Sunday, 29 April 2012

I Was A Teenage Dude

Sucked into the vortex of 70s TV nostalgia we scream "Enough!" - then - "Hold on, I Love 1972 is on in half an hour". There's no escaping my past at the moment thanks to the BBC. Yes, the past is a foreign country, as LP Hartley said. We've all lived there and, like every time tourist, we each comment from the present with our own unique opinions of the place. Here's an improvised ramble through my 70s in a manner that befits someone old enough to have been there, ie, half-recalled, probably incoherent -

Skin'ead...from flowery matching tie 'n' shirt to brutalist boots 'n' braces, the mock machismo of the crop -
'Double Barrel' in the disco -
Mum sews the Chelsea FC patch onto the pocket of my crombie -
Fairground antagonism amid the sickly stench of candy floss mixed with diesel from the generators & aggro in the shadows behind the caravans -
Secondary School's in, what a drag...they say boys get their heads jammed down the toilets so watch out -
Carrying a copy of Slade's Play It Loud 'round the playground -
So begins the decline from Junior School Pupil of the Year to rebel without a cause -
Up to London, Stamford Bridge - watch the hooligans having their fun, I fantasise about being part of The Shed fraternity -
Big brother takes me to Highbury where we stand on the North Bank unless West Ham or the like are visiting, in which case he takes me to safety in the seated area where I watch the inevitable epic brawl -
Go see A Clockwork Orange at the local flea pit 'cause they don't care about your age if you've got the money for a ticket & emerge as if having witness the Second Coming with Alex in the role of Jesus or summat -
Bowlers hats, white shirts, Levis 'n' braces -
Bowie's Ziggy Stardust...learn every word & sing along drunk on cider -
'Virginia Plain' playing on the portable mono box in the kitchen -
Coal fire comfort in the council house -
Cold mornings waiting for the school bus to hell where one bully grabs victim's ties, smacking them on the chin with the fist that clenches them but luckily he's mates with one of ours -
Grow out the crop for suedehead then get it streaked by my sister using a swimming cap punched with holes ...agony! -
Baggies and crepe-soled shoes like those worn by Andy Mackay inside For Your Pleasure, but not as Glam  -
Go down the road to the phone box with a pocketful of coins to call a girl, praying there won't be a queue -
Drunk on snakebite -
Disco peril of female rejection & always the potential violence -
Get chased by a gang after a disco, then get in my mate's brother's Beetle and chase them, knocking one down by holding the door open as we drive by -
Alan Freeman's Saturday afternoon radio show through the cans whilst dad watches the racing -
"What do you want to do when you leave school?" "Dunno" -
Go into the factory -
Funk club release living for the week-end -
Plastic sandals & mohair jumpers pre-Punk -
P-Funk -
The loneliness of longing to do a runner from all that surrounds me but there is nowhere to run to -
Big brother drops Never Mind The Bollocks into my lap one night, as requested since he works at the CBS pressing plant -
Stand-out straight-legged trousers in the land of flares...mocked again for sartorial rebellion -
The Clash, The Ramones, The Jam etc at Friars Club out for the Soul Boy lynch mob afterwards -
Making fanzines -
We all knew who stuck the safety pin through the queen's nose on her portrait in the pub but no-one's grassin' -
Prince Far I on the jukebox -
Trips to the King's Road...Teds chasing some gear at Johnsons -
Pork pie hats -
'Even though I keep on running, I'll never get to Orange Street'...


  1. Oh, I like it. And better than anything David Cassidy said last night too.
    A lot of the slightly older men I know would relate to much of this - whereas my own 70s were the female, slightly younger version, but with some overlappping bits (punk for me - and exposure to my big sister's Ziggy Stardust etc.)
    Would you have also been one of 'those older boys' from primary school (before skin'ead) who rode a chopper bike, wore bottle-green flares and patterned shirts (and scared the life out of me)?

    1. Heh-heh - I don't think I scared anyone at that age, C - although, in retrospect, the matching flowery shirt 'n' tie combo was pretty frightening.

  2. This was the best Hoople album, much due to Bowie's production which was very Ziggyish.

    Also fun book by the way "Mott the Hoople" that is...

    Ian Hunter should have gotten credit for "Generation X" - word came from name he came up with for band he made up with Billy Idol -

    Hey, I saw Slade in Omaha, Nebraska - and now I live there, fleeing New Orleans... they opened for Thin Lizzy...


Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...