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FLAME

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Filmed/released - 1975

"Light the Rock n' Roll spark with a Flame in the guise of Dave, Noddy, Jim and Don and their showcase of the rise and demise of rock band Flame. Set in the hardships of North England's seventies working class society and music scene. This build-up from rags to riches is a parody of realism and grit, with double-dealings and harsh unforgiving dog eat dog mentalities, and the golden rule; if you play with matches then you're going to get burnt, in the flames of the music industry"

The backdrop to this film was so bleak and gritty that one would not have been surprised to have spotted Jack Carter (in his black raincoat) passing by in the background.

With Alan Lake, Tom Conti and Johnny Shannon there to do the real acting, despite the serious nature of the film, Slade's thespian talents were little more important than the Beatles's were in Hard Days Night or the Monkees in Head. Despite that, Noddy Holder and Jimmy Lea (who were the brains behind Slade anyway i.e. they wrote all the songs) both aquit themselves extremely well; successfully creating credible, interesting and well rounded characters.

Dave Hill simply played himself (not that that was a problem, as he was, to all intents and purposes, cast as himself anyway). I defy anyone to decipher a complete sentence mumbled by drummer Don Powell, but that oddly adds to his character's charm.

This successful hybrid between Get Carter and Stardust is truly a lost gem, that, despite it's rediscovery and favourable reassessment in the 90's, has still not received the popular recognition it deserves.

Who knows, if this had been a major success (as opposed to a major flop) on it's initial release, would it have been that long before we saw The Sweet doing a bullion job in The Sweeny?

FILMING LOCATIONS

We need help here folks - take a look at the screengrabs and tell us where they are !!

Kelvin Flats - a few scenes were filmed here including scenes of walking up the stairs, a bike coming out from the underground carpark and a community centre as well as a few of the flats themselves.

Parkwood Springs - this has been mentioned as a possible location but whereabouts exactly ?

PICTURES

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LINKS

Buy the dvd - http://amzn.to/2gtZnNF

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REVIEW OF THE MOVIE

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They're the group with a healthy bank balance every Christmas. According to Vic Reeves, they are all Cup-a-soup addicts and lead singer Noddy Holder is wheeled out to comment on how much fun the 70s were on every TV and Radio retrospective going.

I remember that Glam Rock really was fun with a capital F back in the early to mid 70s and Slade always gave the impression that they were having slightly more fun than their contemporaries. So when, as an 11 year old in 1974, I heard that Slade had made their cinema debut, I sat with a group of fellow Glam rock fans at the local picture house ready for fun, but emerged disapointed.

So where was the fun ? Where was Noddy’s famous mirrored hat ? The wacky slapstick scenes ? The stonking concert footage with old favourites like "Mama We’re All Crazee Now" and "Cum on Feel The Noize" ? Apart from the odd funny one-liners and a scene filmed aboard an old war time fort used by a pirate radio station, all I remember was a bleak, depressing grey film.

The film wasn't particularly well received at the time by most critics and Slade fans. Coupled with my own ever fading memories of Flame, I avoided the rare TV screenings over the years, until I decided to buy the DVD recently and give it another chance. I'm glad I did.

Slade were always far more intellegent than their on stage presence suggested. Noddy Holder and Jimmy Lea were talented songwriters and the band were expertly managed by Chas Chandler. Ex Animals bass player Chas was the man responsible for bringing Jimi Hendrix to the UK and when he suggested Slade make a movie, everyone that mattered took it seriously.

A risk had to be taken. It would have been easier to go for the "Never Too Young To Rock" type treatment, the film which saw Mud and The Rubettes glamming it up in some story about a mad professor, or perhaps the equally dubious "Remember Me This Way" featuring Gary Glitter as a Kung Fu hero. Instead, they went for an expose of the reality of the pop business.

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A young director, Richard Loncraine was appointed and a screenplay was commissioned from dramatist Andrew Birkin. The first draft was reportedly too "nice" which led to Slade inviting Birkin and Loncraine to tour America with them to experience the reality of band life as opposed to the myth. They only lasted just two weeks, but presented a new version of the screenplay which was far more credible and thus went into production.

