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Derek & Clive -
"Bo Duddley"

[ from the album "(Live)" (1976) ]

CLIVE:
Ladies and gentlemen, we are very pleased to have with us this evening the famous coloured singer, Bo Duddley. Take it away, Bo!
DEREK:
(sings scat and plays piano:)

#Mamma's got a brand new bag!
#Mamma's got a brand new bag!
#Gonna groove it the whole night long!
#Mamma's got a brand new bag!
#Right on, baby! Get down, baby!
#Let's get it on now, baby!
#Lay it on me, brother!
#Later!
#Outta sight! Far out!
#Hnnngh!
CLIVE:
Well, now .....
DEREK:
Thank you very much.
CLIVE:
Thank you, thank you very much indeed, Bo, erm .....
DEREK:
Thank you.
CLIVE:
Erm, I think it can be truly said that the Americans have, er, their soul singers, and we English have ars-oul singers. And, er, Bo is one our leading, er, soul singers.
DEREK:
Arsehole singers, yes.
CLIVE:
Bo, I-, I wanted to ask you first of all, erm, .....
DEREK:
Yes.
CLIVE:
This is obviously a sort of, er, boogie, er, .....
DEREK:
This is a boogie, erm, .....
CLIVE:
What? Jive stuff, is it?
DEREK:
Jive boogie woogie song, erm, and, erm, it is-, it is a, a story of ..... well, shall I, shall I sort of go through it?
CLIVE:
Yes, I-, I-, I was thinking that some of the lyrics for, er-rm, English speaking audiences might be a little obscure.
DEREK:
Absolutely. Well let me .....
CLIVE:
I wonder what the-, what-, what-, what it really is all about?
DEREK:
Well, let me-, let me just go through it, erm, for you. Ah:
(sings and plays piano:) "#Mamma's got a brand new bag!"
Er, "Mamma's got a brand new bag", er, this means, erm, that the-, the Harlem mother has gone out into the bustling markets of Harlem .....
CLIVE:
Yes.
DEREK:
..... er, to buy a gaily coloured plastic bag. Erm, and there's a certain amount of pride in this: Mamma's got a brand new bag.
CLIVE:
I-, I suppo-, I suppose a gaily coloured plastic bag is, er, a bit of status symbol in Harlem.
DEREK:
It certainly is. Certainly is. Obviously, er, you know, sign of a birthday or something like that.
CLIVE:
Yes.
DEREK:
Er, anyway, er, goes on:
(sings and plays piano:) "#She's gonna groove it the whole night long!"
CLIVE:
"She's going to groove it the whole night long."
DEREK:
Yes, "She's going to groove it the whole night long" meaning she's going to do the traditional, er, Harlem, er-r-r, decorating on the bag with a groover. Erm, the-, the-, this grooving process, er, er, er, grooving, er, er, grooves. In .....
CLIVE:
Sort of, indentations on the bag .....
DEREK:
On the bag.
CLIVE:
..... to make it even, even more attractive .....
DEREK:
Even more attractive!
CLIVE:
..... than it was.
DEREK:
Than it was. Er, this go- .....
CLIVE:
And it's going to take her the whole night?
DEREK:
This is going to take her the whole night, yes. Therefore, erm, therefore, the, er, the, the, the, er, indication she's going to groove it all night long. I must, I must point out that, er, grooving h-, er, goes back a long way .....
CLIVE:
Yes.
DEREK:
..... in-, into, erm, Darkie history. Er, they used to have, er, groovers going round the streets in the old days .....
CLIVE:
Mm-hmm.
DEREK:
Er, (sings:) #Mississippi Groover!
And, er, people ..... people used to bring out their bags w-, 'course they weren't plastic in those days but .....
CLIVE:
No, no, no, no, no.
DEREK:
..... anything that they wanted grooved they went out into the street to give it to the groover. And then, um, we hear the words:
(sings and plays piano:) "#Right on, baby!"
Erm .....
CLIVE:
This, er-r-r, look-, seems a little puzzling, er, "Right on, baby", er .....
DEREK:
Yes.
CLIVE:
..... er-r, what ..... ?
DEREK:
This, well, er, let me explain, er, the, the, the father of the, of the house, er, has just walked into the wigwam and he says, erm ..... he says, "Right on, baby," to the mother, meaning, erm ...... 'write the shopping list on the baby for tomorrow morning.' Er .....
CLIVE:
They, th-, they actually, er, they actually use, er, babies .....
DEREK:
They use babies as .....
CLIVE:
..... as shopping lists?
DEREK:
Well, paper is scarce, plastic is, ah ..... ah, very difficult to write on, so the baby in very handy for the shopping list. Um .....
CLIVE:
Er, what would they use to write on the baby? Erm .....
DEREK:
Well, ordinary white paint with, er .....
CLIVE:
Bit of white paint, yes.
DEREK:
..... which accounts for the, the fact that very little is, is, is bought, because, you know, one can't write very much with a big brush. Erm, and then we have the, er, the, the, the, the line:
(sings and plays piano:) "#Get down, baby!"
This is a panic signal. The baby, realising that once again he's going to be written on, .....
CLIVE:
Yes.
DEREK:
