The Week That Was – 25th November 1979

Record of the week: Sex Pistols – Pretty Vacant

6th Sep 2022 – I can’t find any information about Pretty Vacant being re-released around this time so not sure why it was in my mind as my record of the week. I had taped it off Top of the Pops earlier in the year (and again, not even sure why it was on Top of the Pops this year) and I smashed that tape a lot. I think it also included some Damned John Peel Session, I still have the tape here somewhere. I have the means to transfer my old tapes to digital but haven’t gotten around to it yet.

25th November 1979
Graeme’s a Christian

6th Sep 2022 – This was a big deal for me at the time despite not really comprehending anything about what it might mean. Hmm – I wonder if he didn’t come to my place on Saturday because his parents wanted him at home on Sunday so that he could go to church, or if that was even just some kind of excuse.

Never having had any real intimacy with faith I’d gone along with what I was being told at school but there was none of that at home. Having been exposed to ‘Anarchy in the UK’, I was of course, immediately curious about what anarchy meant and the simple definition was lack of government and religion, so that seemed a good idea to me! As I later became exposed to Crass my feelings would become even more vehement.

26th November 1979
Make the tea
6p 2p

27th November 1979
Dunno > Naturally

28th November 1979
Replacement watch comes
4 stopwatches
41p 2p

6th Sep 2022 – Pre-hi-tech, watches were a kid’s way of showing off. I think it was Danny Dowling who had the first digital watch in school. It was LED. Everyone wanted to see it. So, I wanted to one-up him of course and managed to convince my mum to get me an LCD watch, which I duly showed off to everyone to gasps of awe. However, I was learning my first lessons in modern tech and the thing broke pretty quickly and there were no jewellers doing repairs on such modern watches yet. In the bin.

29th November 1979
1. Dr Hook
2. Queen
3. DS & BS (Donna Summer and Barbra Streisend)
7. Madness

30th November 1979


1st December 1979
Get the Sex Pistols File.
Got it
Coventry 4-1 Ipswich

6th Sept 2022 – The Sex Pistols File became my bible. I would stare at the pictures every day and wonder about the lives of these crazy people. I wanted to be crazy too. I started experimenting with my hair, got my ear pierced after a while and ripped up my clothes. It was so inspiring and out of this world yet it wasn’t out of reach like David Bowie or Queen or similar. The attitude really struck me and has stuck with me to this day. As a little scruffy kid out in the sticks of Dorset, I would start to annoy everyone, without even having to do anything. It led to tough times, struggles and eventually growth.

The Week That Was – 18th November 1979

Record of the week: Tourists – I Only Wanna Be With You

5th Sep 2022 – This is a great song and a couple of years later I found a sleeveless copy on yellow vinyl in Wimborne Market, probably for 50p. I don’t think they had any more popular songs, maybe released an album and then went on to achieve fame as the Eurhythmics, which was dull new wave pop that I generally detested.

An online search shows they had 3 albums and a handful of singles, the only one I recall now being ‘Blind Among The Flowers’ which preceded I Only Wanna Be With You I believe and was also excellent. All of these were released in 1979 and 1980 when bands didn’t hang around, years between albums.

18th November 1979
I want my bike

19th November 1979

20th November 1979
God knows

21st November 1979
England v Bulgaria (European Championship)

22nd November 1979
1. Dr Hook
2. Queen
3. Jam
My bike comes
1p 182p* 162p*

5th Sept 2022 – Was the excitement of my bike arriving enough to distract me from the top 5 this week? A quick look online suggests there wasn’t much else to write home about, except perhaps Madness cracking the top 10. The Jam song was Eton Rifles, one of their last great singles. Funeral Pyre was the last – they’d gone too soft by this time.

23rd November 1979
My bike is here
Mum did tell it came yesterday because she was going out.
2p 160p*

5th Sept 2022 – I guess this bike was a Christmas present and with it coming a full month before Christmas it still gave me enough time to beg for new presents on the actual day. She would’ve told me it was here because I would’ve discovered it in the garage anyway as I always had my nose in everything. Keeping myself entertained as an only child and in a garden about an acre in size, I was intimate with every nook and cranny. I knew places to hide and spy from, football was best behind the sheds where the two apple trees could be goalposts. Athletics could be run around the top lawn as it was mown with an oval around the edges. This tree was good for one thing and that tree good for another. The garage I often rearranged to make it more convenient, first for my bike, then motorbike and later drum kit and sofa,

24th November 1979
Hope Graeme comes
Ipswich 3-1 Soton
2p 180p*

5th Sep 2022 – It’s possible Graeme didn’t come because his folks forbid him to see me anymore as they decided I was a bad influence. I was bemused by this as it seemed that he was always the bad influence on me.

5th Sep 2022 – I had an irrational hatred of Peter Shilton. Maybe it was his curly hair or the fact that he kept Ray Clemence out of the England team whom I considered a better keeper.