In the best tradition of 60s and 70s British cinema, Slade In Flame was shot in eight weeks, entirely on location and with a low budget. This formula proved successful for all the classsic hard edged British movies like Billy Liar, Up The Junction, Georgy Girl, That’ll Be The Day etc. The result has a documentary feel to it, the kind of technique we seem to pull off well in the UK.

And so to the story, which I will relate without giving too much away. I wonder if it was intentional to name the character played by Allan Lake after a brand of bourbon, particularly as Lake's reputation for being the heavy drinking husband of Diana Doors sadly often overshadowed his first class acting talent ? Well, accident or not, Lake plays Jack Daniels, the rough cut lead singer of a band who are only good enough to play weddings and the gigs at the clubs no-one else wants to work in. Guitarists Paul (played by Jimmy Lea) and Barry (played by Dave Hill) are Daniels' backing band who are bored with the constant Elvis covers and are becoming dissillusioned with the waste of their talent.

When the drummers equipment is destroyed during a riot at a gig, Daniels recruits a new drummer, Charlie, (played by Don Powell), on the basis of him owning the best drum kit of all the auditioners rather than for his talent.

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Daniels has an uneasy relationship with Harding (played by Johnny Shannon), the bands manager/agent. Harding is the type of wide boy agent who dabbles in fruit machine ownership and probably a number of other less-legit interests, backed up by his ruthless minders/heavies who are always ready to put any of Harding's entertainers in their place if they dare to question their contracts or their gigs. Daniels is therefore mightly displeased when he finds Hardy has booked them to play support to The Undertakers, a popular band with a better lead singer called Stoker (played by Noddy Holder). Eventually, the bands merge and Daniels is ousted , leaving Stoker, Paul, Barry and Charlie.

The new line up rocks. The audience love them and everyone is happy, apart from Harding who doesn't like Stoker. He grudgingly recognises Stoker's talent, but realises that the new lead singer answers back and isn't the lap dog Daniels was. Unable to control the band, the menacing aspect of Harding's character emerges.

With more and more gigs under their belt, the group are headhunted by the suave pop business entreprenaur Robert Seymour, played by Tom Conti, who introduces them to record deals, radio, TV and fame.

Seymour is also ruthless, but only on a business front , although there are hints at his manipulation of the band throughout the film. Watch for clues being given during the bands appearance on the pirate radio fort. Watch too for a cameo appearance from the late Tommy Vance as the pirate DJ !

But fame comes at price as the bands ghosts reappear. And that's all I'll say on the storyline. What comes next ? Well it could end predictably, or end with a twist or a combination of both. Watch the film, it won't disappoint !

Fame comes at a price may sound cliché, but it's the basis of many films and such stories always fascinate. Let’s face it, the Beatles story is a case in point. We all want to know why the most successful band in history called it a day after eight years. There are many similarities in Flame to other rock 'n' roll films, such as David Essex's tragic rise and fall of a pop star story in Stardust, to Hazel O'Connor's bleak portrayal of a punk who sells out in Breakin' Glass, down to the bawdyness of the 90's hit Irish comedy The Commitments.

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If you buy the same DVD version as I bought, aside from the obligatory photo gallery and discography which aren’t particularly exciting, you will be able to access one particular extra that is certainly worth owning – a 2002 interview with Noddy Holder. It would have been easy to make this a 10 minute jolly chat about Glam Rock, but Noddy has done too many of the "had hits, made a film, had fun, wore platform boots" type. The Flame DVD interviews Noddy for a full hour and they concentrate on the movie, the idea, the preparation, the making, the aftermath. Noddy reveals the conflict between the members of Slade who thought the end result would harm their career and those who believed strongly in the story. There are also those light hearted secrets that Noddy is so good at relating – "Dave was terrified of heights and we 'ad to get a stand in to climb the ladder up to the pirate radio fort".

