Friday, January 25, 2008
Back to the 80's: Jimmy The Hoover
Where else but in the 80s could Sex Pistols Svengali Malcolm McLaren and Culture Club producer Steve Levine hook up with a group that featured a Zambian bassist?
That's the story of Jimmy The Hoover, a group that had its one and only hit in June 1983 with the infectious "Tantalise (Wo Wo Ee Yeh Yeh)," which hit No. 18 on the charts. Released on the small Innervision label (Wham was once the label's other act), the single was produced by Levine and the band was managed by McLaren, who also thought up the band's name.
Download "Tantalise (Wo Wo Ee Yeh Yeh)" by Jimmy the Hoover
Among the band's members was Flinto Chandia, a Zambian studying in London who met vocalist Derek Dunbar. Dunbar had briefly lived in Zambia while his father worked there. And while he was passionate about punk rock, he apparently didn't bat an eye when Chandia introduced the African sounds such as the box guitar into their jam sessions. Their first record was "Tantalise" and as it was shooting up the charts, Chandia was contacted by British authorities. Because he was a college student from a foreign country, he was not permitted to work in England. So they told him he had to go back to Zambia and apply for a work visa. It was initially refused – and that apparently was the last straw for the band, already rife with internal tensions.
Back in his native land, Chandia turned to sculpture. And apparently he's quite successful.
So there you go. Another story of rock 'n' roll heartache. But this time, it resulted in one of the most unique singles of the 80s. As always, enjoy.