The Week That Was – 27th May 1979

Record of the week: Ian Dury – What the Dickens Inbetweenies
Highest entry: Anita Ward – Ring My Bell

12th Apr 2022 – For a favourite tune of the time I don’t remember how this Ian Dury song goes but I do remember the annoying Anita Ward tune. It’s not bad. Just annoying.

27th May 1979
Them lot came round staying all today and tomorrow

12th Apr 2022 – An obvious connection between ‘them lot’ staying and the score for the day.

28th May 1979
Rangers 3-2 Hibs
2p 2p

12th Apr 2022 – 28?! What the hell? How does that work? Rangers were my Scottish team of choice due to their wearing blue. Stranraer was my second Scottish team for the same reason and that they never did well. I don’t think they ever made it out of the second division whilst I followed them. Another example of rooting for the underdog.

29th May 1979
From yesterday I’ll be giving marks on the day. They’ll be out of ten and will be totalled up at the end of the week for a mark out of 70.
60 this week

12th Apr 2022 – A reasonable (yet meaningless) statistical indicator.

I recently used the FutureMe online application where you write an email (to yourself but can include others) scheduled to be delivered in the future. Writing up these diary entries offers a similar proposition even if they are quite non-specific. A vague reminder of a time and place that often feels like it belonged to someone else. In a way, I guess it did.

30th May 1979
European Cup Final
Forest 1-0 Malmo FC
Malmo should’ve won

12th Apr 2022 – I hated Nottingham Forest and Brian Clough, possibly for the only reason that they wore red.

I watched some old football highlights from 1973 yesterday and it was weird to see the style of play back then. And the haircuts. With less money influencing the sport it felt a lot more real. The players looked like they all went out for a beer after the game. They just looked like your regular Peters and Pauls. They just happened to be footballers. There probably was still a cult of personality about them but not to the extremes of today’s standards. The stands were jam-packed with people and no stadiums had seating. Even the shitty TV quality is super nostalgic though I don’t have any desire to return to that.

31st May 1979
1. Blondie – Sunday Girl
2. Roxy Music – Dance Away
3. M – Pop Muzik
4. Peaches and Herb – Reunited
5. Earth Wind And Fire – Boogie Wonderland

1st June 1979
Got a watch
By the way, the watch is NEW
Very sunny
Got Pop Muzik

12th Apr 2022 – This watch may have a green LED, one of the first of its time though this technology soon got overrun by LCD. As I highlight the watch being new I guess all my previous watches had been second hand and I thought that was terrific. I stopped wearing watches as a teenager, testing myself to quantify time and pay attention to ways to find the time without having to ask people for it. I finally got the Pop Muzik 7″, though disappointingly with no picture sleeve.

2nd June 1979
Got an Ipswich hat yesterday. It’s the real one, not just an ordinary un.

12th Apr 2022 – Again, wanting to highlight the fact that this was the expensive option item, buying from the club and not from the market. Maybe I felt like I needed to advance my station?


12th Apr 2022 – Trevor Francis went to Nottingham Forest for one million pounds this year – the first-ever one million pound player. It was a big deal. In my mind, the end of an era for football (looking back at least).

The Week That Was – 20th May 1979

Record of the week: Lene Lovich – Say When
Highest entry: Mcfadden And Whitehead – Ain’t No Stopping Us Now

4th Apr 2022 – Lene Lovich was a character. I don’t remember this song, even after listening to it a couple of months ago and listening now triggers no memories. It does remind me a lot of Hayzie Fantayzee but they came later, maybe owing a debt to Ms Lovich. McFadden and Whitehead though, one-hit wonders perhaps, this song is catchy but generic pop garbage of the time. Maybe still played in retro soul clubs?

20th May 1979
Clear out under sofa, that’s where I’m writing to you from
2p 120p*

4th Apr 2022 – A pivotal time for me. My first move to break away from my mum, albeit, just to be laying under the sofa whilst she was sitting above!

Mum kept a lot of junk under the sofa but I convinced her it was time to sort it out, clear it out and I would lay under there to watch TV or whatever. It would be MY place to own. Our sofa was like a converted park bench so there was plenty of space under there for a skinny 11-year-old.

It was soon after that I got mum to clean out under the bureau too so that I could use that space as a race space for my collection of Matchbox cars.

