Possibly the nearest Halfords ever got to practising complementary medicine, these odd little rubber strips with arrows down the middle hung from the rear bumper of your average Volvo estate and dangled on the tarmac, ostensibly to keep junior in the back seat free from travel sickness by leaching out any static electricity from the car’s interior. Needless to say, this bout of holistic blokeishness was based on the same brand of opportunistic cobblers as copper bracelets for rheumatism. Soon after installing them, many a well-meaning but gullible dad was duly shamed by his slightly less daft mates over a swift half, and a mass outbreak of macho embarrassment practically killed off the anti-static strip overnight, although you still see the odd threadbare example clinging for dear life to the back of a decrepit 340E.
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The fact that the general public actually know who Andre Previn is must be testament to his popularity and charisma, given the general low profile of conductors. It’s mostly for one very famous bit on Christmas Night 1973, which obviously we’ll see again here, but it is always ace to see, especially as we now enjoy seeing the orchestra laugh uproariously as much as what’s going on in front of them. He did other programmes as well, too, conducting, arranging and popularising the classics in his own inimitable style, as we’ll see.
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