Episode 3 Brian Pern


Episode 3

Spoof rockumentary series. The original Thotch line-up are forced to reform after they are sued by their former manager Basil Steel for non-payment of royalties.


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Transcript


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This programme contains strong language.

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It's more than 40 years since the original members of Thotch split.

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They've always been adamant they'd never perform together again.

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-Do you think you'll ever reform?

-No.

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I don't think we'll ever reform with Brian.

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It's not something I have at the forefront

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of my list of things to do.

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Well, if Thotch ever did reform, which I can't see happening,

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-I certainly wouldn't want to be a part of that.

-Why not?

-Cos they're awful people. Especially Pat.

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Wouldn't piss on him if he was drowning.

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Don't you mean if he was on fire?

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Well, whatever. I wouldn't piss on him.

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But this year, all that changed.

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Some breaking news now.

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NEWSCASTERS SPEAK THEIR OWN VARIOUS LANGUAGES

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...Brian Pern and Thotch.

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NEWSCASTERS SPEAK THEIR OWN VARIOUS LANGUAGES

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Thotch are one of the greatest rock bands of all time.

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They changed the face of music for ever and they even conquered Broadway with their jukebox musical.

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-I am leaving the group.

-What?

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And now they're back together, but with a combined age

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of 4,927 ¸ 15, can they pull off their biggest ever show?

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SNORING

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APPLAUSE

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In December last year, the original members of Thotch

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reunited for the first time in 44 years.

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However, it wasn't at Wembley Stadium -

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it was the Royal Courts of Justice.

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Long story short,

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Thotch's first manager - Basil Steele, big Basil Steele -

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sued for non-payment of royalties dating back to 1975.

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He claimed he'd created the name Thotch

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and the font in which it was written.

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-And did he?

-Irrelevant.

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The jury thought so, so we were fucked.

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Do you know what really pissed me off that day?

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It was the artist's impression of me in court.

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I had a serious double chin. I mean, do I?

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So, Pat, why have you decided to reform after all this time?

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-I mean, is it for financial reasons?

-Mmm.

-Is it for the fans?

-Mmm.

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-You said you'd never get back together again.

-Mmm.

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-Have you put...

-Mmm.

-..your past behind you?

-Mmm.

-Are you friends now?

-Mmm.

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Mmm.

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John Farris suggested a one-off reunion

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of the classic line-up to cover the legal costs and make enough money...

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..you know, to retire for good.

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Typically, fucking Brian puts a spanner in the fucking works.

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The band want you to reconsider the reunion concert.

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Sorry, John. My answer is still no. Pepita is due around the proposed date of the concert.

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This time around, I'm determined to be a good father.

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I'm sure they can do it without me.

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Well, it's the...it's the classic line-up everyone wants to see,

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Brian, otherwise it's like Wham! reforming without George Michael.

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I mean, each of you could get a million just for one night.

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As you know, John, money's not my god.

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-Happiness is what counts.

-Mmm.

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There is something else.

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I mean, I'm not supposed to say anything, but...

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When does this go out?

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Er, it's not till the middle of next year.

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Oh, that's all right, then. He'll be well gone by then.

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-Pat's got dementia.

-What?

-Mmm.

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-Well, how is he?

-Well, he's OK, considering.

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It's early days, you know.

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But he wants to carry on while he can,

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cos he doesn't know how long he's got.

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No, of course. I understand.

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Which is why this reunion concert is so important to him.

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But don't worry.

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I mean, if you don't want to do it, I'm sure he'll understand.

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HE SIGHS

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I'll give him a call, then, shall I, and tell him it's definitely off?

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-Mmm.

-Mmm.

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I'll break it to him gently, cos he's had

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so many disappointments just recently.

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What with losing the dog...

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-..and his son joining Ukip.

-Oh!

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And his solo album not charting.

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OK, John, I'll do it. Of course I will.

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OK. If you're sure.

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But don't tell him I said anything, cos...not supposed to mention it.

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He doesn't want any special treatment.

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Oh, John!

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Pat! Pat!

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To understand how Thotch got into this mess,

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you have to go right back to the very beginning.

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We were all born in post-war Britain to very wealthy parents,

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which was a huge disadvantage to us.

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We were shipped off to Stow, where we met.

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Well, pop music was frowned upon at Stow, along with happiness

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and heterosexuality.

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The first incarnation of Thotch featured Pat Quid, Tony Pebble,

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yours truly, Barry Padmore and Bennet St John on percussion.

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That's when we packed our bags

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and moved to London to make a go of ourselves.

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In 1971, against their parents' wishes,

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Brian, Tony and Pat left their studies behind

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to focus on the music.

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With their allowances severed, they set up a stall

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in London's fashionable Kensington Market to make ends meet.

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Cor, what a laugh Ken Market was.

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Absolutely jam-packed with muff of all description.

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You couldn't fail to pull in there.

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It was like shooting fish fingers in a barrel.

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Ken Market, as we called it, in the late '60s, early '70s,

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was so exciting, it was full of people that went on to do all

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these amazing creative things.

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Hank Marvin from the Shadows had a broken biscuit stall.

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He would just set up in a corner with these tins of broken biscuits.

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He would shake them, like that.

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And that would attract people, and then he'd sell the biscuits.

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Alan Sugar, he sold mousetraps.

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Horrible man, always farting in his hand and putting it in your face.

