Welsh born Paul Bradley Couling (Mal Ryder) never made it as a rocker in Britain, but with his band The Primitives he became a superstar in Italy during the sixties.
I took part in four international Sanremo festivals, and all the top Italian TV shows, photo’s on the covers of all top magazines, scandals in the papers of my supposedly flirts, there were paparazzi everywhere, my private life was non-existent, my shows, full houses, and I was getting mobbed everywhere I went. I drove fast sports cars, well, you name it I did it !!!!! I was doing so well in Italy by this time, that it was pointless going back to England, as I had nothing going for me there, and I was making one hit after another in Italy, at first with The Primitives cover versions of a Young Rascals song called ‘I Ain’t Gonna Eat Out My Heart Anymore’ in Italian ‘Yeeeah’. Success was growing every day, so much so that every song got in the charts, most to N° 1. and selling a million copies, like my version of the Bee Gees song ‘I’ve Got A Message To You’, in Italian ‘Pensiero d’amore’, after which I made a musical film, one of four I made in my career as an actor.”
Mal’s stardom would remain an Italian phenomenon. Try as he might, success in Britain eluded him.
At one stage I tried to make it back in England, with a record, using part of my real name Paul Bradley for the Baby Records. We recorded it in London’s PYE Studio. All songs where in English. This LP came out in 1980 called Silhouette from which was taken some singles which got into the charts in Italy and in many other countries, (but not England.)!!!”
“Yeeah” is so good I’ve included two versions in the following montage, which also includes a raunchy cover of The Spencer Davis Group’s “Gimme Some Lovin”, with Ryder sounding like his Welsh brethren Tom Jones, and “Pensiero d’amore”. The first 100 seconds of this video is among my favorite rock moments of all time - Mal emoting like a motherfucker while a stoic Italian audience responds with bemused indifference.