1967 : The Game’s record banned by the BBC

The Game line up. Left to right: Head guitarist, Terry Spencer, Masons Place; bass guitarist, Alan Janaway, Masons Place; drummer, Terry Goodsell, Peartree Close and lead singer, Tony Bird, Turner Avenue, Mitcham.

The Game line up. Left to right: Head guitarist, Terry Spencer, Masons Place; bass guitarist, Alan Janaway, Masons Place; drummer, Terry Goodsell, Peartree Close and lead singer, Tony Bird, Turner Avenue, Mitcham.

A MITCHAM beat group’s record on drug addiction was banned from Saturday’s “Juke Box Jury.”

Because of complaints to the Home Office, sales are to be restricted by E.M.I., the record company.

The programme was recorded two weeks ago. And the record — “The Addicted Man,” by The Game beat groups came under strong criticism from the panel of four disc jockeys after they heard the first 70 seconds of the number.

The disc jockeys, Peter Murray, Simon Dee, Alan Freeman and Jimmy Saville, described the record as revolting, disgusting and horrific.

But most record shops reported that they had sold out on Saturday.

Officials of B.B.C. decided to cut the record and comments from the programme after a preliminary run-through. This meant that the programme started nine minutes late and a cartoon was put on to fill the gap.

The record, released on Friday, was written and composed by three local teenagers who manage The Game group under the name of Original Sound Productions.

Nineteen-year-old Alan Gowing, Bond Road, Mitcham, with 18-year-old Terry Brown, Laburnum Court, Mitcham, wrote the music, and Lesley Blake, Haynt Walk, Merton, also aged 19, wrote the words.

DISTORTED

Speaking from their office at Bond Road, Mitcham, Alan Gowing said : “The whole aim of our song has been distorted.

“We are firmly against drug addiction, and we would never encourage drug taking.

“What has happened is that the disc jockeys heard the first two verses and not the last chorus, which changes the whole meaning of the record.”

The first verse is:

Take it, boy and feel you swing,
Take it, boy, make your blood swing,
See the girls move and sway,
Take it, boy, and you’ll get that way.

The last verse is:

So reach there, man, get there fast,
You’ll live in hell while you last.

Disc jockey Peter Murray said, “It was a terrible record. The most disgusting that I have ever heard.

“The last verse was read out to us and, in my opinion, does not in any way alter the song, which, as I see it, says ‘Have a good time taking drugs, even though you will end up in hell.’”

A spokesman for E.M.I. said: “We believe in all sincerity that ‘Addicted Man’ is an anti-drug record. No one could be sorrier than we are that it has caused such tremendous repercussions.

“If we had thought it was going to offend, we would never have released it in the first place.

“So despite the fact that some of the records have already gone out to dealers, we will do everything in our power to restrict sales, and we will see to it that no more copies are sent to the shops.”

A MISTAKE

“I’ve played the record through several times, and while as a production it is quite good, and could well appeal to the fans, I think it a most unfortunate choice (writes Reg Exton). The title itself gives a clue to what it is all about, and while it is true the word drugs is not mentioned, the lyrics make it pretty obvious.

I’ll concede that the last verse,
“So reach there, man, get there fast,
You’ll live in hell while you last”

– emphasises the dangers of taking drugs. But why a pop record at all about such a subject? Drug taking is a very serious matter. It has been the ruination of many young people. To my mind this disc is a mistake. The Game were ill-advised to make it.

Source: Mitcham News & Mercury, Friday 13th January, 1967, page 1.

For a list of other records produced by The Game, see the Discogs website.

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