Dear Mr. Woolley off of The Buggles

Re: Video Killed The Radio Star

As someone who did indeed listen to "the wireless back in '52" and is now the proud owner of a full Comet Home Entertainment System, I must say that I find your “futurist smash” somewhat perplexing.

”Video”, as I am sure you are aware, originates from the Latin "videre"; it means, of course, “I see”, or “I am seeing”.  A person’s sight, however, cannot itself cause a fatality, regardless of whether or not the victim is an aural broadcasting personality.


I am aware that your use of the word “video” may refer to a “Video Recorder” or a cartridge inserted into said device in order to reproduce taped imagery upon a television screen. While this interpretation is perhaps more likely, I still fail to see how such an item could cause the death of a “disc jockey”. However, I did once witness “Diddy” David Hamilton drop a Betamax copy of “Footloose” onto his toes at the Portsmouth branch of “Our Price” sometime in the mid-1980s, resulting in some discomfort for the diminutive mid-morning presenter. Incidentally, he did not exclaim ‘Oh-a-a-a oh’ but merely cursed mildly. (Perhaps the incident would have been more painful for a taller “D.J.”, for example Peter Powell, or Ed “Stewpot” Stewart.)

I wish to make one further point. You express concern that “in my mind and in my car, we can’t rewind, we’ve gone too far”. With regard to motoring, may I suggest that you safely execute a three-point turn, before retracing the final section of your car journey. Concerning your difficulty with your “tape recorder”, a useful tip may be to turn the cassette over and utilise the “fast forward” feature. I fail to understand how these two operations are related.

Your clarification with regard to the above disparities is eagerly awaited.

Yours sincerely


Derek Philpott

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