0:35:520:35:54

"Clean up the bathroom. Clean the bird poop off the car."

0:35:540:35:58

That's the last thing Brian ever wrote to me.

0:35:580:36:01

It's a list of chores he wanted me to do. I think that...

0:36:010:36:05

says it all, really.

0:36:050:36:08

I was going through me mobile phone the other day,

0:36:080:36:10

and I found a message from Brian.

0:36:100:36:13

He had arse-dialled me. He was... He was trying to buy some tiles.

0:36:130:36:18

He was in Topps...Topps Tiles. He was doing his new toilet.

0:36:180:36:22

And it was just Brian, you know, being Brian.

0:36:220:36:27

And I stayed up all night listening to it.

0:36:330:36:35

The day after he died.

0:36:370:36:39

What did he go for? What tiles did he choose?

0:36:410:36:43

He plastered it in the end. And I... I can't...

0:36:430:36:48

Can't get myself to delete the message. And...

0:36:480:36:51

When I think of Brian, that's what I listen to, cos,

0:36:530:36:56

let's be honest, I'm not going to listen to any of his albums, am I?

0:36:560:36:59

Here's your tombstone. What's written on it?

0:37:040:37:08

Brian Pern.

0:37:120:37:13

'An hour ago, I got a phone call from a friend of mine working for

0:37:350:37:38

'the Discovery Channel.

0:37:380:37:40

'He is editing a ground-breaking documentary about life in the

0:37:400:37:44

'Amazon rainforest, using over 100 unmanned, hidden cameras

0:37:440:37:46

'to capture animals as they have never been seen before.

0:37:460:37:49

'Whilst spooling through thousands of hours of footage, he found

0:37:490:37:53

'something that would change the face of documentaries like this forever.'

0:37:530:37:57

-John, over here.

-Shh, shh, shh! No, no, no. No names. Fuck's sake!

0:37:570:38:03

Here you are. I think I've got all the stuff.

0:38:030:38:06

There's World At War on Blu-ray, photos of your son, and the sweets.

0:38:060:38:10

Oh, no, John, I distinctly told you.

0:38:100:38:13

Vegan Percy Pigs from Marks & Spencer's, or their fruit jellies.

0:38:130:38:17

-These are Haribo.

-Jesus Christ, get a grip, Brian!

0:38:170:38:21

It's taken me four days and a fuck-load of effort to get here.

0:38:210:38:24

-I made a mistake. I want to come home.

-You can't go home, Brian.

0:38:240:38:28

You can't! If anybody finds out about this, we are totally fucked.

0:38:280:38:33

You've got to stay here!

0:38:330:38:34

The canoe guy, he got six years and lost everything.

0:38:340:38:37

Pull yourself together. The point is, it's worked.

0:38:370:38:41

The album's gone straight to number one in the UK,

0:38:410:38:44

the States, Italy, Holland and Australia.

0:38:440:38:46

-Zimbabwe?

-Yeah, number two.

0:38:460:38:48

-How did the band take it?

-Terrible.

0:38:480:38:50

Everyone was devastated, you were loved, Brian, you really were.

0:38:500:38:52

The tribute show is on at the Albert Hall.

0:38:520:38:55

And who have they got as a singer?

0:38:550:38:56

Someone young and cool, or old and legendary?

0:38:560:39:00

Sort of in the middle.

0:39:000:39:02

Well, who?

0:39:020:39:03

Um...

0:39:050:39:06

(Mike Batt.)

0:39:080:39:09

Mike Batt?!

0:39:090:39:11

Isn't he one of your acts?

0:39:110:39:13

Shit, look at the time. I've got an elephant to catch.

0:39:130:39:16

-Take care of yourself. I'll see you in six months, eh?

-(John.)

-Ta-ra.

0:39:160:39:21

Mike Batt!

0:39:230:39:25

RUSTLING

0:39:270:39:28

Hello? Is there someone there? Oh, Jesus Christ!

0:39:280:39:33

No-o-o-o-o-o!

0:39:330:39:34

Drop the sonic device.

0:39:500:39:53

Drop the sonic device.

0:39:570:39:59

Um...

0:40:030:40:05

-You know, you could be a little bit sadder.

-Hmm.

-And, do you know what?

0:40:050:40:08

Can you do me a favour? Could you do it maybe without the book?

0:40:080:40:10

-Because it's product placement, and it's the BBC.

-No, no, no, no, no.

0:40:100:40:15

It's the only reason I'm doing this. Couldn't stand the little prick.

0:40:150:40:18

-All right, I'll try and split the difference.

-OK.

-OK.

0:40:180:40:22

Do you have a tear stick?

0:40:220:40:25

Um... No. It's your house.

0:40:250:40:30

Could you think of something sad?

0:40:300:40:32

Following the recent death of musician Brian Pern and in a change to the scheduled programme, award-winning film-maker Rhys Thomas OBE presents an exclusive, cobbled-together tribute to the star with whoever he could get hold of at short notice. Including friends, lovers, fans and his dentist.


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