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Disgusting.

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A couple of guys from Queen had stalls.

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I had a clothes stall next to Freddie Mercury and Roger Taylor on one side,

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Brian Pern, Tony Pebble on the other.

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It was like being the filling in a rock and roll sandwich.

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So you had a market stall next to Brian and Tony.

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-Did you get on with them at all?

-No.

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No, well, we couldn't really stand them.

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Pat had a stall selling meat. He got the wrong idea.

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I was mocked for selling meat in Kensington Market,

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which was primarily a fashion and art outlet,

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but it was my ham hock

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that got us a manager, and that of course was Basil Steel.

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At first, I thought they were all noofters.

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Anyway, I buy myself some ham hock on the bone from their stall

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in Kensington Market.

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Brian introduced himself by saying he's in a band

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and they gave me a copy of their demos on this two inch tape.

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I tasted a bit of the ham, which was pretty fucking tasty.

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I said, "If your demos are as good as this ham, I'll take you on."

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And they were.

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Big Basil Steel was a notorious rock manager

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with very unconventional business methods,

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often including violence and bribery,

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who started life in the circus.

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Early on, I was managing the acts,

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organising the sea lions, the chimps,

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getting the elephants in order.

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Elephants are wankers - silly fuckers.

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Their intelligence is well overrated.

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Lions are OK, but you don't cross them, or you're fucked.

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When I went into this business, I learned a lot from the lions.

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You never know if I was going to lick your face or bite it off.

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Thotch were a risk for Basil,

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because they weren't like any other group at the time.

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They didn't fit any category.

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I remember the first concert they headlined

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was the Atomic Festival of Sound in 1970.

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Jethro fucking Tull originally hit the top of the bill.

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Well, I wasn't having that.

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So I grabbed that Ian Anderson by the throat, I said,

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"Fucking piss off home,

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"or I'll shove that flute so far up your shit pipe

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"you'll be farting Greensleeves till Christmas."

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So he did, and that's how we got Thotch on the bill.

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By 1975 we'd had several hit albums.

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Sold out the Rainbow, Earls Court, Hammersmith Odeon,

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but still had nothing to show for it,

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but Basil was having a new swimming pool built

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and driving around in two fucking Rolls Royces

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at the same fucking time. Get it?

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How did he do that?

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Well, he... I dunno, he had, must...I dunno. Fuck me.

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There he was in one and then he was in another. Unbelievable.

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Now, you sued them over the Thotch font.

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That's right, I created numerous fonts as a sideline

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back in the day for when I sent death threats,

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so they weren't traced.

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OK, so... And which fonts did you create?

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Many. Comic Sans, Wingdings, Garamond Bold

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and Pumice Disaster,

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which is what the Thotch logo was written in and still is.

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Every album, single, CD, DVD, T-shirt,

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drum riser, badge, an umbrella sold with my font is mine!

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And I want fucking paying for it!

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In order to pay for it,

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current manager John Farrow has ditched the old font

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and is determined to make as much money as possible

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out of the reunion.

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Merchandise, for your approval.

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This is the Thotch Russian doll, collectors edition.

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It's going retail at 300 quid.

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You've got Tony, Barry, you've got Mike,

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you've got Pat and finally, you've got Brian,

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who turns out to be a USB stick with every Thotch song ever recorded.

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God, that's great. It's amazing what they can do nowadays, isn't it?

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-I'm not happy with the running order of the dolls.

-Why?

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Because it implies that the size of us

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as dolls is relative to the contribution we made to the band,

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so after Tony, Barry's the second biggest doll,

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yet he left the band after the second album, he's never written or sung a note.

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Pat, does it really matter?

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Well, obviously not to you, you're the biggest doll.

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Pat, I am the smallest doll, yet I am not complaining.

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Yes, well you house the flash drive

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containing our entire back catalogue.

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It's as though your head is the key to all our music,

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yet you left the band in 1977.

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So what order would you like the dolls in then, Pat?

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I'm guessing you instead of me. Is this where all this is going?

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Well, why don't we just make it alphabetical?

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That will make you first. No, no, I'm not having that.

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Look, we're a democratic group.

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Why don't we just have all the dolls the same size?

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They wouldn't fit into each other then, would they?

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Tell you what, forget it.

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You'll never see the fucking thing again.

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Let's talk about 1977, the time when you left Thotch.

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What was the catalyst for you saying,

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"I've had enough of this, it's time to go"?

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We were on tour.

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We were supporting Earth, Wind & Fire

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and the audiences were just hating us.

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They came to dance, they came to party

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and there we were doing 14-minute songs about caterpillars and farmers

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and they were pretty angry with us.

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We were lucky in some venues to get out alive.

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So one of the guys from Earth, Wind & Fire came up backstage.

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It could have been Earth or Wind. I don't remember.

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It was a big black guy in a silver suit and he said,

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"Hey, man, you gotta change your sound, man."

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And Pat thought on his feet, and he wrote this rocking track.

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# Civic Center in Portland, Maine

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# April 8th's gonna be insane... #

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How did the lyrics come about?

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Because it's very... It's the most un-Thotch song I've ever heard.

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Pat just picked up one of our T-shirts,

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turned it around and read the list of towns we were playing,

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and that was it.

