1001 South African Songs You Must Hear Before You Go Deaf

Just another music list

Don’t Want To Live In Hollywood – The Helicopters

The Best Of The Helicopters

The Best Of The Helicopters

I’m a little confused. The song is entitled ‘I Don’t Wanna To Live In Hollywood’, but the lyrics go, ‘I don’t wanna live in hell, I wanna live in Hollywood’. Perhaps flying around in a helicopter does that to one. However, ignoring this little anomaly and just concentrating on the song itself, you end up with a catchy synthpop song that was as good as any that came out of SA in the 80’s.

Sadly, however, it did not seem to garner much commercial success. I’m not sure if that was because there wasn’t a studio version (as far as I can tell) of the song as the only version I’ve managed to find on Youtube is a live version and the version included on the ‘The Best of The Helicopters’ 2002 Retrofresh CD release is also a live version. Maybe I’m wrong and there is a studio version out there.

The song did manage to get to number 12 on the Radio 702 charts, but generally did not fare as well as their earlier offerings of ‘Mysteries & Jealousies’ and ‘Whisper Your Secret’, yet it was just as catchty as those 2, in fact it showed a maturing of the group (just before they broke up) which, in my opinion, left it as a bit of a lost classic.

Some may say that hell and Hollywood are the same thing, but listening to ‘Don’t Wanna Live In Hollywood’ by The Helicopters, made it just fine to live in South Africa at the time that came out.

Where to find it:
The Best Of The Helicopters – The Helicopters (2002), Fresh Music, FRESHCD128


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2 thoughts on “Don’t Want To Live In Hollywood – The Helicopters

  1. David Smith on said:

    Hi John. I grew up in Vereeniging where the Helicopters came from and being a teenager and DJ at the height of their success was a big fan. We used to attend many of the live shows and I was and still am personal friends with 2 members of the band, John Mason (keyboards) and Franco Du Nuzzo (Drums). I have all their records and can confirm that the studio version of this track was issued as a 7 single and I am sure it was also included on the first Helicopters album (The name eludes me and I am sitting at work and unable to check the name right now). Bernard Binns, the lead singer continued with the band and they released another album (Television I think it was called) and he continued with different line ups into the 90’s. John is a successful mural and canvas artist today and Franco owns a couple of highly successful restaurants in the Vaal Triangle. Bernard sadly passed away a year or two back of natural causes.

    Incidentally, the first Helicopters single featured a female lead vocalist and was released by the band on 7 single before they signed their recording contract with WEA…

    I hope this helps

    David Smith

    • Marisa on said:

      Good day David Smith

      I have a pretty mural painting in my house done by John and Sean Bartman about 3 years ago. I want another done now but now I can not get hold of Sean and John never left his number on the painting.

      Do you think you can give me a contact number for John or an e-mail address please. Then I can get hold of them and have my other wall done.

      Thanking you in advance.


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