Cruella de Ville

Cruella de Ville (1982-1984)

Site last updated September 20th, 2004: Moved to CruellaDeVille.com!

What is this site?

Back in the 1980's I regularly recorded the Dr. Demento show and saved my favorites onto casette tapes. One of my favorites was "Those Two Dreadful Children" by the band Cruella de Ville. In the years that followed I would occasionally see references to the song or the band in the newsgroup rec.music.dementia but there was a definite dearth of information. I decided to end some of the mystery by putting together a Cruella de Ville fan site.

Web searches turned up a few small details (such as the band being from Northern Ireland). Research began in earnest when, on April 11th of 2002, I ordered every Cruella de Ville record I could locate. Most were found via GEMM.com and NetSounds.com. The total came to US$305.86 for 29 records:

(Since then I have bought additional copies of some of the rarer releases.)

The labels and covers provided source material for more web searches and by May 7th I had put together a half-decent fan site.

If you know someone mentioned on these pages please bring it to their attention so they can provide corrections, clarifications, or (best of all) new insights into the life and times of this band. They can contact me at CruellaDeVille@John-Wasser.com.

If you know someone or something NOT mentioned on these pages which should be, please bring it to my attention. You can contact me at CruellaDeVille@John-Wasser.com.

The Band Members

Every record cover that I have includes a picture of the band. From the pictures it is fairly clear that the same four people performed on every record.

Philomena 'Phil' Muinzer: Piano / Vocals



Known by her brother Colum as "Mena". Born in the United States around 1955. Grew up in Belfast, Northern Ireland. Returned to the US to attend Princeton and Yale (Princeton class of 1977). Worked as personal assistant to Sting (a member of the band The Police) before joining her brother Colum to form Cruella de Ville.

After Cruella de Ville she switched to writing. She wrote a play titled "Together Against Him" and in 1995, under the name Phil O'Brien, she wrote a novel titled "Memories of the Irish Israeli War" (ISBN 1-899690-00-X). A blurb on the back cover describes it as "A love satire for the post Gulf War era". In 1996 she was a director of "New Futurist Books", the publisher of her book. Best guess on location: London.

Colum 'Colin' Muinzer: Guitar / Bow Guitars / Vocal



Born 1959. Grew up in Belfast. Lived on Cleaver Avenue, Malone Road, Belfast, Northern Ireland around 1990. Moved to Canada some time after that. Best guess on location: Canada.

James Clenaghan: Bass



He now runs a video studio in central London, often used by casting directors to video film auditions. He also plays acoustic bass and banjo in the London-based five-piece traditional Irish band "Beyond the Pale".

Mike Edgar: Drums / Percussion



Mike went on to become a popular radio personality and disk-jockey for Radio Ulster. He created the show "Across the Line" which to this day showcases local Irish bands, particularly new bands.

The most recent information I have is from the BBC Northern Ireland 2000-2001 annual review:Mike Edgar is currently head of the Entertainment, Events & Sport division.

Recent picture from the BBCNI web site:

The Songs


Click on the song name to get details such as writer, duration, and lyrics.

The LOST Songs

These songs are not on any of the recordings I know about.