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# We'll rock you, Philly

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# Tennessee

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# Ohio, Atlanta and Washington, DC

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# Gonna meet ya

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# In a Happy Eater

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# Rock the night

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# At Spudulike

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# Brian on mic

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# And Mike on drums

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# Pebble on keys

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# And Barry on thumbs

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# Don't forget Quiddy

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# The king of guitar

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# We'll rock and roll you

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# Wherever you are. #

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When I sang that song that Pat wrote,

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I could feel every drop of musical integrity draining out of me

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and, at the end, I would be completely spent.

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I thought, "This is not me.

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"This is not Thotch.

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"I'm like a bird.

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"I've got to fly away."

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That's nice.

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Thotch went on to record ten chart-topping albums without Brian

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until they finally split in 1996.

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Since then, the band have all gone on to produce diverse solo projects.

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Brian invented world music, had a string of hit singles

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and a bit of an acting career.

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TARDIS.

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Infinite travel within my grasp.

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Oh, no, Gravis, please.

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Take everything else, but leave me the TARDIS!

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I will have it.

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Tony Pebble composed numerous theme tunes for children's telly,

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including this for BBC Schools and Colleges.

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Barry and Mike put a lot of time and money into business investments,

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especially board games.

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We used to do a lot of hanging around whilst the others argued,

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so we started inventing board games on the side.

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Boggle, that was one of ours.

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Mousetrap, that was one of ours.

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Hungry Hippos, that was one of ours.

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Pop-up Pirate, that was one of ours.

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Frustration, that was one of ours too.

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In fact, I came up with a great game just yesterday called Crazy Mule.

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It's a never-know-when-it's-going-tobuck

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sort of stacking game where you load up a plastic mule

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with a blanket, saddle and other items

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and be gentle, or he might just buck it all off.

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Mm.

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Isn't that just Buckaroo?

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Shit.

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Pat Quid fronted the chart-toppingly bland Pat And The Patios

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and made several albums.

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He recently turned to television presenting.

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Pat rang me up one night saying,

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"Brian Pern's got his rock documentary,

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"Brian May's hosting The Sky At Night,

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"Ronnie Wood's got his own chat show on Sky Arts.

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"Why can't I have my..." I said, "Well, come up with an idea, then."

0:13:240:13:27

Hi...

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..and welcome to Fishing With Rock Stars,

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hosted by me, as ever, Pat Quid.

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And today we're very fortunate to have with us

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rock legend Noddy Holder.

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Perfect fishing weather, Pat, today. Yeah, perfect.

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Welcome to the show, Nod. We're fishing in a canal today.

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-Oh, yes. I can see, yes.

-So without...

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-Yeah, without further ado, let's... Let's fish.

-Let's fish, yeah.

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THUNDER RUMBLES

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Well, unfortunately, Noddy and I didn't have much luck today,

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but do join me next week

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when I'll be with Adele and Fish from Marillion

0:14:420:14:46

in Gloucestershire.

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Hello.

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My parents were killed in a fire.

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Will you be my daddy?

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No.

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No.

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No!

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Are you sure?

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Yes. Yes. Yes.

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I don't want to play with you any more.

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You're just like the boy that lives over the wall.

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This is Eggless Planet.

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Although the band may be at peace in rehearsals,

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a war is about to begin on the world's bookshelves and Kindles,

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as John Farrow has persuaded all five members

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to publish their autobiographies to coincide with the reunion concert.

0:15:310:15:36

They're all so bloody competitive.

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They've all got books coming out this year,

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and these days, it's not just about who sells the most

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or who gets the best reviews,

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it's also about who gets the most famous actor doing the audio book.

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Now, look what's come in.

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-Oh.

-The autobiography.

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Any more thoughts on who you want to do the audio book?

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I did, John, yes. I thought I would do it.

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You'd probably want people to listen to it, though, wouldn't you?

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Well, yes, of course.

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Then I think you should have somebody who could make it sound

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a bit interesting.

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But I am the author, John. These are my words.

0:16:070:16:09

But this is a rock biography, it's not a relaxation tape,

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unless you're happy with people

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being asleep while you're reading it?

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Well, who did you have in mind?

0:16:150:16:16

-Brian.

-Oh, hi! Hi.

-How are you?

-Sorry.

0:16:160:16:19

-How's it going? Nice to see you.

-And you.

0:16:190:16:21

-You all right? Hello, there.

-Good, good. This is Alan.

0:16:210:16:24

Hello, Alan. Nice one. Martin. How are you doing? Nice to meet you.

0:16:240:16:27

-Thanks for coming.

-Thanks for asking me.

0:16:270:16:29

I was very pleasantly surprised.

0:16:290:16:31

I hope what's done is forgotten.

0:16:310:16:33

-No, don't worry about that.

-Are you sure?

-Yeah.

0:16:330:16:35

-Have you read the book?

-I have in a way, yeah, yeah. It's good, yeah.

0:16:350:16:38

-Great. OK...

-Can I get the embarrassing bit out the way first?

0:16:380:16:41

Can I get you... If you wouldn't mind, sign this

0:16:410:16:44

for a very good friend of mine. He's a huge fan of yours

0:16:440:16:46

and yours is the only name from the band not on it.

0:16:460:16:49

-Would you do that?

-Mm.

0:16:490:16:51

This is a bootleg.

0:16:510:16:52

-Whoa, is it?

-Yeah. Where did you purchase this?

