T•H•E • U•N•T•A•M•E•D
"If you stay with Big L today, can you put up with this DJ?"

Fans of Big L's afternoon Dave Dennis Show – "The Double D from 12 to 3 with a cup of tea on his knee, Squire!" – will recall that DD was a great promoter of a band called the Untamed. Dave was, in fact, the head of their fan club. Their version of James Brown's I'll Go Crazy became popular on Radio London, and in April 1966, the band wrote and recorded a set of tongue-in-cheek jingles especially for the Double D. These can be found interspersed with the twenty tracks on the Untamed compilation CD, Gimme Gimme – singles and unreleased rarities 1965-66 (RPM 223), released 2001.

The Radio London website is indebted to Untamed drummer, Roger Dunbar, who kindly sent a copy of both their compilation CD and their more recent release, In and Out of Love. We have also been contacted by Keith Hodge, who was the drummer on the band's single Gimme Gimme Some Shade.

The twenty-track CD, with four Radio London jingles as a bonus, is excellent value and can be purchased by clicking the sleeve photo.

The CD title single, Gimme Gimme Some Shade, was the B-side of It's Not True, and the band line-up for the recording was Lindsay Muir, Brian Breeze, Keith Hodge, and Wes Reynolds (named on the CD sleevenotes as Clive 'Wes' Wesley.) Both sides of the disc featured Nicky Hopkins on piano. It's Not True, written by Pete Townshend, (reminiscent of A Legal Matter and recorded by the Who on their The Who Sings My Generation album) was the Double D's climber in the Fab Forty for 12th Dec '66.

Track 9 of Gimme... is A Young Girl of Sixteen, the Untamed's version of a song that will be recalled by Big L listeners as another Dave Dennis fave – a Jaques Brel-style death-song: "A young girl, a young girl of sixteen, child of springtime, still green, lying here by the road."

The Noel Harrison recording of A Young Girl of Sixteen (co-written by French star, Charles Aznavour as Une enfant de seize ans*), which would invariably have appealed to the DD's theatrical nature, reached #23 in the Fab for January 9th '66.

The Untamed went through a huge number of line-ups, and "more drummers than Spinal Tap, before settling on Roger", according to the CD liner. The complicated changes of personnel are fully catalogued by Mike Read in his book, The South Coast Beat Scene of the 1960s, from which the sleevenotes are extracted. Lindsay Muir is pictured on the book's cover. (below, right)

For those who want to read how 'Frenzied Fans Tear Their Hair' during 'The great siege of Worthing', the CD sleevenotes can be downloaded from the Untamed website as a PDF file. Downloadable sound files on the site feature Mike Read telling The Untamed story.

Something very few people are likely to recall is that the Untamed appeared regularly in a BBC TV sitcom, called The Big Noise, written by Frank Muir and Denis Norden and starring Bob Monkhouse as a 'Top Disc Jockey' Bob Mason. Aired in the autumn of 1964, the series, co-starring Norman Rossington, with guest appearances by genuine DJs and announcers such as Valerie Sngleton and David Jacobs, the series would make fascinating Anorak viewing in the 21st Century, although no recordings of it are thought to exist.

Comedy Fan Peter Young does remember the show:
"The Big Noise was a flop when broadcast in 1964, but that's because it was way ahead of its time. Disc jockeys hadn't captured the imagination of the public in those days, so they didn't get the joke. It ran for one series in September and October of '64, post Caroline but pre Big L!

I do remember watching it. It was a very well-written and subtle predecessor to 'Smashey and Nicey'. Bob Monkhouse's characterisation had more than a hint of 'Fluff' about it as far as I can remember.

I'd love to see it again, but short of a miracle it won't happen, the Beeb wiped the tapes. Monkhouse complains about it in his autobiography 'Crying With Laughter'."

I asked Roger Dunbar if the band members had recordings of the show. He replied:

I do not think any of us had the time, or sadly the cash, to take a recording of the 'Big Noise' shows. I did have a nice response from Bob Monkhouse some time ago, who bemoaned the fact that the Beeb were very tight with even 'stills' that were taken at the time. I do have some 'stills' from the 'Beat Room' (BBC2) which were used in Mike's book, but it seems that the 'valuable' video tapes of the early Sixties were wiped clean to be recycled!! Oh well...

Although The Big Noise was not that well received at the time, it certainly was well written and put together, and it is a great shame we cannot give the series a second chance!

What a pity the Beeb's short-sighted 'economies' left us with so few interesting early TV programmes. The standard of many sitcoms is so poor now that maybe we should encourage them to dig out some of those old scripts and reshoot 'em!

Of the band's new, jazz-oriented CD, In and Out of Love, Roger Dunbar says:

In more recent times we have been recording some of the MANY songs written by Lindsay Muir over the years, and the latest collection will be released on our album 'In and Out of Love'. It's rather different from the sixties material, but time and musical tastes change.

Big L fans will find the band's twenty-track compiliation CD, including one Dave Denis fave ('I'll Go Crazy') one Fab Forty track 'It's Not True' and four Radio London jingles as a bonus, excellent value. Click here to purchase.

*Trivia note: performer/composer Boudewijn de Groot took A Young Girl of Sixteen (Een meisje van zestien) into the Dutch charts on October 16, 1965, where it remained for 13 weeks. A site devoted to Boudewijn de Groot has the song lyrics, in English and in French. However, the real fun comes when you allow the automatic computer translator facility to battle with translating the whole page into English. Aznavour could never improve upon, "He told her coils demanded space, so they grinds from place to place."
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