What were they thinking???

What were they thinking???

While casually browsing the interweb on “Black Friday” I spotted one of those USB turntables that allows you to transfer your old vinyl LPs etc. to your computer so you can listen to them on your iPod and enjoy all the old crackles. Now Jackie and I have two milk-crates of old vinyl sitting in our storage room and nothing to play them on, and as this was a bargain ($39) I decided to order one.

It arrived yesterday, and after running around all day running errands and walking the dog and doing the laundry and all the other fun stuff I do on my day off, I finally unpacked it this evening and hooked it up to my laptop. I then had to go and drag a crate of records out of the storage room to see if it worked, and it does, surprisingly well. Jake and I had fun going through all the albums in the crate (“this must be yours”, “I would never have bought that”) and Crispy even came out of his room to see the antique technology in action. There are a few albums neither of us will admit to, but the most fun stuff we found was the singles: Jackie’s Duran Duran 45s, my Mike Oldfield picture discs, and some old singles I must have swiped from my Dad- they are burned in my memory even though I probably haven’t heard them in YEARS (Morningtown Ride, Up a Lazy River, Tubby the Tuba) as he used to play them for me when I was little.

But the one that really surprised me was a single that I think was only played on the radio once ever, and with good reason! It’s an awful little 1982 ditty called Share and Share Alike that was sung (if you can call it that) by a bunch of schoolgirls from Henrietta Barnett School in Hampstead Garden Suburb in North London- in fact that’s what they put as the artist on the label, “Henrietta Barnett”. I can’t remember all the details, like the names of the poor girls whose wailings were immortalised in wax, or even why the single was released (apart from the obvious idea that someone must have had of hoping to make a mint from a band consisting of teenage girls in school uniforms), but the B side gives us a hint as it is: Share and Share Alike (Instrumental) from the Musical “Share and Share Alike”. Now, as far as I can remember, there never was such a musical, and Google comes up with nothing about it. So whether that was just made up to give it more “cred”, or if they would have inflicted a whole show of similar dross on the world if it had been successful I guess we’ll never know.

Anyway, HBS was the school where we got most of the girls for our various stage shows at my school (Christ’s College, Finchley, which was all boys), and was consequently where an awful lot of our first girlfriends came from- I could tell you some stories…like the infamous April Fool’s Day Raid…but that’s for another day. But I remember this single being played once on Capital Radio, we all knew it was going to be and were listening, and it was followed by a longish pause and then a less-than-complimentary remark by the DJ and was then never heard of again.

I said to Jackie (after giving her it’s history) that this was almost certainly the only copy of this single in the USA, and quite possibly the world, and she then held up another copy of it- why I have two (and have kept them all this time) I cannot fathom! But without further ado here it is in all it’s awfulness- 

4 Replies to “What were they thinking???”

  1. I have just come home from the theatre with my husband. I saw Donald Sinden in the audience and it got me thinking about his late son, Jeremy Sinden who was in Share and Share Alike, with John Nettles and the Henrietta Barnett girls (yes I was one of them). so i started to google Share and Share Alike and came across your blog. Geoff Morrow, a musical write and director and father of a girl at the school made the musical that was performed a few times and full record of the show was recorded. I doubt he ever made any money but we had a lot of fun!

    PS. i remember well the April Fool's Day Raid…

    1. Hey Anna,

      I'm sorry I was less than complimentary about the song! I had no recollection of it actually being a whole show- were you in it?

      Did we know each other? I was the one who was caught in the April Fool's Day Raid, and at the time I was going out with Maria Daniels.

  2. oh don't worry – it's not a great song! Yes was in the show – we had a laugh, performed for TV news and had friends laughing alot after watching it! i don't think I knew you but I remember Maria – she was in my class. Strong memory of our Maths teacher running to catch the "raiders". Weren't you suspended from school?!

    1. Your headmistress was NOT amused! She had me locked in a storage closet until the police she had called arrived. The two cops had trouble keeping straight faces, as did my headmaster when I was delivered to him. The rest of the gang owned up voluntarily and we were made to sign a slightly sarcastic letter of apology, and were suspended, at least publicly- your headmistress was told we were suspended, we got a couple of days off, but the suspension was never officially recorded so it never went into anyone's record.

      But the best gag of all was the following year- we all stayed home from school for the day and apparently the whole school spent the day waiting for news of what we'd done- which was absolutely nothing 🙂

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