Stand By Your Van- Library of Mu

Library of Mu record:
Title: Stand By Your Van
Date: 23 November, 1991
Journal: NME
Author: Terry Staunton
Type of resource: Articles
Status: original
No. views: 4014
Description: Tammy interview/video shoot feature

Stand By Your Van

By Terry Staunton (23 November, 1991, NME)

* Welcome to Mu Mu Land, where hooded figures drive ice-cream vans and nothing is quite like it is in Tennessee. Which is a welcome change for TAMMY WYNETTE, who's forsaken Nashville to bond with THE KLF on their Christmas monster-to-be 'Justified And Ancient(Stand By The JAMs)', a tribute to the song she's been singin' for 23 years. TERRY STAUNTON shares a 99 with the Queen Empress of Country Music.

What the f--- is going on ? Tribal warriors dance and chant, while hooded guitarists swing their axes to and fro.

A garish ice cream van weaves its way through the multitude, and, almost oblivious to the mayhem, Bill Drummond and Jimmy Cauty climb into a mini- submarine.

Seated majestically above all the chaos and confusion is a regal woman bedecked in bright, shining robes. On closer examination, she reveals herself to be The First Lady Of Country Music, Miss Tammy Wynette.

Repeat, what the f--- is going on ?

Welcome to Mu Mu Land. More commonly known as Pinewood Studios, this little corner of the struggling British movie industry is usually home for Q's spectacular gadgets in the 007 films. Tonight, however, it's The KLF who are exercising their licence to chill.

Miss Moneypenny is nowhere to be seen, and Tammy the Nashville legend is providing the female focal point. Jimmy and Bill have previously 'borrowed' the talents of Abba and Whitney Houston, but with Tammy they've got the real thing.

She's the first one to admit she hasn't a clue what's happening. Somewhat bemused by her surroundings, it's plain she's having a whale of a time, a refreshing change from the staid sets and graphics of Country music's very own MTV, the Nashville Network.

"The James Bond stage is pretty crazy at the best of times, but Bill and Jimmy seem to have brought half the world with them", she says. "No doubt it will all make sense when they're finished. Mu Mu Land looks a lot more interesting than Tennesse, but I wouldn't want to live there."

Not content with scaling the heights of the charts with 'It's Grim Up North' (the wittiest dance record ever), Drummond and Cauty have another single, 'Justified And Ancient (Stand By The JAMs)', in the shops on Monday. Bookmakers William Hill are already offering 16-1 odds on it being the Christmas Number One !

The original version appears on the album 'The White Room', with lead vocals by Black Steel, but the single has been radically re-worked to incorporate the distinctive fragility of Tammy's voice.

Although The KLF are keeping a low profile and have declined interviews to promote the record, it's clear that lifelong Country fan Drummond (he lists 'Ragged But Right', the biography of Tammy's ex, George Jones, as one of his favourite books) is as pleased as punch with the results.

Tammy's fairly chuffed too : " I really don't know why they chose me, there's dozens of people they could have gone for. I was a little apprehensive at first, but I'm really excited with the way it's all turned out."

After an initial meeting with Drummond, Tammy was convinced it was the song for her - although she admits that she thought the track was called 'Justified And Anxious' until the day Bill turned up in Nashville with the tapes under his arm.

" They called me up in Tennessee/They said 'Tammy, stand by the JAMs'. "

" It's the first time I've ever been on a rap record, although I'm glad they got someone else to do that part, because I don't think I could get the words out fast enough," she says modestly.

"As it was, I didn't understand what some of the words meant. I know about ice cream vans, but I'd never heard of a 99 before. Bill explained it to me and now it makes perfectly good sense. I'm still not sure about justified and ancient though..."

What Tammy does know is that it's about to herald her first appearance in the British pop charts since 1975, when she scored big with the karaoke classic 'Stand By Your Man' and the weepie 'D.I.V.O.R.C.E.'. She's also keeping her fingers crossed that she'll still be around after her current UK tour to join The KLF on 'Top Of The Pops'.

" I haven't really listened to a lot of dance music, it doesn't seem to reach Nashville too much. But who knows? After this, some other Country acts might start experimenting with it.

" I'm sure a lot of Country artists would love it if they tried doing something a little different like this. You can get into a real rut doing the same stuff over and over again.

" There's songs of mine that I get really sick of. When you consider I recorded 'Stand By Your Man' for the first time 23 years ago and I've probably sung it four or five times a week since then, you can imagine how it gets to me. Still, it gave me a career, so I really shouldn't complain."

And just think, readers, any future Tammy compilation is going to have to include this new curiosity alongside the standard fare of 'I Don't Wanna Play House' and 'Your Good Girl's Gonna Go Bad'. It would also make a neat encore to her supper club live show.

"I think if it's a big hit I'm gonna have to put it into the act somehow, but that would mean using backing tapes for the first time in my life. I don't think my band could really cut it, they wouldn't have a clue."

What the f--- is going on ? The weirdest pop collaboration of all time, that's what's going on.

All bound for Mu Mu Land.

Photos : - Head and shoulders of Tammy Wynette, caption 'The TAMs!'

- 'Wonder Whip - freshly made for you' Ice Cream van, with caption 'On loan for the shoot:Miss Lolly Parton's tour van'

- Bill and Jimmy in hoods and horns with guitars, caption 'Size of a cow: KLF'

- 6 women in orange cloaks, hands in air, decending shallow steps in temple, caption 'Silly old Mus'

- Large Aztec-like structure, with angel-like figures, and ancient South American peoples-resembling, with Bill and Jimmy in red hooded cloaks and horns and with guitars again, caption 'Sneak glimpse of the new rock opera Tammy, featuring the Queen of the Mu-Mu-ring scene - or is it?'

These last two were taken from the video to 'Justified And Ancient'


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Posted by Guest on 2009-05-05 05:19:18

This song rocks! It is my favorite KLF song ever!!!!!! =)

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