IT all started with a summons to the editor’s office. “I’ve had an idea,” said Frank O’Donnell. “Tell me if you think it’s mad.”
Ten minutes later, the challenge was clear. Using the Pet Shop Boys’ cover of The Village People’s 1979 disco classic Go West, we had the weekend to come up with a song to celebrate Hibs and Hearts reaching the Scottish Cup final.
The remit was simple. It had to praise Edinburgh and the Lothians, be a bit cheeky about our west coast cousins, include pandas and above all be funny.
48 hours later the first draft was finished - the first of many as the song was honed and tweaked. For example, one verse lost along the way ran:
(Diggers) The Jambos welcome you
(The Winsor) Have a pint or two
(The Albion) Where the Hibees drink
(CC’s) Always in the pink
Another, snipped due to time constraints was:
(Ian Rankin) He brought Rebus to town
(Shirley Manson) Never donned a garbage gown
(Ronnie Corbett) Sit him on your knee
(The Capital’s) Where they’d rather be
Still, there’s plenty material should we ever do a remix.
With words decided, it was time to get into the recording studio. Enter Chris Judge, to put down the harmonies, and Deborah Welsh, promotions manager of the Evening News, who does a natty line in backing vocals and high notes.
Ironically, Debs had booked us into a recording studio in, of all places... Glasgow!
Recording studios are strange places, sound-proofed they’re cut off from the outside world. Suddenly, inhibitions disappear. Or so you would have thought had you been able to see us, resplendent in our headphones, all giving it big pop star licks... until someone referred to us as The Three Disease. Thank you.
Two hours later the track was recorded. Five more, the final mix complete.
Shooting a video was next on the list - which involved finding a pair of panda suits (thanks, Edinburgh Gang Show) and coercing half the office to throw caution to the wind and appear on camera.
We also had to find two victims to dress in the cute but bulky panda costumes - the identity of Hibs panda is revealed in the Snap Shot column on the right.
Two days shooting by Dave Tarvit of dxfilms.co.uk followed and the finished product was ready to be uploaded to YouTube.
We had hoped to have a couple of thousand hits in the first days or so. Instead we got 20,000. Who knows what the figure will be by now. Thank you one and all. Indeed Go East has also gone global, with hits from the United States, Australia and Europe. Now all we have to do is keep that going.
But remember, it is just a bit of fun.
The Paper Shop Boys - Go East: www.youtube.com/watch?v=zxsF4Y6Pv4M