John Wayne Is Big Leggy Haysi Fantayzee
Song Title: John Wayne Is Big Leggy
Artist: Haysi Fantayzee
Date of release: 1982
Description: ” John Wayne Is Big Leggy ” is by Haysi Fantayzee, a British pop band popular during the early 1980s. Formed in 1981, Haysi Fantayzee consisted of Jeremy Healy, Kate Garner and Paul Caplin ( Kate Garner’s boyfriend at the time ).
Three more singles in addition to this one were released between 1982 and 1983. These were ” Holy Joe “, ” Shiny Shiny ” and ” Sister Friction “. Following the singles, the band also released an Album, Battle Hymns for Children Singing.
Before signing to a record label, the band came to the attention of record companies by sending them video performances with their demo tapes, the practice was unusual at the time. The outfits worn by Jeremy Healy and Kate Garner were often designed by Kate, their look consisted of similar hair and make-up that combined the styles of white Rasta, tribal chieftain and Dickensian. The near identical look gave the impression of distorted mirror image of each other.
Jeremy Healy has become an accomplished DJ since the days of Haysi Fantayzee with residencies at Miss Moneypenny’s ( styled as ” The World’s Most Glamorous Clubbing Brand ” ) in Ibiza and Cyprus. In 2007 he took on the musical director’s role for Gwen Stefani’s Lamb fashion label, The Golden Age of Couture at the Victoria and Albert Museum in London, Naomi Campbell’s Fashion For Relief, the Parisian jewellers Chaumet and if that wasn’t enough he helped launch of J-Lo’s fashion wear.
Kate Garner is now an English photographer and fine artist ( art developed primarily for aesthetics or beauty ). As a photographer she has photographed a variety of musicians and celebrities, including Dr. Dre, Leigh Bowery, JT LeRoy, Angelina Jolie, Cate Blanchett, Anne Hathaway, David Bowie, Cameron Diaz, PJ Harvey, John Galliano, Björk and Kate Moss.
Kate’s work has appeared in the American and British versions of Vogue and Harper’s Bazaar. She has also had photographs published in W magazine, Interview, GQ, Vanity Fair, Elle and British newspaper, The Sunday Times. As a performing artist, Kate occasionally performs live acoustic sets with her husband, Emit Bloch, the American songwriter and musician.
” John Wayne Is Big Leggy ” was written by Jeremy Healy, Kate Garner and Paul Caplin ( who produced the track ). Paul studied as a mathematician at Imperial College, London and Cambridge University before venturing into music. After Haysi Fantayzee disbanded he launched the record label, The Love Organization. In 2000 Paul founded Caplin Systems Ltd, a software company, serving as its chief executive and chairman until 2015.
The song was released in 1982 and taken from the band’s debut Album Battle Hymns for Children Singing. The Album, released in 1983, contained two UK Singles that made the Top twenty, this song and ” Shiny Shiny “, which reached number 16. Battle Hymns for Children Singing reached number 53 on the UK Albums Chart. It also charted in Australia making number 48 on the Australian Albums Chart and Germany where it peaked at number 40 on the German Albums Chart.
Lyrically the song was a fusion of political satire and sexual humour. Unbeknown to censors and general public, the song is about anal sex. John Wayne, the protagonist, is having sexual intercourse with a Native American female. The imagary the song portrays was intended to highlight the treatment of the North American indigenous peoples, known today as the First Nations. The treatment during the European colonisation was the focus of historian Dee Brown’s 1970 critically acclaimed and best selling book Bury My Heart at Wounded Knee, which has never gone out of print.
” John Wayne Is Big Leggy ” escaped the attention of the BBC censors, which for a song with such explicit sexual content was unusual. It was not only playlisted on BBC Radio 1, their flagship pop music radio station, but Haysi Fantayzee performed the song twice on Top of the Pops, a prime time pop music show watched by Millions at the time. Just to illustrate the point of the song escaping the BBC ban, the band even performed the song on Saturday morning children’s television.
The song’s intro with its ” Shotgun, gimme gimme low down fun boy, okay, showdown “, was taken by the BBC to be nothing more than a nonsensical cowboy novelty song. Kate Garner said of the lyrics and how they got passed the strict censors of the BBC ” People kept saying we were writing nonsense lyrics but we didn’t explain anything because, if they knew, it wouldn’t get played. ”
” John Wayne Is Big Leggy ” was a commercial success for Haysi Fantayzee. In the United Kingdom the song entered the UK Singles Chart on the 24th of July 1982 and reached a peak of number 11. It spent 4 weeks in the top twenty and a total of 10 weeks on the UK chart. The song also charted in Austria, Germany, Ireland and Switzerland.
BillBoard Hot 100 Highest Chart Position: N/A
UK Highest Chart Position: 11
Other Countries Highest Chart Positions: Austria 13, Germany 3, Ireland 22, Switzerland 4
Official Website: N/A
FaceBook Page: N/A
Wikipedia Page: Wikipedia.org/HaysiFantayzee