Tuesday, May 22, 2012

The HeeBeeGeeBees (a musical parody band)

I came across web remnants of a great parody band of the early 80s. I used to play the two records they had over and over and thought they needed saving, in terms of an information archive.

The HeeBeeGeeBees comprised of Philip Pope, Angus Deayton and Michael Fention Stevens, on vocals, and various people on instruments.

The HeeBeeGeeBees had two albums, and released 4 singles.

Album 1 -

439 Golden Greats - Never Mind The Original's Here's The Hee Bee Gee Bees
(out on Original records/RCA LP TWITS101, POW-6022, 1981)

Tracks -

Meaningless Songs (The Hee Bee Gee Bees)
(Dancing) Up The Wall (Jack Michaelson)
Dead Cicada (The Beagles)
Quite Ahead Of My Time (David Bowwow)
You're My Son (Kenny Rogered)
Boring song (Status Quid)
Ah! (The Hee Bee Gee Bees)
Too Depressed To Commit Suicide (The Pee Cees)
Simple Song (Paul McCarthrob and Wangs)
Granma (St Winnalot's Reform School Choir)
Music Machine (Babba)
Oh Me! (Larry Pilsson)
Bird Of Peace (Neil Dung, Bob Vylan, The Bland, Frank Sumatra, Dean Martian, Leonard Crowing, George Harrassing)

Album 2 -

The Hee Bee Gee Bees Present - 20 Big No. 2's
(out on LP (Australia only) JB197, 1985)

Tracks -

Pretty Boys On Video (Drone Drone)
Kiss And Make Up (Couture Club)
Purple Pants (Ponce)
When Two Songs Sound The Same (Frankie Goes To the Bank)
Wherever I Lay (Paul Yuk)
Scatological Song (Supertrash)
Down Tools (Men Relaxing)
Dancelot (Poxy Music) / Toyland
Rhapsody (Queer)
Gary Clitter Is Back (Gary Clitter)
RADIO SPOT # 1 (0:38")
Get 'Em Off, Irene (Sexist Midnight Runners)
RADIO SPOT # 2 (0:24")
I Don't Want Your Baby (Human Leak)
RADIO SPOT # 3 (0:21")
Me! (The Kids From Shame)
RADIO SPOT # 4 (0:18")
Bored In The USA (Bruce Springbok)
RADIO SPOT # 5 (0:08")
Song Without A Tune (Billy Idiot)
RADIO SPOT # 6 (0:37")
Curdled Milk And Boot Polish
(Paul McCarthrob And Stevie Blunder)
RADIO SPOT # 7 (0:57")
Are Trains Electric? (Gary Inhuman)
RADIO SPOT # 8 (0:25")
Out Of Proportion (Jack Michaelson)
RADIO SPOT # 9 (0:34")
A Don't Wanna Smoke Anymore Dope (Eddy Grunt)
RADIO SPOT # 10 (0:27")
Lies (Spamdown Belly)
RADIO SPOT # 11 (0:15")
We Can't Have Hits Of Our Own Anymore (Stars Over 45: Kenny Rogered, Dolly Hardon, Julio Insidias, Bob Vylan, Frank Sumatra, Paul McCarthrob, John Denture, Jack Michaelson and The HeeBeeGeeBees)
RADIO SPOT # 12 (0:13")

Credits for the first album -

Credits for the second album -

Produced by Phillip Pope and Angus Deayton.
Recorded and mixed at Silo Studios by Gwyn Mathias.
Lyrics: Angus Deaton and Richard Curtis
Music composed and arranged: Phillip Pope. Additional compositions by Steve Brown.
Vocals: HeeBeeGeeBees: Philip Pope, Michael Fenton Stevens and Angus Deayton.
Female voices: Stephanie DeSykes, Miranda Picton.
Radio voices (in order of appearance): Geoffrey Perkins, Jan Ravens, Richard Curtis, HeeBeeGeeBees
Radio spots written by: Angus Deayton, Geoffrey Perkins, Jon Canter and Richard Curtis
Musicians: Dave Early (drums), Steve Shone (Bass), Sean Lyons + Les Davidson + Richard Brunton (Guitars), Damon Butcher (Synths), Richard Pope (Keyboards), Phil Todd (Sax and Flute), Steve Rance (Fairlight).
Project Co-ordinator: Martin Bergman.
Original sound recording (P) 1985 J & B Records Pty. Ltd. All rights reserved.

