Kicking off a bit of a musical theme this week, Dan nominated GOOD VIBRATIONS (2012). The movie is based on the life of Terri Hooley, a record-store owner instrumental in developing Belfast's punk rock scene.
The film has an excellent soundtrack, which I guess you'd expect given the subject material! David Holmes also co-wrote the soundtrack score, and I'm sure we're waxed lyrical about him in the past.
A bit of background, Dan and Sidey are both vinyl nerds, so don't expect an impartial insight on this film!
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Until next time, we remain...
Sidey: Dan, you like a biopic. Love it. And this is one.
Dan: Yeah. Well, you know me, I'm attracted to these kind of stories, whether it be sports or music. This one's music, and it's the story of Terry Huley, who ends up starting a record label called . Yeah. It's a record label, isn't it?
It's a record shop first, then it's a record label called Good Vibrations in the seventies, in, in Ireland,
Sidey: is also the name of the movie.
Dan: Northern Ireland. Yeah, also the name of that and the B, so it's not to be confused with the Beach Boys, which
Sidey: no, also a band also. Yeah. Some strong music there. I was aware of quite a few of these bands, but not really about him or his influence behind the scenes. So this was a new story really. Let's get into it.
Dan: Yeah. Okay. So it starts out I think the first scene is when he is a little boy, just there's a,
Sidey: a, there's a
Dan: Who's just laid back in the garden. It's a lovely sunny day and he's listening to like a portable record player and some vinyl on it.
And he's just kind of minding his own
It's like some old school
Dan: E. Exactly. Yeah. It's like this white cowboy appears next to him and. And then some other kids. And there's a narration going on about how he always loved music and, you know, th this was his happy place and he was always a little bit different.
And one of the things that made him a little bit different was his eye. And he got this from a these kids on this day where it opens, starts coming out. They're about 10, 11 or
Sidey: Yeah. I didn't know whether they were this was the sort of introduction to like
Dan: I think he was, yeah, because
Sidey: he was just from the,
Dan: well, his dad was a socialist or he was,
Sidey: they're calling him a communist, aren't they? I'm not a communist. I'm a
Dan: That's right. And he goes, it's, it is different. And he starts explaining how and everything and these other little kind of terror, he's just shouting, abuse. And one of them's got like a homemade bow and arrow and you. The kind of camera follows this sharp stick arrow going straight into Terry Young Terry's eye.
And and then there's little montage of him going in and outta doctors and, and having a, a glass eye. And, and then it kind of fast forward Yeah.
Sidey: Yeah, we're right into the thick of the troubles which always seemed to me to be a, a, a word that really Underplayed.
Dan: Yeah. And, and he says that in, in the in the narration of everything.
He's just setting the. What a crazy time. It really was. It was dangerous out on the streets. Any kinds of music and nightlife and things was, was really dangerous to be out
Sidey: His even makes the point cuz some of his mates, you know, they're Catholic or Protestant and he's not, he's the other and, and so he is now, he's like, look at them. They look at me, they're ready to fucking go at me. You know, these are my friends.
Dan: That's it. People from school and, and
Sidey: all different now. Yeah, everything's changed, but he's certainly cut from a different cloth cuz he is just not into all that.
He's really just all about his record collection. Listening to tunes and I suppose his next,
Dan: he does a little bit of DJing, doesn't he?
So it opens up in this this pub and he's DJing. And then the next, the next thing is like the bar manager comes over and throws down 10 quid and he goes, there, finish now. And he goes, why? He goes and it pans out to the, the rest of the, the room. And he goes, there's no one here. Like, you know, there's literally,
Sidey: What about her? And there's this one lady just dancing away on her.
she's looking might fine.
Dan: And it, yeah. And, and it just kind of goes into that kind of dream, you know, music's just for her and everything, and he ends up talking to her because there's no one else to and wooing her and it, it begins their relationship.
And, and, and soon after you see a little kind of photo of them getting married and things and
It's Dr who, isn't it JD Whitaker.
Yeah. And yeah, she's looking great. And yeah, he says which I found quite amusing. He says, when you get with someone, you know, they've gotta be friends with your friends and you've gotta make friends with their friends.
He goes, but my friends are all dickheads. So they've basically gone and he's just becomes pally with andt. They even ha share a house, don't they?
His, his wife's friend and her husband, and her husband is the kind of really straight lace. Very proper. And he becomes
Dan: The accountant kind of books guy, but also does the marketing and things.