0:16:520:16:55

I didn't... No, as I say, it's a friend of mine.

0:16:550:16:57

Would you still sign it, though?

0:16:570:16:59

Because it's for McKellen, he's a huge fan.

0:16:590:17:01

I don't care who it's for, Martin.

0:17:010:17:04

I've been fighting these bootleggers for years.

0:17:040:17:06

I totally understand that.

0:17:060:17:08

I'm very happy to... What would that be? 40, 50 quid?

0:17:080:17:10

Hey, come on, it's not about the money, Martin. It's the products.

0:17:100:17:13

-Yep.

-I mean, this album's not mixed properly. There's no overdubs.

0:17:130:17:16

-You know, the artwork is unofficial. Look at the lettering here.

-Yes.

0:17:160:17:19

-They've spelt divorce with an S.

-Oh, shit, yeah.

0:17:190:17:22

I don't get a penny out of this either.

0:17:220:17:23

-I thought it wasn't about the money.

-God, bastards.

0:17:230:17:27

-Yeah.

-No. I can't sign that.

-No, OK. Thanks.

0:17:270:17:31

Oh, that's really made me angry.

0:17:310:17:33

I cant believe the other members of Thotch signed that.

0:17:330:17:36

45 Years Of Prog And Roll by Brian Pern,

0:17:360:17:39

read by Martin Freeman.

0:17:390:17:42

Chapter One - Inside The Womb.

0:17:420:17:44

Long before I was born, I had rhythm.

0:17:440:17:47

I felt it whilst living in the uterus.

0:17:470:17:49

Can I stop you there, Martin?

0:17:490:17:51

I've got a bit of a problem with that.

0:17:510:17:52

Oh, OK, what's wrong?

0:17:520:17:54

Well, you just sound like Martin Freeman reading a book.

0:17:540:17:56

Well, I am Martin Freeman reading a book.

0:17:560:17:58

Well, I realise that, but the trouble is it's confusing

0:17:580:18:01

because if people listen to that and don't hear the beginning,

0:18:010:18:04

they'll just think it's Martin Freeman

0:18:040:18:06

reading his own autobiography.

0:18:060:18:07

-OK.

-Do you have a different voice?

0:18:070:18:09

-A different voice?

-Mm.

0:18:090:18:10

-Like what?

-I don't know.

0:18:100:18:12

Something less Martin Freeman-ish.

0:18:120:18:14

I mean, this is my book, these are my words,

0:18:140:18:16

-try and get inside my head.

-OK.

0:18:160:18:19

-AS PERN:

-45 Years Of Prog And Roll by Brian Pern,

0:18:190:18:22

read by Martin Freeman.

0:18:220:18:24

-Nope. Can I stop you there?

-Sure.

0:18:240:18:25

That sounds like Brian Pern doing an impression of Martin Freeman.

0:18:250:18:29

It was meant to be me doing a voice that sounded more like yours.

0:18:290:18:31

I'm sorry if I misunderstood that.

0:18:310:18:33

Can you do something a bit different?

0:18:330:18:34

Yeah, sure, like what?

0:18:340:18:36

Something more neutral.

0:18:360:18:37

Erm... Sorry, yeah, neutral doesn't mean much, though.

0:18:370:18:42

Well, just a different voice entirely.

0:18:420:18:44

-A different voice entirely?

-Yeah.

0:18:440:18:46

Do you have a voice that you have?

0:18:460:18:48

I've got lots of voices. To be honest, mate, I've...

0:18:480:18:50

Take a voice from your head and try it.

0:18:500:18:53

-Ready?

-Yep.

0:18:530:18:54

-IN WELSH ACCENT:

-45 Years Of Prog And Roll by Brian Pern,

0:18:540:18:57

read by Martin Freeman.

0:18:570:18:58

Chapter one - Inside The Womb.

0:18:580:19:00

-Hello. I like that.

-Do you?

-Yeah.

0:19:000:19:01

Brian, surely the point of getting me in to read your book

0:19:010:19:04

is because I sound like Martin Freeman.

0:19:040:19:06

-Really?

-Yeah.

0:19:060:19:08

Yes, but I like the Welsh voice.

0:19:080:19:09

You're not Welsh and neither am I, so what sense does that make?

0:19:090:19:12

-Doesn't matter.

-Doesn't it?

-People know my music,

0:19:120:19:14

-that's the important thing...

-Fuck me.

-..and know my face,

0:19:140:19:16

which'll be on the cover of the book.

0:19:160:19:18

It's not actually in the audiobook.

0:19:180:19:20

It's going to need something that is relatable to.

0:19:200:19:22

If I do a bad Welsh accent, Brian, how is that you or me?

0:19:220:19:25

Do it again - Welsh -

0:19:250:19:27

but I want it done with more gravitas.

0:19:270:19:29

With a... Do it as if you were one of the great Welsh actors.

0:19:290:19:32

-One of the great Welsh actors?

-Yeah.

0:19:320:19:33

-Like Anthony Hopkins?

-Perfect.

0:19:330:19:35

-Perfect. You want Anthony Hopkins.

-Yes, that would be good. Try that.

0:19:350:19:38

I tell you what, why don't you fucking hire Anthony Hopkins?

0:19:380:19:40

Then we'll all be a lot happier. Jesus Christ!

