Friday, 8 October 2010
*THIS IS A TRUE STORY*
In May 1974 a boy aged 13 fell out of a Poplar tree in Brenchley, Kent. 36 years on..the Poplar tree is still there...at a farm in Palmer's Green Lane. Go check it if you don't believe this is true. Some say the lad...who was in a coma for 3 days after falling from the tree...was trying to commit suicide because he was so upset that his favourite song...This Town Ain't Big Enough For The Both Of Us by Los Angeles bubblegum pop band Sparks had been kept off the Number One spot by mock doo-wop revivalists The Rubettes with their Sugar Baby Love song. Others say he just fell. Some say he was pushed by the ghost which was said to reside in the tree.
Whilst in his coma he was visited in Pembury Hospital by friends and relatives...and one friend in particular...his best friend...took along some Plasticine to try to lure him out of his coma. His best pal stayed with him throughout the majority of the 3 days...making trains and figures and monsters and things out of the brightly-coloured Plasticine. Some of those models still exist...including a crudely-fashioned George Best figure in red and white...with the number 7 on the shirt.
When the boy came out of his coma he was surrounded by the little models that his friend had crafted for him...and that set the foundation for his devout future reliance on Plasticine. As the boy grew up and faced various stages of distress and trauma...the usual growing pains and heartaches...his dependency on plasticine grew deeper....and deeper. To put it in a nutshell..Plasticine became his drug. His reliance on the putty-like modelling material, made from calcium salts, became well-known in Brenchley and surrounding areas of The Weald. He became known as The Plasticine Boy...even before he was out of his teens. In his adult life he was known as The Plasticine Man...which actually spawned a short art-documentary from the Mid-Kent College of Art in 1979.
When he left school in 1978 he went to work in the Plasticine Factory in Bathampton until 1983 when the whole manufacture operation was switched to Thailand. Check it out...it's true. A similar product, "Kunst-Modellierthon" (known as Plastilin), was invented by Franz Kolb of Munich, Germany in 1880. This product is still available, known as "Münchner Künstler Plastilin" (Munich artists' plasticine). In Italy, the product Pongo is also marketed as "plastilina" and shares the main attributes of Plasticine. Then...of course...there is Play-Doh..the modeling compound used by children for art and craft projects at home and in school. NONE OF THESE WOULD EVER MATCH PLASTICINE AS A RELIEF REMEDY FOR THE TREE-TRAGEDIAN.
To bring you up to date...the man in question...The Plasticine Man...was Mickey Apples...and his friend...the one who took along the Plasticine...was Andy Fraser. They both went on to play as Unlucky Fried Kitten...Mickey on bass guitar...Andy on vocals...accompanied by Kingsley Oregon on drums. Mickey was a good bass player, but he constantly badgered Andy..trying to get UFK to play his songs, which were mostly atrocious! They argued a lot. In a fit of pique Mickey stormed out of a YMCA gig...on the "Perishing Robots" tour and he never played with UFK again. He made a single, "Black Sheep". It sank without a trace. His last roll of the dice was his mini-LP Dead Pop Stars...finalizing his place in low-rent pop punk history by astonishingly killing himself on the release date. In honour to Mr. Apples..UFK have created a shrine to him in The Doll's House where you can hear his "Black Sheep" song and his subsequent DPS songs. His bass guitar is also in the UFK Dollshouse...with kind permission from Mickey's family.
Unlucky Fried Kitten have created this song..as a special remembrance to their fallen friend...the much-missed but fondly remembered...Mickey Apples. Rest In Peace, Mickey xxxx
The Unlucky Fried Kitten song....THE SEVENTIES...is also a fond recollection of the same era for Mickey and Andy.