It was 20 years ago today …

I originally planned to get up on Saturday morning and start the weekend by writing this blog but, once again, life got in the way. Last night was an infrequent night out with friends (The Engineer*, The Tax Man* and The Mortgage Broker*) at a real ale pub convenient to us all. As a result, I ended up at McDonalds (and I hate McDonalds but KFC was shut for a refurb and, when a man’s gotta eat, a man’s gotta eat) and had an impromptu lie-in this morning. I also can’t remember exactly what I drank with the exception of some Adnams Broadside, quite a nice ruby red. The moral of this story is that I can’t be counted on to produce a blog to a strict timescale. As such, to ensure you know when I’ve published my weekly ramblings, click on Follow in the bottom right hand corner of your screen. (Go on – you know you want to – do it now before you read on).

Welcome new follower – the results of this weeks Quiz:

Beer – Butty Bach and Guinness … Quiz – 4th

It’s always Guinness the week after a win (or indeed after a second place) because we receive the glorious prize of FREE BEER. Unfortunately, such freebies do not extend to real ale (priced between £2.75 and £3.25) but do allow for a pint of Arthur’s finest (at £3.50 – no this makes no economic sense to me either. Perhaps Warnie* needs to sort this out).

4th place may seem like quite a respectable finish, but it really isn’t, especially when it results in none of the aforementioned free beer. Our downfall this week was not so much the questions, or indeed the answers, but the format of The Quiz itself. The Quiz consists of seven rounds of generally 10 questions, including one picture round and one audio round (this week on 80s music but more of that later). However, in an attempt to try to level the playing field a bit, The Governesses Dad* has written in ‘gamble questions’ on four of the rounds. Essentially get these right and you double your points for the round, get it wrong and you score zero. While, in principle, this sounds okay, most weeks (including this week) The Quiz tends to boil down to how many of the gamble questions you answer correctly – having the effect of bringing down a 70ish question quiz to a 4 question quiz. Hence why, although we scored 8 or 9 on every rounds, we ended up 20 odd points behind Amber Nectar* – our cause not helped by Hulk* phoning in sick!

For all of its faults, the gamble question idea does have the effect of sometimes neutralising a good team, so it does it’s job in that respect. And it’s not the worst idea in the world – that prize goes to the Snakes and Ladders Quiz. Essentially answers are rated 0 to 3 points and, after the end of each round you move forward on a Snakes and Ladders board by the value of your score. The winner of the quiz is the first team to get to square 100. If there are any worse quiz formats, I’d like to hear of them! (although it does give me an idea for a really, really bad TV show – I wonder if Davina McCall’s free).

In non-quiz related news, The Royal Blokes* discovered the blog and their pseudonyms. Cpt. America*, although happy with his, decided that Hulk* should be Shrek and Iron Man* should be Rimmer (which apparently is nothing to do with Red Dwarf – I would recommend looking up Rimming on Wikipedia as the picture (yes – picture!!) explaining how this can be done in the doggy style is interesting and the section on Technique I can only describe as informative. The things you have to research when writing sometimes makes your eyes water).

The Governess* also discovered her pseudonym and was less than amused. There followed a whole conversation when she unsuccessfully tried to convince me on Frosty Knickers as an alternative. I suppose I could always refer to her as The Quizmistress formerly known as The Governess. Which sort of brings me back to music and the 80s round.

There is something about the 1980s that seems to get modern youth in a nostalgic spin about the music their parents listened to. This is not unusual as, when growing up in the 70s, there was a 50s music revival (how else do you explain Showaddywaddy) and 60s music was really big in the 80s – Aretha Franklin, Dusty Springfield, Sandie Shaw and Tina Turner all hit the charts and Phil Collins had #1 singles with cover of a Supremes track and a Mindbenders song. This is not surprising when you consider the 20-year rule. Basically, music is not worth listening to until it reaches 20 years old as, by that time, all of the shit songs will have fallen by the wayside and only the good stuff will remain. This is not a new concept – even The Beatles knew the truth of it. Still don’t believe me – look around where your local bars and clubs are located and see how popular Flares (70s themed bars) is compared to Reflex (80s themed bars). I quite sure that, shortly, a 90s themed bar chain will also emerge – the 20-year rule in economic action.

Like all decades, the 80s had good and bad music and the 20-year rule is no substitute to either being there or listening to a wider range of older music. While all of today’s youngsters may be able to recognise Duran Duran or Wham at 30 paces, could they do the same for Renee and Renato or The Goombay Dance Band (both of whom had 1982 UK#1 hits, but I really wouldn’t recommend listening to either of them – although the amazing gravity defying rose in the Renee and Renato video is worth a watch, as is this 1986 now almost forgotten classic – as the YouTube notes say ‘no words can describe how funny this is’)

Of course, no serious quiz team will rely upon the 20-year rule to get them through a music round, and The Royal Blokes are no different. I have a reasonable knowledge of the obscure rubbish that somehow floated to the top of the charts, both Cpt. America and Hulk have a wide and deep knowledge of music (what Hulk doesn’t know about ABBA probably isn’t worth knowing) and Iron Man went to bed with a member of 5ive. With musical knowledge like that, as Starship said in 1987 “Nothings’ Gonna Stop Us Now”. Apart from Amber Nectar and bloody annoying gamble questions of course.

Regarding Iron Man, Rimmer is because of Red Dwarf and he actually went to school with a member if 5ive. However, as someone once said about David Niven’s autobiographies – he never let the truth stand in the way of a good story. I wholeheartedly agree with that concept.

Footnote: “I Knew You Were Waiting (For Me)” by George Michael and Aretha Franklin was #1 in 1987; Dusty Springfield dueted with The Pet Shop Boys on “Nothing Has Been Proved” in 1989 (the theme song to the film Scandal – itself set in the 60s); Sandie Shaw covered The Smiths “Glove in Hand” in 1984; and Tina Turner had a string of UK hits between 1983 and 1989. “You Can’t Hurry Love” was a 1966 hit for The Supremes and a 1982 #1 for Phil Collins. “A Groovy Kind of Love” was a 1965 hit for The Mindbenders and a 1988 #1 for Phil Collins. The title of this post comes from the opening line to “Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band” by The Beatles.

*see Cast List for details

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