0:19:400:19:43

Can we hire Anthony Hopkins or will he be too expensive?

0:19:430:19:45

Do me a favour will you, Brian?

0:19:450:19:47

Lose my number.

0:19:470:19:48

Oh, I don't have your number, I don't think, so I can't...

0:19:480:19:51

-DOOR CLOSES

-..lose it.

0:19:510:19:53

Actors. Pfft.

0:19:530:19:54

With the reunion concert imminent, extra tickets have been released,

0:19:560:19:59

which sold out in a record-breaking minus 24 days.

0:19:590:20:03

The Thotch reunion concert with the classic line-up

0:20:030:20:06

has to be one of the most anticipated events in rock history.

0:20:060:20:10

Apart from Live Aid, Live 8,

0:20:100:20:13

the Led Zeppelin reunion concert, the Cream reunion concert,

0:20:130:20:16

the Police reunion concert and a few others.

0:20:160:20:18

Despite the buzz surrounding the concert,

0:20:200:20:22

the signs of Pat's illness are beginning to show.

0:20:220:20:25

And it's hitting Brian hard.

0:20:250:20:26

Pat's brain is dying.

0:20:270:20:29

He doesn't know what he's doing.

0:20:290:20:31

The other day he played a guitar solo

0:20:310:20:33

for about an hour and 40 minutes cos he kept forgetting to stop.

0:20:330:20:37

And to see that brain, which is a good brain,

0:20:380:20:43

to see it wither like that is horrible.

0:20:430:20:47

But it's not all doom and gloom for Brian

0:20:490:20:51

as he's about to be a father again, for the third time.

0:20:510:20:55

-HE DOES VOCAL EXERCISES

-Brian!

0:20:550:20:57

-Hi.

-How do you feel?

0:20:570:20:58

I feel OK, but these masks are wrong, they, you can't sing in them.

0:20:580:21:02

They constrict the throat.

0:21:020:21:03

OK. Well, it all went well.

0:21:030:21:05

-It all went well. Very well.

-What?

-The scan.

0:21:060:21:08

-For the baby!

-Oh!

-For this!

-Oh, good.

0:21:100:21:13

It has all its arms and legs in the right place,

0:21:130:21:15

and his head is in the right place.

0:21:150:21:17

-Great stuff.

-Mm-hm.

0:21:170:21:18

Now, you are having a baby.

0:21:180:21:19

-That's right.

-Pepita, she's pregnant.

0:21:190:21:21

And you were saying to John you want to be a good father this time.

0:21:210:21:24

That's right. I'm determined to be a good dad.

0:21:240:21:27

I'm going to be there, start to finish.

0:21:270:21:30

Feeding, you know, when she's expressing the milk at night,

0:21:300:21:34

I'm going to be there.

0:21:340:21:35

I want to erase the mistakes of the past.

0:21:350:21:38

This baby, be it a boy or a girl...

0:21:380:21:41

is going to get me, Brian Pern, there.

0:21:410:21:45

Can we talk a bit more about the expressing of the milk?

0:21:450:21:48

Brian, with the baby coming and everything being

0:21:480:21:51

-so nice with us...

-Yes, we're getting on, that's good.

0:21:510:21:54

-Yes. Will you marry me, Brian?

-No.

0:21:540:21:58

OK, well have a good show!

0:21:590:22:01

-See you later!

-Goodbye.

0:22:020:22:05

Can I ask you about your father and your mother?

0:22:050:22:07

Am I right in thinking that they've never been to any of your shows?

0:22:070:22:11

-Yes, but that doesn't mean anything.

-What was the fallout with your dad?

0:22:110:22:15

He had an idea in his head of me

0:22:150:22:18

admitting someone to a surgery or working for the Ministry of Defence.

0:22:180:22:24

He didn't want to see his son inching his way across a stage

0:22:240:22:29

with a big tail behind him and cat's ears.

0:22:290:22:32

Brian's troubled relationship with his father

0:22:350:22:37

inspired this number one hit,

0:22:370:22:39

I Wish I'd Told My Dad I Loved Him Before He Died.

0:22:390:22:41

I was reading in your autobiography that there was one moment

0:22:430:22:45

where you flew your mum and dad out to see one of your shows, right?

0:22:450:22:48

-What happened?

-I was playing in Las Vegas.

0:22:480:22:51

Career-wise, financially, I'd achieved a lot.

0:22:510:22:55

I was speaking to my mother and I suggested that perhaps

0:22:550:22:58

they could come and see me.

0:22:580:23:00

# Daddy always told me

0:23:000:23:02

# Check the oil in your car every week

0:23:030:23:06

# That way you can sustain a healthy engine

0:23:080:23:12

# From which you'll benefit in the long run... #

0:23:120:23:15

And she said yes. She asked my father, and they came.

0:23:170:23:21

They were put up in a hotel and they were all set to come to the show.

0:23:220:23:26

Er, I had some great seats for him in the circle

0:23:260:23:29

and it was all laid on. I hadn't spoken to him for...

0:23:290:23:31

..years.

0:23:330:23:34

# Daddy, I still miss you

0:23:340:23:36

# I s'pose you were quite a decent bloke

0:23:370:23:40

# The smell of your socks in the morning

0:23:420:23:45

# Ha-ha

0:23:450:23:47

# And your semi-racist jokes... #

0:23:470:23:49

On the way to my solo show in Las Vegas,

0:23:490:23:52

he was travelling down the strip and he saw Michael Crawford

0:23:520:23:55

was appearing in Barnum, and he stopped the car.

