September 7, 2016

"Bend It!"



Thinking about Dave Dee, Dozy, Beaky, Mick & Tich this morning.

Bend it!

It's a dance! And look at their pants!

That was 1966 — September, half a century ago.

Oddly enough, this post did not grow out of looking back to 1966 2 posts down. It grew out of the previous post, about the recognition of the 6th taste, "Starchy." If anyone can guess my train of thought, which involved some conversation with Meade, I will give you the official Althouse blog prize known as "front-paging."

48 comments:

tim maguire said...

We're a lot more uptight than we used to be?

David said...

Once again I have no clue. Maybe I missed 1966. No, I didn't. I was teaching in NYC. Bad year. I missed the bend it craze. I was trying to interest young New Yorkers in literature and history. I assigned Catcher in the Rye to one class. They hated the book, and thought Holden Caulfield was an idiot.

Nonapod said...

What does a novelty dance called Bend it have to do with the defining of a new taste called starchy? Maybe something bendy and starchy? Like corn starch bioplatic?

CStanley said...

I'm guessing one of you riffed on the name "Starchy" as a potential addition to that pop group, and then possibly one of you also made the connection to the song Bend It because one of the definitions of starchy is "unbending." Maybe Starchy was a guy who got rejected from the group,

Leeatmg said...

The starchy reference is to the use of starch in the clothing...those outfits DO look quite stiff...

Laslo Spatula said...

The Guy Who Tries Unsuccessfully to Start Catch-Phrases says:

Althouse, this post is 'Wet With Flavor.'

I am Laslo.

Char Char Binks said...

Things that were once thought to be tasteless but actually are.

Paul said...

Whitebread springs to mind.

Cath said...

Dozy and Beaky, like Starchy, would be great dwarf names.

vicari valdez said...

love the pants! 👌🏽 i would definitley rock the ones that the guitar player on the far right is wearing.

vicari valdez said...

whoops, that looks more like a mandolin than a guitar.

W.B. Picklesworth said...

Wasn't the "Mashed Potato" a dance? I think it gets mentioned in another song in the mid to late 60s. I wasn't around for it, being born in 1975.

Sean Gleeson said...

I agree with the conjecture that previous commenters have made, that starting with the seven dwarfs, you were imagining other groups of funny-named persons which could enlist Starchy as a new member. "Dave Dee, Dozy, Beaky, Mick, Tich, & Starchy" was the result.

You may have also come up with some other careers for Starchy. A fourth Stooge? A fourth Pep Boy? A fourth nephew of Donald Duck? Many opportunities for laughs.

Bob Boyd said...

Meade was wandering around the house in a grass skirt, bleary-eyed and bloated, his face and bare chest covered with sticky goo, still starching hard coming off another one of his three day poi binges, alternately muttering and shouting "Bend It" over and over again. He wouldn't, probably couldn't, explain himself coherently, so you Googled it and the song came up.

madAsHell said...

Wikipedia says they were a British pop band. I don't think they made much of a splash here in the States. A couple of the band members are still performing under the original name.

Molly said...

Lists with six items.

(Dino, Desi, and Billy, Manny, Moe, and Jack)

Mac McConnell said...

Starchy was a bespoke brand of clown pants wore by this band and a young Hillary Rodham. They were worn starched so the bottoms spread side to side for a more effective "clown look". Some claim Tom Ford designed them in kindergarten.

William said...

The song was kind of catchy. The dance moves were grotesque, but the girls doing them looked sexy. Or, anyway, they were wearing the kind of clothes that I considered sexy back then. The boys' clothes look silly, but the girls show a real taste for timeless fashion. ......I think the band was lip syncing. We were tolerant of such crimes back then. Nowadays we function on a higher moral plane..........Starchy sounds more like a texture than a taste. As such, perhaps it can be appreciated more by the scent deprived.

R.J. Chatt said...

IMO this train of thought goes back to ""I just didn’t have another sex position in me."

I'd like to add to the taste list: moist, oily, crunchy, juicy. Not necessarily in that order.

Char Char Binks said...

I'm pretty sure I won.

Darrell said...

You're working your way up to Bend Me, Shape Me. You got the power to turn on the light.

Craig said...

This group was to the Beatles what Pat Boone was to Elvis.

Wilbur said...

Listening to that video gives me the bends.

Lord, won't you buy me a Mercedes Bends?

R.J. Chatt said...

PS -- Macaroni!

gerry said...

The mandolin reminded me of these guys.

Ann Althouse said...

"Wasn't the "Mashed Potato" a dance? I think it gets mentioned in another song in the mid to late 60s. I wasn't around for it, being born in 1975."

