During this episode of Hippie Love Turbo, on KUCR 88.3 FM you heard Your Friend by Mal Ryder and The Spirits and Help Me by The Primitives. I mention this because Mal Ryder eventually left The Spirits and joined The Primitives, a band which had great success in Italy. Over the years Mal Ryder had floated through several bands with each new band releasing a few singles and playing a boatload of shows. As is often the case, band members were swapped around and bands melded into each other which makes it difficult to keep track of who did what and when they did it. At one time The Primitives even featured a young Pick Withers of Dire Straits fame! Of course, things get more complicated when you add in all of the stage names and various international releases. However, if you dig The Primitives you should check out the compilation Maladjusted which was released by Castle Music/Sanctuary Records Group Ltd. in 2001. The compilation is way easier to navigate than finding the individual singles and or bootlegs that drift in and out of the used market. For more info on Mal and The Primitives you can check out the biography section on Mal's website where he goes into all the details and also The Primitives official website.
In another part of the show you heard The Graded Grains play their song Animal Magic and as I dug into their history I found the origin of their name particularly interesting.
According to the band's website:
"In the mid-sixties there was a band called 'Marmalade' and on the bass drum front skin there was a “gollywog” found on Robertson's jam - this logo is not used now as it is classed as racial!
John & Bud tried to think of a well-known logo and 'Fred' came along from Homepride.'Fred' was, and still is, on their product and one of the famous lines was 'Graded Grains make finer flour'.
In 1967 flower power was creeping in from California and they played on the words with flour/flower power."
Having never heard of a Golliwog or Robertson's Jam I checked out some images to see what all the "racial" hubbub was about. For an American audience I would describe a Golliwog as a sort of blackfaced version of a Raggedy Ann doll. It appears that Robertson's must have understood the Golliwog's racist undertones because when Robertson's Jam was exported to North America the character was absent from the label.
|Robertson's Golliwog on the left and Homepride's Fred on the right|
As it goes, the Golly mascot was so beloved in the U.K. that the brand continued using him in marketing until his retirement in 2002. Over the years the company developed a strong collectable brooch campaign which has an active collectors community and many people continue to identify the Golliwog with their childhood. At the time of the character's retirement Robertson's brand director, Ginny Knox, stated that: "We are retiring Golly because we found families with kids no longer necessarily knew about him. We are not bowing to political correctness, but like with any great brand we have to move with the times." I'll let you come to your own conclusions about Robertson's ad campaign but personally I find it odd that Knox was compelled to explain that the company wasn't "bowing to political correctness." It seems that no longer using racial caricatures should be considered a good thing even if the character was never meant to be offensive.
Homepride's mascot Fred, on the other hand, appears to be free from controversy and as with Robertson's Golly, Fred has also appeared on many collectables. Admittedly, I can see how much easier it would be to collect Golliwog pins compared to Fred shaped salt and pepper shakers or ceramic mugs.
Whew. If you made your way through all that you can find this week's playlist below: