The Week That Was – 23rd December 1979

Record of the week: Beat – Tears of a Clown

23rd Sep 2022 – The Beat were tied in with the Two Tone movement but were more traditional in their songs than the almost straight-up ska of the Specials and early Madness. The Beat trod a more poppy path than the Ruts and I’d argue even some Haircut 100 went down that path too and later this sound was brilliantly utilised by one of the best bands no one has ever heard of, Crane, who covered both The Beat and The Ruts at different times.

23rd December 1979
Wonder what I’ll get
see 26 Dec
2p 2p 94p*

24th December 1979
Can’t wait
2p 4p 92p*

25th December 1979
WOO!!
2p 2p 88p*

23rd Sep 2022 – I believe in the afternoon of this Christmas, mum and I went to my Auntie Lorna’s house and it looks like my Auntie Shirley stayed at my house with my grandparents.

I thought my Auntie Lorna was quite sophisticated as her house had a lounge that went round the corner and the corner part had a lamp, table and cup holders. At this time my cousin Elise would have been about 10 I guess and she and I never got on, possibly because we just had different lives and the only thing that connected us was this odd tie of family.

Lorna was still married to Jim though that would fall apart over the next couple of years, I believe because of his infidelity but that is only what I heard. I liked him because he would play with me. Children make interesting judgements on adult’s characters. I would make fun of him because I discovered his middle name was Aloysius, which was (and is) an unusual name, so much so that I just had to look up how it was spelt. When I knew how much he hurt my auntie though I didn’t have such a great opinion of him and he disappeared from all our lives once they got divorced.

26th December 1979
Got Never Mind The Bollocks
This pen, desk diary
Book – I Like This Poem
2p 2p 84p*

23rd Sep 2022 – Boxing Day and the shops were open again. I’m not sure why but we made a special shopping trip to Bournemouth which was just amazing to me.

We parked at the Triangle which I would become more familiar with over time as it was the bus stop for buses from Wimborne and also you could usually find a parking spot here. It’s usually a nice walk down to the Gardens and to the record stores on the other side and up the hill. I have a clear memory of it being gloomy and cloudy when we arrived and then dark and rainy when we left, this was so magical to my little mind. I was in the big city at night time!

Bournemouth Gardens, down to the beach.

Bournemouth was so high class compared with sleepy Wimborne and the, as then, still unexplored Poole. At the record store, which may even have been a chain store such as Our Price, I convinced my mum to buy me the picture disc version of the Sex Pistols Never Mind The Bollocks album. I was so proud, and, not being able to play it until getting home a few days later I stared at the live shot for hours.

27th December 1979
Don’t think there is any charts today
Shirley sleeps in my bed Ha Hee
Not charts
2p 2p

23rd Sep 2022 – Knowing that my Aunt Shirley would sleep in my bed whilst I was away I filled it with itching powder that I’d either received for my birthday or that Christmas morning!

28th December 1979
Get the car re-serviced
Flooding
Got a taxi home only to Horseshoes, had to walk through the water.
2p 78p*

23rd Sep 2022 – This was the year of the big flood and on the way from Ferndown to Holtwood, which isn’t too far, we had to slow down many times after hitting water that just looked like the road in the early dark of the evening.

I’ve seen images from the floods in 1979 but can’t find them now. This one is from around 2014 and shows what it was like driving through the waters. Imagine that at night time and not even being able to tell where to road turns to water.

We couldn’t even get directly home and had to go around through Gaunts Common and even then the depth of water was too intimidating for the taxi driver at Horseshoes. I couldn’t believe it. Mum said, Come on, we’ve got to get out and walk through the water!

The top of the hill, coming from Gaunts Common down to Horseshoes. It looks beautiful here and makes me want to go and visit again.

And me with my brand new unplayed copy of the greatest album in my world, that I hadn’t even listened to yet! The water came up to our waists and we held our bags as high as we could and at least it had stopped raining.

29th December 1979
Norwich 3-3 Ipswich
2p

The Week That Was – 16th December 1979

Record of the week: M – Moonlight and Muzak
Highest entry: Elvis Presley

22nd Sep 2022 – Ploughing through adding these entries for 1979 has taken much longer than expected. As my enthusiasm for keeping a diary in 1979, so did my enthusiasm for finishing these off! There’s also little information contained within for me to comment on.

I don’t even remember this M song now. I think it was a disappointment after the fanaticism I had for Pop Muzik.

16th December 1979
REALLY
2p 1p

17th December 1979
YOU
2p

18th December 1979
KNOW
3p 1p

19th December 1979
End of school
2p 104p*

20th December 1979
1. Pink Floyd
2. Abba
3.
4.
Matthew was ill
102p*

21st December 1979
Feel sick
Ipswich 3-1 Spurs
100p*

22nd December 1979
We played yesterday
Yesterday read 80 pages of Trillions and I got Star Trek
2p 98p*

22nd Sep 2022 – ‘We’ being Ipswich, not my school team. Getting Star Trek, I’m not sure what that was, a game, a toy, magazine or book? I was into the 60s/70s Star Trek series but never got into the later versions. I was all about Kirk, Spock, Uhuru and the…er…Scottish guy!

