1985-05-04 - BBC (UK) - The Saturday Picture Show
Alan wrote an anecdote about this in his Q&A: http://oldsite.recoil.co.uk/forum/qa/ppers3.htm
Question: So I was visiting Richard Berry's Recoil website and I saw these pictures of you from way back. It looks like you've got some kind of beard thing on your face. What's up with that?http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xJC4Z6ufV1g
Alan: It was a wheeze I concocted with a specific purpose in mind. And I have to say, it worked a treat. My David Bellamy-inspired appearance was designed so that it would also be my last on British Saturday morning kids TV (which I detested). Neil Ferris, DM's plugger at the time, would insist that I regularly pair up with one other band member to turf up at the BBC at the crack of dawn only to be surrounded by a gaggle of 8 year-olds while being patronised by Mike Read or some such twat. Many heated discussions occurred around this time about the wisdom of such prostitution (Smash Hits was another example) but I was always persuaded that, after watching the show, the girlies were bound to rush down to their local record shops in droves, dribbling for our latest single. When I spotted the false beard in the BBC make-up room, I seized my opportunity to get my own back on Neil and was never asked to make another appearance. Result.
[I made a transcript:]
Interviewer: ...This video, with Shake The Disease, and, in the control room, there's Martin Gore from Depeche, and eh, well, who is this character, do you know what I mean? David Bellamy? Who is it?
Alan: [Does a David Bellamy impression] Well, I've got some crazy crawling crabs-
Interviewer: [Also does a David Bellamy impression] -around here. Alan, Wilding [sic], and Martin-
Martin: -I'd like to point out to the lads and everyone we know out there: I tried to talk him out of this.
Interviewer: But he's been in make-up and he's been having a little room to round -haven't you?- a joke.
Alan: Whatcha mean?
Interviewer: Well, yeah, absolutely. Well, listen, how long have you two known each other? About?
Alan: Ohh... 4 years? 3 years. 3,5 years, something like that.
Interviewer: So you went to school together?
Interviewer: But you see a lot of each other, I mean, you're constantly touring, constantly play together? Do you ever get sick of each other? Do you ever sort of start having rows?
Alan: No, we're not too bad, I mean-
Martin: -Only Fletch, Fletch gets on our nerves a lot.
Alan: Obviously, yeah.
Alan: He's a very irritating person.
Alan: No, we get on reasonably well, most of the time. Obviously when you've been on tour, in each other's pockets for a month or so, then it's, eh...
Interviewer: What do you argue about, though, I mean, what sort of thing tends to get you all going?
Alan: Totally stupid things, yeah, nothing important. All the important things we totally agree on, and all the stupid things we argue about, don't we?
Interviewer: Yeah. You should know better. "No, we don't argue!" Now, we went to Lightwater Valley last week, a mighty film by Ireland Motion Picture in Overton Lightwater Valley, and incidentally, it's a wonderful place to go, go and have a look at the military P unit that we showed earlier on. There are loads of attractions, of course. We met some Depeche Mode fans, and appart from wanting to ask you loads of questions, they were also brave enough to have a go on the incredible Hellslide!
Interviewer: It is incredible! The top of it is absolutely awful. Carol said to you, "Would you have come down the Hellslide?" Well, would you have come down the Hellslide, Martin?
Interviewer: In a word. Have you ever sort of been down? What are you like on dippers and rollercoasters and things?
Martin: Pretty good.
Interviewer: Pretty good? Nothing bothers you?
Martin: Not really.
Interviewer: What about these big dippers that go upside down? Would you fancy anything like that?
Martin: I think I've been on one before, yeah.
Interviewer: Yeah. That is the worst. Just sort of sat on top and plunging off. What about you Alan, are you fairly brave on these things?
Alan: Eh, no, not really, don't like them very much.
Interviewer: Okay. Graham asks, first of all -he was the one with the dirty yellow socks, by the way- he said "What's your other favourite popgroup?" Martin?
Martin: I think my favourite popgroup of all time is Sparks.
Interviewer: Sparks, why?
Martin: Not so much now, but their early stuff, their three albums or so, are really, really good.
Interviewer: "This town ain't big enough for the both of us..."
Martin: Well that stuff, yeah.
Interviewer: We never hear much of them, now, do we?
Martin: No, I think they've got some new stuff coming out now?
Interviewer: Really? So they're still around? What about you, Alan? Your favourite popgroup? Apart from Depeche Mode?
Alan: Ehm, ZZ Top.
Interviewer: ZZ Top, why?
Alan: Well, they're just... They're just the band, you know?
Martin: The image, the image.
Alan: Image, everything.
Interviewer: Image. Talking about image, look at the beard! I mean, just look at it, it's wonderful!
Alan: What, don't you like it?
Interviewer: I think it's great! I think it's about time you had a shave.
Alan: It's different.
Interviewer: [laughs] Anna then came down, she was the one with the Who sweater on, she said "What's you most embarrassing moment ever?" Ever ever? Martin?
Martin: [sighs] I haven't got one that actually stands out as being most embarrassing, they're all sort of equally embarrassing, and it's usually after I've had, you know, sort of a bit too much to drink. But, they're all about the same.
Interviewer: Anything that you can tell us? Anything that you can tell us?
Martin: Not really, not now.
Interviewer: Tell me later, tell me later! Alan?
Alan: Yeah, nothing that can be revealed on television, I'm sorry about that?
Interviewer: No problems on stage? I mean, like forgetting the songs, or...?
Martin: That's all on tape.
Interviewer: Oh, well yes! I mean, I was gonna say that actually, but eh...!
