PETER YORK ON ADS No 291: GAP
The latest is just too winsome for words, and absolutely right on the money for efficient necrophilia. We're all feeling nice about Donovan now; there are even those who'll make a case for him against Bob Dylan - engaging, much less pretentious, nice tunes. He's the Austin Powers/Ready Steady Go/ clean-pop, mid-late Sixties hippie, not the full horror of free-festival pee-in-the-trench polytechnic circa 1971.
He's an easy-listening classic, just like Dean Martin, so the Gap Ensemble chorus - this decade's version of Coca-Cola's "I want to teach the world to sing" - do "Mellow Yellow". And they do it in cords, because that's the classic can't-go-wrong, easy-wearing look this particular treatment is selling.
"I'm just mad about Saffron," sings a pleasant-looking, brown-haired boy (cord jacket with pockets jeans-style in washed-out buff). He's sitting on the lowest rung of a low-rise tier of white blocks. The camera moves on to a pretty, American washed-out blonde, with a grey top and beige cords. "Saffron's mad about me." Then it's on to a fit, black girl with a good figure and Heather Small high hair (dark brown cords, another grey top). "I'm just mad about Saffron." "And she's just mad about me," sings a big Pete Sampras-type with a grey crew-neck sweater and grey-green cords. (Singing models? Are they dubbed?)
Around them is the chorus - universally pleasant-looking young people, black and white, in tasteful neutrals. At the end, there's that nice label - white-out of a blue rectangle - and a fascinating message: "Everybody in cords."
Everybody in cords! The real Donovan end-of-the-pier party look would have been mixed psycho-colour primaries, from Grannie Takes a Trip in the Kings Road.
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