Any, anything that requires a little bit of structure and, and process he's gonna have to take over. Whereas as Terry is very much the ideas man.
Sidey: Well, yeah, as the film goes on, it becomes very clear that he's all about the music, but not a lot else. You know, he's not thinking about long-term plans or, you know,
Dan: he, he's thinking about not just the music, but it's about the, the community,
Sidey: The, yeah.
Dan: That's where he puts all his
Sidey: he's not, he's not, you know. Thinking about pounds and pence and balancing the books and all that sort of stuff. It's just like, I like that band. Great. Oh, let's make something happen for them.
Dan: So, so, is, mate, maybe alarm bells were, were ringing in real life, but in, in this, you don't see that and they end up going into partnership, opening up a, a record store, and they choose the, the, the Great Victoria, great Victoria Street, which is the.
Bond out place.
Sidey: The the most bombed out the, sorry, the most bombed half mile stretch in Europe at that time.
Sidey: and then bank manager's like, and you want to open a, you
Dan: we can't believe it.
Sidey: Bank manager, you want us to back you to
Dan: you wanna open
Sidey: something. His his wife Ruth has got a job as a tru officer. and she puts down some money on the table and it just takes 40 quid to the bank manager to put down as like some, you know, some collateral or something.
And he and his bank was like, anything more substantial,
Dan: what? Like a house. And then it cuts to them opening up a opening up the, this record store. And there's this one other guy. There's like the whole part of the friends and everything, they've all put in the, in the work to get there and celebrate.
And one guy goes, you, you open? And he goes, well, yeah. And you see him. He's pugwash, I think his name is, and you see him throughout the rest of the film. He just becomes like the. The guy in the store. Yeah. Got his own mug. Start flipping through the records and everything. It's lovely that isn't it, when you go to a record store and you're just flicking through the records, just getting all the time in the world, just.
Sidey: yeah, spending too much money. But that's not necessarily what's going on in this store cuz the business is pretty slow every time it cuts to the shop, it's just him leaning on the counter and smoking a cigarette. Yeah.
With maybe one or two guys flicking through, but not a lot of transactions for this one
Dan: pound for that one.
Sidey: some young lad comes up to. The tilt and he asks for something about the buzzcocks and something
Dan: And he, he's dressed in like a school blaze. He's got that
Sidey: of safety pins through it.
And he's sort really sweary. And Terry's looking at him like, what the fuck? Because Terry at this point is he's a reggae man. He's really into reggae. Who thinks it's gonna really help the community If people, if everyone listened to reggae, it'd be sound Yeah. . And he mentions other stuff he like, Folk and country, but that's sadly not into the punk world at all.
At this point, it's just not on his radar. But he starts getting a bit of exposure through some of the people that come to the shop and some youngsters come in ask for this. Poster to be done, which his partner does, puts a few up in the shop and they go down to the venue.
Dan: Well, they, yeah, th this youngster's trying to promote his, his music night. So they put that down, go down to his venue and his mate's. Absolutely. Shit scared, isn't he?
Sidey: it's the R Center town.
Dan: It's the, it is the worst skid row. He is going down into town. It's at night. They wouldn't go down here in the day. And he's thinking, who the fuck is gonna be out in their right man, when they open the doors? Pumping
Sidey: jumping in there.
Dan: Just there's a, there's a live band on the stage and there's tons of people just milling around, dancing, and there's a big long stretch of bar and he settles in there and just, he's getting into the music.
The police rolling and he gets in a bit of a, they actually walk past him and they, they start on uh, a young girl next to him and says, ID and all the rest of it, and he.
Ooi, you know, what are you doing here? There is, there's fighting going on, there's bombs. Why are you, why are you messing with these
Sidey: Yeah. He want some ID of some kids. And with all that going on,
Dan: and it looks like he, he's gonna get picked on by the police and he is bit off, more than he can chew. And then the. The leader of the band kind of goes, we ate the police. Yeah, we ate the police, we ate the police, and everybody starts singing it and chanting it.
And the police feel intimidated enough to, to walk out. They have a great night,
Sidey: off with the tail between their legs
Dan: And a band comes on called Rudy which he is. He changes his life. He just says that is when he just.
He wasn't gonna do the same thing. He had to kind of, yeah. Do something with his music.
Sidey: you see him, it, the music just takes over and he sort of starts. Bouncing up and down a bit, and then he is just completely all in. He's absolutely loving it. And the team was fucking banging actually. And at the end of the gig, he hangs around and he meets the band and he says, well, you know, you gotta get that fucking recording.
