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Pop of the Pops!
by Michael Franklin

George and Billy were enjoying a pint at the Plough Inn on the corner of their street, but their emerging topic of conversation did not reflect enjoyment.

“I get pissed of with the noise that comes from number 27 lately. It’s up for sale, but no buyers yet.”

“Yeah - those pop musician tenants. It gets on our nerves as well. Bad enough when one lad is rattling out on a guitar on his own, but worse when the group practice together - all shouting and amplifiers.”

“They go off and offer that rubbish to a wider audience somewhere?”

“Yes. Julie next door told me the other day that they have pop concerts in the city, but - thank goodness - that is six miles away. She also told me that her son John - a pianist and more musically cultured, went across one night and put a recorder on the wall below that front window. They were practicing some accompaniment and he wanted some friends to hear how primitive and ugly it was.

"So - it was clattering drummy stuff and screaming guitars - but no voices?"


“How could we stop it all?.”

They were thoughful for a few moments, sipping their ale.

“I might have an idea Billy. The loudest and ugliest singing voice in our street is Fred. He worked until retirement - we all know - as a market trader, and they spend their lives shouting. When he gets out in his garden in the summer he rattles the trees with Ilkley Moor Baht’tat and other folky tunes. He thinks it is a quiet private performance, but we are all entertained.”

“Yes. It spreads for miles! So. What is your idea?”

“We could get him to put his gravelly voice to that recorded piece, shouting in an ugly way like the poppers do, with a rude lyric that no one will understand anyway.”

“Wonderful. Let’s give it a try.”

They did. Julie, Fred, and other allies in the street cooperated and expert outside help was found. Two months later “Up Yours” became top of the pops, selling nearly two million copies. Cleverly, the producers were able to deter attempts by the poppy thickheads to contact the singer, describing him as a distant fourteen-year-old Czech - Alexandrovic Snedlditetikasi. 

The profit was used to buy number 27 and throw the noisies out.