My JOHN PLAYER TOPS Pictorial..........

It's been a while since I wrote my original post on John Player Tops . The post still gets regular hits (no.3 on Google search) and the facebook page is consistently growing. We have 762 members now and most of us have email addresses and mobile numbers of many others who are not on facebook. We are well positioned to contact everyone whenever this mega reunion of ours  gets organised!

I also previously wrote about our media release which resulted in Paul Furey, our  facebook page creator, being interviewed on The Gerry Ryan Show and gained us about 100 more members!

This facebook page has resulted in a lot of photos from way back when (and further back then I care to be reminded of!) being uploaded. Being the lazy person I am, also bearing in mind my non-techiness ( I cannot get photos to upload in the correct size!) I have nicked these photos to create my own gallery!

I think it was Petunia who previously suggested I upload my Aer Lingus video here so I've decided to create my own John Player Tops Pictorial, for posterity (and not for some egotistical reason..... just in case anyone thinks that!!). A journey, in pictures, through those fabulous show years that I loved so much and became such a part of  my cherished memories .......

The leading photo is the very first Telecom Tops we did back in the 1980's. We didn't get anywhere but we did perform the number  we're costumed in, (Flash Gordon!) on Tip of the Tops. Tip Tops was a show that RTE recorded showing the "best of the rest" and it aired after the National Finals. Thanks to M.B. for posting this one.

As some of the uploaded photos go back beyond my Tops era I want to include some of them here. Well, I never, EVER thought I'd see any of these again!!

                          We're in The Money..... Aer Lingus, Gaiety Theatre, 1986.

                                Rock 'n' Roll....... Aer Lingus, Gaiety Theatre, 1986. 

                              Kick Line ........ Aer Lingus Show, Gaiety Theatre, 1986

And here's two more (same show) from my collection.....

                                                    National Concert Hall 1987

These photos really bring it back! Thanks Mary Mc for uploading these.

Then we come to the Aer Lingus 1989 show:  "Cleared For Take Off" ( not quite forgetting the umpteen shows in between!). Some rehearsal photos that appeared in newspapers were uploaded......

                                              (I'm last on right!)

Here's some more (courtesy of D.O'B D; I think).....

                               After Show party (from my collection).....*snigger*!!                 

Then comes the onstage video of our Finale! It's long but it is good and brings back such memories. One being of how sick I was with food poisoning  for the whole day of our final performance! NO WAY was I missing this, I can tell you............

 Wow..... this still gives me goosebumps...... the precision, was beat into us!!

 And here's our "I Go Ape" number from our Cannibal scene. The lead vocals are by the aforementioned and reallygrand Paul Furey....who's gonna KILL me for this!! Let's hope he doesn't go Ape!! But I'll take the risk.... he's brill!

Then it's on to Irish Distillers in 1981 (apologies for quality)

                                              Opening Number "On The Town"
                                                            Finale number

Moving on to Telecom Tops in 1992......

                   After- Show party and Opening number; Rappers and Tappers 
                 (from my collection: have to scan two together)

                                                       The "Audition" number                                                

                                                      The "One Step" number

We had about 30 seconds to get from "The Audition" number into "One Step"! Us girls wore a white Leotard under our outer one...yes, I had a white one on under the black one!! We changed behind the mirrors you see behind us! There were 5 people behind ready to go to start us off though so that gave us a little time.

Thanks Joe Burke and M.B. for posting these ones. There are tons more photos of other fabulous shows over on the facebook page. Keep uploading folks!

Oh wow....... they were some years. The fun, the joy the whole experience. Nothing like it. So sad these days are no more......

But, maybe they are still with us? I have been informed, through comments on my original JPT Post and on our Facebook page, that Tops is still going strong in Wexford and Carlow! It never stopped. AND..... they still have the original clocks and also the recording of the original John Player Theme music that was played before every performance and always had us completely on edge! Oh my God, the nerves would be in tatters listening to it, as we grippingly clung to each other in a nerve racking, stomach churning group hug, waiting for the magic Curtains Up!!

Photos of the clock and a recording of the music will be posted on the Facebook page soon!! Oh my God ...... the strong  memories that this will evoke is quite simply beyond words.

If you are reading this and have been involved in the recent Tops competition I would be thrilled to receive any information you have regarding this. How many groups involved etc. I have some information but would love more.... including links to any newspaper reports etc, especially over the last few years, as I would love to do a blog post on it! Thanks. You can comment here if you like or, on my sidebar you'll find my email address (under Scamp's photo) and Facebook link (see badge).

You never know...... we could start a revival!!

But you didn't  hear that here ;-)

xx Jazzy


  1. Wow that's some collection of wonderful memories you've put together here :) And you know this could be just the time for a 'Tops' revival...

  2. OK lets get the thinking caps on for the National JPT re-union Ms Blog Queen. Well done again!

  3. Wonderful collection of photos and memories :)

  4. Thanks @BLUE SKY! You may be right....the sponsorship won't be there but we could all do with a lift and nothing like live entertainment to do that;-)

    We must organise that meeting soon @PAUL! Before D heads off again! Thanks so much for your comment:))

    Thank you @CASDOK!

    xx Jazzy

  5. This is fabulous..It is wonderful that you have them all...:)

  6. Proof to never underestimate the power of a blog!! Go you. Amazing collection there:) Jen.

  7. wow you looked like you had a fab time x x

  8. What a fantastic post! Well done everyone very professional! I think it is the time to revive this, considering all the reality shows at the moment seeking talent...

  9. Thanks so much KATHLEEN, JEN, KAT and IRISH MAMMY for your lovely comments!

    Thanks especially perceptive of you;-) And it is that very point I raised in my original JPT post when I discussed how I was influenced by JPT when I was younger and how I aspired to get up there one day. Nowadays all the teens have to aspire to is X-factor (and it's like) and I wondered how achievable that dream was. I actually asked the question:

    "Was John Player Tops the X-Factor of it's time"!! xx Jazzy

  10. Great to see good memories hav'nt gone astray. I reached the semi-finals and also the finals of JPT with Dunnes Stores . I played the part of a mermaid and worked with the cast singing and dancing. Dave Hayes was the musical Director and he was excellent in his field. A brilliant musician and Director.

    It would be wonderful if some of the corporate companies came on board and sponsored a run of JPT, I'm sure it would have to be given a different title but it would be great for all the communities around Ireland and it would help lift the spirit of the people in these recessionary times.

    Johanna White.

  11. Hi Johanna, Thanks so much for taking the time to comment! You must have some fabulous memories of your time with Dunes Stores Tops. We must have some friends in common!

    Yes I agree, it would be great to give people something to aim for something to lift the spirits. Unfortunately I don't think any company can afford to invest. But like I say..... it's still going strong elsewhere so it can be done! We could take a leaf from their book. Back to basics, start at community level again. And theaters could do their bit by reducing their astronomical costs to facicitate...then everyone could flourish ;-)

    xx Jazzy


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