The Week That Was – 16th September 1979

Record of the week: Madness – The Prince
Chart entries: Dickies 40, Michael Jackson, The Police – Message in a Bottle

26th Jun 2022 – I was really taken with The Prince by Madness and there wasn’t the hype around the whole 2-Tone thing yet, at least not out in the sticks where I was; that really took off over the following 12 months.

Not being cool enough to own a leather jacket (ultimately, I have never actually owned a real leather jacket) I had to make do with my denim jacket and then not being cool enough to own any patches to sew onto it, I just sewed the words ‘The Prince’ across the back as best I could.

The Prince was to be my nom-de-plume for a week or so (and pretty much just in my head) until I got too confused about whether Madness were punk or not and if it was ok to like them. To be honest, they were impossible not to like.

And so it was on one weekend Market Day, my mum took me with her to go bargain and thrift shopping and I could proudly sport my denim jacket for all to admire and maybe it did or didn’t but what did draw attention to some critics was the fact that this little punky looking kid was still wearing flares. I didn’t know that us punks weren’t supposed to wear flares! What a faux pas! I begged my mum to fix that as quickly as possible after getting home somewhat humiliated.

16th September 1979
Nothing
2p 2p 284p*

17th September 1979
Nothing
2p 282p*

18th September 1979
A bit more than yesterday
Homework
2p 2p 278p*

19th September 1979
Dunno
2p 276p*

20th September 1979
1. Cars
2. Cliffie
3. ELO
4. Bellamy Brothers
5. Dollar
6. Crusaders
7. BA Robertson
8. Police
9. Randy Van
10. Roxy Music
2p 274p*

21st September 1979
Dunno
2p 1p

22nd September 1979
Ipswich 1-1 Everton
2p 1p

26th Jun 2022 – Wimborne Market was a treasure trove for weird punk records for a while in the early 80s. I picked up Restricted Code’s ‘First Night On’ which I had been hunting for ages after hearing it just once on John Peel’s show. A classic tune. I picked up an album by the Sods from Denmark and a weird compilation of Scandinavian bands and Captain Sensible songs. The Big Balls and the Great White Idiot album and Eu’s Arse 7″. It was so weird to find these already odd things in amongst all the dross and crap of typical second-hand record stalls at the time.

Another good stall there had huge piles of old 2000AD back issues in varying states of decay. I did attempt a full collection for a while but the first 30 or so issues were impossible to find at reasonable prices. Moving to Australia in 1994 saw me sell 98% of the comics I owned including all my 2000ADs. There’s something special about finding piles of old comics in shops. A random collection of oddities that beg a story of the person who might’ve owned them. Who were they and where are they now?

Of course, as time went on the pickings got slimmer and when I visited again around 2015 or so there wasn’t even a record stall to speak of, just batches of CDs piled next to piles of books. Zero comic content. However, the candy man was still there and I spent an unreasonable amount of pounds on good old British sweets that would last me the holiday at the time.