"It's Only Rock And Roll" was the 4th episode of the 5th series of Only Fools And Horses, airing on the 14th March 1985 with a viewing figure of 13.6 million. Rodney Trotter joins an aspiring rock band, and Derek "Del Boy" Trotter becomes their manager.
Derek "Del Boy" Trotter is at a warehouse. He is loading the van with boxes of Kandy Dolls. Rodney Trotter has just joined a local band that are styling themselves on Frankie Goes to Hollywood. Del points out that Rodney doesn't have any drums. Del also says they are a bunch of wallies and that Rodney should not be hanging about with them, especially as their lead singer is Mental Mickey, who once bit a mans ear off. The dolls are fitted with a different voice chip meant for another toy. Rodney bangs the roof of the van, practising playing the drums. This distracts Del as he is loading up the dolls and bangs his head, saying to Rodney if he bangs on the roof of his van again it wont be Frankie Goes to Hollywood but Rodney Goes To Hospital. They then drive off, Del still moaning about his sore head.
A day or so later, Rodney has gone down the community hall to rehearse with the band. Del comes back to his flat and says to Albert Trotter that The Shamrock Club in Deptford does not have an act for St. Patrick's Night as their regular act, the Dublin Bay Stormers, got into a fight and are in prison. Del says he has got a band and will arrange for A Bunch of Wallies to perform there on St Patrick's Night. Del phones Liam, the owner of The Shamrock Club, and pretends he is down the community hall. He puts the record player on, which are playing The Bachelors. Del claims it is Rodney and his band mates rehearsing on stage in the background. Del then slams the kitchen door and turns the player down to make it seem like he is in a room at the community hall. Del says it will cost £300 to hire them for the night. Del then tells Albert to be quiet about the booking at the Shamrock Club as he wants it to be a surprise. Albert says he can have Del's Cognac to keep quiet. Del calls him a blackmailing old bark then leaves.
At the community hall, Rodney is rehearsing with Mental Mickey and 2 other men, a guitar player and cymbal player. Del comes in and says he will get them new instruments and get them bookings and can be their manager. Mickey agrees to the deal. Del is not very impressed by their bad singing. Del promises the band that this time next year, they'll be millionaires.
At The Shamrock Club, a fight breaks out due to the band's performance. Tables and chairs are being thrown around and a table comes through the window, almost hitting Del. Del, Rodney, Stew, and Charlie drive off in the van with their instruments leaving Mickey to enjoy himself fighting various club patrons.
A few days later, Rodney has found the instruments in the garage have gone and he has invited a policeman around to tell him the instruments were "stolen". Del sees Rodney chatting to the policeman and runs off with a box of hooky gear. The policeman questions a lot of the junk in the garage, wondering if it is stolen. Del then comes back to tell the policeman that the instruments were on sale and return. (Luckily the copper never saw the Harrison watch that made the Trotters millionaires over 11 years later). The policeman says he could have Rodney for wasting police time. Del then says he saw a couple of kids trying to remove the wheels on his car. The policeman runs off, saying "I might be back to see you" to Rodney.
Del then berates Rodney for inviting the old bill round. Rodney is annoyed at Del for saying he bought the instruments but all the time he had them on sale and return. Rodney, after a disagreement with Mental Mickey has been kicked out of the band for defending Del, when they accused Del of supplying stolen instruments and setting up the band as a one off earner to get rid of some suits he had in the garage since 1975 (the suits they were wearing at The Shamrock Club).
Del says the band was not destined to go anywhere anyway, not Albert Hall or Carnegie Hall, but "Sod All". Rodney asks Del why he always sticks his nose into everything and messes things up. Del replies that their mother Joan told him on her deathbed, "Del, please give little Rodney all the encouragement that you can. Never, Del, never hold him back!" But, Rodney points out that whatever the subject is, Joan always had something to say about it on her deathbed, such as last week when the Trotter Brothers were arguing over whose turn it was to go and get the fish and chips, and Del claimed that Joan said on her deathbed, "Send Rodney for the fish!", which makes Del admit that he was drunk when he said that. Del gives Rodney his £150 share of the £300 for playing at the Shamrock Club. Del says he has some hookie Maltesers to sell down the market, and Tells Rodney to forget all about Mental Mickey and his band, and just move on.The next evening, Del tells Monkey Harris on the telephone that he has had trouble selling the Kandy Dolls. He watches the TV and Top Of The Pops is on. Del watches it and sees that the group Rodney was once in, A Bunch of Wallies, who have hired a new drummer, is on TOTP and at #26 on the UK Singles Chart. Del is horrified to see them on TOTP. Rodney comes in and Del quickly switches the TV off. He says the TV's are broke. Rodney says he has conned Albert into taking an old woman from a laundromat to an old folks' beano. Rodney goes and tells Albert about it. While doing so, Del quickly puts his coat on and hat and is ready to leave. Albert comes into the lounge saying Rodney is winding him up. Del says he is off out, and tells Albert not to tell Rodney. Albert says well he won't want to go with you as he is watching TOTP on the portable. As Del leaves into the hallway, a fuming Rodney shouts "They're in the charts". Del shuts his eyes, worried what Rodney will do now.
Rodney says they could go to #1 and have a smash hit on their hands. Del says they could have one smash hit then not get another one for the rest of their lives. Rodney says he always knew they could make it big time and Del was convinced they couldn't. Del says Rodney is too easily swayed, and that he also lost out as he was their manager. Rodney picks up his old drumstick and threatens to hurt Del with it.
- Derek "Del Boy" Trotter - David Jason
- Rodney Trotter - Nicholas Lyndhurst
- Albert Trotter - Buster Merryfield
- Mental Mickey - Daniel Peacock
- Charlie - Marcus Francis
- Stew - David Thewlis
- Policeman - Geoffrey Leesley
- Mike Read - Himself
Previous Episode Hole in OneEdit
Next Episode Sleeping Dogs LieEdit
- When Del's on the telephone to Liam at the Shamrock Club, he starts playing "Diane" by The Bachelors. However, when he puts the receiver down and turns the volume up, it jumps to a different point of the song.
- Also when "Diane" is being played, for a few seconds you can hear a tune that sounds like "Summer Holiday" by The Shadows, at the time when Del says to Liam that they sound like The Bachelors.
- The Trotter garage is bigger than the one seen in "Time on Our Hands", where it was linked up with other garages and was smaller. Also, the garage in this episode seemed to be down a alleyway as there was a wall a few feet opposite the garage door yet in "Time On Our Hands", it opened out onto a forecourt. Maybe the wall opposite was demolished.
- At the near end of the episode, Del tells Monkey Harris that he's had the Kandy Dolls for a week, shortly before seeing the Bunch of Wallies on Top of the Pops. On the day Del bought the dolls, Rodney was still in the band, and another member said later he reckoned his friend's cousin could get them a recording contract. So, in the tight space of one week, the Bunch of Wallies have played the Shamrock Club, fired Rodney, hired a new drummer, bought some instruments of their own, signed a contract, recorded their song "Boys will be Boys", released it as a single, entered the charts, and appeared on Top of the Pops. Although Del telling Monkey he has only had the dolls for a week could be explained as a negotiating ploy by Del as he is trying to sell the dolls to Monkey, and if he told Monkey that he had the dolls for longer, they would appear less valuable.
- How did Rodney manage to tell Albert that he organised a date for him at the old folks' beano and start watching Top of the Pops in Albert's room in just five seconds? That was the gap between Rodney entering the room and Albert leaving it.