I would keep a logbook of my racing league, with daily races. I was mad on charts and tracking, and a little, by extension, on statistics. My favourite, Ford Capri, always came first, even though I convinced myself I gave it the same amount of push as the Maseratis and Lamborghinis I had.

It was during this time I discovered the pleasurable feeling of rubbing my squashed knob on the floor. I tied together, in my mind, using a pen on paper and rubbing myself on the ground by moving my hips rhythmically so that I soon began to just colour in letters with fastidious intensity.

I don’t know when was the first time I orgasmed doing this and the first ejaculation, because the tip of my penis was squashed between the foreskin, I never actually ejaculated, trapping any discharge inside. This had both positives and negatives. I could rub myself to orgasm like this many times over, and not really ejaculate. This was useful later when I was having real sex. Any leaking liquid would follow a minute or two after orgasm.

Over time my sensitivity moved from the penis head to the base where even now I can still experience deep orgasmic pleasure by squeezing the tube at the base to stop ejaculation.

The downside of all this was that I don’t know what damage I was doing. Also, I could never spurt a fountain, and the joke ‘he makes love like a footballer, he dribbles before he shoots’ has always remained in memory for the past 40 years since I first heard it. Multiple orgasms seemed like a reasonable trade-off at the time.

Another part of the pleasure was holding my breath whilst doing this, but I had to be really careful not to burst out a big gulp of air at climax as my mum would be reading her book quietly sitting just a few inches above me. At this time I wasn’t yet thinking about girls or imagining what sex was like, that would develop in the next year or two. Although thinking about it, perhaps I was imagining Debbie Harry in some form or another.

21st May 1979
Cripes, Coronation Street is getting so dramatic
2p 2p 98p*

4th Apr 2022 – So, having written all that above, I’m wondering if the ‘9’ entry here is the number of times I orgasmed that day!

The sofa had a kind of curtain to hide whatever was underneath and I would tuck it up so that I could watch TV on our boxy white Sony Trinitron, which my mum was very proud of owning.

Mum and I enjoyed the Northern trappings of Coronation Street, with which we were still somewhat familiar from living in Whitehaven. It’s odd now to consider how wildly accents can change in relatively short distances in England. My own accent adapted from Cumbrian to Devonish to a middle non-descript plain English by this time.

We tried other shows like Emmerdale and Crossroads but they didn’t stick like Cory and then I dropped that later when East Enders came on the scene though I think mum stuck with it a bit longer.

22nd May 1979
Glad Sunday Girl’s at No. 1
Scotland 1-0 Northern Ireland
Scotland should have won the Championship

4th Apr 2022 – Finally a half-decent song at number one. Going for Scotland – always support the team in blue.

23rd May 1979
Today went quite fast
UEFA Cup Final (2nd Leg)
Borussia Munchengladbach 1-0 Red Star Belgrade
England 0-0 Wales
2p 2p

24th May 1979
1. Blondie – Sunday Girl
2. Roxy Music – Dance Away
3. M – Pop Muzik
4. Abba – Does Your Mother Know
5. Peaches and Herb – Reunited
Andrew’s birthday

4th Apr 2022 – I can only think this must have been Andrew Farmer who I was still friends with at this time. I was invited to party at his house which was up on the Heath. A big house that cemented their status in my mind as being rich and a little hoity-toity, helped by the fact Andrew’s mum was the deputy headmaster at school. In the following year, his family built and opened the Elim Pentecostal Church on Leigh Road to which we were all invited for the opening week, and during the one time I actually went, I enjoyed pogoing with Keith ‘Fog’ Forward during one of the more uptempo songs. Besides that, it was boring as fuck.

Anyway, at this party we walked around the woods in the beautiful sunshine, exploring places I never bothered to go again, shooting our fake guns and caps. Back at their house, they had a mini (kids) pool table set up in an attic room and here Andrew got into an argument with his younger brother Steven which ended with one or the other whacking the other across the back with a pool queue. I left soon after and as their family continued on their religious trajectory, I was off on my anti-establishment one and we didn’t remain friends. I don’t know if that random act of violence made me pause for thought or if there were other factors involved too but I felt like he was becoming too much of a goody-two-shoes in general.