Trillions was one of the very few books that I read when I was in school. Something about it grabbed me and I knew that it was possible for me to read and enjoy it. Perhaps I just never came across the books that I needed to inspire me to read more.

Trillions were hard, bright, tiny things which suddenly arrived, millions and millions and millions of them, one windy day in a village called Harbourtown…..No one could explain them, much less why they had suddenly arrived. Were they a blessing, as their beauty suggested, or a deadly, inexplicable threat?

from Goodreads.com

The Week That Was – 9th December 1979

Record of the week: Paul McCartney – Wonderful Christmas Time

14th Sep 2022 – Well, there ya go. I had already recognised this genius even at age 12.

9th December 1979
NOT
2p

10th December 1979
(tick)
KNOW/
2p

11th December 1979
FEEL
2p 1p

12th December 1979
(tick)
WHAT
2p

13th December 1979
1. Pink Floyd
2.
3.
4.
5.
2p

14th December 1979
(tick)
TO
1p 2p

14th Sep 2022 – What the hell were these ticks?

15th December 1979
PUT
Bolton 0-1 Ipswich

14th Sep 2022 – It seems that the daily diary thrill had almost completely worn off by this point and I couldn’t even be bothered to list the charts. Number one was Another Brick In The Wall which, as a schoolkid, was enjoyable for the representation of mind-numbing school lessons. It became so popular though that I ended up disliking and resenting it.

The Week That Was – 2nd December 1979

Record of the week: UK Subs – She’s Not There
Highest entry: Paul McCartney – Wonderful Christmas Time

9th Sep 2022 – How many singles did the UK Subs put out in one year? Rock bands these days are slow as fuck to do anything. ‘In my day’…haha – the punks were cranking this shit out month after month, no wonder there is so much great music from this time period. Of course, there was lots of shit getting cranked out too but let’s not talk about that.

Despite hating Christmas, Paul McCartney and Christmas songs, for some reason I really like the tune in this song. I mean, not so much I went out and bought it but at least I can find it somewhat unirratating. I suppose Mud’s ‘Lonely This Christmas’ isn’t a bad vocal melody too. You don’t hear that one so much though. And since living in Thailand, never heard again!

2nd December 1979
Not a lot happened
give me self a new hair style
2p

9th Sep 2022 – I can’t imagine that this went well but this was the year of hair experimentation. It wouldn’t be long until Mr Gander sent me out of class to go and fix my messy hair in the bathroom. As a teacher now I can’t really imagine asking a kid to do that. Imagine messy hair being such a terrible affront to the possibility of learning.

3rd December 1979
did myself
this…
2p

4th December 1979
week…
2p 6p

9th Sep 2022 – I seem to be just filling up the days with a sentence spread out a word a day, just so I could feel that I managed to write something every day.

5th December 1979
Got it
Punk rocker in Coronation Street
2p

Trouble at t’factry!

Mike refuses to get involved in an exchange trip to Charleville as the machinists are too busy. Renee returns from her mother’s. Suzie rouses Hilda into having a slanging match on the other side of the connecting wall to put buyers off No.11. Steve tells Ivy the Trades Council are organising a French exchange for five of the machinists. He realises he shouldn’t have told her when it’s too late. Suzie puts six buyers off the house. The factory girls challenge Mike about the French invite. He tells them he’s been too busy to tell them. Paul Haines, the estate agent, rings Suzie to tell her that he’s not happy with the way no one is interested in No.11. The machinists row over who’s to go to France. Mike isn’t happy with Steve’s attitude.

9th Sep 2022 – Punk goes mainstream. I don’t think any punk representation was portrayed in a particularly positive light though. Still not as bad as CHiPs or Dr Quincy would be.

6th December 1979
1. Police
2. Pink Floyd
3. Donna and Barbra
4. Dr Hook
5. Gibson Brothers
6. Tourists
2p 6p

7th December 1979
DO…
2p

8th December 1979
Ipswich 4-0 Man City
2p

9th Sep 2022 – Well, that’s a positive result to end the week on.

