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YES, THAT WAS RICHARD BRANSON

One of the curious effects of YouTube–and, indeed, of the World Wide Web in general–is that the faint, vaporous memories of one’s cultural youth need no longer be so faint; type in a few search words, and you can empirically refute or verify some bonkers notion that’s been rattling ’round your brain. Such as: Did Richard Branson really appear in the video for the 1980 XTC single “Generals and Majors,” a video viewed just once, in one’s early teens? On the evidence of the video posted above: Yes indeed, that really was Branson.

At 2:40 in the clip, the Virgin chief’s trousers fall down, Benny Hill-style. Not until the heyday of Sean Combs’s Bad Boy label would a label boss again make such an oafish appearance in one of his artists’s videos.

May 15, 2006 More Rock Snobbery »

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