25th May 1979
Northern Ireland 1-1 Wales
Championship Table
England 2 1 0 5 1 5
Wales 1 2 0 4 1 4
Scotland 1 0 2 2 6 2
N. Ireland 0 1 2 1 4 1

26th May 1979
England 3-1 Scotland
Every Saturday I’m going to try and say something about Ipswich
Look at August 12

The Week That Was – 13th May 1979

Record of the week: Roxy Music – Dance Away
Highest entry: Blondie – Sunday Girl – 10

24th Mar 2022 – When I saw this Roxy Music song here, the tune popped into my head and I thought, I hate this song! Something about it must have caught my interest. I was still into Blondie though I didn’t explore their releases after Parallel Lines. It got a bit too slick, though Union City Blue was ok.

13th May 1979
Feel sick
Found out what was at number 1

14th May 1979
Still feel sick

15th May 1979
Don’t feel as sick as yesterday
Rangers 0-0 Hibs
2p 123p

24th Mar 2002 – Such a sickly boy. Ipswich were my main team but in the Scottish League, I supported Rangers, because they also wore blue. Scottish games were never shown on TV so I could only follow them by watching out for the results on TV on Saturdays or perhaps reading results in my grandparent’s newspaper.

16th May 1979
I wish Bright Eyes would budge now
European Cup Winners Cup Final
Barcelona 4-3 Fortuna Dusseldorf

24th Mar 2022 – I really wanted Pop Muzik to get to number one. It almost seems inconceivable these days that a song could keep selling more copies week after week. I think Pop Muzik is more likely to be heard than Bright Eyes, in other contexts now, such as movies, soundtracks or TV shows – if I may be allowed to reduce cultural attache like that. Bright Eyes was a real downer of a song.

17th May 1979
1. Art Garfunkel – Bright Eyes
2. M – Pop Muzik
3. Boney M – Holiday
4. Abba – Does Your Mother Know
5. Peaches and Herb – Reunited

18th May 1979
More drama in Soap

19th May 1979
Found out that Ipswich are in Europe

24th Mar 2022 – This current wonder of the internet tells me that Ipswich came 6th in the league which means they would play in the UEFA Cup the following season.

The Week That Was – 6th May 1979

Record of the week: Dickies – Banana Splits
Highest entry: Damned – Love Song – 26

21st Mar 2022 – Seeing the Dickies play Banana Splits on Top of the Pops – it was a video, not in the studio – was amazing. I’d never seen music played so fast before. It was thrilling and exciting. And Love Song – it was a time of great music, but look at the top of the charts and it was not so good. However, it provided the balance to kick against. It’s hard to put yourself back in the position of the context of the past.

6th May 1979
Dunno, quite a good day wasn’t it
Exactly one year since Ipswich won the cup

21st Mar 2022 – This was a great period of time to be an Ipswich Town fan and I was annoyed when Bobby Robson was eventually enticed away to manage the England team. They never got the mojo back after that.

7th May 1979
Carey Camp starts
Nothing much

21st Mar 2022 – Hmm – a couple of hundred kids camping for 5 days. Was that a good idea? As a teacher now, I think I would refuse to be part of that! But then, when I think about the teachers at the time they were probably all in their twenties and thirties and still full of enthusiasm. As a kid though, as a student, this was an interesting week, that did eventually get out of control.

For the most part, we were sleeping in tents of 8 and I don’t recall any shenanigans. The teachers were probably smart enough to pick which kids were in which tents and we weren’t yet brave enough to go against the rules sent down for us.

Image from Carey Camp Facebook page

8th May 1979
Went to Old Harry
God were my legs killing me

21st Mar 2022 – Again, probably a good adult tactic was to wear us the fuck out so that we would get back to camp and just sleep. I found out that on Friday we would be going to Swanage and I was desperate to find a record shop so that I could the Pop Muzik 7″. It was all I could talk about. Pun intended.

9th May 1979
My legs weren’t as bad as yesterday
UEFA Cup Final (1st Leg)
Borussia Muchengladbach 1-1 Red Star Belgrade

10th May 1979
1. Art Garfunkel – Bright Eyes
2. M – Pop Muzik
3. Boney M – Holiday
4. Abba – Does Your Mother Know
5. Racey – Some Girls

21st Mar 2022 – On this night several of us got to sleep in a different field in two-man tents and this was a cause for shenanigans as the teachers were not around. Also, longer summer nights made for a long period of twilight and so we screamed and shouted whilst roasting food on campfires and generally causing the kind of mayhem that 11-year-olds can – which really isn’t that much. But eventually, the teachers in the faraway field came and told us to pipe down. They noticed that there was a big smear of butter down the side of one tent and were very upset about it. Matthew owned up that it was him who threw the butter and we expected him to be led off in disgrace but instead, we all got punished and sent back to join the others.

