Dave Robinson needs no introduction. I had met him before at one of his son, Jack's nights at Corsica Studios and must admit to feeling privileged that night. Dave is such a big part of British culture and a fascinating man so it was difficult to know what to ask him. I just loved hearing the story, the history of an important time in British music/culture, told by the man who made it happen.
Paulie- Did you work with Hendrix Dave?
Dave R/ Many years ago yes, I was his tour manager, but that was years before Stiff.
Paulie- How did your involvement with Ian Dury start?
Dave R/ Ian used to do a lot of gigs but he never really caught the public's imagination at that time.
When he went to Blackhill who became his manager...(they had managed Pink Floyd etc so had a good CV) he met Chaz Jankle. Ian always had good lyrics and he was a great singer. Chaz was more into funk by and large and Ian was into Gene Vincent more of a rockabilly.
Well they wrote this album and while they were doing the demo which I heard and thought sounded good, they met a band called 'Loving Awareness.'
They were a hippy band their name really summed them up.
Paulie/ So those big labels missed a trick Dave, It was a good move for you.
Dave R - Oh it was a great move, it was a great album. 'New boots and Panties' is one of the best albums of It's time there is no doubt about that.
Paulie/ It was Ian's son on the cover wasn't it?
Paulie/ I remember that well, it was Mike Read...
Dave R - This was marvellous PR. The BBC phoned me up and said they were going to ban the record, I said well I can't understand why, it wasn't definitely about anything!
Then they had to tell the press why they had banned it! They said it was about ejaculation.... I mean you just couldn't write a better PR script. -
Dave R - The Tube was good, and then the T shirts, 'Frankie Says' ,they did really well. The second single 'Two Tribes' was great, and it had a great video which kept everything rolling.
Then the album came out , 'Welcome To The Pleasure Dome', that is still one of the biggest selling British albums. We shipped 1.2 million copies of it!
Paulie/ People bought albums back then.
Dave R - They bought albums, they bought singles, they bought T shirts!
Everyone had to have a copy, we couldn't press enough!
We found that we could change the mix to comply with the BBC and put it out again. We put it out 3 times in the end, and each time the public bought it.
Paulie/ I remember seeing Relax on 'The Tube' Dave, was that the lucky TV you mentioned?