Only Fools and Horses

Season 4 Episode 4

It's Only Rock and Roll

Aired Tuesday 8:30 PM Mar 14, 1985 on BBC
out of 10
User Rating
16 votes

By Users

Episode Summary

Rodney is the drumless drummer in Mental Micky's band, 'A Bunch Of Wallies'. Delboy takes on the job of manager, getting them an abortive St Paddy's night gig at The Shamrock Club.

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  • Rodney Trotter and the Bunch of Wallies will rock your world!

    Good evening to all you rock and rollers out there, this is DJ Roy Stantz. Coming in this week in the episodes review charts is Only Fools and Horses episode "It's Only Rock and Roll".

    Our story begins with Del Boy and Rodney getting their hooky item of the week from the warehouse: Kandy Doll, your Talking Friend. Problem is, each one has a different voice chip, such as one sounding like Bugs Bunny. Also, Rodney just joined an aspiring rock band that are styling themselves after Frankie Goes to Hollywood, and their lead singer is a wild man named Mental Mickey Maguire, who once bit another man's ear off. The Trotter brothers then drive off.

    Later that day, at Nelson Mandela House, as Albert pours himself a brandy, Del enters and gives news that the Shamrock Club in Deptford doesn't have an act due to their previous act, the Dublin Bay Stormers, got thrown in jail. In a true classic OFAH moment, Del Boy successfully secures a booking for Rodney's band with a clever trick that involves a record player, a carefully-timed slamming door, and a Bachelors LP, then calls Liam, the owner of the club on the telphone, and tells him that it will cost £300 to hire the band for St. Patrick's Night. After the conversation is over, Albert says that the other Trotter relatives told him stories about Del's business activities, yet didn't believe them until now. Del doesn't care, because he's off to the community hall to tell Rodney.

    At the community hall, Rodney and his band are rehearsing a song they wrote called "Boys will be Boys", with Mental Mickey providing vocals, two other guys named Stew and Charlie both playing rhythm guitars, and Rodney playing drums on packing cases until Del enters, listens to them play their song rather badly, then tells them that they will need a manager who will buy them brand new equipment, as well as get them bookings for places such as the Albert Hall, the Carnegie Hall, and the Hollywood Bowl. Now their manager, Del promises the band that this time next year, they'll be millionaires. As Rodney's band continues playing, Del exits the hall and cringes in pain from their music.

    On St. Patrick's Night, a huge fight breaks out at the Shamrock Club due to the performance of Rodders' band. Rodney, Del, Stew, and Charlie quickly exit the club with their instruments and drive off in the Trotter van, leaving Mental Mickey to fight various club patrons to his heart's content.

    A few days later, Rodney has invited a policeman into the Trotter garage to tell him that his band's instruments were "stolen". Del arrives at the garage to tell his younger brother and the policeman that he had them on a sale-or-return basis. Del gets rid of the policeman, then Rodney says that he was kicked out of the band for defending his older brother. As Del explains to Rodney that the "bunch of wallies" weren't gonna make in the music business, Rodney asks Del why he always interferes in everything his younger brother does. Del Boy answers that their mother Joan told him on her deathbed to always give Rodney encouragement, but Rodders points out that whatever they're arguing about, Joan had something to say about it on her deathbed, revealing that the previous week when it was time to go down the chip shop, Del claimed she said in her final moments "Send Rodney for the fish!" Del tells Rodney to just forget about that "bunch of wallies" and move on. As the conversation ends, the Trotter brothers head off to the market to flog Malteasers.

    That night, back at the flat, while talking to Monkey Harris on the telephone about the Kandy Dolls, Del watches the TVs and discovers to his complete horror that Mental Mickey and his band are performing their song live on Top of the Pops. Del quickly turns both TVs off as Rodney enters with a plan to wind Albert up that an old woman from the laundromat wants him to take her to the old folks' beano on Thursday. Rodney proceeds to watch Top of the Pops, but Del tells him that both TVs are broken. And so, Rodney enters Albert's bedroom to give him the good news, and Del quickly puts on his camel coat. Albert exits his bedroom and tells Del that he doesn't want to go on the old folks' beano. Del tells his uncle not to go, as well as mention that he's off out but not to tell Rodney. Albert says that Rodney's busy watching Top of the Pops on the portable TV. Del fails to get away when a fuming Rodney tells him that the Bunch of Wallies are in the charts. If Del Boy hadn't interfered, Rodney could've been a star.

    This is a great episode if you're into rock music. Many other shows have used this episode, such as Power Rangers Turbo's "The Song of Confusion", and Foster's Home for Imaginary Friends' "Schlock Star". Absolutely smashing.moreless

Trivia, Notes, Quotes and Allusions


  • TRIVIA (2)

    • At the near end of the episode, Del tells Monkey Harris that he's had the 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 contract. So in the tight space of one week, the Bunch of Wallies have played the Shamrock Club, fired Rodney, hired a new drummer, got some instruments of their own (which they never had previously), gained a contract, recorded their song Boys will be Boys, released it as a single, entered the charts, and appeared on Top of the Pops.

    • The Trotter garage is a lot bigger than the one seen in "Time On Our Hands", where it was linked up with other garages and was much smaller.

  • QUOTES (3)

    • Mental Mickey: We like looking like this. We're Marxist, Trotskyite anarchists.

      Rodney: Yeah!

      Del: Why do you want to be superstars then?

      Mental Mickey: Because we want to be rich Marxist, Trotskyite anarchists.

    • Del: You didn't honestly believe all that rubbish, did you? That you and them wallies were destined for the Albert Hall, Carnegie Hall? The only hall you were destined for was Sod All.

    • Del: I remember what Mum said on her death bed. She said to me: "Del, please give little Rodney all the encouragement that you can. Never, Del, never hold him back."

      Rodney: She didn't half say a lot on her death bed, did she?

      Del: What?

      Rodney: Whatever the subject is, Mum had something to say about it on her death bed! She must have spent her final few hours in this mortal realm doing nothing but rabbiting!

      Del: You are walking a bleedin' tightrope here Rodney!

      Rodney: No hang on. Right, remember last week we were having a row about whose turn it was to go down the chippy, yeah? And you claimed that Mum said on her death bed: "Send Rodney for the fish!"

  • NOTES (1)

    • This episode featured a brief cameo by ex-Radio 1 DJ Mike Read, who was on the TV presenting the Bunch of Wallies on Top of the Pops.