Who is he? : Part 2 : Radio, Recording and Retirement!
In the summer of 1982 there was a regular programme on Radio 1 called, Studio B15, hosted by David 'Kid' Jensen. The programme had asked listeners to submit poems for possible inclusion in a publication jointly published by The B.B.C. and the Manpower Services Commission. Not one to miss a publicity opportunity, the Armchair submitted a selection. One summer's day, sitting in the sun on a Sunday afternoon, listening to B15, Adam and Eve by the Armchair, was recited on the programme by Roger McGeough. Joined in the studio by John Cooper Clarke, they both commented on how good it was. The poem was then published in a B.B.C. publication called 'Lipstick and Lager' and the Armchair received the princely sum of £10. Fame at last!
Still good friends with Rikk Quay, who at this time was still with Those Attractive Magnets and had become interested in recording techniques, the Armchair decided to record a selection of his more popular poems. Recorded in the kitchen at The Tavern in the Town after closing time, The Armchair Guide to Insanity was produced. It had eleven tracks all with backing by Quay of either sound effects or music. Again as with The D.H.S.S., Armchair sold the tape in local record shops. At one gig the Armchair recited the contents of the tape and in fact mimed the entire set!! Did anyone notice?
In late 1983, it was time for the Armchair to 'retire' again and he bowed out of the local music scene (temporarily of course) with an interesting evening at Tamworth Arts Centre. The line-up for the gig couldn't have been more varied, first on were The Dead Captain Speaks, Barry Douce - he of The Reliants #2 and The D.H.S.S. #2, was on bass with Donald Skinner on guitar. Both had also previously been members of The D.H.S.S. fronted by Vince Watts. Those Attractive Magnets also performed and finally Nick Lowe, a regular performer with the Armchair, busked the night away. To complete the line up, the stage was full of shop dummies the Armchair had borrowed from the local Co-Op. Dressed to represent certain poems, a little child with a beachball, a woman with Tampax and compact and middle-aged man with a fat gut, the scene on stage was very bizarre.
The Armchair retired, went off into the sunset but was to return, for charitable reasons in early 1985.