..... has, has, er, has climbed the wall. And, this is, this is one of those, er, distinctive, erm, er, boogie, er, Harlem, er, instincts and, .....
CLIVE:
Yes.
DEREK:
..... and, er, talents that the infant has. They .....
CLIVE:
What, they-
DEREK:
..... are able to climb walls.
CLIVE:
Th-, I-, I believe ..... I believe, er, many small, um, Harlem children are in fact able to, to, to cling to the ceiling .....
DEREK:
Clinging feet.
CLIVE:
..... by their feet.
DEREK:
Yes, yes.
CLIVE:
H-h-hence the-, hence the phrase, isn't it, um, "In the Gecko"?
DEREK:
Exactly.
CLIVE:
Yes.
DEREK:
Um, now they want the baby to, er, er, um, er-r-r, get down for the shopping list and-, er, but the baby is in a-, in a mood of panic and so the father of the household says:
(sings and plays piano:) "#Let's get it on, baby!"
Which means, er, .....
CLIVE:
Get what on baby?
DEREK:
Well, I'm coming to that, er, let's get the plastic coloured-, er, gaily coloured, er, erm, plastic or plastic bag coloured gaily, onto the-, onto the baby.
CLIVE:
They have difficulty with words, don't they?
DEREK:
They do. Um, and, er, they see that the baby is panic stricken, they feel, well, th-, they're using the same sort of system that they use with a budgerigar. They put a carrier bag over the budgerigar to, er-r, the cage to keep it, er, calm.
CLIVE:
To keep it quiet, yes.
DEREK:
And they feel, well, if we put this gaily coloured plastic bag over the baby a dar-, it's got a dark lining so that'll calm the child, err, will, will, will bring it down to some sort of normality.
CLIVE:
Yes.
DEREK:
And .....
CLIVE:
And then, then the line comes up, er, .....
DEREK:
Ah, er, "Lay it on me, brother." Um, now this is the first sign of jealousy in the family, um, the-, the mother is-, is saying to the husband, "lay it on me, brother." She, in fact's wan-, she wants the-, the gaily coloured plastic bag.
CLIVE:
She wants the bag on her head .....
DEREK:
She wants the bag .....
CLIVE:
..... rather than the baby's.
DEREK:
Exactly.
CLIVE:
Well, yes, go on.
DEREK:
Errr, and she says "brother" which is an indication of the, you know, the amount of confusion that-, that, that is, er, rampant in these-, in these, erm, er, boogie households.
CLIVE:
Yes.
DEREK:
Errrr, calling the father "brother" but, of course, it is a possibility that he is indeed her brother, you know. It's sort of .....
CLIVE:
Well, they-, they are extraordinarily difficult to tell apart, aren't they?
DEREK:
Absolutely. And then, um, er, he replies, um, er, "Later!" "Later" meaning what it says, really. Errrrr, 'later'. She then comes back with, "Out of sight" and "Far out." Err, which is her explanation, erm, to us, the audience, that she has hidden the bag. Er .....
CLIVE:
You mean, in, in, in ..... in her, in her, sort of, errrrr, in her sort of voodoo rage .....
DEREK:
Yes .....
CLIVE:
..... she has, er, she has, she has .....
DEREK:
..... she hurtles round the wigwam looking for a dark corner to hide this gaily coloured plastic bag .....
CLIVE:
Yes.
DEREK:
..... for her own, er, devices, errr, because she's very jealous of the baby. And then finally we have, "Hnnngh!" .....
CLIVE:
Cou-
DEREK:
..... which is .....
CLIVE:
Could-, could you do that with the music?
DEREK:
Oh, yes.
CLIVE:
I think it works better with the music.
DEREK:
(sings and plays piano:) "#Hnnngh!"
Ummm, this is, er, the grandmother of the house ..... ah, the, the black widow, sitting, erm, sitting on a bucket in a hamper in the, er, in the corner of the old wigwam. Err, she's having a bit of trouble, err, she had a-, rather a lot of grits the night before and .....
CLIVE:
Yes.
DEREK:
..... is trying to expel them and, hence, err .....
CLIVE:
And basically, let-, let's not mince words, she's, er, trying to shit a grit.
DEREK:
Hmmm, well, it's, it-, it's fascinating you picked up on that phrase, "shit a grit", er, of course, very like-, very like the-, the, the phrase we know over here, "shit a brick", and in fact the, the, the nature of grits is to coagulate in some way .....
CLIVE:
Yes.
DEREK:
..... so that in fact when she does expel the, the, the, er-rm, the, the, the, the grits they are in a form of a brick .....
CLIVE:
Yes.
DEREK:
..... which, err, is a wonderful sort of a-a-a recycling process because this is how they build the wigwams in the first place. With .....
CLIVE:
Yes.
DEREK:
..... with grit bricks, you see.
CLIVE:
So, so basically it is .....
DEREK:
Ahh!
CLIVE:
..... is, is ..... sorry.
DEREK:
Sorry, I was just going to say that in fact George Formby wrote a song, er, on, on, around the last part of this, er, er, erm, er .....
CLIVE:
Boogie thing, that was, er, .....
DEREK:
..... boogie ditty, erm, .....
CLIVE:
Boogie ditty.
DEREK:
(sings and plays piano:)

