Martin Lampen's Bubblegum Machine

Speed Limit - Tommy Lam

Tommy Lam
No-hit-wonder shoots for the greatest rock 'n' roll song of all time. He's close but his career is buried by the rise of the Twist.

I know nothing at all about Tommy Lam, so I will hypothesise, role-play and fill in the gaps...

I am Tommy Lam. I record 3 songs and star in Z-grade rock 'n' roll exploitation film. I play an Island tour guide/speedway racer/singer/loving man. I sing 3 songs and pluck a soundless guitar in a soundstage club scene. I lumber amongst a plot about a beachfont protection racket, romance a pretty school teacher in a tight sweater and win a climactic drag race. My on-screen rebellious squint is the result of studio lighting melting pomade into my eyes.

I am strung out on green and yellow pills, I bleed 90% of my advance to a manager who continues to concentrate on his performing poodle acts. I quit the business and mouth off in bars about hiring goons to rough up Chubby Checker.

> Listen to this

Johnny Guitar - Peggy Lee

Peggy Lee croons the title tune to Nicholas Ray's Technicolor western.

The Western was a genre popular in the second half of the 20th Century where Men were cowboys, sheriffs or outlaws - stoic, barrel-chested, handy with their fists. Women were madams or virginal school marms and wore bustles, rouge and lobster-red lipstick - no mean feet in a clammy climate. Indians were inscrutable, waved rubber tomahawks and were played by oiled-up extras or Ricardo Montelban.

The Western has fallen out of favour in recent years, with cinema-goers preferring comedies where potential couples go through a series of embarrassing misunderstandings before 3 other things happen and there's a semi-serious bit, a skit where Jennifer Aniston gets locked out of her house in her knickers and a scene set at Christmas where the potential couple meet after a year apart and they're both carrying parcels and it ends.

I recently regretted buying the budget prequel 'Butch and Sundance: The Early Days' on DVD. I should have known it would be crappy; the solitary critic's quote on the cover called it a 'curio'.

> Listen to this
Peggy Lee
< Previous Next >
How much is too much?

Written and Illustrated by Martin Lampen

Also by the author...

"[Lampen is] the bastard child of Delia Smith and Mike Leigh... a writer of wit and warmth whose book is a joy." - The Times
Knickerbocker gloryyears
Buy it at:

© Martin Lampen 2011