The Making Of Hold My Hand

Whatever happened to...

Whistlin' Rick Wilson?

Whistlin' Rick Demo Tape

In the late '80s, 8-bit computer magazines got into the habit of recording games onto a cassette, which was attached to the front cover with paper-ruining sticky tape. The tactic worked - Spectrum and C64 owners flocked to newsagents to pick up their monthly fix of dismal games and demos. So why did Your Sinclair take up valuable space on the June 1989 cassette with a Rick Astley-style sing-a-long, warbled by a man with sideburns that would shame Englebert Humperdink?

Step forward, Mr Dave Wilson , Your Sinclair staff member and the man behind "Hold My Hand Very Tightly (Very Tightly)". "Me and my friend were going to a wig party," explains Dave. "Rather than opt for an afro or other predictable hairpieces, we adopted stick-on side-burns and chest wigs" Thus, Dave's "crooning" alter-ego Whistlin' Rick Wilson was born.

It was only a matter of time before the fledgling star laid down a real-life track.

"My flatmate was Jim Wellman, a budding musician who served time with Diana Ross and The Brand New Heavies," explains Dave. "He'd come into possession of a Teak six-track portable recording studio, so we decided to write our own song." With Kylie, Jason and Rick Astley clogging up the music charts, manufactured pop seemed the way to go. "We decided to pen our our 'tribute' to all that," says Dave, "so Jim knocked together the tune while I wrote and performed the lyrics."

The resulting single was a minor classic. After a suitably forgettable bubblegum verse, full of "snuggling up" and "sugar honeys", Rick launched into the chorus. This central section was key, and saw the words "Very tightly" repeated four times, with a howling "Ooo-oo-oo" to finish. Then came a disturbing Paul Hardcastle-ish scratching break and the climax of the record had Rick living up to his name, whistling away a la Roger Whittaker.

Success seemed inevitable, but despite the quality of the tune and an airing on Philip Schofield's Radio 1 show, "Hold My Hand" was the last musical outing for Whistlin' Rick. Dave Wilson rose the corporate ladder to become European Head of PR at Electronic Arts, while Your Sinclair covertapes never featured audio again. To find out more, see the tribute site at YSAC's old URL, or enter our competition below.


Now you can hear the dulcet tones of Whistlin' Rick for yourself, with a chance to win an original YS issue 44 Megatape. Not only does it contain Dave Wilson's toe-tappin' tune, it also features two games for the Spectrum - Skateboard Construction Kit and a demo of Buffalo Bill's Rodeo Games. And, as if that wasn't enough, we've managed to talk pop star Dave into signing the cassette. Gasp! So, to win this unique piece of Speccy memorabilia, simply send us a postcard with the answer to the following question:

Which member of the Arcade team used to host Your Sinclair's Crap Games Corner?
a: Rich Pelley b: Dr Mark Griffiths c: The Games Mule
For full set of rules see page 70. Closing date 15/07/99.

Article shamelessly stolen from Arcade, issue 8, July 1999.