0:23:550:23:58

The long and the short of it is he went to see Barnum instead of me.

0:23:590:24:04

I can't put it in any other way.

0:24:040:24:06

HE COUGHS

0:24:060:24:08

Although Brian's dad is not dead,

0:24:110:24:12

Brian imagined he WAS dead to write the song,

0:24:120:24:14

which had the whole world crying into their radios and hifis.

0:24:140:24:20

HE WAILS

0:24:200:24:23

-Do you think he might come to your show, this last one?

-No.

0:24:260:24:30

Brian's dad may not want to come to the show,

0:24:310:24:33

but there is someone else who does.

0:24:330:24:35

Listen, just had a call from Bennett's mum.

0:24:350:24:37

-Oh, no, he hasn't died, has he?

-No, no, no, no, no.

0:24:370:24:40

But he knows you're reforming and he wants to come back and play.

0:24:400:24:43

Bennett was the driving force. He was really the most important member of Thotch.

0:24:430:24:47

It was the biggest blow, definitely, we'd had when Bennett left,

0:24:470:24:50

much more than when Brian left, many years later.

0:24:500:24:52

He was crucial to our success in the early years.

0:24:520:24:55

You don't really mean that, Pat.

0:24:550:24:57

Bennet St John was one of the founding members of Thotch.

0:24:580:25:01

But left the band after only a year, following a battle

0:25:010:25:04

with his demons he could not win.

0:25:040:25:06

He had an addiction to cod liver oil capsules.

0:25:060:25:08

I got a call from his mum one morning, he'd taken an overdose.

0:25:080:25:11

I got round there, the place was absolutely covered

0:25:110:25:13

with empty Seven Seas bottles. I mean, it was ridiculous, terrible.

0:25:130:25:17

Oh, it turned his brains to sausage, but his joints were a marvel.

0:25:170:25:21

He headed straight for San Francisco and when he came back,

0:25:210:25:24

part of his brain was still there.

0:25:240:25:26

When I took over, one of the first things I realised

0:25:300:25:33

was that this bloke was a basket case and had to go.

0:25:330:25:35

Anyway, the guy was there at the beginning,

0:25:390:25:41

maybe he does a bit on the encore, what do you say?

0:25:410:25:44

-I'm OK with that, yeah.

-Yeah.

0:25:460:25:48

Apparently he's booked us a table tomorrow. Who's coming?

0:25:480:25:52

Brian and John have come to meet Bennet at the restaurant

0:25:580:26:01

of his choosing, but the signs aren't looking good.

0:26:010:26:03

He's already 30 minutes late.

0:26:030:26:04

Good even', good folk, and welcome to Ye Olde Medieval Banqueting room!

0:26:080:26:14

-Fuck off.

-Now, if you need sustenance,

0:26:140:26:17

-I want you to say wench!

-Wench!

0:26:170:26:19

-And then we can wassail.

-Wassail!

0:26:190:26:23

Right, that's enough, I'm going.

0:26:230:26:25

-Do you want a lift?

-No. I'm on the Segway.

0:26:250:26:27

Better be careful, though, I've had a bit too much mead.

0:26:270:26:29

-Sorry, had a lot of Japs in tonight. I'm nearly done.

-Bennet?!

0:26:290:26:35

The very same. I always told you I'd be a frontman, Brian.

0:26:350:26:40

-Oh, dear.

-We've gotta stay.

0:26:420:26:46

# Burn, baby, burn... #

0:26:460:26:48

'They didn't dance to this in the Middle Ages, did they?'

0:26:480:26:52

'Well, it pays the bills. Gives me a chance to perform. Play the lute.'

0:26:520:26:57

I'm the musical director.

0:26:570:26:59

The franchise is owned by an oily Turk who knows nothing about

0:26:590:27:03

medieval history except what he's learned on How To Train Your Dragon.

0:27:030:27:08

-But how are you, Bennet?

-I've had my low points.

0:27:080:27:11

I didn't come out of the house for 15 years until I found this place.

0:27:130:27:16

-Cheers, thanks a lot.

-Oh, wassail, wassail! Yeah, yeah! Ha-ha!

0:27:160:27:22

I've been seeing one of the wenches. She's got a television.

0:27:230:27:27

She told me that you were reforming

0:27:270:27:29

and I got to thinking about the old days and, well, here we are.

0:27:290:27:34

-How much do you want?

-It's not about money.

0:27:350:27:39

It's about unfulfilled promise. Friendship.

0:27:390:27:44

But my mum is ill.

0:27:440:27:47

Anything helps. It would be good to get the old Mazda back on the road.

0:27:470:27:51

And I need to pay for a termination for one of the wenches.

0:27:530:27:56

-Thanks for a lovely night.

-Ah, yes - well, come back! Wassail, wassail!

0:27:560:27:59

Ye olde, ha-ha ha-ha!

0:27:590:28:02

I think he'll be all right.

0:28:020:28:03

To be honest, I felt a bit sorry for him.

0:28:030:28:06

I don't give a bollocks about that. How much of our share is he taking?

0:28:060:28:10

We'll give him five grand and a cab home.

0:28:100:28:13

-If he turns up.

