The Week That Was – 29th July 1979

Record of the week: The Dickies – Poodle Party, Paranoid, Rondo (The Midget’s Revenge)
Highest entry: Sham 69 – Hersham Boys
Entries: The Boss, Telex, The Bitch, Showaddywaddy, Spyro Gyra, EWF

19th May 2022 – Days when Sham 69 were the highest entry in the charts! In the big scheme of things, punk was a flash in the pan. I’m a flash in the pan. Humanity is a flash in the pan! I was all about the Dickies this week.

29th July 1979
From Tues
Last week was great
Part 7 of the Dickies saga
Haven’t stopped playing the album.

30th July 1979
Part 8
As you can see my records of this week and next are off the album.
2p 2p

31st July 1979
‘ad me ‘air dun
Part 9
Got the single Paranoid. The B-side is I’m OK You’re OK.

19th May 2022 – This new Dickies song was a little bit of a let-down when compared with the album but it was still great. I wonder what madness I tried to get the hairdresser to perform this time?

1st August 1979
1 – Going to get the Dickies LP The Incredible Shrinking Dickies – False
2 – I’ll get it on 27th July – False
3 – 20th July

19th May 2022 – When plans come early.

2nd August 1979
1. Boomtown Rats
2. Police
3. Dooleys
4. Dave Edmunds
5. Abba
6. Janet Kay
7. Tubeway Army
8. Knack
9. Supertramp
10. Sparks
Going to Johnny’s.

19th May 2022 – Probably stayed at Graeme’s for a night or two. At the back of his house, which was above the pub, there was a camping and caravanning area, with shower and toilet blocks. Graeme had an air rifle and we took it out around the woods to ‘play’ with as the sun was coming down. We got back to the campsite not yet satisfied with shooting at things. I think we’d scared a few birds by this point. In the dark, Graeme said that there was a garbage bin next to the toilet block and we should shoot across the car park and see if we could hit it. So, with no thought or care for anyone else, that’s what we did. And we did hit the garbage can! And no one was hurt.

Little did I know that in my future I would come very close to being killed with an air rifle!

3rd August 1979
Part 10 of the Dickies saga
I’m going to try and play the album every day until the Eve of Destruction. Get it?

4th August 1979
Hope Ipswich sign Ray Wilkins. That’s for 930,000 pounds.
2p 10p 107p*

19th May 2022 – I had to look up Ray Wilkins. Not sure why I was that excited about this possibility but I obviously rated him at the time. He ended up at Manchester United and so I soon forgot about him!

The Week That Was – 22nd July 1979

Record of the week: I Don’t Like Mondays
Highest entry: Sparks – Beat The Clock – 21

17th May 2022 – Well, there you go. After writing about my dislike for this song ‘I Don’t Like Mondays’ now, I liked it enough to make it my favourite record then.

22nd July 1979
When I did my leg in yesterday hurdling…well, nothing happened to any other part of my body until today, I can’t move my head
10p 2p 54p*

17th May 2022 – I recall a time I woke up and couldn’t move my head, it was stuck to one side and trying to move it was intensely painful. I’m not sure if I worked it out at the time or much later but I’m guessing it was probably related to sleeping on my front, something which I may have mentioned elsewhere, which was because I heard that Jimi Hendrix had died choking on his own vomit when laying on his back. I sure didn’t want that to happen to me.

As I write this and think about it, I don’t think that was the real reason. It was just a bad habit I had picked up as a kid, I’m sure. Sometimes, before falling asleep I would pull the sheet and blanket up over me and pretend my bed was a spaceship with the controls down the edge of the mattress. I probably played this until I fell asleep laying on my front. Star Trek repeats on TV would’ve been an influence. Maybe Dr Who as well.

23rd July 1979
I made a Star Special featuring Sid Vicious
2p 17 1/2p* 40p*

17th May 2022 – I’m guessing a Star Special was some kind of feature in a magazine like Smash Hits or something like that. As they would never do one on Sid, I did it myself. The genesis of my DIY journey?

24th July 1979
Why ain’t Sex Pistols No. 1?
2p 55 1/2p*

25th July 1979
Made an ??? by Steve Jones. Great
Must get Boomtown Rats I Don’t Like Mondays
2p 2p 51 1/2p*

17th May 2022 – My bad handwriting. I’m dreading looking at some future diaries for their inexplicable, illegible scrawl, some blotched by humidity or damp.