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
2p

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
2p

28th November 1979
Replacement watch comes
4 stopwatches
Luminous
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)
4.
5.
7. Madness
2p

30th November 1979

2p

1st December 1979
Get the Sex Pistols File.
Got it
Coventry 4-1 Ipswich
2p

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, to struggle 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
2p

19th November 1979
(tick)
^^
2p

20th November 1979
God knows
1p

21st November 1979
England v Bulgaria (European Championship)
2-0
2-0
2-0
two-nil
1p

22nd November 1979
1. Dr Hook
2. Queen
3. Jam
4.
5.
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 fold 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
Nothing
2p

12th November 1979
(tick)
Not a lot
2p

13th November 1979
today
2p

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
2p

16th November 1979
(tick)
If I don’t find something to say soon I’ll do something about it
2p

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
Dunno
2p 180p*

5th November 1979
(tick)
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 run down 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*

The Week That Was – 28th October 1979

Record of the week: BA Robertson – Knocked It Off

17th Aug 2022 – BA Robertson, not often remembered in the annals of rock ‘n’ roll but the chorus in this is still in my brain, at the back somewhere. A quick internet search shows he was releasing music as early as 1973 and after fading out of the limelight by 1982 was writing more for other people, including Cliff Richard. Recently reading Beatles, Stones and other rock biographies I hadn’t really considered how a lot of popular artists had hits written by others and often ended up making more money out of them too. Teen idols across the years have been and remain a facade. Truths are always hidden.

28th October 1979
For birthday I got the Great Rock N Roll Swindle
2p 146p*

17th Aug 2022 – I was so into this album because I could finally hear Friggin’ In The Riggin’ at my leisure, the tune, or lyrics really, that Graeme had told me about that originally got me interested in this punk thing that was happening. It is such a strange album and cannot really be called Sex Pistols canon but that is kind of interesting in a way. The movie is an arty oddity too. I might give it a watch again soon.

29th October 1979
(tick)
We’re in the fuckin’ holiday
2p 150p*

23rd Aug 2022 – Well, I certainly seem excited about this fact. Like most school kids

30th October 1979
Bought 30 packs of football cards
2p 2p 146p*

23rd Aug 2022 – I was big on collecting cards. Football cards, Top Trumps, playing cards. We had devised all sorts of games to play with them when I was younger. By this point, I think I was just trying to track down all the Ipswich players and perhaps some other top players of the period. I don’t recall many other kids being as fanatic about football card collecting but I guess there must have been. I think there’s a reasonable market for baseball cards in the US (maybe American Football too?) and I’m wondering now if there are still people out there collecting old football cards.

31st October 1979
(tick)
Nothing much
2p 144p*

1st November 1979
1. Lena Martell
2. Dr Hook
3. Sad Cafe
4. Abba
5. Buggles
2p 142p*

2nd November 1979
(tick)
Hey it’s you again
Nothing
2p 185p*

23rd Aug 2022 – Who was ‘you’, I wonder?

3rd November 1979
Nottingham 2-0 Ipswich
1p 2p 182p*

The Week That Was – 21st October 1979

Record of the week: Stranglers – Nuclear Device
Highest entry: Suzi Quatro – She’s In Love With You

10th Aug 2022 – The Stranglers had passed me by until now and I reckon I only heard Nuclear Device once and never again until I bought a copy a few years later. It felt strange that a song I loved and I believe charted was so rarely heard on the radio. I was starting to feel that someone out there had it in for the punks and good music. I don’t recognise this Suzi Quatro song but she was always a pleasure to watch on Top of the Pops, though as a weird soon-to-be 12-year-old I didn’t quite understand why!

21st October 1979
Nuclear Device (Wizard of Aus) is great
2p 188p*

10th Aug 2022 – Perhaps this was the start of my education into the terrible power of nuclear weapons which would only cast a longer shadow over our lives in the early 80s. I did love the pun in the record’s title. Perhaps a first inkling of an interest in language.

22nd October 1979
(tick)
Specials Message To You, Rudy is as above
2p 186p*

10th Aug 2022 – The Two Tone ska revolution was just starting to swing and my friends and I were getting into it. The music wasn’t punk but the messages were. I could identify. Any youth culture was interesting to me at this formative stage.

23rd October 1979
(4) Not long
Took radio to school
2p 8p 1756p*

10th Aug 2022 – Countdown to my birthday. Birthdays were still exciting. Soon to be 12. I took a radio to school so we could listen to music and particularly the chart run down.

24th October 1979
(3) Not as long as yesterday
2p 1754p*

25th October 1979
(2) Even shorter
1. Lena Martell
2. Buggles
3. Michael Jackson
4. Dr Hook
5. Sad Cafe
2p 152p*

10th Aug 2022 – Apart from the Buggles this top 5 is pretty atrocious, though I do have a Sad Cafe song in the memory banks.

26th October 1979
(1) One day
Christopher’s coming down tomorrow
Greatt!
2p 150p*

27th October 1979
Great
HEYY!
Ipswich v.
For what I got, look at next week
2p 148p*

10th Aug 2022 – A Saturday birthday with a friend visiting. Unfortunately no memories retained, sadly.

An Ipswich Town related info box in my diary for my birthday week.