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Welcome to this, the second in a very occasional column. So occasional, in fact, that you've probably forgotten the first one already. It was about Mark Butcher's When You're Gone. But this time round I'm going to look at the musical career of flawed football genius Paul 'Gazza' Gascoigne, to salute the fact that he is about to make his debut as player-coach of Boston United1.

Fog on the Tyne and Geordie Boys (Gazza Rap) by Paul Gascoigne

Gateshead-born Paul Gascoigne started his career with Newcastle United, but it was while he was playing for London side Tottenham Hotspur that he became a global star due to his impact for England in the 1990 World Cup. This turned out to be the pinnacle of a career which took him to Lazio, Rangers, Middlesbrough, Everton, Burnley, Gansu Tianmu and Boston United, although he did give a glimpse of his brilliance at the 1996 European Championship. His self-destructive streak is evident through his struggle with alcoholism and his terrible challenge in the 1992 FA Cup final which caused more damage to himself than to his opponent.

A less serious error of judgement was when Gazza was persuaded that releasing a record was a great idea. Whoever suggested it has a lot to answer for.

Gazza's debut release was the single Fog on the Tyne, a collaboration with 70s band Lindisfarne, who were best known for Lady Eleanor.

The fog on the Tyne is all mine, all mine, the fog on the Tyne is all mine.'

was the inspired chorus of the tune and most people who ever heard it remember little else.

However, thousands of people inexplicably purchased this record and it peaked at Number 2 in November 1990. Seriously. That's how popular he was in the wake of the Italia 90 World Cup, that so many people would buy a Lindisfarne song with inept vocals from a Geordie footballer.

Now, Gazza's record label, in their very astute way, realised that people wouldn't buy into these Gazza-fever novelty records for long, or even into 1991, and they rush-released his second single, the truly execrable 'Geordie Boys (Gazza Rap)' in December of 1990. Now Gazza is to rap what I am to synchronised singing. He made John Barnes seem like Ice T for god's sake.

Somehow, the Gazza Rap actually reached the top 40. However when it came to the album, 'Lets Have a Party', the general reaction was 'you're having a laugh, Gazza, not at that price' - the album sank without trace.

Paul Gascoigne - astonishingly talented footballer - threw his career away and can't rap.

Next time this column surfaces, I will examine the worst musical phenomenen ever seen. So join me next time for 'John Barnes - Left winger and rapper'.


12.08.04 Front Page

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1That's Boston, Lincolnshire rather than Boston, Massachussets

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