Dick’s Picks: This week’s pick from our man Dick is this bizarro 1978 children’s LP entitled ‘Scouse The Mouse’ featuring Ringo with Donald Pleasance, Adam Faith and Barbara Dickson
Scouse The Mouse – What Is It?
Firstly, for any non-UK readers a ‘scouser’ is a slang term for a Liverpudlian. The story concerns a mouse who emigrates from Liverpool to the USA – no prizes for guessing that Ringo played the mouse!
This unassuming little children’s LP is also something of a Beatles rarity – what you mean very few people bought this kids LP with one ex-Beatle and Barbara Dickson on it that was only released in the UK – we can’t think why!
Beginning life as an illustrated children’s book written by British actor Donald Pleasance (who also narrated the album), the story concerns a young Liverpudlian mouse (hence the Scouse Mouse of the title) who starts his life in a pet shop before being adopted by a young family. Here’s where the magic happens, after spending time with the family the young mouse learns ‘human’ from watching TV, yearning for a better life and dreaming of being a star (all run-of-the-mill stuff for a mouse you know) he eventually escapes, hops on a cruise ship, nearly gets eaten by the ship’s cats, jumps overboard before being rescued by a friendly seagull who takes him onto to New York where Scouse eventually gets to live out his dream by appearing at the Carnegie Hall – as-you-err-do!
Here’s a clip of Ringo performing one of the songs from the album….
So what happened to the story and why have I never seen the film?
Most of the songs on the album were written by Roger Brown who had previous form playing with collectable prog-rockers the John Dummer Band and acoustic folk type Roy St. John on his ‘Immigration Declaration’ long player. Although Donald Pleasance who wrote the story and narrated the TV film was able to enlist the likes of Ringo Starr and Adam Faith he didn’t forsee that ITV at this point in the late ’70s was, like much other UK industry, prone to striking unions, resulting in the planned broadcast being postponed indefinitely before eventually being shelved altogether. Couple this with the fact that this album counted as the last release of a three album deal that Starr had with Polydor (after leaving Apple) then it’s not hard to see why it fell by the wayside – the album was never released outside of the UK and has never been released on CD making it quite the Beatles collectable.
To get the full info on the LP click here