Wednesday, 19 September 2012


Once upon a time, a long time ago, I read an article, probably in Smash Hits or No1 or some similar 1980s pop magazine, about the origins of band names. They ran these occasionally, presumably as a space-filler and also because there were some really odd band names so it was sometimes quite entertaining.  There were the usual suspects - Duran Duran (character in Barbarella), The Teardrop Explodes  (from a panel in a comic), Tears for Fears (some kind of psychotherapy thing), UB40 (benefit form) and so on.

And then there was Spandau Ballet - supposedly the band got their name from a bit of graffiti seen in a loo somewhere. Smash Hits/No1/whatever-mag-it-was then educated its readership by explaining that Spandau Prison was where Rudolf Hess was imprisoned until his death, ending with the comment "However he was not known for his dancing".

In 1941 Rudolf Hess parachuted into Scotland - he landed in a field at Floors Farm near Eaglesham and was taken prisoner. That night he was held in a hall just down the road in Busby. That hall is still standing and is where Miss Mouse has ballet classes (as well as cheerleading, tap and all the rest of her dancey stuff) and is where I have Zumba and Powerhoop classes. It's quite a surreal thought, especially when you're gyrating to Lady Gaga.

For a priceless Spandau Ballet moment, have a look at this Youtube clip from Never Mind the Buzzcocks.  Skip to 4.18  - it's the intros round and Martin Kemp (of Spandau Ballet) and Phill Jupitus are about to sing to the very tall comedian Greg Davies. I know it's incredibly tedious to be told online 'HAHA! THIS IS FUNNY!', but this is one clip I go to when I'm feeling low because it always makes me smile, so, in my very humble opinion, it's worth a look. Enjoy!

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