26th July 1979
1. I Don’t Like Mondays
2. Tubeway Army
3. Silly Games
4. Dave Edmunds
5. Dooleys
6. Knack
7. Chic
8. Sex Pistols
9. Lady Lynda
10. Supertramp
2p 47 1/2p*

27th July 1979
Part 6 of the Dickies saga
Look at 25th July. Well. I did.
Part 7
2p 45p*

17th May 2022 – The Dickies first album had a huge effect on me. They played fast and with great melody. It was fun and frantic and featured great songwriting on their originals and also made the covers they did their own, fitting seamlessly into this set of songs. I didn’t even know ‘She’ was a cover until much much later. The picture on the album cover was also so cool. These were days of pouring over every minute detail to fill in the blanks. Cool crazy haircuts and clothes. Without a lyric sheet, I would try to discern the furiously fast words as best I could so I could also sing along. Were these people even real?

28th July 1979
First Dunno since 27th June
4.4 weeks. 32 days.

The Week That Was – 15th July 1979

Record of the week: Sham 69 – Hersham Boys, The Members – End of Term
Highest entry: Boomtown Rats – I Don’t Like Mondays – 15

17th May 2022 – Had to go back and check out the Members tune again. A great bopping number with particularly relevant lyrics for a schoolkid. Very much of its time and not as classic as some of their other singles, I love the sound of it though. I guess I do have a nostalgia through music. Hersham Boys was a classic at the time though hasn’t really stood the test of time for me. I had the 12″ single with the extended mix and live tracks (with the swear words beeped out – which made me feel a little naughty).

As for the Boomtown Rats, I kinda like this song but when it got to number one and could be heard everywhere all the time I soon got sick of it. Gone was the upbeat tempo, great songwriting and dizziness of their first two albums and earlier singles. The end of my love affair with the Rats.

15th July 1979
Finished poster to go up on me wall

17th May 2022 – Like most teenagers and pre-teens I was ripping out pictures from magazines and putting them up on the wall of my bedroom and this developed into making my own which often featured titillating images such as page 3 topless pictures with Princess Diana’s head on top. Decorating my room soon became graffiti over the following 5 years.

16th July 1979
Hopefully I’m going to get the Dickies LP this week
2p 30p^

17th May 2022 – I was pumped up waiting for this.

17th July 1979
Didn’t get it today
Hope Sex Pistols are number one
2p 2p 32p^

18th July 1979
Highest entry – Boomtown Rats – I Don’t Like Mondays – 15
It’s great

17th May 2022 – Finding out this was about a school shooting was weird. It seemed unthinkable and didn’t really seem to be a common thing back then, at least not reported on the shores of Blighty. On the one hand, I found it fantastic that someone was so pissed off with school that they went there and killed people! On the other hand, what had anyone really done to deserve that fate?

With the situation becoming more common in the US over time I still can’t believe the situation there. It makes me feel like the place is dangerous, just in general.

19th July 1979
1. Tubeway Army
2. Janet Kay
3. Sex Pistols
4. Dave Edmunds
5. Chic
6. Beach Boys
7. Gerry Rafferty
8. Amii Stewart
9. Squeeze
10. Dooleys

20th July 1979
Break up for holidays
I didn’t get Dickies this week
Part 5

17th May 2022 – Skill! I had forgotten we used to say that. Ace! too. Every kid enjoys the end of term, right!?

21st July 1979
I don’t think there’s been any big move to do with Ipswich
Got 2 cars. Notes

17th May 2022 – Transfer news wasn’t such a big deal back at this time, or so I imagined. Nowadays, it’s like every little piece of everyone’s business is dissected and analysed to death. This isn’t necessarily a good thing. Really just gossip and out of one’s control.

The Week That Was – 8th July 1979

Record of the week: Generation X – Friday’s Angel
Highest entry: The Knack – My Sharona – 24

14th May 2022 – My Sharona is still in the cultural zeitgeist, though maybe only for another generation. Friday’s Angel I don’t even recall myself. Let me check it out again. Seeing the cover, I may have even owned this 7″ at some point. Looks familiar. A re-listen is not winning me over these days.

8th July 1979
Not meant for today but the Sex Pistols are great.
2p 12p^

14th May 2022 – Not meant for today? What does that even mean, 11-year-old me? Perhaps just filling up diary space when having no recollection of what I actually did on that day. I wish I could go back and tell myself to write down as much as possible, to tell Hayden to do the same. Tell your kids to keep a diary, even better, a journal. No need to get all Kerouac about it but your future self will be grateful to you.

9th July 1979
Had chalkie today
Great stuff
Chalkie = Hard and White = Arden White
2p 14p^

14th May 2022 – Well, I’ve searched but Arden White remains a mystery. Some kind of candy, chocolate or beverage, maybe? Already enjoying playing with language. It is something that I still admire as part of my Englishness. Not to say that language games don’t exist in other languages or that English is better, just that I enjoy the learning, practising and knowing of it.