I was worried about the ramifications because I really wanted to go to Swanage the next day. That was all I could think about.

Image from Carey Camp Facebook page

11th May 1979
Sick at camp
Wish I knew what was at No 1
QPR 0-4 Ipswich

21st Mar 2022 – And so fate intervened as I started vomiting up dodgy food as the sun rose in the early morning and I felt sick as a dog. Someone else had suffered the same fate and we got put in a room at the camp for the rest of the day. Not to be outdone, I gave my money to one of the teachers in the vague hope that they would pass a record store and could be the single for me.

But I was to be disappointed and frustrated, feeling sure that they probably didn’t even bother to find a record shop, because my request was obviously far more important than whatever else it was that the teachers had planned.

I had recovered my dodgy stomach throughout the day, enough to enjoy the final night of festivities, where everyone sat around a huge bonfire singing songs. No doubt Kumbaya was in there.

Some of the kids had prepared a short skit, which I’m sure was initiated by the teachers. It involved a girl standing by a tree and another person came along. The girl said – oh I like your shoes, where did you get them? To which the traveller replied ‘John Lewis’ (a famous clothing store). Another person comes along – oh I like your socks, where did you get them? ‘John Lewis’ again. Another person – trousers – ‘John Lewis’. Another – shirt – ‘John Lewis’. Another – hat – ‘John Lewis. And finally, (I can picture the boy but don’t recall his name, he was a bit of a class clown) a boy comes along in his underpants and the girl says Who are you? to which he replies ‘I’m John Lewis.’ We all cracked up and thought it was very daring.

12th May 1979
Carey Camp ends
FA Cup Final
Arsenal 3-2 Man Utd
Rangers 0-0 Hibs

Information from the Facebook group: Decade 77-87 – a grown-up disco: new wave, punk, postpunk, goth & indie
On this date in 1979, THE DICKIES released the single BANANA SPLITS (THE TRA LA LA SONG), (April 12th 1979).

THE DICKIES were Leonard Grayes Phillips on vocals, Stan Lee (aka Stan Sobel) on lead guitar, Chuck Wagon (aka Bob) on keyboards and sax, Karlos Kaballero on drums, and Billy Club on bass, a year zero punk outfit that emerged from a San Fernando garage in late 1977.

Within a matter of weeks, they’d been given a spot at the Whisky on the Sunset Strip.

“We just came out of nowhere,” said bassist Billy Club. “We’d been together about a week when Rodney Bigenheimer (L.A. man-about-town) came out to the garage we were in. We had about eight songs. He booked us at the Whisky.”

The Dickies were based just outside L.A. and all agreed that the radio was “an outrage – all that disco shi t. We’ve been hearing the same thing on it for the past five years”. But acting on their anti-disco manifesto had to wait until punk reared its head in the form of the Sex Pistols crossing the Atlantic and passing through the States.

“We played the Whisky – like, it was a Tuesday night, no one was there, but we got a cult following, and we started headlining the Whisky weekends and playing the Starwood,” explained Stan. “It was a joke, then all of a sudden: Dickiemania.”

A typical description of a Dickies live show went something like this: “…The lead singer wears a plaster leg cast, while guitar player Stan adorns womens’ lace panties on his head. The bassist wears a flasher’s yellow raincoat with black polka dots…It’s party-time.”

As for the music, a Los Angeles Times writer called it “primarily punkoid in structure and delivery, but pop elements to set them apart from the blunt, primitive school”. After much debate, “Easy listening punk” appeared to be the band’s favourite. Time would see their catchy melodic sound labelled “pop-punk” or “bubble-gum punk”.

Their songs were covers – ‘Paranoid’, The ‘Tra La La Song’ (from the Banana Splits cartoon show) and brilliantly odd picks like ‘Sound Of Silence’, plus a growing number of originals.

Notably, The Dickies achieved a series of firsts: the first California punk band to appear on network television, the first California punk band to be signed to a major (A&M Records) and the first U.S. punk outfit to tour Europe. By 1979, they‘d won over a lot of British fans.