-Wassail!

0:28:130:28:15

-Is that...

-Who the fuck's that?

-The fuck...

-Why's he got the uniform on?

0:28:180:28:23

Stand firm, Sir Pebble.

0:28:250:28:29

Where is thy horse?

0:28:290:28:32

Sir Quid.

0:28:320:28:35

What's that cat on your head?

0:28:350:28:37

AND...the other two.

0:28:370:28:40

Wassail!

0:28:420:28:44

No, we realised he was still a complete fucking fruitcake and we let him go - again.

0:28:440:28:48

Paid for the termination. That's the least we could do.

0:28:480:28:51

With just 20 minutes to go and a global audience of one billion people,

0:28:540:28:58

the band are making their final preparations for the biggest show of their lives.

0:28:580:29:03

SNORING

0:29:030:29:05

But it was at this point, minutes before the show,

0:29:110:29:14

I uncovered something I felt I had to tell Brian.

0:29:140:29:17

To be honest, I found out about a week ago, but I decided to

0:29:170:29:20

tell Brian now, as I thought it would make for a better documentary.

0:29:200:29:23

-I know you've got the show to do, but there's something I need to tell you.

-What's that?

0:29:230:29:27

-'Members of the band to the stage.'

-And it didn't go down too well.

0:29:270:29:30

-'This is your five-minute call.'

-Hello, Brian.

0:29:300:29:32

Just telling the rest of them that this

0:29:320:29:34

doesn't have to be the last show ever.

0:29:340:29:36

Just had another offer - Shay Stadium,

0:29:360:29:38

-three nights in the spring.

-Oh, yeah?

-Mm.

0:29:380:29:40

-What about Pat's brain?

-Pat's brain?

0:29:400:29:43

Well, the, erm... The chess and the krill oil have worked wonders, haven't they, Pat?

0:29:440:29:50

Er...

0:29:500:29:52

Yeah, I think with, er, the right brain exercises,

0:29:520:29:56

I could hang on till next spring.

0:29:560:29:57

I'm afraid one of your conversations has been recorded, John.

0:29:570:30:00

Pat? Pat? Steady on.

0:30:000:30:04

You're all over the place - be a little more consistent.

0:30:040:30:07

It doesn't come easily - I'm... I'm not an actor.

0:30:080:30:11

You lied about Pat's dementia so I would agree to do this concert.

0:30:110:30:15

-Uh?

-That will do.

0:30:150:30:17

-Turn them off, would ya?

-No! They stay on. Were you all in on this?

0:30:170:30:22

-I'm sorry, Brian.

-What a wicked, wicked thing to do.

-It was his idea.

0:30:230:30:27

-Brian, listen.

-No, you listen.

0:30:270:30:29

-There's something else John hasn't told you.

-Are we done?

0:30:290:30:31

-Yeah, we're finished.

-When Rhys Thomas was making this documentary...

0:30:310:30:36

Do me a favour, will ya?

0:30:360:30:37

-..he interviewed Basil Steel.

-Give that to Brian.

0:30:370:30:40

Basil gave him a letter he had received anonymously, 18 months previously.

0:30:400:30:45

Why don't you read it to us, John?

0:30:450:30:46

It says, "Basil, I hear you're filing for bankruptcy.

0:30:490:30:55

"You have a case against Thotch. You help me and I'll help you."

0:30:550:30:59

So what?

0:30:590:31:01

Look at the handwriting.

0:31:010:31:03

This is a good luck card I found in my dressing room tonight from John.

0:31:030:31:08

Hang on a minute - I don't believe this, John.

0:31:080:31:10

You sent Brian an individual card - we only got a group one!

0:31:110:31:15

Not that, you bimbo, Pebble! Look at the Bs and Ks.

0:31:150:31:18

-Actually, I need my glasses.

-Get my glasses.

0:31:200:31:22

-Oh, yeah, get mine too

-Yeah, yeah.

0:31:220:31:24

Oh, yes, look.

0:31:280:31:29

J. J's the same...

0:31:290:31:32

-It's the same writing.

-Ah.

0:31:320:31:34

-Whose writing is it?

-It's John's!

0:31:340:31:36

-He organised the court case, everything.

-Is this true?

-Yep.

0:31:360:31:41

-So what?

-But you cost us millions!

0:31:430:31:45

Yeah, but I made you millions more

0:31:450:31:47

and got you publicity that you can't pay for.

0:31:470:31:50

But why would you do this to us?

0:31:500:31:51

I haven't done it to you, I've done it FOR you, because you lot are

0:31:510:31:55

so far up yourselves you cannot see that this industry is finished.

0:31:550:31:58

No-one buys music any more - they steal it and stream it.

0:31:580:32:00

The only way to make money is to play live,

0:32:000:32:02

but you lot won't because of your pathetic, ridiculous egos.

0:32:020:32:06

You've had to be forced to do it because you think your shitty solo careers are more important.

0:32:060:32:10

-What a joke!

-My solo career isn't a joke.

0:32:100:32:13

Isn't it? Mobile ringtones and songs for Mr Tumble?

0:32:130:32:16

JAUNTY MUSIC

0:32:160:32:18

You've got five years before the money's run out - then what?

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You reform when you're 70?

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See, I've done this now cos you cannot live off royalties

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and solo albums that don't sell any more if you

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want to go on living the way you do now -

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yachts, staff, studios, divorces, the lot.

