Dan Treacy/Television Personalities documentary
May 20, 2008 5:22 PM   Subscribe

Dan Treacy and his band Television Personalities have had a long and storied history. Here's a nice little documentary (part one, two, three, four) on 'em.

Formed in 1977 during the first wave of UK punk, they put out records on a fairly regular basis until the turn of the millennium, when Treacy seemed to fall off the face of the planet. He was eventually tracked down to a British prison ship, where he was serving time for a slew of petty crimes related to his mental illness and drug addiction. Upon his release in 2004, he reformed the group with long-time member Ed Ball (also of Teenage Filmstars/the Times) and returned to playing shows and putting out new material, starting with an... interesting choice for a single, the haunting 'All the Young Children on Crack'.

Here's a good, concise history of the group.

'Painted Word', my personal favorite TVPs song.

'Part Time Punks', probably the group's best known song.

'I Know Where Syd Barrett Lives'. Fun trivia: the TVPs were on tour as David Gilmour's(!) supporting act in the mid 80's when Treacy took it upon himself to read the reclusive Barrett's home address to a crowd of thousands. Gilmour was not amused and the group got the sack.
posted by item (9 comments total)

This post was deleted for the following reason: Poster's Request -- frimble

Thanks for the documentary links, I love these guys... but where's Bill Grundy now??
posted by porn in the woods at 5:38 PM on May 20, 2008

Well, it wasn't as if he didn't know that they would be on the show (ohhh-whoo-whoaa)
posted by porn in the woods at 6:03 PM on May 20, 2008

Some additional information, if I may.
The documentary in question is a part of a series called "This Is Our Music".
The first season of "This Is Our Music" aired on MTV Europe/Sweden (and MTV2 in some countries) in 2004 and the second and third (the final) aired on Swedish Television (SVT) in 2005.
The episode starring Dan & Ed was part of the third season. The journalist was Andres Lokko (quite famous in Sweden), the camera man was Dan Lepp. It caused quite a debate, as you can surely understand after watching it.
Anyway, personally I must say that I'm happy to see that it's on YouTube. As one of the reporters responsible for "This Is Our Music" I'm quite biased, but I think it deserves an audience outside of Sweden. This is an excellent start. But Lisa Milberg - the drummer/singer for The Concretes and another one of "This Is Our Music"'s reporters - did an excellent expose on the Fence collective, for instance. Where's that? Get to rip it!
posted by soundofsuburbia at 6:10 PM on May 20, 2008

always like them (and their art references as well, such as: But most of all I want to be / In David Hockney's diaries / Most of all I want to be / In David Hockney's diaries, or also see: lichtenstein painting)
posted by ornate insect at 6:55 PM on May 20, 2008

It caused quite a debate, as you can surely understand after watching it.

just watched the documentary, and did not like it all: nothing about the band, no context, just endless depressing scenes of Treacy nodding off on junk or babbling incoherently. I thought it was in poor taste and lazy to just follow Treacy around with the camera and expect somehting interesting to happen. Since he seemed mostly incapable of doing a proper interview, one would think the Swedes making the film might have made an effort to add some context: performance footage, interviews w/other musicians, etc. As it is it could be a boring film about any random manic depressive junkie living in a big city.
posted by ornate insect at 7:21 PM on May 20, 2008

Hey, nice find. Thanks for posting this, item. Of course now I'm not sure I wanna see a junkie nodding off. I get that on the bus enough as it is. Oh what the hell, you only live once, right?
posted by sleepy pete at 7:59 PM on May 20, 2008

I haven't heard a lot of these guys, but what I've heard I like a lot. Thanks for the link, item.
posted by jonmc at 8:41 PM on May 20, 2008

I love TVP on vinyl, or those modern silvery things the kids and cats like. Pop the way it should be, infused with nostalgia for glorious times. Everything stops and dances in this house when 'Salvador Dali's Garden Party' comes on.

So I wore my brand new paisley shirt
I bought last week in Kensington Market
And I wore my brand new Chelsea boots
I rode there on my scooter but there wasn't anywhere to park it

Innocently mischevious, delightful music.

On the other hand they're best avoided live. I saw TVP's gig at the 100 Club in 2005, and to call it a shambles would be a compliment. Incoherent, untuneful, unamusing chaos. It was not the spirit of dada and detournement, it was a drunk bloke on stage embarrassing himself and us.
posted by Hogshead at 4:27 AM on May 21, 2008

Bob Geldof meet Ray Davies but more indie. ? I always completely ignored references to this band when hunting for copies of Marquee Moon in record stores when that was out of print and hard to find. They are not the incredible Televsion, but its nice to finally see what TVP were and acknowledge them .
posted by celerystick at 6:52 AM on May 23, 2008

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