Thursday, August 21, 2008

Lock, stock and barrel and Waterman

Given that Pete Waterman has done some incredible pop-related things, it's surprising that he still also feels the need to cast a Jimmy Saville style net of invention over things he was only tangentially involved with. For example, in today's Guardian, he claims ownership of black and white checks, pork pie hats, and amusing hitch-hiking cameos in videos:

[E]verybody forgets I have done some quite ground-breaking music. I managed the Specials, started that whole 2 Tone movement, but I don't worry about it.

And, it's true - up to a point - he did manage the Specials for a while. But did he "start" the whole movement? The exhaustive website describes his involvement with the Specials as "mercifully brief" and quotes him as saying:
Terry Hall taught me an important lesson as a record producer; Terry can't sing. But what he does have is an unusual voice and the public love an unusual voice.

In other words, The Specials' debt to Waterman is perhaps less than Waterman's to the Specials.

Apparently, Cliff has problems with Waterman being on his CV:
Cliff Richard once told me that he has defended working with me more than he's defended his belief in God.

That could be, though, because although Christianity has caused war, carnage, suffering and pain; division, distrust and disgust; and demanded faith at the point of a sword and upon pain of an eternal damnation, Christianity has never, yet, been responsible for the career of Sonia.

[Thanks to James M for the link]