HEAVEN 17- A SHORT HISTORY|
Huw Collingbourne / Pic Neil Matthews
GLENN GREGORY (vocalist) In 1974 Glenn played bass guitar and sang in a band called 'Musical Vomit', in which bis old school-friend, Martyn Ware played synthesiser. This group enjoyed limited success, and so Glenn became a photographer. In November 1979, lan and Martyn asked him to join the group which they were forming following the split of The Human League.
IAN CRAIG MARSH (keyboards) Ian built his first synthesiser in 1972. The range ofnoises which it could produce was restricted, however, to "soundslike a motorbike". In 1977 he formed a greup called The Future with Martyn Ware and Phil Oakey. This group developed into The Human League.
MARTYN WARE (Keyboards) In 1975 Martyn helped write a script for a musical called 'Androids Don't Wait'. This failed to reach the West End. It also failed to reach anywhere else. In 1977, whilst working as a Computer operator, he joined The Future.. . Heaven 17 emerged from the wreckage of The Human League (Mark 1) in 1979. In 1981 they released a very successful album, 'Penthouse and Pavement', through their own production company, The British Electrical Faundation. They have also released several singles, none of which has yet been as successful as the album.
IN THESE dark and godless days of spiritual decline and never ending repeats of the Benny Hill Show, the world needs someone to speak out. To rnake a stand against depravity and slipshod morals. To stem the tide of filth and atheism. lt seemed to me that a group with a name like Heaven 17 might make a Billy Graham-like stand against this mucky decline. As I travelled to meet them I imagined a trio of Cliff Richard Mark 3 androids, peddling a message of love and devotional purity. To look at, Heaven 17 seemed to fit the bill. Glenn Gregory, Ian Craig Marsh and Martyn Ware seemed to possess that unctuous inner glow that only comes from true faith. I was convinced their message would be one of severity and sturdy Christian philosophy. I was wrong... Horribly wrong .
Glenn So you want to know what Heaven is iilce, eh? Weil, 1 can teil you exactiy - it's fiat with lots of fiuffy bits and harps all over the piace, and it's filled with people like John Lennon, Princess Grace and the Baby Jesus.
Jan And Tony Benn.
Martyn He's not dead yet!
lan Oh, yes he ja!
Martyn And on television, (Heaven Channel 17), the most popular shows would be '3-2-1' and 'That's Life', which would be called 'That's Death'. They'd still have Esther Rantzen though. She wears dresses hke you'd expect in Heaven anyway - long, flowing jobs with no taste.
Glenn And they'd have to have 'Coronation Street' because a lot of good people would refuse to go there if it wasn't on.
Martyn One of the nice things about Heaven is that nobody is embarrassed about nudity.
Jan But, on the other hand, people haven't got any genitals in Heaven. You get them sealed over.
Martyn That's right - it'd be like in a Walt Disney movie.
Glenn If I ever get to Heaven I'll spend all my days fiying about between clouds.
Martyn I'd spend all day looking for a good plastic surgeon who could sew my genitais back on.
Glenn One of the disadvantages about Heaven would be its lack of night-life. But maybe they give you passes to go down to Hell every so often, and you might have time off to go there for your holidays in August
Martyn Yes, Hell's a bit like Blackpool - lots of donkeys.
Ian And lots of donkey's knobs.
Martyn Why do you always have to come out with obscenities, Ian ?
Glenn The only trouble with Hell is the music they play there - Gillan !
Ian Especially Gillan doing cover versions of your favourite songs. An the TV would be even worse than in Heaven - they'd still have "3-2-1" on, but they'd also have endless episodes of "Crossroads".
Martyn "The Crypton Factor" would be really good though, because the assault course would be brilliant.
Ian You mean the contestants would have to crawl through pits of boiling oil.
Glenn I don't think the food in Hell would be too great. I bet there's nothing there but MacDonald's hamburgers.
Martyn Whe you first arrive in Hell You have to spend your first couple of hours inhaling sick. Then, for breakfast, youd barbecue with a few live babies.
Ian: Mmmm, buggered and basted babies on bread - They're bew'iful!
Glenn I bet the nightlife in Hell is pretty hot.
Ian You'd have to find something to do with your two knobs, because you'd get an extra one stitched on out of the ones they throw away upstairs.
Glenn Hell is a pretty nasty place though, because of all the eternal pain. The only good thing is that there is also a lot of nitrous oxide bubbling out of geysers and things.
Ian So you end up giggling while in pain.
Glenn I'm sure that you would actually get the chance to meet the Devil, which would be interesting, because he's always walking around poking people.
Ian With his trident and his...
Martyn How many choppers do you suppose he's got?
Ian Oh, he's just covered with them. He looks like a hydra wobbling around.
Martyn I don't think the people you'd meet in Hell would be too nice though. It'd be full of people like Margaret Thatcher, Ronald Reagan, Francis Pym and Atilla the Hun.
Ian You'd probably also meet up with people you didn't expect to meet there - like your mum, dad and granny...
After this feature, a certain Flexipop! writer too, I fear?... Hmmm, I wonder if God reads Flexipop?