posted on October 10, 2009 at 8:19 pm

yessaday i stumbled on youtube
looking at the killers doing utmw (ok, i guess)
and i notice theres a killers song called spaceman
and i wonder……
is it…? that spaceman….?
and suddenly my mind is flooded with memories of the mid nineties
and my very very miserable life
starring as a hermit in my own home
either being anxious waiting for some smack to be delivered
or feeling sleepy and stupid after it had arrived
(there was a fucking lot more of the first option, fiendss)
anyway i used to watch a lot of telly in those days
as i waited waited waited waited
and it was then that i first ran into babylon zoo
by the way the killers spaceman was a song theyd written themselves (ok, i guess)
not the babylon zoo spaceman
now dig this
babylon zoo was one guy
an english sikh called jasbinder singh
he went by the name of jas mann
in his home 8 track studio one day circa 1995
he came up with a song spaceman
its a pretty bloody good song
in itself
one olde sk wouldnt have minded writing
tho maybe i wouldnt have been quite so heavy on
the androgynous bleat button
nevertheless a very very good song
glammy ziggy shiny weirdy… all that stuff
(look sorry i have a bit of a penchant for that stuff…done right!)
anyway he got a deal a video was made
but nothing really happened
not much later
arthur baker remixed the record as a twelve inch
now i dunno about you
but i used to buy the occasional 12 inch
and some of em ran at 45 rpm n some ran at 33 rpm
so one can imagine the scenario
some astute ad execs go to the record co
they say
we look for music for levis ad
record co go try this
but guess what…?
the ad men dig it
they insist on it at this wrong sped up speed
the ad comes out and is massive success
meanwhile jas was initially horrified
what have they done to my song? he musta been bewildered
waiting for his big break…and now this
his manager n record co convince him to stick sped up bit
at beginning n end of his spaceman single
he gives in
the record comes out
new bits added to video for sped up bits
the song is cut down a bit
the song sells in the millions and becomes fastest blah blah blah
still this was not when i first caught up with jas
it was a little bit after that
after the success of spaceman
babylon zoo got to do a real video
and guess what
i do hereby declare it the best rock video i ever saw
then or now
the song is animal army
which is a cheeky bolanish glam stomper
a pretty good song…not a classic tho
and perhaps not ever destined to be a hit
oh but the vid is a fucking corker
and back in the mid nineties
as i sat like an idiot in front of my idiot box
one night
this video came on n it blew my mind
the whole thing was all kinda silvery
and jas first appears pushing his face thru this building
jas himself is so handsome
like an alien reflection of tyrone power
slimmed down n in a silver space suit
his hair is cut or done up in some style …you cant really figure it out
jas comes crawling along this chrome bar between buildings
everything all white n silver n metallic
people swinging of these lines
down in the street elephants n leopards rampage thru the streets
the first line of the song is
tryrannosaurus (sic) marching towards us
giving away the t rex connection immediately
tho its more in spirit than in actual execution
anyway the vid is a marvellous futuristic thing
we rocket thru jas n some girls retina
and find our inner jas
whos there all tangled up in weird DNA or something
the elephants stomp on cars
crocodiles erupt from sewers
jas has got his silver spacesuit on n long fingernails
and he seems deliriously outta control
as he straddles the metallic pylons between buildings
its funny its wild its flashy its trashy its super
its rocknroll
and at this moment jas has got charisma oozing out his poor pores
this vid really was a breath of fresh air after grunge n rap n boy bands
and in those days you couldnt just watch vids whenever you liked
you had to wait for em to come on
and animal army wasnt played more than twice or 3 times that i saw
so it sorta remained a mythical video for me till yessaday
when i remembered it and watched it about 5 times
i still love it!
jas mann…wow …what a true glam star….
from some occidental parallel universe..
he could play the part of the singer from that book
the ground beneath her feet (a recommended read!)
go n check it out at you tube
animal army …babylon zoo
thats what i call a rock video!!

