You were a Frankenstein When I saw you on the screen I was scared and curious At the weirdness I had seen What drew me to it I don’t really understand But the thing I knew is That I wanted to start a band Your face inspired my generation Though now you’ll never know You burned and crashed out While others took the chance to grow Ten years or so, later And others inspired the same They too destroyed themselves Cos they couldn’t handle the fame Exploited to make a buck It happened again and again Working hard to get where you were But it will never be the same Now little girls chase this dream To get famous for a minute As if life was a competition And everyone has to win it
Record of the week: Lookin’ For Clues – Robert Palmer
29th December 1980 Expecting Graeme 1000 He didn’t come should come tomorrow Dentist 3.20pm
30th December 1980 Album of the year: Damned – Black Album/Machine Gun Etiquette Cockney Rejects – Greatest Hits Vol II Dead Kennedys – Fresh Fruit For Rotting Vegetables
31st December 1980 Single of the year: Dead Kennedys – Holiday In Cambodia The Fall – How I Wrote ‘Elastic Man’
1st January 1981 The Damned and PiL are on OGWT mixed my drinks – all the family have (illegible)
17th July 2021 – The Old Grey Whistle Test was an interesting TV show although at the time I just wanted to see punk music and not all the boring old hippie, prog, jazz shit they would include. Trying to find more information about the show on this date makes me think that they re-ran recordings from 1979 – maybe a New Year special or something like that.
As to the drinking part of this entry….I’m not sure if this would have been drinking allowed by my mother (and with family – Grandparents, visiting relatives, maybe) or perhaps stolen from my grandad’s stash out in the shed, from which I learned to enjoy Newcastle Brown Ale and practice skulling 300ml bottles of various other forms of ale.
2nd January 1981 Bought The Not The Nine O’clock News album and Sid Vicious Family Album
3rd January 1981 FA Cup Third Round Ipswich 1 v Villa 0
4th January 1981 Gotta finish school project but who the hell wants to do that? ME! I suppose
This week’s chart-topper is: Anarchy In The UK for the 3rd time John Peel’s Festive Fifty Also in Top 10 – Stiff Little Fingers, Dead Kennedys, Clash, Undertones, Joy Division, Jam, Damned
Record of the week: ELO – Don’t Bring Me Down Highest entry: Buzzcocks – Spiral Scratch
27th Sept 2021 – Double checking this, I don’t believe the Buzzcocks were the highest entry but I was developing early signs of favouritism and believing what I wanted to believe.
13th June 2022 – It’s also odd now to me as Spiral Scratch originally came out in 1977. I see it was re-issued in 1979, perhaps because so few of the original were pressed at the time but that was quite an achievement to chart on the repress.
26th August 1979 Pistols Split 2p 2p 149p*
13th June 2022 – In hindsight, the Pistols had obviously split long before now but perhaps this was the end of the ongoing Great Rock N Roll Swindle and the flogging of the dead horse. The timing seems to coincide roughly with the reformation of the Professionals so this kinda makes sense.
27th August 1979 Gonna watch My Way Manhattan Murdered 2p 147p*
13th June 2022 – Can’t find anything about this now but guess it was some TV doco about Sid and Nancy. I was going all-in with this punk rock thing though still not really understanding what it was.
28th August 1979 Went to Beaulieu Saw an Aston Martin Lagonda 2p 221p*
13th June 2022 – Not quite finished with the childhood fascination with cars, Beaulieu was always an exciting visit for a pre-teen boy. Though, funnily enough, I mostly remember the monorail and the palace house as well as the surrounding forest and gardens.
29th August 1979 Gotta old Sex Pistols posters League Cup 1st Leg 2nd Rd Ipswich 0-1 Coventry 2p 2p 219p*
30th August 1979 1. Cliff Richard 2. Boomtown Rats 3. B.A. Robertson 4. Roxy Music 5. EWF 6. Specials AKA 7. Darts 8. Flying Lizards 9. Ian Dury 10. Gibson Bros 2p 2p 215p*
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 I GOT IT. 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 Dunno First Dunno since 27th June 4.4 weeks. 32 days. 2p
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) 2p
2nd July 1979 POP DAY Making out my pop records that I’m playing 2p
3rd July 1979 Used a spud to make C L A S H, you know, cut-outs. 2p 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 2p 4p^
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 2p 6p^
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 6.3.6 2p 10p^
7th May 2022 – I liked Bjorn Borg for some reason. He seemed humble.
Record of the week; Supertramp – The Logical Song Highest Entry: Bee Gees – Love You Inside Out – 25
7th Mar 2022 – The twisty bendy Logical Song shows my early interest in prog-ish music. The sound of this song made me happy. I like music that challenges but that also makes me laugh with excitement. So, not much into the Bee Gees at the time. I do have their early albums to check out as they were apparently much different to their popular hits around this time.
15th April 1979 Going up North today 2p
7th Mar 2022 – I don’t recall driving back up North with Jean at any time and can only think we took the National Express, though I don’t have any memory of travelling with her on the bus either.
I do believe it was on this bus journey that, on the way to London, there was a mouthy brat further up the bus, a boy probably around my age. He was leaning over the back of his seat, retelling a movie he saw recently about a skydiver whose parachute had failed. People found him standing upright in a field, held upright by his bones having split through his feet and shoved like stakes into the ground.
I also believe it was on this trip that we were waiting at Victoria Bus Station in the evening and I bravely went off for a walk around the outside of the building and coming towards me in the opposite direction was the spitting image of Sid Vicious, in a grey woollen poncho. I guess many punks at the time copied his image and I’m not certain if I was aware that he had already died.
