SHOCK–THE GAME ARE BACK!
Scandal-hit sixties band The Game are back after a long stretch in the wilderness. The group which rocked the pop programme Juke Box Jury with their debut record The Addicted Man has come back nearly 30 years later with a follow-up. It’s Shocking What They Call Me. The rumpus surrounding The Addicted Man’s supposedly drug-related lyrics wrecked The Game’s career almost before it had begun.
Original band member and writer Alan Gowing says although the band split up fans continued to play the record and it achieved cult status at Mod meetings.
He says: “We had the sort of heavy style which The Who aspired to and which Mods love. After we split all sorts of rumours went round about what had happened to us all and that fuelled our cult following. The recent interest in us started my co-writer Lesley Blake off trying to trace all the original band members.”
Rumours that one of the band was in prison, another had become a recluse and a third had gone abroad turned out to be false and Lesley discovered that all this time The Game had been living in Mitcham and Morden.
Alan says: “It was quite a shock to realise we”d all been living within a few miles of each other. It’s been great though getting us all together again to record.”
Unsurprisingly Alan is still a little bitter about the whole drugs controversy: “A lot of the scandal was pure hypocrisy. We were just made an example of. The panellists on the programme, Jimmy Savile, Alan Freeman, Pete Murray and Simon Dee said they thought The Addicted Man was pro-drugs. Yet Jimmy Savile has since told us he tried to persuade the others that they were misinterpreting the lyrics. The BBC banned the record and the chairman of EMI, who was also a member of the House of Lords, withdrew it from sale.
“The ironic thing is you hear loads of records released these days with blatant drugs references and nobody raises an eyebrow!”
Source: The Stage – Thursday 13 July 1995 from the British Newspaper Archive (subscription required)