The song was written, sung, and recorded by Peter Shelley, using the glam rock name Alvin Stardust. Although he had already appeared as the original Alvin Stardust on the ‘Lift Off’ television programme, Shelley was surprised when the record went straight into the chart the following week. As he had no desire to become his own stage name creation, he and Levy both agreed that if this act were to become more than just a one-hit wonder, then he should perform as, Alvin Stardust. The new ‘Alvin Stardust’ then appeared on BBC Television’s ‘Top of the Pops’ just as the record had entered the ‘UK Top 30’, before finally reaching Number 2.
The only thing I can recall about the release of this record in 1973 is that I first heard it at a Christmas party in December of 1974. It was one of the few occasions that I was a bit tipsy. Being tipsy was an infrequent experience for me and being drunk was a total rarity, as I hadn’t been much of a drinker since the wild days of my teenage years. On this occasion, however, I had drunk too much and was sitting (or perhaps positioned more prostrate) on one of those sofas of the time that went around the room perimeter and had over a dozen sections to it. I must have been drowsy and was dropping off to sleep when suddenly, the record being played was changed to one being sung by Alvin Stardust and the room bust out into the loudest ‘Coo Ca Choo’ chant I’ve ever heard (or so it seemed at the time). Then, someone bent down over me, placed both hands on each of my face cheeks and said, “And who’s this little Coo ca Choo all on his own?” as they landed a big kiss on my lips.
It turned out to be one of the more attractive and friendliest of secretaries in the Huddersfield Probation Office who often chatted and joked with me in a flirtatious manner, that I enjoyed, despite being a married man. When she kissed me unexpectedly at the office do, she knew that I hadn’t yet celebrated my fifth wedding anniversary and was at least two years further away from scratching at any new territory. It turned out that she also was a woman who rarely drank but had decided to attend this party and get inebriated because her marriage was going through a rough patch since she’d discovered her husband had been having an affair with a married woman.
Although I might/probably/would have responded more romantically, under different circumstances had neither of us been married, but my marriage vows still rang loud and clear whenever a sexual thought strayed in an extra-marital direction. Besides, I believed I was ‘wedded for life come hell or high water’ and politely prevented her from making any further advances she would come to regret when she had sobered up the next day. We spoke for some time that night and went home our separate ways.
As fate was to decree, nothing untoward ever transpired between us in future years, despite a few ‘near misses’ after both of our marriages broke up five years apart. We continued to flirt harmlessly in the office knowing that danger was always present whenever we found ourselves alone. We both sensed that there was a spark between us that would immediately ignite into a raging bonfire were we ever to meet again in an inebriated state where our eyes would betray our innermost desire.
So, we continued to play out our flirtatious game for several years longer, managing to keep our feelings in check through the combined approach of effectively handcuffing our emotions of excitement and caution in permanent partnership. Being aware of the continuous presence of the sexual spark that existed between us that could flare up with the exchange of one certain look, the voicing of one spoken word or the feel of one inappropriate touch between us. It was as though we each unconsciously held a box of matches in one hand and a bucket of water in the other for the remaining years we worked in the same office environment!
I have not thought about my fair-maiden office colleague for many years now, and no doubt she would have remained a distant memory in the recess of my mind had I not recently heard the Alvin Stardust record ‘Coo Ca Choo’ on the radio which momentarily made me wonder, “What if…. I had….?”
Then I look across at Sheila, the lovely woman I was to eventually marry and think, "And coo ca choo to that!"
Love and peace. Bill xxx