You've gotta get that record out. And they're like, listen, no one does that round here. You know, we just play live. And we're happy with that, you know, that's enough for us. And he is like, bullshit. No fucking way. We've gotta get that recorded. I'll do it. I'll fucking
Dan: had a few,
Sidey: He just commits and his mate's like, well I dunno if you should be doing that when you're drunk, you know, committing to doing that.
He's like, ah, fuck it. You know? We'll just, we'll
Dan: we'll get it
Sidey: got it. He's just, he's just a doer.
Dan: Yeah. And he hasn't got anything. That's why his mates are making a perfectly valid reason why he's saying you're gonna do that because he's no press implant. He's no label.
He's no what is it? Not, not anything, but he manages to cobble it all together. They, they come out with a record and that then it tracks a couple more bands along the way. Yeah. And the outcasts is one, there's this like kind of a, a blonde denim punk rock look. And he really tries to support them.
And he's, you can see this might have gone on for a few months or something, a few weeks. And a another band then comes in and it's Fergal Sharky in the undertones.
Sidey: Yeah, they are. He says, no, he's, I, he's like, well, I don't think it's been a huge success, even though he loves it and he's a bit reluctant.
Dan: to my tape?
Do you listen to, you
Sidey: know, yeah, I think he's got, I think he might just have too much going on and, and he, and he's like, well, I'll get around to it.
And they chase him down the street basically. Photo shyer says, look, we're gonna break up if, if this doesn't happen.
Dan: And he's like, oh. And that's what I really liked about this scene because Terry's got heart and it comes through in his character.
And he's a flawed character, there's no question. But he's, he's got heart for, for things that that matter, like music. Like music matters to him. And when he hears of this band that he doesn't really know, it's gonna split up if they don't get a recording deal soon. He. Right. Okay, let's get him in there.
Sidey: I think just blindly, he just arranges for them because he's obviously not heard the song
Dan: N According, yeah. I dunno. A real life where he had, but he hadn't, he they weren't sure whether he'd heard it and he said, yeah, yeah, of course they have. It's okay. Like, you know, but when he takes it into the recording studio,
Sidey: They're behind the glass recording a number and it sound that, and that wasn. Teenage kicks and it's, that one sounded fucking great. I dunno what song that was. I need to find that out. But he says, you know, the, it doesn't really get a great vibe from the engineer in the studio, he says, and he says, oh, I'm sorry if you know if it's shy and it's wasted up.
And he says, no, no, this one's, you know, you need to hear this. And he gives him the earphones, headphones and he's like, this is the fucking best thing I've ever fucking recorded. And We don't get to hear it yet. He's
Dan: he's a really old hippie,
Dan: kind of, guy, the engineer. They've had a, a, a few scenes where he's been talking to him about getting a band, getting in for a bit more time. I'll do you a favor. What are you
Sidey: he's just always pointing at his watch. Like,
Dan: Yeah, cuz first of all, he was recording like commercials for cereals or something.
When he goes, is that what you got into this business for? And he, he, he pulls on the heartstrings. So, when he bought this guy teenage Kicks and and he says it's the best thing that he's ever heard,
Sidey: We still don't get to hear it. We just see his reaction is he's listening to it and we see the band looking at him through the glass. With this, he's got this daft grin on his face as he's just like, blown away by the song and he's just got his hands on the glass just going, oh,
like near orgasmic reaction to it.
He's just like, it's amazing.
Dan: They're like, why are you looking at us like that? And then it cuts to him being at home with, with his wife Ruth, and they're listening to the John Peel show and it's, it's kind of a couple of days later, I guess.
And he's, he's just managed to, to get the, the record after a trip over to London, going to lots of different,
Sidey: yeah. There's a scene that veers into a near train spotting territory with a, you know, a spuds job interview. Yeah. And he has a similar sort of experience with some class a's before going on the, doing his sales pitch for this record. That's, which doesn't work out too well. He smashes the, the guy's office up, but he does end up leaving.
The record was someone who, at the bbc, who says they will be able to get it to John Peel, and that's as good as he can basically do. So he comes home.
Dan: That's right. And he's, he's just on a hope and a prayer.
And he, he goes, he's been listening to the show and he go, oh, I'm going upstairs for a sh a shower. He's just, the, the, he's too anxious. He's, he's too nervous. He can't wait and be disappointed again. So he goes up for a shower, but Ruth's down there listening to it and she shouts up to him and says, it's on, it's on.
