#928: Come Outside by Mike Sarne

Peak Month: July 1962
8 weeks on Vancouver’s CFUN chart
Peak Position #7
Peak Position on Billboard Hot 100 ~ did not chart

Michael Scheuer was born in London, UK, in 1940. He learned to become an actor. In 1961 Mike Sarne starred in a minor role in the film Invasion Quartet, a parody of The Guns of Navarone. The parody was about two wounded officers, one British and one French who are deemed unfit and surplus to requirements. They leave their hospital and together with an explosives expert suffering from mental illness, and a Colonel thought too old to serve in the Army, make their way to France to destroy a long range German artillery piece.

Interested in boosting his acting career, it was suggested the twenty-one year old record a number of singles and see if he could be a success on the British record charts. In 1962 Sarne recorded “Come Outside” with backing vocals by Wendy Richards. She was 19 years old at the time and had first appeared in the British TV series Stranger On The Shore in 1961. The series featured the instrumental theme song by Mr. Acker Bilk. He distinctive Cockney accent was picked as the “date” in the song “Come Outside.”

Come Outside by Mike Sarne

Little doll we’ve been jiving all night long (Little doll), 
little doll gotta feeling something’s wrong (Little doll). 
Coz it ain’t right to wanna keep on dancing, 
there won’t be any time left for romancing. 

Come outside, come outside, 
there’s a lovely moon out there. 
Come outside, come outside, 
while we got time to spare. 

Little doll it seems ages since we kissed (Little doll), 
little doll think of all the fun we’ve missed (Little doll). 
Coz it ain’t right to wanna keep on dancing, 
there won’t be any time left for romancing. 

Come outside (what for), come outside (what’s the rush), 
there’s a lovely moon out there (it’s cold outside). 
Come outside (why), come outside (you do keep on), 
while we got time to spare (I want another twist). 

Now I went and promised your old man, 
that we’d be home about half past ten. 
Seems we’ve got just one more jive, 
then we’ll be starting home again. 

Come outside, (get lost) come outside (go and ask lil), 
there’s a lovely moon out there (you can go off people). 
Come outside (give over), come outside (belt up), 
while we got time to spare (why don’t you listen to the beat). 

Little doll I know the band ain’t bad (Little doll), 
little doll I’m a-getting kinda mad (Little doll). 
Coz it ain’t right to wanna keep on dancing
there won’t be any time left for romancing. 

Come outside (lay off), come outside (shove it), 
there’s a lovely moon out there (you are a one). 
Come outside (all right), come outside (not for too long), 
while we got time for a bit of slap and tickle
(I’ll slap and tickle you in a minute)

Oh come out for a bit of..

“Come Outside” is a novelty song that appeared on the British pop charts during the dance craze of the early 60’s when “The Twist,” “The Peppermint Twist,” “The Mashed Potato,” “The Locomotion” and other dance songs were dominating the club scene on either side of the Atlantic. In the song the female date at the club wants to keep jiving. The guy wants to go outside to kiss, romance and have a bit of “slap and tickle,” a slang term in the UK for physical amorous play between interested parties. Despite the guys repeated pleas to come outside, she tells him variously: “what for,” “what’s the rush,” “it’s cold outside,” “why,” “you do keep on,” “lay off,” “shove it” and “get lost.” She’s letting him know in subtle, and also very direct, language that she’s not interested in coming outside with him. She’d rather dance and tells him “I want another twist” and “why don’t you listen to the beat.?” If he wants to go outside with someone she suggests, “go and ask Lil.”  In 1962, in Britain, it was funny to hear a song about a couple who were in constant disagreement about how to spend time with one another when they were out on a date: stay in the club and dance or go outside and kiss, “slap and tickle.” At the time, there were other songs on the radio sending the message that girls really wanted whatever the boys wanted. In her song 1960 “No,” Dodie Stevens advised “oh, don’t you know, that a girl means yes when she says no.” So all of this protesting, for some guys at the time, was seen as a kind of verbal foreplay. A guy could think “she’s protesting, but she really wants to go as far as I do and is just playing hard to get.” In the case of “Come Outside,” the fellow doesn’t get her out the door and so was laughably considered back then as rather hapless and unlucky.

Between the fall of ’62 and the summer of ’63 Mike Sarne had three more singles in the UK Top 30. “Will I What?” picked up on the gag of a guy trying to get to first base with no luck. In this case the song is about a guy who asks a woman to go with him to a soda shop and she’s not the least bit interested. I assume a lot of guys in the UK in the early 60’s were familiar with being turned down when they made overtures to treat a gal to a soda or an ice cream.

In 1963 Sarne starred in the crime movie A Place To Go. In 1965 he starred in the musical comedy Everyday’s A Holiday, alongside British pop stars Freddie and The Dreamers and John Leyton. For a number of years in the mid-60’s Sarne was host of an ITV show Junior Criss Cross Quiz. He also appeared in the crime TV show Jonathan Creek, the spy-spionage shows The Avengers and Man in a Suitcase, the crime-comedy TV show Minders and later in the multi-decade long police series, The Bill. Sarne went on to direct several films starting in 1968 with Joanna, about an art student who has an affair with her teacher. In 1970 Sarne put Gore Vidal’s book on screen with Myra Breckinridge, about a gay man who has a sex change and becomes Myra Breckinridge. Raquel Welsh starred as Breckinridge. Her character poses as a widow of the man she used to be (though in fact audiences learn at the end of the film that a sex change never took place). At the time the film was universally panned as tasteless and absurd.

In 1966, just after Brigette Bardot married millionaire industrialist and playboy Gunter Sachs, Mike Sarne had an affair with Bardot a few days after her honeymoon. Sarne was eight years younger than Sachs. In 1967 Sarne would play opposite Bardot in the film Two Weeks In September (French title: À coeur joie). The plot of the movie concerned a model named Cecile who spends two weeks away from her older lover Philippe and is tempted by a younger man. Sarne would be cast in another nine films between 1968 and 2012, including Telstar: The Joe Meek Story, the 2008 film adaptation of a play about the songwriters-record producer who guided The Tornados, The Honeycombs, John Leyton and others to success on the UK pop charts and stardom.

Wendy Richards went on to star in a number of TV series for British audiences and was best known for her role as Miss Shirley Brahms in the BBC sitcom Are You Being Served? which ran from 1972 to 1985.

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