There were a lot of songs about a dance that no one seemed to know. (My personal favorite is "The 81.") But we certainly knew the Mashed Potato. The biggest dance craze ever was the Twist, and the Mashed Potato came soon after that and got promoted as the next big dance right when people really cared about doing the new dance.

You moved the fronts of your feet around in place with the visualization that you were mashing potatoes under them.

Craig said...

That's not a mandolin. It's a balalaika.

dbp said...

Starchy made Althouse think of stiffness because starch is used in conjunction with ironing to make clothes hold their shape. A formal person may be known as "a stiff" and is more likely to wear stiff starched clothes. So what is the opposite of stiff? Bendable. What is bendy and also stiff? The dancers in the bend it video--their bodies are bending but their pants are starchy.

FWBuff said...

When you read that they added "starchy" as the 6th taste, you read the new list of 6 out loud to Meade and said that it reminded you of the 6 band members in Dave Dee Dozey Beaky Mick & Tich. But Meade said that, no, there were only 5 members of that band -- Dave Dee was one guy, not two. So you had to look it up, and the "Bend It" video caught your eye!

Hazy Dave said...

Yeah, what FWBuff said. Having no chart impact in the USA, it took me a long exposure to British Invasion trivia to notice that there was no comma between Dave and Dee.

Rick Turley said...

Hmmm. Growing up in that era I have no memory of this yet can still remember most of the lyrics to many of the popular songs.

If it ain't Starchy Bell and the Drells singing the 'Tighten Up' I got nothin'.

Ruth Anne Adams said...

Anna Wintour still wears her hair like she did in that dance number.

Carol said...

That's not a mandolin. It's a balalaika.

Iss bouzouki. From Greece!

Quaestor said...

The official dance craze of The Village

Quaestor said...

That's not a mandolin. It's a balalaika.

Balalaika has three strings, lapochka

Actually the Bend is a mod rip off of the Sirtaki with a much stupider step.

Quaestor said...

The 60's were an interesting decade, the sublime and the ridiculous in equal measure.

jr565 said...

Althouse wrote:
here were a lot of songs about a dance that no one seemed to know. (My personal favorite is "The 81.") But we certainly knew the Mashed Potato. The biggest dance craze ever was the Twist, and the Mashed Potato came soon after that and got promoted as the next big dance right when people really cared about doing the new dance.


It sounds like you're channeling the Contours song Do you love me?
Well, I can mash potato (mash potato) do the twist (do the twist)
Tell Me Baby (tell me baby) do you like it like this (like it like this)/ Tell me. Tell me!

befinne said...

Kneading bread for that starchy deliciousness is the connection.

H said...

Wilson Pickett Land of 1000 Dances:

Got to know how to Pony
Like Bony Moronie
Mash Potato
Do The Alligator
Put your hand on your hips, yeah
Let your backbone slip
Do the Watusi
Like my little Lucy

jr565 said...

THen there's Sam Cooke. Having A party.

Everybody's swinging
Sally's doing that twist now
if you take request, I....
I got a few for you
play that song called Soul Twist
play that one called I Know
don't forget the Mashed Potatoes
no other songs will do

SukieTawdry said...

I was in college in 1966 and have absolutely no recollection of Dozy and his boyz or the song or the dance. Was it perhaps a local thing??

SukieTawdry said...

Want some gravy on your mashed potatoes?

Robin Eatmon said...

Never heard of this group or the song and I am a child of the 60's. It was a "mod" play on folk music and dances from eastern Europe. I liked it! Love the clothes, too.

wildswan said...

Bend it looks like macaroni which is starchy like mashed potatoes - a dance and a flavor no one knew about.

bozonomous said...

That;s the coolest thing ever

Roger Sweeny said...

Dee Dee Sharp's 'Mashed Potato Time" has a cool reference in it that it sounds a lot like "Please Mr. Postman." In fact, if that awful recent copyright case (that William's and Thicke's "Blurred Lines" infringed Marvin Gaye's "Got to Give It Up" because it had a similar feel) is followed, MPT would be found to have infringed PMP.

Roy Jacobsen said...

What's the point of a "new dance" if you need a special song t do it? The beauty of something like the Twist is that you can do it to so many different songs. How many songs could you do the Bend to? One?

Joe said...

There are always contemporary fads that will look tremendously stupid in the future. Some are obvious (bell bottoms were obvious to me) but others not so much. I often wonder what "cool" thing today will be ridiculed fifty years hence. (super-gauged earrings is probably one. Super thick glass frames another.)