And he just gets down for the last bar. And then you. Kind of, you know, it's 19 78, 12 September, and John Peels just played teenage kicks on the radio one show. And then he said, I'll tell you what, you know, I've not done this for ages, but I think we ought to hear that again. And he rolls out again and
Sidey: And John P'S voice is great cuz you don't get that real enthusiasm. It's very like, you know, very, very OneNote John P when he's
Sidey: even, it's his favorite fucking record of all time.
Dan: it was the first time in the BBC's history, that record had been played twice in a row. So it was
Sidey: And there's a just basically a street party and everyone just turns up and they're all got their wireless and they're all jumping around in the street. It's great. And he, he, he does this sort of Christ poses.
There's a helicopter above. Cause they think, they probably think there's gonna be some trouble, but it's just people having a good time and he's just, Staring up at the, into the light, just like, it's just, you know, culmination of all his, everything he's been working on. And his, his message actually shouts out there's someone from C Records on the phone and they, they didn't wanna speak to you.
And he is like, if they wanna speak to me, cuz he's had to, he's had to do all the traveling to go all around. He's been in London, he's hated it. He's like, if they wanna speak to us, they can fucking come to Belfast . Yeah. It's just
Dan: and, and so it cuts to that scene where he makes the world's worst deal to sell, sell his la his signed label band. He sells it for 500, sells the undertones for 500 quid. And a signed copy of the Shangrila.
Sidey: Yeah. Which he never gets.
Dan: And as you say, his business acumen is terrible. Pretty much the whole way through this. It's not why he is why they've done a film on him. , you know, the reason is because he has. This sense of bringing the community together as well. So he's got all the, the outcasts, he's got people that haven't really fitted in.
He's got young people who already just, they're not bad, but they're just, there's so much shit going on. They don't know where to go, what to do. And they've got this friends and, and community. They're into the same music. Into the same
Yeah, he does get the receiving end of a beating. Early on in the film, he, he protected a couple of kids by, they were being chased and he lets 'em in the shop and tells the two skinheads that were chasing them basically to fuck off and they threaten him so we could have you fucking killed. and he's like, well I know the people you'd ask and they tell you to go to bed without any dinner, but you, you kind of get the feeling of that might come back to haunt you.
And these two do turn up in his shop and they give him a right good kick.
Dan: Well, they, well, they do have a, a scene early in the film where he's gone into the bar weld. Kind of different characters would meet. And he's tried to even it out and say, look, I'm opening up a record shop. I don't want any hassle.
I don't want you coming in asking me for protection money every two weeks, either. Like, you know, this is
Sidey: I fucking wouldn't have had it.
Dan: Yeah, yeah, exactly. There was nothing there to give. But fast forward all this time after the undertones have, have been signed and the, the deal's been done and a few other bands, and he's got the he's still got the record.
Label and he is still got the record company.
Sidey: Yeah. He's got a problem though. He's got a problem because he is enjoying the rock and roll lifestyle. Yeah. Like he's fucking Axl Rose. He is drinking way too much and he is basically all in on a kind of rock and roll lifestyle. But Ruth, his wife Tells him that she is with child.
Dan: and that don't, that
Sidey: two things don't mix really.
So they are going to have to make some significant lifestyle changes specifically. He will. And she's pretty like,
Dan: she's adamant,
Sidey: from this, from the GetGos. Like she
Dan: what she wants, you know?
Sidey: well, he's been absent. He's been fucking absent Yeah. For a long while. And she says, I'm not afraid to do this on my own.
So you need to fucking make sure you're around.
Dan: Well, he's he's in that
Sidey: does really.
Dan: He, he's in that scene and I think because he's such a leader of the scene and he's such a, an important part of it, he, he almost feels more indebted. To the friends than he does to his own family.
She can't get ahead around that. When she's just had the kid, he's not even there. He is been partying
Sidey: No, she's had to phone out while she's in labor. She phones the pub where they met and the guy's like,
Dan: no. Ah, just left
Sidey: here, but he's not here now. And in the end, it's, it's one of the guys from the Outkast, I think, who drives her to the hospital.
And Terry's not around till she's recovering after the birth. And so she says, all right, fuck off.
Dan: basically. And well even then he's, he's, he's kind of, he goes in there and he, she said, how long you been there? And he goes, about 10 minutes. And he's just been looking at her sleeping. He says something, oh, you know, you've gotta sleep when the baby sleeps.