If you are a young Slade fan, you should watch this and gain insight into the acting abilities of your heroes. They do it well. If you are an older fan, maybe you were sat in the same cinema as me back in 1974/5, watch Slade In Flame again and give it another chance. You'll be glad you did.

Summary: Look behind the scenes to see that "Glam" wasn't always Glam !

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Many thanks to one of our members who gave us the following:

FOR BONFIRE NIGHT IT'S SLADE IN FLAME

In 1974 Chas decided it woz about time to make a film. Like the bands counterparts of the 60's Cliff, Elvis, The Beatles, The Stones and many more had huge success wiv their films. In the 70's it was the turn of the glam boys to make the move into films. T.Rex, Bowie, David Essex, Led Zep even that perv GG (do you think he knew he would get found out one day with Remember Me This Way) I'd rather "forget him" The Sweet made a film also with the plastic glam acts.

But Flame was all about the "dirtier" side of the music business. How bands would be ripped off by "forth rate agents copping ten percent" a thing that The Bay City Rollers would learn about in the latter part of their career. The film is NOT the story of Slade (though there are similarities) I went to see the film at The Beauford in the Ward End suburb of Birmingham when it opened in January 1975, dressed in all my Slade gear of course including my now long lost silk scarf, which I waved in the air to all the songs in the film, I sang along to them all.

As the soundtrack had already been released ( I bought all 3 formats the L.P (pictured here wiv my sister) the cassette and even an 8 track tape even though I couldn’t play it) The track listing is:

Side 1 How Does It Feel, Them Kinda Monkeys Can't Swing, So Far So Good, Summer Song(Wishing You Were Here) OK Yesterday Was Yesterday.

Side 2 Far Far Away, This Girl, Lay It Down, Heaven Knows, Standin' On The Corner.

However the tracklisting on the cover seems to differ from that order.

Prior to the film’s release, Barry Norman reviewed it on his BBC “Film Night” programme. Slade also appeared on “Pebble Mill At One” and kids TV “Runnaround” promoting the film.

The soundtrack album spawned two singles “Far Far Away” and “How Does It Feel” the latter now regarded as Slade’s finest recording by many, Slade also did a stunning live performance of it at The B’ham Odeon that year. On their Top Of The Pops performance of Far Far Away Flames were superimposed over the VT.

Sadly their Top Of The Pops performances of this classic track no longer survive, when I was putting together my own video singles file of this great band from Wolverhampton I made my own promo with footage from the film. But now, thanks to an old guard fan, an appearance on “The Russell Harty Show” will be included on Slade’s forthcoming DVD.

THE CAST

Noddy Holder .... Stoker

Jim Lea .... Paul

Dave Hill .... Barry

Don Powell .... Charlie

Tom Conti .... Robert Seymour

Johnny Shannon .... Ron Harding

Kenneth Colley .... Tony Devlin

Alan Lake .... Jack Daniels

Sara Clee .... Angie

Anthony Allen .... Russell

Rosko .... Himself

Tommy Vance .... Ricky Storm

John Dicks .... Lenny

Michael Coles .... Roy Priest

Nina Thomas .... Julie

Patrick Connor .... Foreman

A.J. Brown .... Chairman

Barrie Houghton .... Ron

Jimmy Gardner .... Charlie's Dad

Sheila Raynor .... Charlie's Mum

The people who starred in the film who are no longer with us: R.I.P

Alan Lake 10th. October 1984

Sheila Raynor 17 February 1998

A.J. Brown 29 January 1978

Tommy Vance 6 March 2005, Note: Noddy Holder has replaced Tommy on Channel 5's Dumb And Dumber programme.

Info courtesy of http://www.imdb.com/

who, by the way forgot to mention Reginald Bosanquet featured in the film, playing himself on News At Ten reporting on the shooting of the group (Flame) as they were being interviewed by Ricky Storm on Radio City in the Thames at Essex (Redsands) who can forget when Flame are introducing themselves Charlie calls himself sea sick.