16th April 1979 Playing cards with Paul til 2:30am
7th Mar 2022 – Paul had lodged in our house in Whitehaven for as long as I can remember. He probably lived there right up until mum sold it a few years later. It was a four-bedroom, three-storey, end-of-terrace house with a garden. Maybe I mentioned it already. 20 Hugh Street, Bransty. I asked mum how much she sold it for and I couldn’t believe it was only 13,000 pounds! The north of England was definitely in a different freaking financial hemisphere compared with the south.
Anyway, Paul (and George, a canny Scot) entertained me despite our age difference, he was probably around his early to mid-twenties at this time. Our card game of choice was Hunt The Cunt, more commonly known as something like Chase The Queen, I forget now because we always just called it by its nastier name.
17th April 1979 Quite good day!
7th Mar 2022 – I had lost pretty much all traces of my northern accent by now but it was a kind of comforting sound to me, like a return to home, to something far away but familiar. I think these days were quite good because there was no school and I probably badgered my mum into generously buying things that I wanted.
18th April 1979 Quite good day again!
19th April 1979 1. Art Garfunkel – Bright Eyes 2. Racey – Some Girls 3. Squeeze – Cool for Cats 4. Jacksons – Shake Your Body 5. Milk and Honey – Hallelujah
7th Mar 2022 – The Squeeze song is classic, they had some great singles, I should probably check out their albums. I dig the Jacksons early stuff these days too. Not into any Michael Jackson though. Ever.
20th April 1979 Hi! Mum Gave mum a tape measure 2p
7th Mar 2022 – Mum’s birthday and no doubt she had to give me the money to buy her her own present! She probably had to go and buy it too! Well, at least she got what she wanted
Record of the week: Car 67 – Headlight Highest Entry: Art Garfunkel – Bright Eyes – 27
28th Dec 2021 – I think I checked out the Car 67 song again back when I initially wrote this entry and now, can’t remember a damn thing about it. Art Garfunkel though – ugh. These were the times of realising that popular music was quickly becoming something I hated. I don’t hear this song anywhere in popular culture these days either so perhaps it has been justly forgotten.
18th March 1979 Clocks forward Boring day Really Most days are now 2p 1p
19th March 1979 Same as yesterday 2p
28th Dec 2021 – It’s a shame I couldn’t find anything to write about, or thought that was worth writing about at the time. It was definitely an effort to try to put anything down here every down and there would be long periods when that became normal. I don’t think I have any diaries between 1986 and 1994. I seem to be fairly regularly making 3p per day – making my mum a cup of tea and something else, maybe washing up, though I can clearly view the sink and often still have dreams in this kitchen I don’t recollect ever washing up!
20th March 1979 Got new pair of shoes, wedged 2p 1p
28th Dec 2021 – I was probably costing my mum a fortune with my dodgy feet. These ‘wedged’ shoes would’ve also made me more conscious of standing out from everyone else. It felt like a negative for me and I didn’t appreciate at the time that I was receiving help from others. I found my life to be a hell that everyone wished on me. A lack of self-esteem. I can’t really identify where I developed this from. Perhaps from not having a father figure around? I did often wonder how different my life would have been if my father had been alive for my childhood.
21st March 1979 European Cup Quarter Final (2nd Leg) Barcelona 1-0 Ipswich Colehill P-P Cranborne 2p 1p
28th Dec 2021 – There were three middle schools in the catchment area for Queen Elizabeths (High School) in Wimborne. I was at St. Michaels (up the hill in Colehill), Allenbourne was down in the town and Cranborne covered all the rest of the countryside to the north. My house was along one of the catchment borders, or thereabouts. A bit further north and I would have been going to Cranborne too. The bus route is etched in my memory and it always weirded me out that we drove a long way down one road to pick up a couple of kids and then the driver had to reverse into a side track and drive on back again. It felt like it added so much extra time to the journey but it was really only a few minutes.
Throughout this school year and the next, I developed a habit of getting up earlier and earlier, even before the TV programs started in the morning at 6am. If it was too early for TV I would find something on the radio. I would eat biscuits for breakfast with a cup of tea. I encouraged my mum to buy more and more different types of biscuits and I would eat two of each, lining them up in the order of least tasty to delicious. I would take a bite and suck in a mouthful of tea and feel the biscuit crumble in my mouth dispersing its taste within. On and on…if I ran out of tea before biscuits I would make another cup.
22nd March 1979 1. Gloria Gaynor – I Will Survive 2. Elvis Costello – Oliver’s Army 3. Lene Lovich – Lucky Numbers 4. Sex Pistols – Something Else 5. The Real Thing – Can You Feel The Force? 2p 2p
28th Dec 2021 – Seeing Sex Pistols videos on TV was thrilling as all hell to me. Who were these crazy people? There was nothing I could identify with from my beautiful green countryside surrounds. I thought Sid Vicious came from another planet. More and more I wanted to be like that. To shock, upset and offend. This would develop much more strongly in the next school year, got me in a stack of trouble and ultimately confused me and made me bitter. It was a lot of fun at the time, a way to express myself and I soon discovered how boring and straight most people are.
At this stage though, I was just beginning to dive in. I was still teetering on the edge of being a good student and being a rebellious one. It’s fantastic to recognise these exact same traits in some of the kids I teach now. I try my best to encourage them but, fuck, I know exactly what I was like at their age and wouldn’t listen to anyone – especially teachers!
23rd March 1979 Rev.’s got more boring since a couple of weeks ago 2p 2p
28th Dec 2021 – Rev. must have been Religious Education but what the hell did the word Rev. actually mean? I wonder if subjects are still called this?
24th March 1979 Liverpool 2-0 Ipswich 10p
28th Dec 2021 – 10p – I was a money-making machine! It wouldn’t last.