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"For All We Know" from the Tom Jones London Bridge special


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This is a clip I haven't personally seen before from the Tom Jones London Bridge special. It begins with Karen and Richard performing "For All We Know" which then dissolves into a ballet sequence and then ends with the FAWK reprise that was included on the "Singles 1969-1981" album. While I'm not a fan of the ballet segment, it was interesting to finally hear the reprise in its proper context:

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Nice Nowhereman. Do we know anything about the clip? Who's idea was it, did Richard conduct the orchestra for the ballet scene? Anything?
From Wikipedia, the synopsis of the special is "Tom Jones catches a bus in London and is magically transported to Lake Havasu and the newly opened London Bridge. There he meets Jennifer O'Neill and a romance ensues which [is] punctuated by musical and choreography interludes."

The director of the special was David Winters. Wikipedia describes him as "an English-American actor, dancer, choreographer, producer, film distributor, director and screenwriter." Seeing FAWK bookending a ballet sequence makes sense given this information. Interestingly, the male dancer is Rudolf Nureyev.

The music director for the special was Marvin Hamlisch. He arranged the reprise of FAWK according the liner notes for the "Singles 1969-1981" album. :)


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Also, the following from the old Fan Club newsletters is really informative:

Carpenters Fan Club Newsletter #11 - March, 1972

Hi Fans!

This month we go behind the scenes of The London Bridge Special which was taped on location at Lake Havasu, Arizona. Believe me, the "behind the scenes" happenings were quite the opposite of what you will view on your TV sets; and hilariously "way-out".

Falcon, the McCullough plane which jetted them to Havasu was shared with "WU WU" & "DOG-DOG" two adorable Pekinese dogs, plus a delightful large black Shepherd. Then they landed hungry, at 10:00 p.m. they turned into the nearest restaurant only to be told it was too late to be served. So hungry, cold and dejected, they found their way to the Pub below the Bridge where they were served a fine meal by friendly and gracious waitresses.

Their next day began at 7:00 a.m. while it was still cold. Shooting that day was on the Bridge where they encountered numerous problems. The bridge is part of McCullough Drive which is the main thoroughfare through town; and though police tried to divert some of the traffic, there were some cars and pedestrians on the Bridge at all times. Noise of course, was a serious problem with planes, motor boats, and talking people contributing their share of upsets and confusion. It took six hours to tape one small segment of Jennifer O'Neal talking to Richard and Karen. That afternoon they did a tennis court scene again with Jennifer & this time adding Tom Jones. When it began to get dark they quit shooting and most of the crew went to a bowling alley to have some fun. Tom had never bowled so Karen and Richard had the privilege of teaching him. Then they all shot some pool and called it a day.

The second day they found they had to re-tape the tennis court scene in the morning but afternoon found them in an amphitheater taping a concert. The director had placed a sign near the entrance asking for 100 spectators so they could film an audience. Response was so great they ended up playing to an audience of 3,000 people which they managed to squeeze into the theater. The temperature that afternoon was 90 degrees.

The third day they journeyed to Crystal Beach where beautiful scenes were to be taped. The first scene was on top of a mountain which they reached via a narrow dirt road that wound through woods. Rocks & boulders had to be moved so the camera and equipment trucks could get through. Even then, accessibility was limited and the mountain had to be climbed on foot by stars and crewmen alike. Adding to climbing woes was the electric piano which was hand carried to the top of the mountain by two members of the crew. On top of the mountain they did a beautiful version of We've Only Just Begun.

From the mountain they trooped to the desert where they did a groovy rendition of Close To You.

A lonely island was to be the setting for other scenes & songs so motor boats were filled and people and equipment headed for what they believed would be easy "takes". But this was to be a "never to be forgotten day" for everyone concerned.

The island turned out to be a marshland and both motor boats burned out their motors trying to gain access to land in too shallow water. Sugar Bear, their road manager, finally shed his shoes and socks, rolled up his pants legs and pulled the boats in as far as he could but, there was still quite a stretch of ankle deep mud and goop between the boat and dry land where the taping was to be done. So - are you ready for this? All the stars who were already costumed had to be carried piggy-back by the rest of the crew through all the mud and goop. Sugar Bear carried Karen who thought it was the most hilarious ride she'd ever had!

The island, virgin & uninhabited had no shelter for crew members during the taping; so it was decided they should hide among the tall, thick cattails that covered the marshland. This proved a good idea until it was time to do a pull-away shot of the island. The camera was loaded into the helicopter for this shot; the stars took their places and the copter took off. Well - the terrific spinning, flattened the cattails to reveal crew members and shot mud, water and cattails flying into the clothes, faces and hair of the stars. Karen said that was the first time she ever had to comb cattails out of her hair.



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The complete ‘Special London Bridge Special’ was released on video a couple of times in the UK in the 90s, in different re-issues. I’m fairly sure these were official releases by big, well-known companies. (I have two different editions). However, the vision was a bit grainy and very slightly blurred on both editions that I have, as if not taken from the original master, but a generation or two down.

One of my favourite scenes is where Karen has a few lines while sitting in a car.

Tom Jones has a dance sequence with a troupe of dancers on a tennis court. This is a very FAR-OUT 1960s-style sequence. Very groovy, man.

In the early 2000s, a couple of compilation DVDs were released with single tracks from the special. For example, ‘We’ve Only Just Begun’ appears in excellent visual quality on one DVD and ‘For All We Know’ is shown on another DVD, also in great visual quality. The first DVD is an official release, I think, whereas the second one is from South America and may be a bootleg with great visuals - or may be official. Not sure.

Both DVDs are up in my cupboard.

Anyway, most of the clips now appear in excellent visual quality on YouTube, so it appears that the original footage probably exists out there, somewhere.

VH1 also used ‘We’ve Only Just Begun’ from the special in their half-hour Carpenters feature, back in the 90s.

Carpe diem

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Maybe a bit of topic, but Karen is so damn cute in this special. She has got that whole Hurting Each Other video look going on. She was drop-dead- gorgeous at this point :love:!
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