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Music / John Otway

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Our Hero and left; an Otwat. Inset; THE BABY
What is this twat on the stage? He's John Otway (born 2 October 1952), everyone's self loathing punk rocker singer-songwriter. Armed with only a modicum of musical talent, this man likes to jump from great heights, headbutt microphones, perform front rolls, all for his fans to cheer at him.


  • 1977 - John Otway & Wild Willy Barrett
  • 1978 - Deep & Meaningless
  • 1979 - Did I Go Right?
  • 1980 - Way & Bar
  • 1982 - All Balls and No Willy
  • 1989 - The Wimp & The Wild
  • 1992 - Under the Covers and Over the Top
  • 1995 - Premature Adulation
  • 2002 - Bunsen Burner
  • 2005 - Ot-Air


  • Book Ends: The Wimp & The Wild features tracks called, funnily, "The Wimp" and "The Wild". These open each side of the album.
  • Call-Back: "You Are Breaking Up" features a brief reprise of Really Free in the form of a ringtone.
  • Cluster F-Bomb: Played with in "Focke Wolf"; "Focke, focke, focke, focke, focke Wulf"
  • The '80s: Telex and Mass Communication. DK 50/80 mentions 1984 and "places where you feel among the stars"
  • Foreshadowing: The subject of Gypsy. When he was young Otway always wanted to be a pop star. He went to see a fortune teller who told him that he would find success with a blonde haired musician.
  • Giftedly Bad. There are mixed feelings about this. His devoted fanbase thinks he's a genius. The music press and most retailers of music think he's not a real musician. Both sides are kinda right.
  • Gratuitous Panning: Played With on Are You On My Side? John's vocals are on the left as well as the bass. The Guitar and piano on the right. The drums in the center (with little panning). During the final choruses the channels swap four times!
  • Groin Attack. On Old Grey Whistle Test, Otway crushes his balls on an amp!!
  • Heroic Self-Deprecation: Played With. It's become part of his gigs!! Nothing's Gone (Except No. 1) is a fingers-up to his string of flops.
  • Inaudibly Fast Lyrics DK 50/80 qualifies. The lyrics are not only sung fast, but there's a delay on them which muffles them.
  • Iron Butt-Monkey: The man is 60 but still headbutts microphones, often drawing blood, and manages to perform coherently.
  • The Man Behind the Man: Even though Otway is a great songwriter, Wild Willy Barrett has produced and shaped his sound from the start. The lack of his input can be heard on Where Did I Go Right? and All Balls and No Willy.
  • Name and Name
    • John Otway & Wild Willy Barrett
    • "John Otway & Wild Willy Barrett" (the album)
    • "Way & Bar" counts.
  • One Book Blunder: Not anymore!
  • Two Hits! Wonder If you consider 27 to be a hit. At least Bunsen Burner got to No. 9.
  • Shout-Out: I Am a Lion: Out in the distance I hear the Call of the Wild. Considering The Wimp is Otway and The Wild is Barrett, this works. Barrett even shouts an "OI OI" in reply. Barrett was seen in the early 80s sporting their 4th album's title on a t-shirt. "Call of the Wild" is also Barrett's 1st solo album.
  • Studio Chatter: Baby, It's the Real Thing has the drummer Geoff Dugmore counting 1, 2, 3, 4 and then the same in some weird scat. Arbitrary stick clicks are also present.
    • & a Throw It In moment in Blockbuster, Willy laughs after John says "...where Buster goes". John laughs after this.
  • Subliminal Seduction: The lyrics at the start of DK 50/80 are about BDSM.