33 Responses to “the crazy world of bab zoo”

  1. avatar
    steve kilbey | 10 October 2009 at 9:13 pm #

    hey jasperina
    can you re-spruik your exhibition
    i want to come n i cant find where it is now

  2. avatar
    glynnisjohns | 10 October 2009 at 9:25 pm #

    Hah, i don't remember hearing babylon zoo at the time i did see the records about.

    and my professional doctorologist of musics opinion is that the doudes voice has got a little suede cum oasis with a raspy Grant ala jack frost.

    funny how the youtube works
    it led me to rick springfields version of UTMW.
    is there a way to UNHEAR things?

    love ya.


  3. avatar
    Anonymous | 10 October 2009 at 9:45 pm #

    Saw a Lincoln car commercial today with UTMW being butchered by some woman…way to sell out!

  4. avatar
    fantasticandy | 10 October 2009 at 10:11 pm #

    the boy with the x-ray eyes is staring at me right now!
    the cd is top of a pile six inches away………….
    no bulshit.

  5. avatar
    robertmadore | 10 October 2009 at 10:13 pm #

    Pete Burns and Oasis…

  6. avatar
    cazziem | 10 October 2009 at 10:25 pm #

    When I saw the name Babylon Zoo it sounded familiar but I couldn't think why; but as I read on and saw the name Jas Mann, the jigsaw puzzle pieces slotted into place; cos not only is he a Brit like me, but the band heralds from the West Midlands like me too! In fact the band originated from Wolverhampton and Jas, who is now the ripe old age of 38, comes from Dudley.

    Hate to admit it, but not only have I got 45s and 33s, I still occasionally play some of my very heavy 78s!

    Couldn't remember the vid at first, so I checked it out as suggested. For those of you that want to take a look this whacky but wonderful blast from the past, the link is: –

    It did come back to me as soon as it started because I always felt it was a bit like King Kong meets War of The Worlds, and watching it again just now, I still think the elephant sounds fit in much better than any trumpet ever could! Not sure though whether I should thank you SK for jogging the memory, or curse you for making me realise I'm getting old.

  7. avatar
    Thomas Thomsen, Denmark | 10 October 2009 at 10:48 pm #

    The Killers – eurgh!!! Babylon Zoo isn't for me. But now that you mentioned the cover of Under The Milky Way, there's a nice cover of that song by some girl called Nicole Atkins – just her, an electric guitar and a bit of percussion.

  8. avatar
    princey | 10 October 2009 at 11:36 pm #

    Yeah, checked out the vid, I like the animal noises they've included, especially the screeching monkeys haha.
    Well cmon sk, you've got the camera and tools and imagination to make a wild video, can't wait!!!

  9. avatar
    Richard | 11 October 2009 at 12:16 am #

    "glammy ziggy shiny weirdy… all that stuff"

    you'd have to have a bit of a soft spot for placebo and suede then

    animal army video is great

    indifferent as am about coldplay, I think this is one of the most amazing clips I've ever seen – just chalk, bitumen, some people (and a few million bucks)

    strawberry swing

  10. avatar
    Brien Comerford | 11 October 2009 at 12:28 am #

    I loved Talk Talk's two animal oriented videos "It's My Life" and "Life's What You Make It." Mark Hollis had a very difficult battle with smack. Had to cancel a tour and my already purchased Chicago concert tickets.

    For that matter "What Ever Happened to Mark Hollis"?

  11. avatar
    Shawn El | 11 October 2009 at 1:44 am #

    Lincoln video with UTMW cover

    I sure hope you see some of the $ from that, SK.

  12. avatar
    Shawn El | 11 October 2009 at 1:46 am #

    On the question of Mark Hollis – I have a vinyl record of a release he did, in the early 2000's I think? It's in a white sleeve with a black and white picture of a cat.

    I know he also did some production work, from a project Steven Wilson of Porcupine Tree was brought into finish after it didn't work out with Hollis.

  13. avatar
    iseult | 11 October 2009 at 2:28 am #

    this one

  14. avatar
    lily was here | 11 October 2009 at 2:31 am #

    Thanks Steve, i do love that video too. Must've come out in the days when we had no telly out here. I had Spaceman tho' and loved it. The Boy With The X-Ray Eyes title intrigued me! I can understand them speeding the ad version up in sections for the ad, it works, but both versions are cool. I like different takes and mixes on songs. I don't mind seeing UTMW covered either. Some work, some dont. That's experimentation, creativity at work and sometimes outright butchery 🙂

  15. avatar
    ET | 11 October 2009 at 4:18 am #

    Apropos you mentioned UTMW, my ears were accosted moments ago by a horrific cover of the same on a Lincoln commercial. PLEASE tell me you were handsomely compensated for that because after hearing that, I feel I should be as well.