The Week That Was – 11th November 1979

Record of the week: Madness – One Step Beyond
Highest entry: Madness – One Step Beyond

29th Aug 2022 – I think it’s pretty much impossible for pre/early adolescents not to love this song. I still love it now though its familiarity has worn a little thin.

11th November 1979

12th November 1979
Not a lot

13th November 1979

14th November 1979
Six weeks til me bike comes
2p 195p*

30th Aug 2022 – It’s funny to see the affected writing using me instead of my. Is it an English thing? It feels like it. Northern perhaps? Scottish or Irish influence? Blackie from the Hard-Ons still uses it when he’s sending emails, messages etc. It also reminds me of Gilesy who never says fucking but fooking. It sounds weird to me but it seems to be his thing.

Anyway, me bike was an Eddy Merckx 12-speed racing bike ordered from the huge catalogues that appeared once or twice a year. I didn’t know who Eddy Merckx was but the catalogue spiel sold me on it. I thought it was something special.

I don’t know where these came from but I think they were free. Grattans was the name of one. They contained everything such as kitchen items, clothes, tools, toys etc and usually at a cheaper price than in the shops, though by the time shipping charges were added they probably ended up the same.

For teen boys (maybe girls too) the fashion pages were prime material to get excited about, especially the underwear sections. Without any access to porn, this was as good as it got. I still prefer to be stimulated by a semi-clothed body rather than a naked one. I’ve got an imagination that I want to use.

15th November 1979
1. Dr Hook
2. Lena Martell
3. Queen
4. Jam
5. Commodores
6. Abba

16th November 1979
If I don’t find something to say soon I’ll do something about it

30th Aug 2022 – Seems I was even annoyed at myself at the time for what felt like boring days. I bet they weren’t boring at all and filled with forgotten episodes or creative stupidity.

17th November 1979
Ipswich v ?
Graeme came

30th Aug 2022 – Why I didn’t write more? We would’ve got up to loads of mischief but maybe the mischief was so prevalent that it wasn’t worthy of mention. We usually walked up to Queen’s Copse and dicked around there. To be honest, there wasn’t much to do there, occasionally we’d stumble through farmer’s fields and get chased by bulls, piss on electric fences and find dead snakes. I got my mum to take a couple of pictures with her Polaroid Instamatic as Graeme and I pulled ‘punk’ poses that we’d learned from whatever magazines we’d come across.

The Week That Was – 4th November 1979

Record of the week: Specials – Message To You Rudy
Highest entry: BA Robertson – Knocked It Off

24th Aug 2022 – By this time my friends and I were just starting to form our favourite music and subculture. Danny Dowling and Nick Spooner were really into Two Tone and I loved the energy and politics of it too (without fully understanding it yet). I was pulling away more into punk rock, both music and attitude.

As I started to hang around in the village in the evenings over the next 12 months or so, that little group of friends was very diverse. Murray Jackman was the mod, Lee was the gribbly (our name for someone into hard rock and metal), Graeme was the trendy and I was the punk. Because the village was so small and there were so few kids we stuck with each other despite our subcultural differences.

4th November 1979
2p 180p*

5th November 1979
We’re back
2p 178p*

6th November 1979
Got John Wark in football cards
Danny brought radio but we didn’t find out no. 1 only number
2p 176p*

24th Aug 2022 – At this time we were all interested in hearing the chart rundown on Radio 1 during our lunchtime. Sometimes it went on too long though and we had to return to class. As Lena Martell was number one though, we didn’t really miss out on much this week.

I guess it felt like another form of sport, instead of following your favourite team you were following your favourite artists.

7th November 1979
So I found out today
2p 174p*

8th November 1979
1. Lena Martell
2. Dr Hook
3. Abba
4. Sad Cafe
5. Queen
6. Tusk
7. Jam
8. Viola Wills
9. Selecter
10. Still
2p 172p*

9th November 1979
Total fuckup in the charts
What’s fucking no. 1
Tell me
2p 170p*

24th Aug 2022 – Not sure what the deal was here but it does show how difficult it was for information to travel in those days. In this current time of knowing about everyone’s farts and burps in real-time, there’s something missing. Much like the idiom about the journey being more important than the destination and living is suffering, having everything at your fingertips really has no reward.

I still have a goal in my mind now, from all the way back in 1979. I think I’ve mentioned it before. One night whilst listening to John Peel under the sheets I heard a song with the lyric ‘Who are these people?” I still have a vague idea of the sound of the song though find it a little difficult to describe. It was quite a simple song, kind of like the Angelic Upstarts or some of the more upbeat Messthetics post-punk coming out, like the Leyton Buzzards ‘I’m Through With You’.

Anyway, I never wrote down any information. Maybe I never heard who the band was, which is annoying because I did start writing things like this down when I heard them so that I could try and buy them later. There were many things that I did track down eventually, some of which were 10 or more years later. But this one has eluded me and in my mind, I have a feeling that one day I will discover this song again and then I will soon die. I would like to say that I will not die UNTIL I hear this song again. Let’s see.

10th November 1979
Ipswich 0-0 Villa
2p 188p*