This article is written by Giovanni Dadomo and was published in Sounds on 17th November, 1979.
TV closes down
CHEERFUL CHAP, TV Smith. Here we are convened together for the first time in a
professional capacity, officially as some sort of obituarising process for his
just disbanded Adverts and chuckles are most definitely the order of the day.
Bemused Tim Smith, lapping up the ultimate irony. He hands me a type written sheet:
'Welcome girls to this Chelsea Girl store it's the kinda store that tries to give
you more of the sorta clothes that make the girls go wow!"
This, it transpires, is the main source of his amusement, a booking the next
day as a session singer on a jingle for the Chelsea Girl chain of boutiques. "It's
amazing: you go in for a couple of hours, sing it, and you earn a couple of hundred
quid It's incredible It's more than I earn in a year. "Also on the jingleurs'
pay-roll (of course Tim didn't write it himself) are latterday Adverts keyboardist
Tim Cross and one Stoner, former bass man with Doctors Of Madness. These two,
plus a 'name' guitarist and drummer (employed elsewhere at present, so therefore
subject to at least temporary secrecy) will form the basis of the next TV Smith
ensemble. There will be single on RCA, Tim's last commitment to that label under
his Adverts deal.
The humour temporarily abated, Tim Smith takes time out to hit back at almost
everyone who reviewed the Adverts parting shot, the 'Cast Of Thousands' LP. not
least our own Garry Bushell ("He must have a lot of personal problems"
and "It must be that double chin" being the few printable comments).
The 'critics' over-reactions aside, though, even a lot of Adverts (or more precisely
Tim Smith) supporters weren't exactly heart broken by the group 's final demise,
for my part, I'm quite willing to admit to Tim's face that the group's continued
existence over the last year or so seems to have been more down to his own loyalty
to the people he started out with than anything else. "You bet, " comes
the reply. "That's the most important part. I mean, I do it for me mainly,
but . . ."
There are advantages in going out with a whimper, Tim opines, "when everyone
looks upon you as being really shit. If I'm really successful in the next six
months it won't mess me 'up. You form an opinion about all the people that say
you're really bad. . . "
Understandable really, this appetite for revenge. But, even granted that the Ads
had graduated to every hack's favourite whipping boys in their last few months
of existence, he must confess that there were times when they were really bad.
"Bad gigs are great!" Smith chuckles. "They're really important!"
On reflection, he adds that he may never do another 'bad gig' again Then, "It
must be terrible to be perfect every time. "
A pity, say I, that the band did seem to splutter nut in the end, just a handful
gigs and gone. "I'd love to have gone out with a really big farewell tour,
" says TV Smith. "It's a pity that RCA really buried the Adverts before
they were dead."
You mean they didn't put up any money for tour support? "They never put up
any money. Ever. They never liked The Adverts. The guy that signed us was fired
about a month later so there was nobody there we could talk to, who knew what
we were on about They just figured how could they back a band that may or may
not play a good gig or make a record. But that's what it's all about. "
My opinion that the group's pairing with producer Tom Newman was to say the least
dodgy is met with another grin'n'chuckle. "I think it's fantastic getting
in Mike Oldfield's producer and piano player. It was hilarious. . . "
But maybe not in your best interests? "It depends what my best interests
are, " says Tim. with no hint of back pedalling on what's already been said.
"If I look back on the last couple of years with The Adverts now I can see
it as a two or three year thing. The Adverts were continually standing on the
outside and seeing what they could do. Now it's all finished I've got to look
at it in a different way, which isn't right. 'Cause while it was still going on
everything was perfect as far as I was concerned. It'd be so boring if you just
had stages One to Ten and just worked your way through. "
TV's quick to defend his former associates, too. "People were really insulting
about Gaye's playing. But on the second album and on the last tour she was playing
really well. I mean, to compare it with Jack Bruce would be pointless, but she
was right for The Adverts, for what we were doing. " It's unlikely that Gaye
herself will be playing again immediately, says Tim. "People were incredibly
offensive to her personally Some guy from the NME said she was gross, it's hardly
For his part, Tim Smith says he's going to be a good boy now. "A determined
amateur anyway, surrounded by brilliant musicians So probably the next step will
be for everyone to say what a shit I am and then I'll leave and the group'll get
someone else and everyone'll go 'Cor. what a good band.'
"I just want to write the best possible songs and get them played in the
best possible way, " he says seriously He already has more than an albums'
worth of new material and is, as they say, itching to go. "I couldn't stop
and sit around doing nothing. I don't know what'd happen; I'd go nuts. "
There will never be another Adverts; no reunions promises TV Smith "I could
never do that. I'd never reform The Adverts 'cause I'm not like that. It was a
first stage, once I'm finished with something, that's it. "
Expect a new TV Smith waxing come January. Obit ends