Teesside Snog Monster (jiggery_pokery) wrote,
Teesside Snog Monster
jiggery_pokery

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Beer

I'm teetotal, but last night I had a very catchy song for a beer commercial from about 1990 running through my head; not just any beer commercial, but one of the funniest ever. It might possibly have been a campaign local to this area and accordingly it's just possible that none of you at all might recognise it. I suspect I may be conflating two of the commercials in the same series, too; if you can help me separate the two (for, shamefully, even Google has no record of these ads) then I would be most grateful.

The premise of the advert is that two Geordies (strongly-accented inhabitants of Newcastle-upon-Tyne) go on holiday to other countries around the world, get into about twenty seconds worth of sight gags and wacky adventures through the medium of their images overlaid onto film footage, then return home simply because their chosen beer is not available abroad; the punchline is that their chosen beer is, indeed, One To Come Back For. And, er, that's it. However, given that I would've been about 15 at the time, you have to understand that the heavily guitar-y, moderately rock-ish tune absolutely rocked.

The first advert in the series was set in Russia:

Red Square's Dead Square, I know that for a fact
No McEwan's Export in the Warsaw Pact
(something)
(something)
(something)
(something)
Bye bye Vladivostok, let's have away from here
Russia? Nice place, shame about the beer

The second advert in the series was, well:

Florida's horrider than Whitley Bay
No McEwan's Export in the USA
The bars are packed tighter than tins of sardines
    (image: our heroes boarding a space shuttle)
No room for barmaids with all these machines
This is Geordies calling Houston, can you send us up some drinks?
    (image: our heroes have landed on the Moon)
There's no McEwan's Export and the local beer stinks
(something), (something) no atmosphere
The States? Nice place, shame about the beer

There were other adverts in the series: China, Japan, Transylvania and possibly others. Very funny adverts, possibly targeted a little younger than legality would permit these days, but a happy memory all the same. Communal-pensieve me up, anyone else who was there at the time.

Talking of someone who might've been drinking a little much of the stuff, I sometimes wonder if there is any wisdom to be gained from analysing the "Comments Posted", "Comments Received" and "Journal entries" figures in your full userinfo - whether the ratios of received:posted and received:entries are of use, interest or ornament. If they are, then one watchful_entity has some of the most impressive userinfo ratios ever. Watching the hoo, and associated ha, on watchful_entity was a strangely entertaining pastime last night; one particular thread got up to about 1,278 replies before the aforementioned entity turned it private. I'll claim to have seen the thread when it only had 15 replies, but you may well not believe me. Certainly there was a train-wreck-like fascination in seeing it get 1,000+ replies in about 9½ hours. If there hadn't been a follow-up post which took people's attention and if it hadn't all been turned private, I really reckon it might have had a shot at challenging some of LiveJournal's other well-known megathreads. (One thing we have learned from watchful_entity is that when you reply to your own post, it counts as +0 Comments Posted and +1 Comments Received.)

In other news, Sky paid £1,024,000,000 for the exclusive rights to televise live full Premiership football matches for the next three years</a>. Did anyone else see the sum mentioned and recognise it to be a kibimegaquid?

Last thought. "Hacker Jeopardy" is a well-known staple event at the DefCon security convention. I wonder if anyone with a sufficiently large lead has ever deliberately blown the Final Jeopardy question and made a bet just so that they would end up with a score of ($)31337?

Edited 2019-10-01 to add: well done from 2019!me to 2003!me for picking a topic that I still think about once every few years, so it's quite possible I'll revisit this again in, for instance, the space year 02035. Bear in mind that 2003 was two years before YouTube was launched - and one year before Facebook was launched, for that matter - so this is quite the vintage. It turns out that I'm not the only person thinking about those adverts, generally referred to as "nice place, shame about the beer".

A couple of adverts have cropped up on YouTube - but as much as adverts can crop up, they can stop cropping up, so having a separate record of the lyrics seems useful. I note with amusement that I didn't even get the precise brand of beer correct.

McEwan's Best Scotch, USA, 1990

Florida's horrider than Whitley Bay
No McEwan's Best Scotch in the USA
The bars are packed tighter than tins of sardines
    (image: our heroes boarding a space shuttle)
No room for barmaids with all these machines
All the flamin' pubs have got this funny atmosphere
I mean... nice place, shame about the beer.

Geordie calling Houston, (go ahead, Magpie!)
Can you send us up some drinks?
    (image: our heroes have landed on the Moon)
There's no McEwan's pubs,
and the local beer stinks
Beam me up Scotty, have us out of here
The States? Nice place, shame about the beer.

McEwan's Best Scotch; the one you've got to come back for.

McEwan's Best Scotch, Japan, 1992

Opening time in Tokyo, it's like the Great North Run!
No McEwan's Best in Land of Rising Sun.
The karaoke bar? The fans think we're a hit!
We really brought the house down, but everybody split.
Let's skip the encore, have you seen the bouncers here?
I mean... nice place, shame about the beer.

McEwan's Best Scotch? We're dyin' for a jar!
He's pointing to that train! Has it got a buffet car?
All aboard now! It's going to be tight...
Just like the local on a Saturday night.
Sayonara Tokyo, hello Tyne and Wear
Japan? Nice place, shame about the beer.

Thanks to two partial recollections online, we can just about piece together an approximation to the Russian original from around 1989:

Red Square's dead square, we know that for a fact
No McEwan's Best Scotch in the Warsaw Pact
They've just got propaganda, not proper Geordie brew
Ask about Marx? 1 out of 10 to you
We demand our money back, the KGB are here
I mean... nice place, shame about the beer.

(something)
No McEwans anywhere
Cannot get a flight
so we went by Geordie Air
Goodbye Vladivostok, hallo Tyne and Wear
Russia? Nice place, shame about the beer.
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