The Records

Click on the image for more information about a particular record, including pictures of the labels and both sides of the cover.
Copyright
Year
Cover Title Label Catalog
Number
1982 Drunken Uncle John Drunken Uncle John
(DUJ)
Side A: Drunken Uncle John
Side AA: Those Two Dreadful Children
Good Vibrations GOT-16
1982 Those Two Dreadful Children Those Two Dreadful Children
(TTDC)
Side A: Those Two Dreadful Children
Side AA: Drunken Uncle John
Good Vibrations
Polydor
GOOD 1
1982 I'll Do the Talking (Good Vibrations label) I'll Do the Talking (Good Vibrations label)
(IDTT-GV)
Side A: I'll Do the Talking
Side B: Blues, Blues, Blues
Good Vibrations GOOD 2
(S 82 CUS 1603)
1983 Gypsy Girl (7-inch) Gypsy Girl (7-inch)
(GG7)
Side A: Gypsy Girl
Side B: Blues, Blues, Blues
EMI EMI 5412
1983 Gypsy Girl (12-inch) Gypsy Girl (12-inch)
(GG12)
Side 1: Gypsy Girl
Side 2 Track 1: Blues, Blues, Blues
Side 2 Track 2: Gypsy Girl (edit)
EMI 12EMI 5412
1984 I'll Do the Talking (CPL label) I'll Do the Talking (CPL label)
(IDTT-CPL)
Side A: I'll Do the Talking
Side B Track 1: Hollywood Hong Kong Swing
Side B Track 2: Oceans
CPL CPL-5
1984 Hong Kong Swing (7-inch) Hong Kong Swing (7-inch)
(HKS7)
Side A: Hong Kong Swing
Side B: Drunken Uncle John
Parlophone R6075
1984 Hong Kong Swing (12-inch) Hong Kong Swing (12-inch)
(HKS12)
Side A: Hong Kong Swing (manic mix)
Side B Track 1: Drunken Uncle John
Side B Track 2: Hong Kong Swing
Parlophone 12R6075

Non-Record Performances:

If anyone has a recording of any of these or other other performances, please let me know!

Other People

MUD

- DUJ "RECORDED BY MUD AT HOMESTEAD STUDIOS."

Mudd Wallace - Musician, producer, and recording engineer at Homestead Studios, Randalstown, Co. Antrim, Northern Ireland.

Gerard Cardwell

- Colum's closest friend. Provided photographs for DUJ poster cover and TTDC cover. Was 'roadie' for the band when they went to London.

Chris Hill

- Provided prints for DUJ poster cover.

Belfast photographer best known for his landscape photography of Northern Ireland. See: http://www.scenic-ireland.com/ChrisHill.html.

Bevin John

- "No Thanks At All" on DUJ poster cover.

Roy Wood

- Co-producer (w/Cruella de Ville and Dick Plant) of HKS7, HKS12, IDTT_CPL Side B Track 2

(From David Samuel Barr of Warburton Productions/Zachary Associates)
Roy Wood is, of course, the legendary musician & songwriter best known as the founder & leader of The Move, Wizzard, and Electric Light Orchestra (although he left early in that group's career), and as a solo artist. He has also produced many recordings for various other artists, including the "Annie in Wonderland" solo album by his then-girlfriend Annie Haslam, the lead singer of Renaissance. His official website is http://www.roywood.co.uk/.

(From a 1983 interview with Colum Muinzer regarding the production of Hong Kong Swing):
"We chose Roy Wood because we liked his records; we didn't want to take full responsibility for producing our own album and risking that it wouldn't be any good, so we decided to use a producer as a safety measure. Roy produced the back-tracks, but unfortunately he wasn't very well at the time so he left, and we continued with the help of Dick Plant, our engineer".

John Brand

- Co-producer (w/Cruella de ville) of GG7, GG12

Dick Plant

- Co-producer (w/Cruella de ville and Roy Wood) of HKS7, HKS12, IDTT_CPL Side B Track 2

(From David Samuel Barr of Warburton Productions/Zachary Associates)
Dick Plant is a veteran recording engineer and producer who probably is best known for his work with Renaissance and The Shadows, among many others. He also is a guitarist and, currently, half of the duo, The Vibratos, with Warren Bennett, http://www.vibratos.co.uk/.

(From a 1983 interview with Colum Muinzer regarding the production of Hong Kong Swing):
Roy (Wood) produced the back-tracks, but unfortunately he wasn't very well at the time so he left, and we continued with the help of Dick Plant, our engineer. Dick really deserves most of the production credits for he co-produced the tracks with us and has been, quite literally, brilliant. Make sure you stress what a brilliant engineer Dick is, and mention that he has worked with Cliff, The Shadows, ELO, and Wizzard -and that The Shadows have just recorded one of his songs for their next album...".

Ron Hill

- Special thanks on the cover of HKS7 & HKS12. Co-producer (w/Cruella de ville) IDTT_CPL Side B Track 1

GRAEME

- Scratched in masters of HKS7 Side A and HKS12 Side A

John

- Scratched in masters of GG12 Side 1

Kerstin Rodgers

- Photography on GG12

"They were one of my first big jobs as a young photographer. I was quite nervous and shot it in Holborn Studios (London). They had this wonderful dress made by this guy who did costumes for the Royal Shakespeare Company."

