It's Only Rock and Roll (Only Fools and Horses)

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"It's Only Rock and Roll"
Only Fools and Horses episode
Only Fools It's Only Rock n Roll.jpg
Episode no. Series 4
Episode 4
Directed by Susan Belbin
Written by John Sullivan
Produced by Ray Butt
Original air date 14 March 1985
(13.6 million viewers)
Running time

30 minutes

  • 28:29 (DVD)
  • 28:30 (iTunes)
List of episodes

"It's Only Rock and Roll" is an episode of the BBC sitcom, Only Fools and Horses. It was the fourth episode of series 4, and was first broadcast on 14 March 1985. In the episode, Rodney joins an aspiring rock band.

Synopsis[edit]

At a warehouse, as Del Boy loads up the van with the latest item to flog called Kandy Dolls, Rodney tells him that he just joined a band that are styling themselves on Frankie Goes to Hollywood. Del points out that Rodney does not have any drums, as well as mention that he shouldn't be hanging with that "bunch of wallies", especially their wild lead singer, "Mental" Mickey Maguire, who once bit another man's ear off. It is then revealed that each Kandy Doll has a different voice chip meant for another toy, and the Trotter Brothers then drive off.

Later, back at Nelson Mandela House, Del tells Albert that the Shamrock Club in Deptford, the "Paddies' Moulin Rouge", doesn't have an act for St. Patrick's Night since their resident band, the Dublin Bay Stormers, are in prison for their violent behaviour. Del manages to secure a booking for Rodney's band at the Shamrock Club with a clever ruse which involves a carefully timed slamming door and a Bachelors LP on the record player, then calling Liam, the owner of the club on the phone, and telling him that it will require £300 to hire the band for St. Patrick's Night. Once the conversation is over, Del heads off to the community hall to tell Rodney.

That night, at the community hall, Rodney and his band are rehearsing a song they wrote called "Boys will be Boys", with Mental Mickey providing lead vocals, two other men named Stew and Charlie both playing rhythm guitars, and Rodney playing drums on packing cases, until Del enters, listens to the band playing their song rather badly, then tells them that he wants to be their manager and will buy them brand new instruments, as well as get them bookings. Mental Mickey allows Del to take the position. Del then asks the band if they know any of the Bachelors' songs, and the band look at him nonplussed. Now their manager, Del promises the band that this time next year, they will be millionaires.

On St. Patrick's Night at the Shamrock Club, a riot has broken out due to the performance of Rodney's band. Rodney, Del, Stew, and Charlie exit the club with their instruments and drive off into the night in the Trotter van, while Mental Mickey enjoys himself fighting various club patrons.

A few days later, at the Trotters' garage, Rodney has invited a policeman in to tell him that his band's instruments were "stolen". But Del appears at the garage door and explains to his younger brother and the policeman that he had them on a sale-or-return basis, much to Rodney's surprise. Del gets rid of the policeman, and tells Rodney that the band were never destined for the Albert Hall and Carnegie Hall; the only hall they were destined for was "Sod 'All". After explaining that he got kicked out of the band for defending his older brother, Rodney asks Del why he always interferes in everything his younger brother does. Del answers that their mother Joan said to him on her deathbed to give Rodney all the encouragement he could, but Rodney points out that whatever they are arguing about, their mother always had something to say about it on her deathbed, such as Del telling Rodney to go and get fish and chips because Joan said "Send Rodney for the fish". Del then pays Rodney his share of the £300 booking fee, and tells him to just forget about Mental Mickey's group and move on. With the conversation over, the Trotter Brothers head off to the market to flog hooky Maltesers.

One evening some time later, as Del is talking to Monkey Harris on the telephone about the Kandy Dolls, he watches the TVs and discovers to his complete horror that the group, now named A Bunch of Wallies and having hired a new drummer, are at #26 on the UK Singles Chart and performing their song on Top of the Pops. Suddenly, Del hears Rodney entering the flat, and quickly turns both TVs off, as Rodney wants to watch Top of the Pops, but Del tells him that both TVs are broken. And so, Rodney decides to enter Albert's bedroom and wind him up about taking an old woman from a laundromat to an old folks' beano. While that happens, Del quickly puts on his camel coat, while Albert exits his bedroom and tells him that Rodney's busy watching Top of the Pops on the portable TV. Just as Del is about to escape, a fuming Rodney exits Albert's bedroom and tells Del that Mental Mickey and his band are in the charts and have a great chance of making it to #1, and Rodney has lost out on it. Del protests that he too has lost out as he was the band's manager. Rodney produces his old drumstick and threatens to hurt Del with it.

Episode cast[edit]

Actor Role
David Jason Derek Trotter
Nicholas Lyndhurst Rodney Trotter
Buster Merryfield Uncle Albert Trotter
Geoffrey Leesley Policeman
Daniel Peacock "Mental" Mickey
Marcus Francis Charlie
David Thewlis Stew
Mike Read Himself

Errors[edit]

  • At the near end of the episode, Del tells Monkey Harris that he has had the Kandy Dolls for a week, shortly before seeing the Bunch of Wallies on Top of the Pops. On the day Del bought the dolls, Rodney was still in the band, and another member said later he reckoned his friend's cousin could get them a recording contract. So, in the tight space of one week, the Bunch of Wallies have played the Shamrock Club, fired Rodney, hired a new drummer, bought some instruments of their own, signed a contract, recorded their song "Boys will be Boys", released it as a single, entered the charts, and appeared on Top of the Pops. Although Del telling Monkey he has only had the dolls for a week could be explained as a negotiating ploy by Del as he is trying to sell the dolls to Monkey, and if he told Monkey that he had the dolls for longer, they would appear less valuable.
  • When Del's on the phone to Liam at the Shamrock Club, he starts playing "Diane" by the Bachelors. However, when he puts the phone down and turns the volume up, it jumps to a different point of the song.

Music[edit]

External links[edit]