A Gallery to Play To: The Story of the Mersey Poets

By Phil Bowen | Go to book overview

7
The End of the Sixties

'…the Rot…'

During 1968 the comparisons between Patten, McGough and Henri were at their widest. McGough had become a regular on ABC's The Eleventh Hour and was gigging extensively with the revitalized and more musically orientated Scaffold. Their stage humour was very different from their songs. 'Our songs certainly brought financial success and made us household names', McGough acknowledges, 'but it also misled audiences. Mums and dads came along and we weren't providing what they wanted. We were never a musical knockabout act like the Grumbleweeds, but that was what so many people thought we were.'

Mike McGear has other regrets.

The big thing at the time on telly was Batman, and Roger had written
a lovely parody, 'Goodbat Nightman'. We went to Brian [Epstein] in
his NEMS emporium and said, we've got this great idea and we've got
to do it now. The Batman phenomenon is going to be even bigger. He
hummed and ha-d and wanted us to do other things. It didn't come
out until the end of the Batman mayhem. The record didn't reach the
audience it should have done.

Making the bat metaphor literal, McGough's poem playfully re-evokes A.A. Milne's children's nursery rhyme:

They've locked all the doors
and they've put out the bat,
Put on their batjamas
(They like doing that)

With the TV programme's theme to the fore, Henri chose another route dedicating the piece to Bob Kane (the creator of the strip) and local band

-81-

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