Friday, 31 October 2014

Take Time Out to Cull

I occasionally feel a bit mean when taking a pot shot at a charity record – after all, if it’s for a good cause surely you can overlook the wretchedness of a recording? But not today: this record is an abomination, and as such is a worthy inductee here at the hall of infamy we call The World’s Worst Records.

Issued in 1986, the same year that its top-billed miscreant was suspended for two months by the England and Wales Cricket Board for smoking cannabis, Take Time Out to Care is as miserable a slice of hokey country and western as is ever likely to assault your eardrums. Credited to cricketer Ian Botham plus Bobby Buck and Poacher (a country music act from Warrington in Cheshire who won TV talent show New Faces in 1977), the song is a dull as ditch water strum-along which barely features the main artist: Botham turns up for a couple of spoken lines in the middle of this muddle and that’s it. No doubt he went off on one of his Land's End to John O'Groats walks (in the interest of fairness I should probably note that Botham has helped raise more than £12million for good causes and was knighted for ­services to ­charity in 2007).

Take Time Out to Care is backed with the equally poor Caribbean-influenced Ian, Viv and Me (although Botham is again credited, this time he didn’t even bother to phone it in). A truly horrid song, in which Buck proceeds to tell the world how everything will be better when he gets together with his great mates Botham and Viv Richards, at least it doesn't feature the A-side's whiny lines about 'the helpless kids out there' and Botham's feeble, one-verse recitation. Nor does Buck affect a fake black accent, a la last week's entry, Mike Read and the UKIP Calypso. Luckily neither Buck nor Botham bothered the record buying public again.

Botham has long irritated me: actually to say he irritates me is an understatement. According to Wikipedia ‘he is generally regarded as being England's greatest ever all-rounder’. I’d go further: I think he’s an all-round prat.

I was working at the St Pierre Golf and Country Club in Chepstow many years ago (1987 to be precise, just 12 months after he was so kindly trying to raise funds for leukaemia research) when a drunken Beefy – there to take part in a pro-am celebrity golf tournament – verbally and physically assaulted several members of staff, actually headbutting one (a waiter named Marcus, fact fans) and throwing tomatoes at another (a waitress named Fran), all the while bellowing ‘do you know who I am?’ The incident – which made front page headlines and is recounted in Simon Wilde's biography Botham: the Power and the Glory –was apparently the result of a drinking contest between Botham, Welsh‘comedian’ Max Boyce and golfer Ian Woosnam. Botham talks about drinking with Woosnam at St Pierre in his won boook My Sporting Heroes but tactfully skips over his bully-boy braggadocio.



  1. Lovely post. An utter stinker of a "record", your description never condemns with faint prose. The additional baggage contained in your personal anecdote at the end lays a perfect turd onto the heap of Botham crud. Beautiful. I never really had an opinion on the sh*t before - but now I have a bad one, I can picture the arrogant,sozzled thug screaming "Do you know who I am?". Before assaulting hard working people. What a sh*t.

  2. "a country music act from Warrington" - I didn't even know that there were country music acts in England!

  3. IIRC one one of those sponsored mega-walks Beefy punched a deaf feller whose (unknown-to-him) disability had resulted in his not hearing the Main Man's entreaties to keep out of his way at the head of the booted march. Lovely. I'd have to say his efforts probably make up for such thuggery but I wouldn't want to say that they MORE than make up for it.


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