A Musical Performance by Tony De Meur of the Fabulous Poodles
Observatory (543 Union St., Brooklyn)
Inspired by Migration, the year-long exhibition at Proteus Gowanus, music writer John Swenson suggested we do a series about British rockers who come to America seeking fame and fortune. John knows quite a few, and the first on his list is Tony De Meur!
“Think Pink”: Comedian Ronnie Golden, aka Tony De Meur of the Fabulous Poodles, relives the golden days of 80s post-punk and New Wave. De Meur has agreed to do an exclusive presentation at the Observatory while in New York for the opening of his latest project, “The City Club,” a musical at the Minetta Lane Theater in Greenwich Vilage. The self -described “Swiss Army Knife of Entertainment” and writer of such memorable hits as “Mirror Star,” “Think Pink” and “Stompin’ On the Cat” will reprise his career as rock songwriter, TV star (”The Young Ones”) and Edinburgh Fringe performer. John Swenson will MC and will sign copies of his latest book, New Atlantis.
BIO: “Ronnie Golden” is the alias of Tony DeMeur whose musical career began at age ten with his crooning “No Other Love Have I” to Akela in the Turkey Street Cubs’ hut. Nine years later and he’s touring round Britain in “The Corsairs” with his old school chums, opening shows for Tom Jones, Englebert Humperdinck and Scott Walker. Hair was dutifully grown and an altogether more experimental concept was born – “Ugly Room” – playing ‘pig-stabbing music’ opening onetime for debut of “David Bowie’s Hype” after recommendation from wife-to-be Angie.
Such childish things were put aside for a couple of years while he worked at the Tate Gallery and then “Daddy Stovepipe” was his next incarnation, warbling ancient blues songs and music hall ditties in cheap suits and strumming a ukulele. Then South London theatre-based twenty-strong aggregation “Silly Balls” asked him to join and he was soon working alongside mime genius Lindsey Kemp dressed up in a foam rubber garden wall declaiming “Some Enchanted Evening.” It was a living (actually it wasn’t with twenty other fuckers on the payroll!)
After this period of certifiable madness Bob Suffolk invited him to become a “Fabulous Poodle” and his world shifted on its axis. Almost imperceptibly. From cult status in the UK to Top Forty in the U.S. supporting Tom Petty, Sha Na Na and The Ramones all across that demented continent. Three albums and then came the predictable rock’n’roll hari kari.
A short period of rampant paranoia ensued, followed by a new identity and – voila! – “Ronnie Golden” was born.
Invited to Soho’s ‘Comic Strip’ one rainy midweek evening in 1981 he was blown away by Alexei Sayle, Rik Mayall, Nigel Planer et al and one week later was on the show alongside a very raw but hilarious Dawn French and Jennifer Saunders and the world premiere of twenty-one year old Ben Elton. An appearence in BBC 2’s “The Young Ones” followed and then a whole bunch of other comedy shows including “Saturday Night Live” and “Stomping on the Cat” (named after one of Ronnie’s more sensitive tunes.)