Sidey: that's, that's what my mum said. Yeah.
Dan: And she's like, well, what you gonna do? And the, the band comes in, all his mates think, oh, cheer, you know, little babies there. Cheery, well junk. And she. What's going on? And the nurse is saying, look, these people can't be here. They burst in again, do it again. And she. Well, what you gonna do?
And he's Oh, I bet. Go. And rather than tell them to go, and I'm gonna chill here, he, he just says, see you later to her. So she knows that she's gonna have to do that alone.
And he's got then the problems with the record store, it's losing money.
Sidey: That his, his marriage has falling apart. And also it's actually before the birth we've had, he's had the bombshell that, you know, financially they're completely screwed and he's got the house down as collateral on the shop, so that's potentially gonna be lost. And he hadn't been forthcoming with that information to
Dan: more, more pressure on the marriage.
Sidey: yeah, it wasn't going great. And so, Culminates with he's gonna lose the shop, he's gonna lose everything. But his mate's like, well, why don't we do,
could come up with some kind of fundraising idea and we could put a show on and we could get the bands, you know, that you've done records for could play.
He's like, yeah, but if you've, you know, if you do that at the local venue, you'd have to charge a hundred pound a ticket just to, to get, he's like, I'm not thinking about that. I'm thinking about. Was it The Alster?
Dan: the ster Hall
Sidey: Yeah. This is great. It's like several thousand
Sidey: And they're like, that's crazy.
And it's like Field of Dreams moment. You know? It's like, you know, we put on the show, people will come
Dan: build it and they're saying, right, yeah, okay, we can get the strangler in and we can get this that bat. And he goes, Just the bands that have been signed by good vibrations. We'll get Rudy on, we'll get the outcasts, you know, and, and they, they get it on and they get it together and, and the night turns up because it's just
Sidey: but basically no one is ticketed, so there's no money
Dan: biggest guest list in the history of anywhere ever he said. Yeah. So, even though thousands of people do turn up, there's probably it's cost them something to put it on.
And Ruth, Ruth does show up to, to kind of congratulate him and, but he still just disappears up the stairs and kind of leaves her
Dan: Yeah, they have another moment, don't they? Where it is just like, is it that they're all calling you? They're all calling you Terry. And and he's
Sidey: kind of pauses, doesn't he? He doesn't know.
I think he feels, you know, , he's grown that scene and he's been so inr. If he doesn't do it, it'll
Dan: he's more of a father to Yeah, he feels like that. I think it's more of a father to the scene
Sidey: or wrongly. That's what he thinks. So they, they do have this great night and he gets up and he sings a song and then the film kind of ends with him mid, you know, shout and everyone's absolutely jumping and you get a little bit of description of exactly what's happened to the store or good vibrations in general after.
Closed in such and such year, reopened like a
Dan: a year. That was it. Yeah.
Sidey: and I think three or four times
Dan: Close in 84. Open again. 86. And yeah, it goes all the way through. Apparently now he presents a two hour radio program on his music in on Saturdays from 10 till two. So I, I think that must be on some Northern Irish radio station that we probably get it online.
And. But the good vibrations. Yeah. I think it closed in 2015 for the
Sidey: last, for the last time. Last time. Right. Okay.
Dan: but yeah, mark Kermode was a big fan of, of this film as well in 2013, saying it was his best film of, of
Sidey: two. Oh yeah. Okay.
Dan: Yeah. So, what do you think of it?
Sidey: I really enjoyed it. Yeah, I did really enjoy it.
I I've been over to that neck of the woods in the eighties and stuff with my mom. Cause that's, that's where my mom's from. And so some of the
Dan: the scenery
Sidey: I can't, I, I remember back in it being a bit dicey and, you know, having to like clear out of places maybe if there's a, a warning and all that sort of thing.
So yeah, it's weird.
Dan: I remember when I was a kid, actually, we used to in Manchester, it was like, there was similar feelings cuz it was trouble everywhere, you know?
And you, you get like all, you know, shopping centers closed, you can't go, you know, just that. And you only kids you don't
Sidey: I don't really appreciate the time, quite how serious it was.
But no, I really enjoyed it. The soundtrack is fucking great. It's some real, real good music. Some, even some David Bowie there rigs would've enjoyed that, played us out.
Dan: he? Yeah. So, yeah, I, I think good vibrations is, is still giving good vibrations.
Sidey: Yeah. It's a hit, it's a hit.