Sunday, December 02, 2007

Havana let's go - Torpedoes now online!

Listen here!
Who? You may ask...
Well, in 1981 I heard a reasonably good tune on the radio regularly 'Torpedo, torpedo, happy holiday... look out kids it's bombs away'.  I thought I'd try and get hold of it, though not remembering the title or artist, expecting it to be  recorded somewhere. Wasit hell ! I left a few questions on phone in radio shows, including music experts, no answer. No 1981 charts. Finally, after years, my 3rd(?) trivia site posting raised an unheard of band 'HAVANA LET'S GO' as the artist, with the expected title of torpedo. I managed to find a bit about them as a result, and will share it here so it is no longer so unknown. Recorded in 1981 by Polydor records catalogue number POSP 313
Listen  here now! First time ever online!
Torpedoes Torpedoes, summer spent in lidos
on my back, swim all day, look out kids it's bombs away
torpedo torpedo, happy holiday
when the sun is up we're having fun on that lovely lovely day.
Get together we'll do the crawl
bet I'll beat you to the polo ball
Yeah I'm gonna take the shortest route
here I come down the water chute
and when it's time to go and we're off and running down the road,
with a loving heart you can hear them sing
Don't be cheeky now don't be cool
strip off beside the swimming pool
you can't go that far, turn around and do the cha cha cha
and when it's time to go and we're off and running down the road
with a loving heart you can hear them sing
Update via this page's appeal response: The reason TorpedoES as it is actually called, is so obscure was thanks to Mrs Margaret Thatcher, who made the BBC stop playing it as it might upset people during the Falklands war. It had been re-released in 1982, but this decision finished the tune, and probably the band, who went their separate ways soon after. Sadly Mark Tanner, the drummer died some years ago, but one guitarist married the singer and moved to LA, where he is now a successful pop video director. The band all took cod-S. American  names, Joanna Havana, the Andes, (Andy Morahan, the director) Al Salvador (Paul) and Pete O'Rico. The power of the web continues!
B side was called Rio (not to be confused with the contemporaneous Duran Duran track, which was totally different.)
More than that, after following up the source of  another fan on a search of the band's name, who was looking for another track, I've finally been sent a copy, in August 2003. This is exactly 22 years after I last heard it, and it sounds even better. The amazing thing is where I got the tape from finally (it is a local Crouch End band).... JAPAN.
The band appear to be from North London, as the great Bazooka Joe, from Hornsey art college, which included Adam Ant and Lee Kosmin, provided the drummer, the less known Mark Tanner. They had at least 2 tracks recorded, Torpedo and Spanish cabaret  (plus the B sides). Though Radio one played Torpedoes regularly, it didn't get to the top 40 and therefore missed the archives.
I am researching everything I can now to make the hardest band of all time to find a household name, in case anyone in future wants to know. Obviously I am looking for a recording as well, which has to be around somewhere, but knowing what to look for is the main obstacle removed. All information to as usual, thanks, David

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