Kerstin Rodgers is still a photographer and working in London. She specializes in portrait, reportage, and stills. If you like her work on the Gypsy Girl cover and want to hire her, you can contact her by e-mail at kerstinrodgers@hotmail.com.

Another perspective on the shoot from Philomena Muinzer: "...the make-up girl hired was very young and unconfident and I think she spent about 2 hours making up my face. We didn't know how long makeup artists took, because we'd never had them before. But I later realised it was a huuuugely long time."

"The costume designer was talented - but he was a theatre person who was rather star struck by the idea of bands, and not only did he show up at the shoot, but he also brought the woman who had sewed the costume, and she brought her baby who had put out its hip and was wearing a pair of huge plaster cast diapers with each diaper leg separated at a fixed distance from the other by a stick in between."

Rastus

- Co-producer (w/Cruella de ville) IDTT_CPL Side A

NICKZ

(or maybe NICK2 or NICKV) - Scratched in the masters of IDTT_CPL Side A

KATE & ANNA McG

- Scratched in the master of IDTT-GV Side B

David Samuel Barr (Warburton Productions/Zachary Associates) suggests that this might be a reference to Kate & Anna McGarrigle, the famed Canadian singing sister duo. http://www.mcgarrigles.com/

Beatrice Lillie

- Scratched into the master of HKS7

Colum said this in a 1983 interview: "Beatrice Lillie is the most brilliant person I've ever seen in my life. She's a 'thirties comedy actress and singer who was married to Lord Peel; she was ninety recently, but she has had a stroke and is now blind and living in an old people's home. Anyway, 'Hong Kong Swing' is a 'thirties musical extravaganza based on her work"

The Muinzer Family

Father: Louis Muinzer

Dr. Muinzer is from the state of Indiana in the USA, probably the city of Lafayette where the U.S. Muinzers are concentrated. He worked for a time at Queen's University of Belfast. Separated from Sara O'Brien around 1975

Mother: Sara Muinzer (nee O'Brien)

Economist. Retired to Canada around 1984(?). Best guess on location: Canada.

The Siblings

Sister Genevieve, the eldest

An American born in London in 1953. Graduated from Princeton in 1975. Published a book "New to the UK" (ISBN 0-7102-0852-9) in 1987. In 2001 was appointed to a senior position with the PrinceÕs Foundation, the charitable foundation of His Royal Highness, the Prince of Wales. Genevieve, her husband Nick Segal and their son Timmy are currently living in London.

Sister Philomena

Known by her brother Colum as "Mena". Born in the United States around 1955. Grew up in Belfast, Northern Ireland. Returned to the US to attend Princeton and Yale (Princeton class of 1977). Around 1980 wrote a play titled "Together Against Him" which was reviewed in the (London) Times Literary Supplement. Worked as personal assistant to Sting (a member of the band The Police) before joining her brother Colum to form Cruella de Ville.

In 1995, under the name Phil O'Brien, she wrote a novel titled "Memories of the Irish Israeli War" (ISBN 1-899690-00-X). A blurb on the back cover describes it as "A love satire for the post Gulf War era". In 1996 she was a director of "New Futurist Books", the publisher of her book.

Currently resides in or near London.

Brother Colum

Born 1959. Grew up in Belfast. Lived on Cleaver Avenue, Malone Road, Belfast, Northern Ireland around 1990. Moved to Canada some time after that.

Currently resides in or near London.

Brother Malachy, the youngest.

Birth date: unknown (but after 1959). Played piano on the recording of "Who's at the Door". Best guess on location: Belfast.

Maternal Grandparents: Bernard and Margaret O'Brien

They are among the credits in Genevieve's book.

Philomena and Henrietta O'Brien (I'm guessing maternal aunts)

They are among the credits in Genevieve's book.

The Other Bands of the Same Name

In my research I came across mentions of four OTHER bands named "Cruella de Ville":