Dear Ms. Gaskin and Mr. Stewart

On my son’s 13th in 1978 he ''threw a strop'' upon finding when he opened his main present that the Buddy Holly album he had asked for was in actuality the soundtrack to the film and was therefore sung all the way through by Gary Busey. As he was having friends over, however, we demanded that he put a brave face on it or else he would ruin the party for everyone.

Similarly, even if your initial suspicions were founded and 'your' Johnny and Judy left at the same time to venture to a mysterious location (and assuming that he was not holding her hand to platonically help her down over a particularly steep step), to 'cry if you want to' is a no no.

Furthermore, your get out clause, I would cry too if it happened to me, is unacceptable given the extreme unlikelihood of a uniform empathy throughout the entire record buying public (or what remains of those who still expect to purchase music).

Finally, considering that your birthday bash is an evening affair, as evidenced by your guests playing your records and dancing all night, one finds it difficult to believe that any jewellers were open in order that Judy may return wearing his ring. Sadly the only conclusion to be drawn from such an after hours finger adornment is that she had made her selection and been measured up previously, proof that the infidelity had been going on for quite a while

In conclusion, it is hoped that you will ‘let it go’ and are not planning any form of retribution, as perhaps hinted at within your ‘promotional video’ which rather worryingly features lots of footage of Kendoka warriors in training




Derek Philpott (and son)



From: Dave Stewart & Barbara Gaskin


45 Letsby Avenue


East Pembrokeshire

The People's Republic of Scotland

Dear Mr. Philpott,

Thank you for your comments on our 1981 single 'It's My Party'. If we may so, your son sounds like a right spoiled bastard. There again, forcing the wretched youth to listen to Gary Busey singing Buddy Holly's greatest hits on his birthday seems a cruel and unusual punishment, raising serious doubts re. your parenting skills. Were Social Services alerted?

Such concerns aside, your criticisms of our record were clearly not shared by the MILLIONS OF PEOPLE who bought it, sending it (as we never tire of reminding everyone) to the TOP OF THE UK SINGLES CHART and making it a SMASH HIT ALL OVER THE WORLD - not least in Germany, where it earned its place in the Deutschland Popmusik hall of fame alongside masterpieces such as '99 Luftballons' and the immortal 'Da Da Da'.

Your accusations nevertheless contain some interesting points. Criminologists, forensic psychologists, ethnomusicologists, music writers with overheated imaginations, high court judges, fantasists, conspiracy theorists, compulsive obsessives, the Speaker of the House of Lords and assorted lunatics have long pondered the movements of Judy and Johnny in the period when the faithless couple had left the party, leaving the host playing her records and dancin' all night, before returning at 6am and heartlessly flashing the bling at the exhausted tear-stained chanteuse.

You are probably right to assume the lack of a 24-hour jewellery shop in the vicinity, but you overlook one possibility: the ring was illegally acquired in a smash-and-grab raid, Judy kicking in the jeweller's window with her size 15 boot while Johnny kept watch for approaching rozzers, or perhaps the other way round.

Given these criminal tendencies and his identical callous treatment of Lesley Gore 18 years earlier, Barbara now regrets getting involved with Johnny. A leopard doesn’t change his spots though, and no doubt The Johnster will be up to his old tricks again in future (though he must be getting on a bit now).

About the video. The decision to hire a pair of Japanese martial arts warrior impersonators was made by Stiff Records supremo Dave 'Robbo' Robinson, a disturbing escalation of the baseball-bat-under-the-desk self-defence technique practised by record company bosses. Rest assured, the burly individuals in question have returned to their former gig of Catford nightclub bouncers. We are grateful that Robbo refrained from his usual practice of dropping a grand piano from an aeroplane mid-song (as demonstrated so effectively in his video work for the Madness pop combo), as that would have done nothing to enhance our record's rather sensitive middle eight.

For our part, we turned up for the shoot having ticked all the requisite boxes for early-1980s pop video production, i.e. 1) apply as little forethought as possible, 2) hastily assemble daft costumes and wigs, 3) invite a lot of mates who like a laugh, 4) get in a few crates of beer and 5) mill about aimlessly en masse in a darkened warehouse mouthing 'what's going on?' while the director and cameraman endlessly discuss lighting states. Job done! We therefore suggest you mail further comments about this particular piece of pop-video history to Mr. Robinson's Bahamas residence.

Re. your impatience with the 'I’ll cry if I want to' brigade - here we agree. The practice of bursting into tears over a trivial setback has been elevated to the level of a national sport. Witness TV presenter Kirsty Allsopp: one might consider her a practical and down-to-earth woman, stumping about in sensible shoes and putting Phil Spencer in his place while dispensing homespun advice on the hitherto unsuspected attractions of a hideous suburban bedroom. Amazingly, even Ms. Allsopp has fallen prey to 'The Crying Game', bursting into tears on a cookery programme when her cake failed to rise to the desired height.

Enough is enough. The blubbing has to stop - bring back the English stiff upper lip, we say. The challenges of Brexit will not be best met by the UK's team of negotiators bursting into tears every time an EU country's representative says something uncomplimentary about Nigel Farage. With that in mind, we're considering changing the lyrics of our version to 'It's My Party and I'll Maintain a Dignified Facial Expression At All Times', even though it's a bit less snappy than the original.

Yours sincerely,

Dave & Barbara



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