PSB Trivia Game Outcome

For two weeks in late August and early September 2020, I ran a "Pet Shop Boys Trivia Game" here on my website. I made it a point of coming up with questions (based on my own research using an assortment of authoritative publications about the Boys) that would be challenging even for dedicated fans. What's more, I made sure that most of the answers could not be found here on my website. Consisting of 25 questions, it proved to be even more difficult than I thought it would be. In fact, it was apparently so difficult that no more than 68 site visitors submitted attempted answers—despite my having received considerably more than just 68 visits to my website during that two-week period—and no one answered all of the questions correctly.

Here are the 25 questions of the quiz and their answers, along with the frequency of correct responses, followed by a list of the Top Ten scorers.

  1. Neil once held the record for doing something at St. Cuthbert's Grammar School. In fact, he twice successfully defended his record. What was his record for?

Non-stop yo-yo'ing (This was the most difficult question—the only one not answered correctly by any participants. Incidentally, Neil's record was 4 hours, 27 minutes.)

Important Note: Although this alleged "fact" was reported in some early published accounts of the Pet Shop Boys' pre-fame lives, which I had taken at face value, I've since learned that Neil himself contradicted it in the June 1991 issue (page 22) of their Fan Club publication Literally: "I've never heard that story before and it certainly isn't true. I was never very good at yoyo-ing and I can't ever remember there being a yoyo championship at any of the schools I went to." I can only excuse this error on my part by the fact that I don't own this particular issue of Literally and I hadn't learned of Neil's refutation until several months after I ran this trivia game.

  1. Who sent the Pet Shop Boys a bottle of champagne in recognition of their first appearance on Top of the Pops?
Elton John (Answered correctly by 23 participants. This was the easiest question, answered correctly more often than any other. One participant noted that Elton sent the Boys not just a bottle, but a whole case of champagne.)
  1. What was the name of the architectural firm at which Chris apprenticed?
Michael Aukett Associates (Answered correctly by 9 participants.)
  1. The second PSB studio album, Actually, hit #2 in the U.K. and #25 in the U.S. But in one European country it hit #1. Which country is that?
Finland (Answered correctly by 14 participants.)
  1. Pre-fame, Chris appeared as an onstage extra during a performance by the English National Opera. In what opera did he appear?
Carmen (Answered correctly by 12 participants.)
  1. Neil once said of a certain recording artist that his/her "music sounds, at best, like an advertising jingle. Which is fair enough because [he's/she's] all about money, isn't [he/she]?" Of whom was he speaking?
MC Hammer (Answered correctly by 4 participants.)
  1. A certain PSB song was at one time slated to appear in a film produced by Steven Spielberg, but it didn't work out. What song was that, and which Spielberg film? (To get credit for this question, you must provide both in the space below.)
"Heart" and Innerspace (Answered correctly by 13 participants. A few other participants got either the song or the film right, but not both, which was required to get credit for this question.)
  1. Which PSB music video includes scenes filmed at Dungeness in Kent, near the home of Derek Jarman? (Hint: It's NOT one of the videos directed by Jarman.)
"Before" (Answered correctly by 2 participants.)
  1. Chris used to imagine that a certain classical composer's spirit was "channeling" through him. Which composer is that?
Tchaikovsky (Answered correctly by 8 participants.)
  1. Who duetted with Neil on their performance of "What Have I Done to Deserve This?" at an Equality Rocks concert in Washington, D.C.?
Melissa Etheridge (Answered correctly by 15 participants.)
  1. Neil once suggested titling something Drug References, although his suggestion wasn't used. For what did he suggest this title?
The first album by Electronic (Answered correctly by 5 participants.)
  1. Chris once tried to get a £100,000 car in exchange for appearing in a TV ad, but it didn't work out. What company was he talking to about this?
Nissan (Answered correctly by 4 participants.)
  1. Which of their songs did Chris once suggest to Neil (perhaps facetiously) that they offer to Dolly Parton to record?
"You Only Tell Me You Love Me When You're Drunk" (Answered correctly by 9 participants.)
  1. Ray Roberts, with whom the Boys worked very early in their career, once described one of their tracks as "quite original. Extremely original. Ahead of its time, definitely." What track was he describing?
"Pet Shop Boys" (Answered correctly by 5 participants.)
  1. What record did "West End Girls" knock out of the #1 spot on the U.S. Billboard Hot 100 chart?
"Addicted to Love" by Robert Palmer (Answered correctly by 11 participants. Curiously, several other participants got Palmer right but incorrectly identified the song as either "Simply Irresistible" or "I Didn't Mean to Turn You On.")
  1. The Pet Shop Boys' former manager, Tom Watkins, once said that a certain person "loathed and detested the sleeve for 'West End Girls'"—that he or she hated everything about it. Of whom was he speaking?
Mark Farrow (Answered correctly by 9 participants.)
  1. Very early in their career, Neil once asserted that the Pet Shop Boys would never record in a certain city. But they eventually did. What city was he referring to?
Los Angeles (Answered correctly by 18 participants.)
  1. Who once said that the Pet Shop Boys are "the best-smelling pop band around."
Chris Lowe (Answered correctly by just 1 participant.)
  1. What was the first record Neil ever bought?
"Girl Don't Come" by Sandie Shaw (Answered correctly by 10 participants.)
  1. What's the name of the choreographer with whom Chris worked to come up with his brief dance in the music video for "What Have I Done to Deserve This?"
Annie Shout (Answered correctly by 3 participants.)
  1. What celebrity addressed the Boys as "You cats" when they once met at the Savoy Hotel in London?
Sammy Davis, Jr. (Answered correctly by 11 participants.)
  1. For some reason that I don't believe they've ever explained, Neil and Chris once considered a single letter of the alphabet as the title for one of their albums. Which album was that, and what was that single letter? (To get credit for this question, you must provide both in the space below.)
Introspective, F (Answered correctly by 4 participants. Several others correctly identified the album but not the single letter. A couple of participants noted that the Boys had indeed explained why they considered "F" as the title, both because it matched the U.K. car registration symbol for the year of the album's release and because it was musical shorthand for forte, meaning "loud" or "strong." Mark Binmore even provided the source: the September 21, 1988 issue of Smash Hits, page 5.)
  1. The Pet Shop Boys' first producer, Bobby 'O' Orlando, used to joke with his staff members that Neil and Chris reminded him of a particular pair of cartoon characters. Which cartoon characters were those?
Mr. Peabody and Sherman (Answered correctly by 5 participants.)
  1. Who did Neil once reveal as his favorite Winnie the Pooh character?
Eeyore (Answered correctly by 15 participants. One submission was "Donkey," which I counted as correct.)
  1. Neil unsuccessfully tried to ban a certain film from being watched by their entourage on their first U.S. concert tour because he allegedly feared it would be "a bad influence." What film was that?
This is Spinal Tap (Answered correctly by 14 participants.)

As I noted above, nobody answered all of the questions correctly. But here are the Top 10 scorers. In cases where two submissions had the same number correct, the one that I received first is listed first. Anonymous submissions are not listed. (The highest-scoring anonymous submission got 9 correct.)
  1. Chris Payne:  17 correct
  2. Nathan Ashworth:  16 correct
  3. Coen van der Geest (leesmapman):  16 correct
  4. Michael Fick:  14 correct
  5. Tiff:  13 correct
  6. Alan:  13 correct
  7. John Topley:  12 correct
  8. Andrew:  9 correct
  9. Rob Bingham:  9 correct
  10. Henrik A:  8 correct