  16. avatar
    matthew | 11 October 2009 at 4:18 am #

    I remember really liking Babylon Zoo! Never realized it was just one guy.

  17. avatar
    davem | 11 October 2009 at 9:14 am #

    I recall hating the bloody song!! Have a great Sunday folks and fiends.

  18. avatar
    Hellbound Heart | 11 October 2009 at 10:42 am #

    oh fuck man that song takes me back to a time in my life when i was sowing quite a few of my wild oats….have to agree with cazzie though, makes me feel a trifle old to think about it……

    love always….

  19. avatar
    Anonymous | 11 October 2009 at 11:09 am #

    Whats the 5 year plan

  20. avatar
    Thomas Thomsen, Denmark | 11 October 2009 at 12:14 pm #

    I bought and loved Talk Talk's Living In Another World on 12 inch. I loved that song. Still do.

  21. avatar
    Jasperina | 11 October 2009 at 1:14 pm #

    Sorry you missed it Steve… the opening was last Friday night in the chilly Bondi rain but it was real cosy, we had candles The Friends of Tibet made nice veg food and lotsa lovely family and friends were there.
    My artwork is up there until mid November.

    MOONSHADOW…an exhibition of paintings and drawings by Cita Daidone

    Chapel by the Sea
    95 Roscoe St
    Bondi Beach

    p.s. I will try posting a link to the exhibition if anyone wants to see some pics of my artwork.

  22. avatar
    Jasperina | 11 October 2009 at 1:35 pm #

    Here is the website that has a write up about my exhibition.. then go to Art Exhibitions

  23. avatar
    Anonymous | 11 October 2009 at 2:02 pm #

    "Inner Space…Outer Beauty"

  24. avatar
    Anonymous | 11 October 2009 at 5:35 pm #

    cheers for that it is a cracker.. on a slightly different but still kilbyesque note.. Jung's priviate diary's or red book has been broght to light.He did not want it released in his lifetime for fear of the sciencce community thinking he was a total wack job. Also of intrest may be an even Bigger Saxon Gold Horde has been unearthered even bigger than Sutton Ho

  25. avatar
    Brien Comerford | 11 October 2009 at 8:48 pm #

    Dear Shahn EL:

    Thanks for the Mark Hollis update. The Colour Of Spring, Spirit of Eden and Laughing Stock were a trinity of gem 1980's CDs.

  26. avatar
    Anonymous | 11 October 2009 at 10:43 pm #

    still here
    just distracted
    a little…

  27. avatar
    Sigur | 12 October 2009 at 4:24 am #

    Sure is a good looking video – wish I had the resources and the budget like that for the video I'm supposed to be working on…

  28. avatar
    WantonMyth | 12 October 2009 at 4:58 am #

    For 3:45, I was Steve Kilbey, back in his Sydney pad, circa 1990's, being pleasantly blown away…

  29. avatar
    John Garratt | 12 October 2009 at 5:42 pm #

    "looking at the killers doing utmw (ok, i guess)"

    You're being generous.

  30. avatar
    Anonymous | 12 October 2009 at 8:40 pm #

    i remember quite liking Spaceman at the time,until it became my nickname,because my hair was the same as the singers…as compliments go it wasnt a bad one,just fckin irritating to hear every 5 minutes! 🙂


  31. avatar
    Anonymous | 12 October 2009 at 8:43 pm #

    Yeah… It was a great song and a great video, when there still were good (but very few) music in MTV.

  32. avatar
    Ellen | 12 October 2009 at 9:29 pm #

    Hey, Steve, just checked out animal army/babylon zoo.

    Agree, that's quite the rock video. I like the metallic look. Great song, too.


  33. avatar
    Ellen | 12 October 2009 at 9:34 pm #

    P.S. I checked out the Lincoln ad with a woman singing (if you call that singing) UTMW – yuck!

    They should've used the original. Hate what they did to that timeless song of yours.

    Hope you're receiving plenty of money for allowing them to butcher it …

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