Now who is this strangely hairy, strangely thin, tank-topped young man with Mr Donald Clark Osmond? Why is he showing him a door mat with ‘JAY’ woven into it and what are Rory Gallagher and The New Seekers doing in the background?
I’m guessing this is 1973. It’s certainly the Polydor press office in Stratford Place, just off London’s Oxford Street where I spent five largely happy years between 1972 and 1978. As the ego-boosting printed poster on the pinboard illustrates, Fleet Street were aware of The Osmonds by then, and, as I had somewhat unthinkingly started a fan club for them, where everything came to the Rathbone Place sorting office, from where I collected it, necessitating the entire space in a black cab to bring the sacks of mail back to the office, I’m guessing Donny was just paying us a visit – he was like that, or maybe his Dad had told him to. It could also have been the occasion when he and Alan were presented with a special disc marking the sales of 4million singles in the UK in a year.
Anyway, there he is, in the trademark cap and looking interested.
Happily, we subsequently saw sense and brought in the wonderful Maureen Street who used her fan club organisation experience with Dave Clark to bring some discipline to the Osmonds’.
Oh, and one fan club related story. We had a telephone hotline that fans could call for the latest news and messages from the brothers. BT (if it was called that then) set up a bank of throbbing machines in a tiny office adjacent to the press office, into which I could insert cassette tapes with the messages. We started with two or three of these beats, which frequently overheated and broke down and ended with over 20 – and on one notable occasion so many kids were trying to get through that the whole of the Mayfair (629) area of London went into meltdown and no one’s phones were working!!