The Slade In Flame machine turned in some brilliant memorabilia including a paperback book, a 52 page songbook, posters and badges

I remember that Glam Rock really was fun with a capital F back in the early to mid 70s and Slade always gave the impression that they were having slightly more fun than their contemporaries. So when, as an 11 year old in 1974, I heard that Slade had made their cinema debut, I sat with a group of fellow Glam rock fans at the local picture house ready for fun, but emerged disappointed.

So where was the fun ? Where was Noddy’s famous mirrored hat ? The wacky slapstick scenes ? The stonking concert footage with old favourites like "Mama We’re All Crazee Now" and "Cum on Feel The Noize" ? Apart from the odd funny one-liners and a scene filmed aboard an old war time fort used by a pirate radio station, all I remember was a bleak, depressing grey film.

Slade were always far more intelligent than their on stage presence suggested. Noddy Holder and Jimmy Lea were talented songwriters and the band were expertly managed by Chas Chandler. Ex Animals bass player Chas was the man responsible for bringing Jimi Hendrix to the UK and when he suggested Slade make a movie, everyone that mattered took it seriously.

A young director, Richard Loncraine was appointed and a screenplay was commissioned from dramatist Andrew Birkin. The first draft was reportedly too "nice" which led to Slade inviting Birkin and Loncraine to tour America with them to experience the reality of band life as opposed to the myth. They only lasted just two weeks, but presented a new version of the screenplay which was far more credible and thus went into production.

In the best tradition of 60s and 70s British cinema, Slade In Flame was shot in eight weeks, entirely on location and with a low budget. This formula proved successful for all the classic hard edged British movies like Billy Liar, Up The Junction, Georgy Girl, That’ll Be The Day etc. The result has a documentary feel to it, the kind of technique we seem to pull off well in the UK.

And so to the story, which I will relate without giving too much away. I wonder if it was intentional to name the character played by Allan Lake after a brand of bourbon, particularly as Lake's reputation for being the heavy drinking husband of Diana Doors sadly often overshadowed his first class acting talent ? Well, accident or not, Lake plays Jack Daniels, the rough cut lead singer of a band who are only good enough to play weddings and the gigs at the clubs no-one else wants to work in. Guitarists Paul (played by Jimmy Lea) and Barry (played by Dave Hill) are Daniels' backing band who are bored with the constant Elvis covers and are becoming disillusioned with the waste of their talent.

When the drummers equipment is destroyed during a riot at a gig, Daniels recruits a new drummer, Charlie, (played by Don Powell), on the basis of him owning the best drum kit of all the auditioners rather than for his talent.

Daniels has an uneasy relationship with Harding (played by Johnny Shannon), the bands manager/agent. Harding is the type of wide boy agent who dabbles in fruit machine ownership and probably a number of other less-legit interests, backed up by his ruthless minders/heavies who are always ready to put any of Harding's entertainers in their place if they dare to question their contracts or their gigs. Daniels is therefore mightily displeased when he finds Harding has booked them to play support to The Undertakers, a popular band with a better lead singer called Stoker (played by Noddy Holder). Eventually, the bands merge and Daniels is ousted , leaving Stoker, Paul, Barry and Charlie.

The new line up rocks. The audience love them and everyone is happy, apart from Harding who doesn't like Stoker. He grudgingly recognises Stoker's talent, but realises that the new lead singer answers back and isn't the lap dog Daniels was. Unable to control the band, the menacing aspect of Harding's character emerges.

With more and more gigs under their belt, the group are headhunted by the suave pop business entrepreneur Robert Seymour, played by Tom Conti, who introduces them to record deals, radio, TV and fame.

Seymour is also ruthless, but only on a business front , although there are hints at his manipulation of the band throughout the film. Watch for clues being given during the bands appearance on the pirate radio fort. Watch too for a cameo appearance from the late Tommy Vance as the pirate DJ !

But fame comes at price as the bands ghosts reappear. And that's all I'll say on the storyline. What comes next ? Well it could end predictably, or end with a twist or a combination of both. Watch the film, it won't disappoint !