#Sitting on a bucket in a hamper in the corner of the old wigwam

And, it's a ..... very charming song. But, er, I think basically you have the, the idea.
CLIVE:
The gist of it is mother goes out, gets a brand new bag, she's gonna spend the whole night grooving it, um, she starts writing on the baby the shopping list, the baby gets upset and leaps to the ceiling and, er, err, he wants to get it on the baby, the bag that is, and then, er, she wants to, er, lay something on him .....
DEREK:
No, no, she wants the bag on her.
CLIVE:
The bag on her, yes, sorry, and then she, in a rage, hides the bag.
DEREK:
Yes.
CLIVE:
And then grandmother, er, winds the whole thing up with a "Hnnngh!"
DEREK:
Yes, yes.
CLIVE:
Well, that .....
DEREK:
Showing that the process of life is going on at-, er, there's an extension-, there's going to be an extension to the wigwam very soon.
CLIVE:
Though .....
DEREK:
Probably a front porch or, er-r, or a patio, ahh, of grit shit bricks. Have you ever tried to say that very fast? Ah-ha! Grit-shit-brick.
CLIVE:
I ne-, I never have.
DEREK:
No, ah, no.
CLIVE:
No, ah, thank you, and, er, play us out with some more of your delightful Darkie boogie rhythm.
DEREK:
Yes, thank you so much.
(plays piano)