The Week That Was – 1st April 1979

Record of the week: Generation X – Valley of the Dolls
Highest Entry: Sex Pistols – Silly Thing – 24

28th Feb 2022 – This guitar-based noisy music was grabbing me more fully. The Billy Idol’s on TV intrigued and as kids still do today, were something to aspire to. The dross of mainstream music was made bearable and in hindsight seems far better than today. I don’t know what kids today are rebelling against. It’s all very serious now. Demonstrations and riots are common and no one is shocked. Why don’t you rebel against me? I am the old fogey, the establishment. Fight me!

1st April 1979
Them lot came round

2nd April 1979
It’s alright today I suppose
2p 1p

3rd April 1979
Went down to Matthew’s today. You should see his place, it’s brilliant with a tennis court
Today got English Civil War

28th Feb 2022 – Matthew’s house was huge, maybe three stories high. His dad drove a Mercedes and they had a tennis court. In comparison to our humble place I felt I was in the company of a rich family. They were down-to-earth and friendly though. I got on well with his Mum and Dad and over the next couple of years, Matthew and I would play many long five-set matches of tennis. His brother Toby was a year or two older than us and had bought the Dexy’s Midnight Runners album which we enjoyed listening to.

That English Civil War 7″ by the Clash! The cover was taken from the cartoon version of Animal Farm which I hadn’t read or was even able to comprehend but I knew it was a statement. I was still early in my vinyl-buying days, begging mum to pick up things for me if she could and I had been a good boy. I wonder what would have happened if I’d been a better boy?

4th April 1979
Got mag called Smash Hits today

28th Feb 2022 – Smash Hits, I think, was the magazine that had some light articles about pop music but its main attraction was the printed lyrics to the songs of the time. This was revelatory for me and besides being able to understand the words to the songs and sing-a-long, it wouldn’t be long before I would be trying to imitate writing them, inspired further by the crude and rude lyrics of the punk songs I heard or heard about. Fuck was becoming more common in my vocabulary. I wanted to become a singer and a lyricist, a punk and a poet. But I was only 11 years old.

5th April 1979
1. Gloria Gaynor – I Will Survive
2. Village People – In The Navy
3. Art Garfunkel – Bright Eyes
4. Chic – I Want Your Love
5. Sex Pistols – Something Else

28th Feb 2022 – There it is – 80% dross and 20% intrigue.

6th April 1979
Yesterday I got a Fiat X1/9 and Prototypes Trumps but I swapped them

28th Feb 2022 – Still hanging on to my Matchbox car fixation and my competitive nature of Trumps. I loved playing that game.

7th April 1979
Went to Matthew for 4 hours
Leeds 1-1 Ipswich
2p 2p

28th Feb 2022 – Matthew did come to my house sometimes, or we would mess around in the woods and on the common but I was more enamoured with his new mansion to explore.

The Week That Was – 7th January 1979

12th Oct 2021 – Each page of this diary had a small write-up on some important or legendary footballer and re-reading a lot of these names was a trip. Just seeing the name would remind me of the teams I was familiar with them playing for. Players were brutal and ugly in those days, playing on muddy and messy pitches. The sport was highly revered but was without the crazy amount of money that sponsorships and advertising brought once the Premier League began – which is also around the time I lost interest – though there are other reasons involved for that too.

7th January 1979
Granny beat me at Happy Days
But I beat her in Trumps

12th Oct 2021 – Trumps or Top Trumps was really popular around this time, a card-collecting game where you chose your best stat hoping to beat your opponents. Topics may be types of car or military vehicles. Unsurprisingly there is a website for Top Trumps, so possibly it is even popular now for any child who doesn’t have a phone. And come to think of it, many mobile phone games employ similar systems of scoring as TT too.

For Happy Days I had to go search and finding this picture I’m guessing this is what I was playing with my Granny. She was always Granny, never Gran or Grandma. I can’t imagine it but I hope playing this (and winning) gave her some affection for her grandson. The board doesn’t trigger any memories but the jukebox counting design feels familiar. Look at all the American words I was already subjecting myself to. Nerd, cruising, drag. After exposure to Grease last year I was getting to be all about the leather jacket.

8th January 1979
I am able to watch Danger UXB because there’s no school tomorrow

12th Oct 2021 – Again, a quick image search triggers memories of this show. Otherwise, I’m lost. I was particularly anxious at times during this show as the soldiers would race against time to disarm bombs. Hard to imagine how they got so much mileage out this premise. 13 episodes and that was it – something I always liked about many UK TV shows. Concise and well written.

9th January 1979
Return to school postponed

12th Oct 2021 – Still improving my American language skills, I hadn’t yet learned how to spell Woah!

10th January 1979
Ipswich 3-2 Carlisle

12th Oct 2021 – WOAH and HEY are my attempts at being the coolest cat in deepest Dorset. There was no one to impress except my own maturing ego.

11th January 1979
Still no school and I ain’t going tomorrow cause it’ll be stupid

12th January 1979
A boring day
Nothing to say
It rhymes It rhymes

12th Oct 2021 – Here I am, already on my poetic journey. I must’ve been bored with the snow already.

13th January 1979
Previous scores 5-2, 6-1
Ipswich P-P Villa

12th Oct 2021 – At this point, football and Ipswich were my primary concern. Something that would change somewhat during the course of this year.