Here we catch our youngish hero in a rare relaxed mood as he proudly surveys part of his estate, Lower Bevendean, circa 1964.  Always a sartorial dresser (Paul Jones, nee Pond, vocalist and mouthorgan player from popular combo Manfred Mann had a similar jacket at the time), this black-bobbled, green tweed number was purchased at Hepworths for £7.19s. 11d.!

 

Is it a reflection? Of what? Life? The times? Split personalities? Was the world ready? Obviously not! Let’s take a look at the clues... Two for the price of one, cheap at half the price.  It takes two to tango, make a twin or a double-decker. There are two sides to a coin, a street, or an argument.  We have twice as much, twice as nice, twice the man, and, twice on matinees. Some say that two heads are better than one, or is he just being two faced. How about a second chance, or is it third time lucky? Go to the mirror, boy!

mirror

Happy was a sort of ‘local’ Supergroup, a phenomenon of the late ’60’s, comprising members from various other groups who came together because they respected each other - Blind Faith; Emerson, Lake & Palmer; Happy! (They lasted 366 days)  Anyway, during their short life, they were booked to play the opening night of the Plumpton Festival.  (Promoted by The Marquee, The National Jazz & Blues Festival had been held for several years in August at Kingston upon Thames and known as the Richmond Festival.  The ground became unavailable, so for two years the Event was held on Plumpton Racecourse before moving once again to become... READING  FESTIVAL!).

On arrival they discovered that the P.A. wasn’t set up!  At this point the rest of the Bill – Jellybread – rolled up, “What, no P.A.? Oh dear.”, a plan was hatched, someone should drive back to Brighton and pick up what they could. Two hours later and 500 watts of gear was cobbled together for the vocals, the drums would be un-miced whilst guitars and keyboards would go through a series of linked-up AC30s and the like.  Brilliant!  What could go wrong?

The assembled dozens – the Festival proper started on the Friday, and this was Thursday! – didn’t quite grasp the subtleties of Mr.Baker playing accordian through fuzzbox and wah-wah. “Audience with me all the way, managed to shake them off at the station!”.

Two days later, Saturday, was quite a different kettle of fish.  ‘Legs’ Larry Smith & MiM, as Binky was known at the time, would take to the stage accompanied by a tapeplayer and Ollie, a 20 stone Ballerina, for a rendition of ‘The Impossible Dream’.
Happy blurb cont.

The photograph here shows Happy trying desperately to suck up to their equipment supplier with a thinly disguised  attempt at publicity in the hope of getting some more Jennings for free.  Sadly, the photographer hadn’t twigged!  ‘HAPPY WITH JENNINGS!’  Geddit?  No, neither did he!

biog

The Norfolk Broads. Everybody knows where they are, but nobody wants to go there!

A gentle parody of Sir Bob, hence the picture sleeve. Paula Yates had a book of snapshots out entitled ‘Rock Stars In Their Underpants’. I thought it self-explanatory but Warner Brothers took some convincing. Still, there are three tracks - ‘Heaven Sent’ was virtually ignored (SHAME! – Ed.) despite some of the best rhymes and handclaps ever! ‘C’Est Seulement Roc Et Croissant’ was played quite a lot by Mike Read, and was a favourite of Jean Michel Jarre who did his best to promote it en France single-handedly – he had TWO copies! Plus the heavy metal opus, ‘Toodlepip’ – It’s a Rock’n’Roll Word!

Toe Knee Black Burn blurb

Why and how ‘Binky’? Biog bit...

Once upon a time there was a Radio Producer called, Bernie Andrews. Older viewers will remember ‘Saturday Club’ presented by the wonderful, Brian Matthews who can still be heard on Radio 2 between 8 and 10a.m. of a Saturday, CHECK IT OUT! Any old road up, Bernie was the man responsible for everything including the ‘live’ sessions – “The only people I didn’t do sessions with were Elvis and Dylan!”

He was also the man who fought to keep John Peel on Radio 1 in the early days!

Later, he would produce the 1st Mrs. Baker and, naturally, became a chum through a common love of music, life and fine wines, etcetera! During one Weekend gathering, the conversation turned to the English Language, ‘adjectives’, in particular. It was around the time of a ‘Monty Python’ sketch where everything was ‘woody’. We sat discussing the possibilities of creating a ‘new’ word that would encapsulate the way we felt about the world and ‘things’ beyond the realms of other mere mortals. (We’d somehow found ourselves on another strata of consciousness!)

Drobly, brodful, slinkiglike, transbingity, sprockling, epigluttenly, mangenerable, flirky, quelkable, bolbonic, crudful, parapalpetable, smunge, (I didn’t normally like menthol ciggies!) folfumbulent, marmaculous, windytumty, bibniky, phraclesome, binky. What? Phraclesome. NO, before that. Binky? Yes, that’s binky, there’s a binky carpet. Look, a binky teacup. Isn’t that a binky wood burning stove? Hasn’t it been a binky day? Gosh, you’re a binky person! Who? Me? Yes, you’re, you’re, you’re... you’re Binky Baker! And they all lived happily ever after, NOT!

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