21 April 2018

Bill Esher and The Beacons - Baby You're My Doughnut/ Sixty Seven



Slightly glammy piece of 70s boogie based on an odd compliment

Label: Jam
Year of Release: 1973

"Kennedy came to Berlin and said: 'every free citizen of the world is a citizen of Berlin, and I have come to say to you Ich Bin Ein Berliner', and the crowd went f--kin' wild. The trouble is 'Ich Bin Ein Berliner' means 'I am a doughnut'" - Eddie Izzard.

OK, so it's extremely unlikely that this slice of laidback, light-hearted rock 'n' boogie was influenced by the error in Kennedy's speech. The odds of it being influenced by the record label they were signed to are probably higher. Nonetheless, "Baby You're My Doughnut" is a bloody weird compliment to pay someone, and not necessarily likely to illicit a positive response. The band do their best by adding "there's a sweetness at your centre", which suggests that any pleasantness or good-naturedness isn't present in the person from the offset. 

Never mind. While Bill Esher and his Beacons might not have found this compliment paying them many dividends in real life, the single itself is a likeable piece of light rock with a light glam thud to it. 

Much more enticing for me is the jam (no pun intended, on any level) on the flip. Rough, ready and showing a group with a keen ear and instinct for each other's playing, it really is a great few minutes, ploughing ahead with gusto.

Sadly, I have no idea who Bill Esher and The Beacons were. This was their only release, and it doesn't seem as if any of them went on to greater heights. The credited M. Hodgkinson on the flip appeared to have been involved in the equally boogiesome Sammy who released a couple of records on Philips in 1972, and somebody of that name was also involved with Brett Marvin and The Thunderbolts, who were stalwarts on the gig circuit right through the seventies (as well as issuing six singles on Sonet). Those are all the clues I have, though. Anyone know anything more? 




3 comments:

colin williams said...

I thought I was writing a pop song inspired by the Archie's sugar sugar but I was young then. Nothing to do with Kennedy. The serious band behind this tune was gnasher who later signed to Purple records. Check out Frank n Steins monster reggae with the classic Tutenkhman on the B side our B sides were always the best. Bands demise was due to the viynal crisis so only had one release Medina road on purple before the industry stopped supporting new talent and only promoted their top acts as the oil crisis hit the music industry.

23 Daves said...

Thanks for dropping by and letting me know the story behind this, Colin! Louis Barfe just mentioned to me on Twitter that this track (and the Frank n Stein track) were produced by Ted Heath's son Nick Heath as well.

A lot of people seem to be enjoying this track at the moment.

Arthur Nibble said...

...and as you probably know, Nick Heath and his brother Tim founded Rialto Records (chart acts The Korgis, The Regents and The Planets).