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The Great Wurzels Vinyl Mystery!
by Paul Gunningham

Can you help solve the riddle of the cryptic messages found engraved on old Wurzels records?

Several of The Wurzels' 45 rpm 7-inch singles from the 1970s have been found to contain cryptic messages engraved on the "dead" space near the runout groove. Can anyone out there explain how these came to be there, and explain what they're about? If you can, then please contact us!

Record no.
Track title
Message / Possible explanations
EMI 2450
Side A
The Combine Harvester (Brand New Key) "NOT THE JOHN MILES !"
Notes: John Miles was The Wurzels' manager at the time of this recording (1976). Round about this time, a different John Miles was enjoying chart success with records such as Highfly and Music. Maybe the message is something to do with this - but which one is "the" John Miles?
EMI 2450
Side B
The Blackbird "HAVE A GURT BIG Dollop"
Notes: The old Adge Cutler song When The Common Market Comes To Stanton Drew includes a mention of "a girt dollop of spaghetti", but otherwise I can't think of any obvious meaning for this message. Could there be an Italian connection?
EMI 2520
Side A
I Am A Cider Drinker (Paloma Blanca) "I'M A PANAMA BLANKET!! "
Notes: I assume this is a reference to the song Una Paloma Blanca on which The Wurzels' hit was based.
EMI 2520
Side B
The Back Of My Old Car "NICE ONE SAMMY"
Notes: No idea about this one - who is "Sammy"?
EMI 2568
Side A
Morning Glory

"FIVE FOR VIC LANZA ! "
Notes: I assume this is a reference to the words of the song:

One for the Morning Glory
Two for the early dew
Three for the man who stands his round,
and Four for the love of you, my girl
Four for the love of you

But who is Vic Lanza? Well, Vic was a former EMI division chief, described by Music Week as "one of the record industry's most colourful characters". Vic Lanza headed up EMI Records' MOR music division for nearly two decades in the 1970s and early 1980s, scoring numerous successes during that time. Vic died in January 2008 after a long illness, and is buried in West London.

EMI 2568
Side B
Rock Around The A38 "WELCOME Billy"
Notes: No idea about this one - who is "Billy"?
EMI 2637
Side A
Farmer Bill's Cowman (I Was Kaiser Bill's Batman) "A NIKICUT"
Notes: No clues about this one at all!

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