YOU GIVE ME THE CREEPERS | TBAMFW # 9.1 | BROTHEL CREEPERS

Heartened by this, Watson had started planning the raid. With his usual blend of wit and acumen, he chose to call it Operation Creeper.

'Brothel creepers, you see, John.'

'Yes sir,' Rebus answered. 'I used to own a pair myself. I've often wondered how they got the name.'

Watson shrugged. He was not a man to be sidetracked. 'Never mind the creepers,' he said. 'Let's just get the creeps.' 
Ian Rankin
From: Strip Jack (An Inspector Rebus novel - Orion, 1992)


Broken Bottles
Harbor Lane Homes 7" (No Front Teeth Records, 2007)
Photograph by Julia Smut


British tolerance for unorthodox battle dress also found free rein along the Gustav Line, where the finery included leather jerkins with extra sandbags and slathered with mud for insulation, soft-soled desert boots known as brothel creepers, and a sergeant major's hand muff sewn from a panther skin.
Rick Atkinson
From: The Day of Battle - The War in Sicily and Italy, 1943-1944 (Henry Holt & Co., 2007)



Kevin Coyne
Matching Head And Feet (Virgin, 1975)
Painting by Ray Smith


They (the Teddy boys) wore striped socks or brightly coloured socks; they wore what became known as brothel creepers. 
These were very comfortable, I know because as soon as I was able, I bought myself a pair, many of the Teddy boys also wore Cuban heeled shoes, as did I in the first instance. 
Brothel creepers were not what you might see people wearing today, today's creepers are nothing like the original ones, the ones you see today, are remnants of the days of punk rock and not remnants of the 50's and 60's real creepers at all. 
P.S. Kavanagh
PHIL: A True Life Story - Life As A Boy (Author House Uk, 2016)



Showaddywaddy
Crepes & Drapes (Arista, 1979)
Sleeve design by Bob Searles

The attraction with Let It Rock was they sold brothel creepers that you couldn't get anywhere else. They had a jukebox in the corner which had quite good stuff on it. They basically sold drapes and brothel creepers, and the selection on the other side was all rubber gear and bondage stuff, and T-shirts with mad things on … 
Gene October (Chelsea vocalist)
From: Punk rock: An Oral History by John Robb (Ebury Press, 2006)


Misguided
Hometown Zeros (Baseline Music Co., 2006)

'Dad. Dad, Daddity, Dad,' I sighted. I put an arm around his shoulder. 'The world you knew is changing, old fella. It's our turn now. We are the punks. This new punk world is going to be good, and because you're a decent bloke, you have nothing to fear. Granted, some fascists, like, erm, math teachers, will be put against a wall and shot. 
But on the whole we punks just want the world to be full of creative expression. The world will be good and we'll all be wearing leather jackets and brothel creepers.' 
Tim Bradford
Small Town England - And How I Survived It (Ebury Press, 2010)



River City Rebels
Playing To Live, Living To Play (Victory, 2001)

The Restless
S/T (Mercury, 1984)
Cover photograph: Nancy Payne

Various Artists
Don't You Step On My Blue Suede Shoes (Charly Records, 1979)
Illustration: Bob Norrington

Wax
What Else Can We Do (Caroline, 1992)
Cover photograph: Lisa Johnson



(Photographer) Nigel Waymouth posed Nick (Drake) in a Georgian stick-back chair, reputed to have once belonged to Charles Dickens, with a Guild M20 guitar. 
In front of Nick he put a pair of blue suede brothel creepers. ‘It’s awful,’ says (photographer) Keith Morris, ‘the whole thing says “loser”.’ Nick’s portrait is set in a deep pink oval and surrounded by the most lurid violet of the sort used by cheap compilation albums. It was quite out of character with the music contained and must rank as one of the least appropriate sleeve designs in rock and pop history. 
Trevor Dunn
Darker Than The Deepest Sea. The Search For Nick Drake.
Da Capo Press, 2006


1970 | Nick Drake | Bryter Layter
Photograph: Nigel Waymouth
Island



The Other Brothel Creepers

His (my father) time in Amsterdam was particularly bitter. He had joined the Foreign Office to help shape Britain's international strategy, so he had said, but in Amsterdam he had to help tourists - tourists who had lost their wallets and passports in the red light district. Anyone who lost his wallet to a thief in Amsterdam was either with, or going to, a prostitute, according to my father. Brothel creepers he called them.

Every Englishman in Amsterdam, except himself, was either a brothel creeper or set on becoming a brothel creeper. And my father hated brothel creepers because brothel creepers kept him from his true work - shaping Britain's international strategy. 
Howard Colyer
From: Oldshaw (Lulu, 2012)


MORE BROTHEL CREEPERS WITH THE SHOWADDYWADDY

SHOES & MUSIC



Showaddywaddy
Crepes & Drapes (Arista, 1979)
Design by Bob Searles




FOOTNOTES

"Harbor Lane Homes" is the last single by Broken Bottles, the best Golden Boys from OC of the last twenty years, and it's probably an understatement. The band broke up due to the sudden death of the great-great-great vocalist/guitarist Jesse - Jess the mess - Rich back in 2010.

"Matching Head And Feet" is the 1975 album of cult blues/rock singer-songwriter Kevin Coyne. Probably not his best, nonetheless a very decent effort especially the opening track, a rock-blues-funk gem called "Saviour".

The Restless are a power-pop band from Buffalo, NY not to be confused with London's Restless (rockabilly) or Switzerland's Restless (pub-rock/power-pop) and the countless other Restless around the globe.

"Don't You Step On My Blue Suede Shoes" is a collection of rock&roll giants (Jerry Lee Lewis, Johnny Cash, Carl Perkins, Roy Orbison…): well known tracks taken from the SUN catalog and released by Charly Records.

The rest is decent street-punk (River City Rebels, Misguided) and melodic hardcore (Wax). And of course, the Showaddywaddy are a fun band to listen to.


Finally, there's Nick Drake:
By the time the Volkswagen commercial with ‘Pink Moon’ arrived on American television in the late ’90s, there was an established Nick Drake cult, the records were selling tens of thousands a year and Nick’s was a fashionable name for young singers to drop when asked to cite their influences.

Is Nick’s music, as critics often state, ‘timeless’? Or has it been liberated from its period by failing to connect with audiences when it was released? Nick’s music was never a soundtrack for their parents’ memories, so modern audiences are free to make it their own.
(Nick Drake's producer) Joe Boyd
From: White Bicycles. Making Music In The 1960s (Serpent's tail, 20069

 

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