Alan: That's pretty embarrassing!... No, ehm, Fletch had a quite embarrassing moment. He broke his arm on the last tour, fell out of the bath... Or was it that, Fletch? I can't remember, something like that... No, he told us enough times, that's what it was.
Interviewer: You've heard the news about Spandau Ballet, of course, about Steve Norman? Doing his bit. I mean, that must be a very embarrassing thing to happen, because he apparently slid along the floor...
Alan: Well he's out of action, isn't he?
Interviewer: And he's completely out of action. He was sliding along the floor doing a sort of kneeslide, and he has wrecked his knees, so... Get well soon, Steve. Apparently they're at the end of their tour, so it's not too bad. Now the girl in the red and black checkers shirt, she came next, and she said "Who inspired you to start playing?" Who inspired you to start playing?
Martin: Gary Glitter.
Interviewer: Gary Glitter? Really? Why? Because, you were obviously quite young when you...
Martin: I just sort of really liked his songs and his image, you know. I was taken away by his image. The big eyes.
Interviewer: But it's a completely different image, I mean, you haven't got anything like that kind of image, have you? Not that very upfront, sort of image.
Martin: No. Well I don't mean I sort of want to copy him or bits, or be like that, but I was taken in by it at the time. I was about 12.
Interviewer: Yeah. He's a great performer, isn't he? Wonderful performer, and he's still around, which is great. Alan?
Alan: Ehm, I might go slightly before that glamrock period, you know... No, I think the Beatles, I would have to say them, really.
Interviewer: Yeah, Beatles. Now, how did Depeche actually get together? Tell us the story of Depeche.
Alan: Go on, Martin, you know the history.
Interviewer: Go on, Martin, you tell us.
Martin: Alright, well, we sort of got together about five years ago, and originally it was just me, Andy and Vince - Vince Clarke, who went on to form Yazoo. Then we sort of got Dave in as the singer. Started playing around locally and thing, it just... I knew Andy from school, Vince lived out my back, and Dave just lived over the other side of town, so we all sort of knew each other, roughly.
Interviewer: So what sort of places did you play? Did you actually get to play at school at all?
Martin: We did actually play at my and Andy's school, just a sort of youth club or something. We did play another youth club in Basildon, they were sort of the first two concerts that we did.
Interviewer: Do you ever go back and pay a visit to home and play, or not?
Martin: Ehm, no. It's too difficult these days, you know, getting it all together, getting the whole show together.
Interviewer: Yeah. You're so busy folks! It's wonderful. Now it's competition time again, hang around, we'll be hearing more from Martin, because they are coming down. You've had twelve charts singles, hits, but you never had a number one, haven't you?
Interviewer: Why do you think you've never had a number one?
Marin: [sighs deeply]
Alan: Well, it's a very difficult question to answer to that, we just keep trying our best, and it's not vital to us to have a number one, anyway. Although it would be nice, of course, but...
Interviewer: What kind of difference does it make, though? I mean, is it enough for a band just to very well like you have done very well, or, really, is getting a number one very important? In terms of, obviously financially, and carrying on working afterwards.
Martin It's nice to carry on at this level. If we can carry on at this level for the next however much time, we would be happy. We're enjoying what we're doing, so...
Interviewer: Because with all the competition around, you're still there, which is great. I remember when you first played on Get Set For Summer, it was somewhere in this very studio! What was that, four years ago?
Martin: Something like that.
Interviewer: Four years ago. Right then, we go back to Lightwater Valley, to the questions that are asking questions coming down the Hellslide, and Mark asks, "If you hadn't taken pop music as your career, what would you have been?" What do you think you would have been, Martin?
Martin: Well, when I left school, I worked in a bank for a year, so just getting some money together, and if it hadn't taken off, I would still have been there, you know.
Interviewer: You must have been quite bright, because, you know, you can't just walk into a bank and get a job, you must have done quite well at school?
Martin: Reasonably well. But I think it's not that difficult to get a job in a bank, I don't think.
Interviewer: You got, what, five O-levels, or something?
Martin: Possibly, yeah.
Interviewer: Well that's not bad. That's more than I got! What did you get, tell us a bit about how you did at school.
Martin: I did quite well, I stayed until I was 18, I did 2 A-levels.
Interviewer: So he was bright, you see, he was very bright, he's just being modest about it. Alan? What about you, what would you have done?
Alan: Well, when I left school, I worked in a studio recording for a while, and I probably would... I mean, I would have been involved in the music business in some direction or other, I think, because it was the only thing I was ever really interested in. So maybe I would have still been there.
Interviewer: But did you ever visualise then that you would be performing, instead of just sort of working behind the scenes?
Alan: Well yeah, I wanted to, yeah. That's got how I got involved in a band, because I always wanted to be in a band.
Interviewer: Yeah? Right, wonderful.
Martin: And, I think we've got some videos to give away today, and our question is, very simple: Where was it recorded? It's so simple, it's on the cover, but I've got to cover it up.
Interviewer: ... So many names, I'm just... What are you doing this weekend? what are you off to?
Alan: Well, Martin is flying back to Berlin, aren't you Martin?
Martin: I'll be in Berlin, probably.
Alan: He always pops over there.
Interviewer: You're based in Berlin?
Martin: That's right, yes.
Interviewer: Are you very well-known in Germany?
Martin: Quite well-known, yeah.
Interviewer: Yeah? As well-known as over here, probably more, I think?
Martin: Probably a bit more, yeah.
Interviewer: Great. Well, thanks to you both for coming in. It must've been very early. And thanks for having a shave during the programme, we appreciate that.
Alan: That's alright, yeah.
Interviewer: Right, now then, back to our Postcode competition, and question number five. Okay, here we go:-