I think it’s about time that I was up front with you all. There’s something I’ve not been public about, and it’s perhaps because I was concerned I’d be judged. Hopefully, you, my internet friends, will be very accepting but I’m slightly scared that some of you may be less tolerant. If you are, then please reconsider. This is very hard for me, and I’ve seen other people over the years manage the same public announcement to varying degrees of acceptance.
If I open my eyes now, I hope you’re still there and you’re still looking kindly at me. And, if you are, I thank you. You are wonderful.
Probably the first time I realised I liked musicals was when I was bought a copy of Dick Deadeye on VHS when I was about 8 years old. It’s an animated tale of a sailor named Dick Deadeye, or possibly Deadeye Dick (the film is referred to as both) as he is tasked with recovering The Ultimate Secret 1 after it has been stolen.
Along the way, Dick puts together a crew of degenerates and criminals and sets off after The Pirate King and The Sorcerer, and it’s all told using music, plot and characters from Gilbert and Sullivan operas. Songs like The Judge’s Song from Trial by Jury, When A Felon’s Not Engaged In His Employment and I am the Very Model of a Modern Major-General from The Pirates of Penzance, and A Wandering Minstrel I from the Mikado. Of course, I didn’t recognise any of them from anywhere back then, but it was one of my favourite films. Still is, I think.
And not just because it had women with bare nipples in it. In a kid’s cartoon! Honestly.
Since then, I’ve enjoyed a fair few other musicals – mainly in film form, it has to be said. Grease, obviously. The Producers (in film form, both the 1967 and the 2005 versions are equally good in my opinion) is fantastic too. More recently, there’s Scott Pilgrim vs the World which I class as a musical even if it isn’t in the same way the others are. My wife frequently berates me for liking Annie (the 1982 version) but it’s an excellent film with fantastic songs. No, it is. She doesn’t like musicals at all.
I got her back once by not telling her that Sweeney Todd (the 2007 Tim Burton film) was a musical. Half way through she twigged. I think she enjoyed it anyway. And she’s the one who owns the Blues Brothers album! Tch.
Probably the best musical, however, is of course The Rocky Horror Picture Show. In most of its forms, but my favourite is the Tim Curry 1975 film. Oh look! Tim Curry was in Annie too! There you are then – proof. Of. Something.
But back to Dick Deadeye. The thing with Dick Deadeye, is that virtually nobody aside from me and my sister have even heard of it. There are very few references to its existence on the internet and although the character (who is from HMS Pinafore) appears, the film is much harder to find – not least because it is also called Deadeye Dick. Or Duty Done. Or sometimes, “Deadeye Dick; or Duty Done”. To make matters worse, there’s also a band called Deadeye Dick. And a stage version of the same thing.
Thankfully, someone put a VHS rip of the film up on YouTube a couple of years ago and all being well, it’s still there. Here:
(Nudity at 42:10)
- “It’s not just a common or garden secret that everybody knows! It’s not even Top Secret that only a few thousand people know! It’s the Ultimate secret! That nobody knows!” ↩