Roy’s hot poop

The last couple of years haven't exactly been noted for the excessive press parties and junkets that so marked the Sixties. No charter jets to see third-billed acts in Wagga Wagga; no free weekends in Texas with hookers on the room bill. But now Jet Records seem determined to leave us jaded pundits with something to chuckle over as we fondly gaze over the silver lined press clippings in our old age. Namely, the number of years it took to consume a one gallon jar of mustard. You read correctly. It weighed eight pounds; more than one pundit fled in terror after one look at the bottle's size. Not a mad frolic true, but who complains these days?

The occasion was a small soiree at Jet Records' pleasantly vulgar offices in sleekest Wimbledon to hear Roy Wood's new all singing, all playing, all Roy LP, 'Mustard'. Relaxing in the Blue Room (blue ceiling, blue wall. blue doors, blue carpet, gilt and marble pillars) a handful of journalists sipped wine and eyed the hirsute figure fiddling furiously with the tape recorder in the corner. Closer examination revealed him to be the artist. Roy Wood. Maker of hits.

With the fingerbiting screech of a needle ploughing sideways through a record, the tape finally got underway, Roy as the Andrews Sisters warbling about joys of mustard through a production that lacks only scratches and clicks in authenticity.

The next cut, 'Any Old Time Will Do', thankfully destroyed fears that this would be more Roy Wood-apes-the-classics. pounding out in the familiar mix of pretension and simpleness that marked most of Roy's great Move hits As the tape progressed Roy kept jumping up to adjust knobs, right arms reached for wine glasses, and everyone nodded sagely that this was indeed, Hot Poop.

For 36 minutes Roy divided himself between affectionate parodies and satires and heartfelt yearnings surrounded by endless banks of strings and voices. If 'The Rain Came Down On Everything – with so many overdubbed ethereal voices it almost sounds like heavy tape hiss-sounds epic, then 'The Song’ – which spends 6.40 cranking out an awesome array of orchestras and arrangements – sounds like a Cecil B. DeMille trilogy. Why, Don Arden even wept the first time he heard it. He was standing outside the bank at the time, an appropriate place.

Halfway through, the photographer with the motor-drive camera started snapping, stopping only to move the album cover slightly so it would be visible in the view. It shows Roy (as drawn by himself) as a Colman's mustard jar. He is backed by Colman's French and Russian mustards. The one gallon jar bears (surprise) the name of Colman. Colman's Roy Wood mustard?

Afterwards, hamburgers and fireworks were served. The hamburgers did not contain mustard.


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