Television Personalities were the brainchild of singer/songwriter Dan Treacy, who grew so inspired by the nascent punk movement that he recorded a 1977 single, “14th Floor,” with his friends in the group O-Level.
A year later they issued the Where’s Bill Grundy Now? EP, featuring their lone hit, “Part-Time Punks.” Always a loose-knit group, the first relatively stable TVP lineup consisted of Treacy, organist/vocalist Ed Ball, and guitarist Joe Foster, who recorded the band’s 1980 debut, And Don’t the Kids Just Love It, a step into psychedelic pop typified by songs like “I Know Where Syd Barrett Lives.”
Treacy and Ball soon founded their own label, Whaam!, to issue 1981’s Mummy Your Not Watching Me, which made the Personalities one of the figureheads of a London psychedelia revival.
After a handful of singles and EPs, Television Personalities issued the 1992 double-LP Closer to God; despite critical approval, the album failed to find an audience, and Treacy reportedly fell prey to depression and drug problems.
Following his release in June of 2004, Treacy set about resurrecting TVPs, playing some gigs and posting a hilarious web journal.
Are We Nearly There Yet? followed one year later, although some of its material had been recorded just after Treacy’s release from prison.
In June of the following year, A Memory Is Better Than Nothing appeared on the Rocketgirl label, and the band earned high praise as well as publicity when MGMT debuted “Song for Dan Treacy” on their album Congratulations.
Late in 2011 Treacy suffered a blood clot in his brain and was forced to undergo emergency surgery.