Fame comes at a price may sound cliché, but it's the basis of many films and such stories always fascinate. Let’s face it, the Beatles story is a case in point. We all want to know why the most successful band in history called it a day after eight years. There are many similarities in Flame to other rock 'n' roll films, such as David Essex's tragic rise and fall of a pop star story in Stardust, to Hazel O'Connor's bleak portrayal of a punk who sells out in Breakin' Glass, down to the bawdiness of the 90's hit Irish comedy The Commitments.

The film wasn't particularly well received at the time by most critics and Slade fans. Coupled with my own ever fading memories of Flame, I avoided the rare TV screenings over the years, until I decided to buy the DVD recently and give it another chance. I'm glad I did.

If you are a young Slade fan, you should watch this and gain insight into the acting abilities of your heroes. They do it well. If you are an older fan, maybe you were sat in the same cinema as me back in 1974/5, watch Slade In Flame again and give it another chance. You'll be glad you did.

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I BELIEVE I KNOW SOME OTHER PHOTOS TO GO WITH THE GASOMETERS. BUT THE HOUSES YOU SEE BOARDED UP HAVE BEEN PULLED DOWN AND A NEW ESTATE BUILT UP WITHOUT SOME OF THE ROADS YOU SEE. I LIVED AROUND THIS AREA BEFORE MY MOVE HERE.WE MOVED THERE IN 1980.

PHOTO 1. THIS IS FOX ROAD LOOKING DOWN ONTO WHITEHOUSE LANE AT THE JUNCTION OF WOOD STREET. BEHIND THE BIT OF THE KELVIN FLATS WAS THE INCINORATER AND THE CHIMNEY.

AND WHERE THE SECOND CAR IS ,I USED TO WAIT FOR MY STAFF BUS AND WAS ONCE PROPOSITIONED BY A LADY OF THE NIGHT AT 03.40am, HONEST.

PHOTO 5. THIS COULD BE HAROLD STREET TAKEN FROM THE LAND THAT IS NOW RUSKIN PARK, JUST BELOW WHERE THE FULL MONTY WAS FILMED.

PHOTO 6.UNBELIEVABLE. LOOKS LIKE IT WAS TAKEN FROM THE FRONT BEDROOM WINDOW OF MY OLD HOUSE. THE ROAD NO LONGER EXISTS BUT THE ROAD CROSSING AT THE BOTTOM IS BURGOYNE ROAD, THE ROAD RUNNING UP IS EITHER HAWKSWORTH ROAD OR TENNYSON ROAD.

THE ROAD AT THE VERY TOP IS WHITEHOUSE LANE. AND BEHIND THE TREES AT THE VERY TOP WILL BE WALKLEY SCHOOL.

PHOTO 8. IS UPPERTHORPE SCHOOL.TAKEN FROM OFF DANIEL HILL STREET AREA.

THE ROAD FROM WHICH PICTURES 6AND8 WERE TAKEN HAS GONE AND HOUSES BUILT ON THEM.

BUT TO GIVE YOU AN INSIGHT IF YOU WANT TO VISIT AND TAKE PHOTOS,THEN COME THROUGH UPPERTHORPE AND UP DANIEL HILL. AS YOU GET TO THE TOP WERE THE FORK IN ROAD IS,KEEP TO THE RIGHT AS THOUGH YOU WAS GOING WERE THE FLAT WAS, AND YOU SHOULD KNOW THIS AS PHOTO 1.FOX ROAD. CONTINUE DOWN AND TO THE LEFT AND JUST AS YOU START TO GO UP THERE IS BURGOYNE ROAD TO THE LEFT.GO UP HERE TO JUST BEFORE THE SECOND BUS STOP.