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Why didn't you just tell us?

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I've been telling you for past ten years, and do you listen?

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All right, I've been a bit devious, but you are now the biggest band

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in the world all over the world and do I get any thanks? Do I fuck.

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Well, you can stick your 10%. I don't need it,

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I don't need you. I've got clients who've double what you earn and appreciate me,

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so you can get your wives and your sponging offspring to manage you,

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cos I'm out of that fucking door now and I'm not coming back.

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-John!

-Now, wait a minute, John!

-Wait, John, don't leave us!

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All right, I won't!

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The whole is greater than the sum of its parts, which is

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why you've got a capacity crowd out there

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and God knows how many million streaming online.

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So do us all a favour, would you?

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-Get out there and en-fucking-joy yourselves.

-'Members of the band to the stage, please?

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-'This is your two-minute call.'

-Come on, let's do it.

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'This is your two-minute call.

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Wankers.

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CHEERING AND APPLAUSE

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MUSIC STARTS

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# Civil Centre in Portland, Maine

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# April 8th's gonna be insane. #

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I don't give a shit if you're a founding fucking member.

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You ain't coming in without a pass.

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Let me see the band, now!

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They will confirm my acquaintance.

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Do me a favour, mate, and piss off!

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HE YELLS

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Wassail!

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SINGING CONTINUES

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-# We're gonna rock this station... #

-What are you doing?!

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Security! Security!

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HE BABBLES

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More security!

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# Argh! #

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CHEERING AND APPLAUSE

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After 40 years, Thotch were finally back with a bang.

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But despite the adulation,

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backstage, I sensed a tinge of melancholy in Brian.

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-So, Brian, well done on a great show.

-Thanks very much.

-You must be tired.

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Yeah, a little bit, and my throat is playing up.

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Are you not going to see your parents with all the others, or...

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No, my parents are not coming.

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I did invite them, but they don't generally come to my shows

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and tonight they had a prior engagement, so...it's fine.

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'But what Brian doesn't know is that I've secretly

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'arranged for his parents to come and see the show

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'without him knowing.'

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-Mum!

-Brian!

-You came!

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Well, the Marshes cancelled, so we thought we'd come along.

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It was a heck of a drive from Frinton.

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The satellite navigation system is stuck on Urdu,

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so we didn't understand a bloody word!

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-"We"?

-Your father's here. He's in the corridor.

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He didn't want to bother you. You know what he's like.

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-No, no. Er, ask him to come in!

-Oh!

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It's all right - you can come.

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Hello, Brian!

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Papa!

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You must do something about the parking here. It's a real con trick.

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£8 for the first hour, and £21 for everything after that.

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Did you enjoy the show?

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You did your best, and one can't ask for more than that.

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The audience liked you, you held them enthralled...

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for a time. The Tudor king was an unexpected touch.

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Yes.

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You reminded me of Michael Crawford's Barnum.

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There's no greater recommendation than that.

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Can we leave Barnum out of it?

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Susan.

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Brian's got to understand stage craft.

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And there's no greater exponent than Michael Crawford.

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Well, we do try to combine different elements in the show.

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Some theatrics and also, you know, music.

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Yes! But it's hard to be really...

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transported. Miss Saigon in the West End -

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there was a show. When the helicopter arrived during the finale, I nearly shit my pants.

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Love of my life, congratulations!

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Oh, please excuse me.

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This is, er, my girlfriend, this is Pepita. She's Mexican.

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-This is my father and this is my mother.

-Oh, please.

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Good Lord! Someone's filled you with arms and legs.

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-Yes.

-When's it due?

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Erm, a couple of days.

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-Is it?

-Months? Soon, soon.

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I hope it's Brian's offspring in your belly, and not cocaine.

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BRIAN LAUGHS

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I am so honoured to meet you, please.

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SHE KISSES

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-Don't do that, that's enough.

-My father-in-law.

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That's enough now.

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I very humble, humble.

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-Pepita, stop that! Stop that!

-I got one more. Please.

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-You don't need to do that.

-It's a Mexican thing.

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Susan, we'd better be off. Brian, have you got £20 for the parking?

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-Oh!

-Er, yes, I have.

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-There you go.

-Thank you.

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Brian...

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You did well.

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I was proud.

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Pepita, will you meet me in the car? I want to have a little moment here.

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-Are you crying?

-No.

-I respect your special moment.

-OK.

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All of my life, I felt something had been missing, and that was

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recognition from my father. And when he said tonight he was proud

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of me, it was like the final piece of the jigsaw had been put in place.

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With a baby on the way and making up with Pat, I feel so happy

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and I'm proud.

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And you know what? I feel as if this is just the beginning.

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OK, Ned, after show party, please.

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TYRES SCREECH

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Oh!

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What? Ned!

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Pepita! Ned!

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STEADY BEEPING

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Who hasn't got their seatbelt on?

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The original Thotch line-up are forced to reform after they are sued by their former manager Basil Steel for non-payment of royalties. Although Brian refuses at first, when he is informed that guitarist Pat Quid has dementia, he decides to throw in the towel to help out an old friend - but there are problems ahead when former band member and recluse Bennet St John reappears wanting a piece of the action. Brian also runs into trouble with Martin Freeman, who has been assigned to read the audiobook of Brian's autobiography.


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