Some pictures below show the different cassette releases of the first album -

There was apparently a limited run (UK only) where the first album (cat # TWITS01) actually came with a bonus TWIT$ magazine. Photo below -

Up until 2011, the original albums have not been re-released. They are now legally available again, in a double-cd release and via iTunes - see bottom of page for ordering information.

Singles -

Meaningless Songs / Posing In the Moonlight
(out on Original Records/ R.C.A. single ABO2, 1980, and 7 Records MS-475 in Australia, 1980)


Too Depressed To Commit Suicide (The PeeCees)/ Up the Wall (Jack Michaelson) + Meaningless Songs (HeeBeeGeeBees)
(out on Original Records / R.C.A. single HGBG 1, 1981)

Boring Song (Status Quid)/ Dead Cicada (The Beagles)
(out on Original Records / R.C.A. single HGBG 2, 1981)

When Two Songs (sound the same) (Frankie Goes To The Bank) / Purple Pants (Ponce)
(out on 10 Records single TEN61, 1989)

I also came across this amazing and rare promo piece for the Ponce release, as below -

Tours -

The band toured Australia and certainly played on various talk shows around the world, particularly UK and Europe. A set-list from Tweed Heads, QLD in 1982 and a poster wall from Sydney. As a band, they were by a long shot the most popular in Australia.

(1981 Uni Rag Ball)

Press clippings - 

Audio -

Here's the ultra-rare BBC Radio 2 broadcast from December 1981 of the audio mockumentary 'The HeeBeeGeeBee Story'. I converted it from the original recordings and created the slide-show -

Videos -

Few and far between - links appreciated please!

Boring Song (live lyrics), appearing on The Don Lane Show, 1981 -

Meaningless Songs (live lyrics) -

Angus Deayton on 'That's Show Business' with a short from 'Too Depressed to Commit Suicide'

Michael Fenton Smith's HeeBeeGeeBees website -

An interesting 'origins' interview of Angus Deayton, on the formation of HeeBeeGeeBees, taken from various sources -


You can purchase the 2 LPs on a 2-CD set, from Possum Records in Australia, for a small sum of cash (currently AUS$12.95. Free postage within Australia. Worldwide postage seems to be AUS$4.

I received this cd. It's pretty good, likely the best you'll be able to get. No radio spots on the second album, but you can't have everything!

This double album is also available on iTunes!

Lyrics for the entire first album are in the 2nd 'MESS' graphic in the album section above. (Lyrics appreciated for the 2nd album if anyone has them. I do not remember any being included with my LP back in the day.

There is a lyrics site which has many if not all of the lyrics, although I've noticed a few errors -

Some interesting promotional photos were taken by Howard Grey, in 1980. These are all compiled at his site -

I discovered that the band re-formed in 2012 for a one-off performance of Meaningless Song (in very high voices) for the Douglas Adams: The Party, a virtual 60th birthday party at the Hammersmith Apollo, on March 11, 2012. It was apparently, and surprisingly to some, well received!

Credit goes to Michael Fenton Stevens for supplying (by way of his website) several graphics (namely the Tweed Heads schedule, Sydney poster, much of the discography information, and a couple of B&W photos of the band). In the main, photos of vinyl and picture sleeve were taken from public domain discography sites, spread across the world, and even eBay!

If anyone has content to add, please make a comment on the 80sdreamer blog. Thanks!