YOU WILL SEE A WALK WAY GOING THROUGH THE ESTATE.THIS IS OTLEY WALK. GO UP AS FAR AS YOU CAN UNTILL YOU COME TO 35,WHICH WAS MY LAST SHEFFIELD ABODE.IF YOU TURN AND LOOK BACK IT SHOULD LOOK JUST LIKE PHOTO6. THEN FOLLOW THE PATH ROUND UNTILL YOU COME TO THE OLD UPPERTHORPE SCHOOL.IF YOU WALK UP A FEW YARDS YOU SHOULD SEE THE DOOR WAY IN THE PHOTO8. CONTINUE UP THE ROAD UNTILL YOU COME TO A ROAD ON THE RIGHT. THIS IS HAROLD STREET AND IF YOU LOOK ACROSS THE ROAD YOU WILL SEE THE BENCH USED IN THE FULL MONTY WHERE THEY APOLOGISED FOR BREAKING HIS GNOMES. THEN IF YOU WALK DOWN TO NEARLY THE BOTTOM AND TURN ROUND YOU WILL SEE WERE I BELIEVE PHOTO 5 WAS TAKEN.

HAVE A STROLL AND TAKE PHOTOS AND I DO NOT THINK YOU WILL BE DISSAPOINTED.

AND AN ADDED BONUS IS WHEN YOU ARE AT THE TOP OF HAROLD STREET LOOKING AT THE BENCH,TURN TO YOUR LEFT AND YOU WILL SEE BRANSBY STREET GOING DOWN. THE TOP BIG HOUSE ON THE LEFT WAS FEATURED MANY TIMES ON "LIFE OF GRIME". IT WAS WHERE THE BAG MAN LIVED. SAW BIN WAGON AFTER BIN WAGON TAKING AWAY THE THOUSANDS OF BAGS. UH!! STILL MAKES ME ITCH.

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That's great stuff - and makes my life a lot easier when working on this movie

At the moment I'm finishing off The Full Monty and When Saturday Comes and then (thanks to your info) getting stuck straight into Flame

Appreciate the post - should help loads

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Slade in Flames is being shown tonight (17th Jan'08) at 20.30 on BBC4

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Somewhat belated but i have just joined and want to add that the stills for 6 and 8 show Otley Street, Walkley looking down towards Burgoyne Road (6) and up towards Daniel Hill Street(8). GRAHAM C had made reference to the location as he remembered after this area had been demolished and new houses built. I was born on this street in the 40's and lived there for the first 8 years of my life.To the best of my knowledge these are the only pictures of Otley Street in existence.......unless anyone knows any better ? <_<

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I'm also new to this site so hello to SHEFFIELDHISTORY folk.

Regarding FLAME it was only Don who lived in the flats with his parents.

An old mate of mine's father worked at Doncasters Of Sheffield nr Hillsborough & remembered them coming to the factory in all the gear to film there.

It was also the film debut of Tom Conti.

Filmed on location in London, Nottingham & Sheffield.

How Does It Feel has certainly stood the test of time & has become one of my all time fave songs.

Had the good fortune of meeting Nod in Birmingham for a Radio One programme in the early '90s about collecting records from the 1970s.

Thanks

HT

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Images 3 & 4 show Douglas Road, Parkwood Springs (rather than Rutland Road)

Image 5 has similar light and gradient - could this also be Parkwood Springs?

Image 7 is High House Road. This image at PictureSheffield shows practically the same view:

Image 8 is from just about the same place as 6, but looking uphill (Otley street as already mentioned)

 

Edited by madannie77
removed reference to Youtube as link no longer works

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Image 5 is also Douglas Road, a little higher up than images 3 & 4.

'Retep' at SheffieldForum suggests that the man then looks through the letter-box of number 205 Douglas Road, and he could be right!

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Possibly of interest to those out there with a television

BBC 4 on 21st December, 10.50pm

http://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/b008ptfh

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Enjoyed it muchly, Thank you for the heads up.

Possibly of interest to those out there with a television

BBC 4 on 21st December, 10.50pm

http://www.bbc.co.uk...rammes/b008ptfh

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They seem to travel own Whitehouse Lane at one point and emerge from a subway near Portland Street at one point. (Don Powell, drummer), driven in a motorcycle and sidecar.

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