10th July 1979
Graeme brought a Rubber Johnny to school and I’ve got the instructions
2p 16p^

14th May 2022 – Damn, this would’ve been a playground coup and kids would’ve gathered around to see this forbidden item. I was obviously proud to be the owner of the instructions! Even with them, I wouldn’t have known what to do with the thing! I feel sure Graeme would’ve given it a go though.

11th July 1979
called the

14th May 2022 – As if my writing wasn’t hard enough to read already, I obviously wanted this piece partially obscured

12th July 1979
1. Tubeway Army – Are Friends Electric?
2. Janet Kay – Silly Games
3. Sex Pistols – C’mon Everybody
4. Squeeze – Up The Junction
5. Amii Stewart – Light My Fire
6. Gerry Rafferty – Night Owl
7. Ruts – Babylon’s Burning
2p 2p 20p^

14th May 2022 – Extended to a top 7 so that I could include the Ruts. It’s amazing to remember a time when a song like this was in the charts.

13th July 1979
Gra Johnny’s number is 0425 42800

14th May 2022 – In the punk tradition Graeme and I changed our names though I forget what mine was. So Graeme was Johnny, implying that he was the Johnny Rotten of us two potential punks. I don’t believe I ever went by the name of Sid but it wouldn’t be long before that was the name older kids called me to make fun of me. And by this time I was the only punk in the school.

14th July 1979
No news to write about Ipswich this week
26p ^

14th May 2022 – That’s how to write about Ipswich every week, even when there was nothing to write. I could’ve been a journalist, I tells ya!

The Week That Was – 1st July 1979

Record of the week: C’mon Everybody – Sex Pistols
Highest entry: Chic – Good Times – 22 (What crap!)

7th May 2022 – Well, I’m going to take my word for it and not even going to bother checking out the Chic song again. Could C’mon Everybody really be by the Sex Pistols? Were the Pistols the Pistols without John Lydon? Obviously, moneymakers thought they could use the name but when it comes to the actual ‘real’ band, they only really had about 18 songs in their catalogue. For a band that had such a great impact on musical culture (culture in general, really) it seems an incredibly small recorded legacy. Are there other bands with such a minuscule recorded output that was such a huge influence?

The video has Sid riding his motorbike without a helmet, which was SO punk rock to 11-year-old me. I couldn’t understand how he was allowed to do that, to get away with it! I’m going to watch it again in a minute but the footage I remember is of him riding through English country lanes and that takes me back to the time of doing the same, pushbikes and then motorbikes (with helmet, of course!), about 5 or 6 years later.

I went on a bike ride this morning, around a lot of country lanes here in Chiang Rai and despite the different types of foliage, it’s quite a similar experience. As I was riding I was thinking about going back to the UK and hitting up Rupert and Jeremy, hiring some 50cc mopeds and hooning around our old haunts.

1st July 1979
Yesterday I was in bed all the time because of me leg (see Friday 24th June)

2nd July 1979
Making out my pop records that I’m playing

3rd July 1979
Used a spud to make C L A S H, you know, cut-outs.
2p^ not in debt

7th July 2022 – My love of the Clash was getting creative. I also made some tiny bread buns of those letters and at school made them out of wood whenever there was free bits leftover from making….whatever we were supposed to be making. I was never handy with tools and soon gave up on woodwork and metalwork classes.

4th July 1979
I’m actually saving money
If you look back to Feb 9, the middle statement has become false

7th May 2022 – This situation wouldn’t last!

5th July 1979
1. Tubeway Army – Are Friends Electric?
2. Squeeze – Up The Junction
3. Janet Kay – Silly Games (what crap!)
4. Anita Ward – Ring My Bell
5. Gerry Rafferty – Night Owl
9. Sex Pistols – C’mon Everybody

6th July 1979
Sports Day This year Last year
Long Jump 1 1
75m 1 1
150m 1 1
Cricket Ball 1 1
Relay 1 2
2p 8p^

7th May 2022 – I could’ve been a contender, I suppose. There wasn’t much support for a dumb kid from the backwaters of England and there wasn’t enough internal motivation. I didn’t believe in myself, no one else believed in me and so it goes.

7th July 1979
Borg vs Tanner
6-7 6-1 3-6 6-3 6-4
Ipswich’s last 3 seasons places
2p 10p^

7th May 2022 – I liked Bjorn Borg for some reason. He seemed humble.