Stand By Your Van- Library of Mu
- Library of Mu record:
- Title: Stand By Your Van
- Date: 23 November, 1991
- Journal: NME
- Author: Terry Staunton
- Type of resource: Articles
- Status: original
- No. views: 3320
- Description: Tammy interview/video shoot feature
Stand By Your Van
By Terry Staunton (23 November, 1991, NME)
* Welcome to Mu Mu Land, where hooded figures drive ice-cream vans and
nothing is quite like it is in Tennessee. Which is a welcome change for
TAMMY WYNETTE, who's forsaken Nashville to bond with THE KLF on their
Christmas monster-to-be 'Justified And Ancient(Stand By The JAMs)', a
tribute to the song she's been singin' for 23 years. TERRY STAUNTON
shares a 99 with the Queen Empress of Country Music.
What the f--- is going on ? Tribal warriors dance and chant, while hooded
guitarists swing their axes to and fro.
A garish ice cream van weaves its way through the multitude, and, almost
oblivious to the mayhem, Bill Drummond and Jimmy Cauty climb into a mini-
Seated majestically above all the chaos and confusion is a regal woman
bedecked in bright, shining robes. On closer examination, she reveals
herself to be The First Lady Of Country Music, Miss Tammy Wynette.
Repeat, what the f--- is going on ?
Welcome to Mu Mu Land. More commonly known as Pinewood Studios, this
little corner of the struggling British movie industry is usually home
for Q's spectacular gadgets in the 007 films. Tonight, however, it's The
KLF who are exercising their licence to chill.
Miss Moneypenny is nowhere to be seen, and Tammy the Nashville legend is
providing the female focal point. Jimmy and Bill have previously
'borrowed' the talents of Abba and Whitney Houston, but with Tammy
they've got the real thing.
She's the first one to admit she hasn't a clue what's happening. Somewhat
bemused by her surroundings, it's plain she's having a whale of a time, a
refreshing change from the staid sets and graphics of Country music's
very own MTV, the Nashville Network.
"The James Bond stage is pretty crazy at the best of times, but Bill and
Jimmy seem to have brought half the world with them", she says. "No doubt
it will all make sense when they're finished. Mu Mu Land looks a lot more
interesting than Tennesse, but I wouldn't want to live there."
Not content with scaling the heights of the charts with 'It's Grim Up
North' (the wittiest dance record ever), Drummond and Cauty have another
single, 'Justified And Ancient (Stand By The JAMs)', in the shops on
Monday. Bookmakers William Hill are already offering 16-1 odds on it
being the Christmas Number One !
The original version appears on the album 'The White Room', with lead
vocals by Black Steel, but the single has been radically re-worked to
incorporate the distinctive fragility of Tammy's voice.
Although The KLF are keeping a low profile and have declined interviews
to promote the record, it's clear that lifelong Country fan Drummond
(he lists 'Ragged But Right', the biography of Tammy's ex, George Jones,
as one of his favourite books) is as pleased as punch with the results.
Tammy's fairly chuffed too : " I really don't know why they chose me,
there's dozens of people they could have gone for. I was a little
apprehensive at first, but I'm really excited with the way it's all
After an initial meeting with Drummond, Tammy was convinced it was the
song for her - although she admits that she thought the track was called
'Justified And Anxious' until the day Bill turned up in Nashville with
the tapes under his arm.
" They called me up in Tennessee/They said 'Tammy, stand by the JAMs'. "
" It's the first time I've ever been on a rap record, although I'm glad
they got someone else to do that part, because I don't think I could get
the words out fast enough," she says modestly.
"As it was, I didn't understand what some of the words meant. I know
about ice cream vans, but I'd never heard of a 99 before. Bill explained
it to me and now it makes perfectly good sense. I'm still not sure about
justified and ancient though..."
What Tammy does know is that it's about to herald her first appearance in
the British pop charts since 1975, when she scored big with the karaoke
classic 'Stand By Your Man' and the weepie 'D.I.V.O.R.C.E.'. She's also
keeping her fingers crossed that she'll still be around after her current
UK tour to join The KLF on 'Top Of The Pops'.
" I haven't really listened to a lot of dance music, it doesn't seem to
reach Nashville too much. But who knows? After this, some other Country
acts might start experimenting with it.
" I'm sure a lot of Country artists would love it if they tried doing
something a little different like this. You can get into a real rut doing
the same stuff over and over again.
" There's songs of mine that I get really sick of. When you consider I
recorded 'Stand By Your Man' for the first time 23 years ago and I've
probably sung it four or five times a week since then, you can imagine
how it gets to me. Still, it gave me a career, so I really shouldn't
And just think, readers, any future Tammy compilation is going to have to
include this new curiosity alongside the standard fare of 'I Don't Wanna
Play House' and 'Your Good Girl's Gonna Go Bad'. It would also make a
neat encore to her supper club live show.
"I think if it's a big hit I'm gonna have to put it into the act somehow,
but that would mean using backing tapes for the first time in my life. I
don't think my band could really cut it, they wouldn't have a clue."
What the f--- is going on ? The weirdest pop collaboration of all time,
that's what's going on.
All bound for Mu Mu Land.
Photos : - Head and shoulders of Tammy Wynette, caption 'The TAMs!'
- 'Wonder Whip - freshly made for you' Ice Cream van, with
caption 'On loan for the shoot:Miss Lolly Parton's tour
- Bill and Jimmy in hoods and horns with guitars, caption
'Size of a cow: KLF'
- 6 women in orange cloaks, hands in air, decending shallow
steps in temple, caption 'Silly old Mus'
- Large Aztec-like structure, with angel-like figures, and
ancient South American peoples-resembling, with Bill
and Jimmy in red hooded cloaks and horns and with guitars
again, caption 'Sneak glimpse of the new rock opera Tammy,
featuring the Queen of the Mu-Mu-ring scene - or is it?'
These last two were taken from the video to 'Justified And
There are 1 comments for this record
You can leave a comment below.
Posted by Guest on 2009-05-05 05:19:18
This song rocks! It is my favorite KLF song ever!!!!!! =)