Going back to my youth?

It does seem to me that most decades have had some great fashion moments, but equally, some shocking ones too. There would however be a reasonable case for saying that the 70’s only had the shocking ones. There probably were some nice fashion styles in that era, I just cant remember any!

Oh fine, I’m not proud to say I remember the whole Bay City Rollers tartan look thing, and I certainly remember the, err, spectacular looks of glam rock, for both women, and men! Some were worse than others, but most werent good! No, punk rock was never terribly my scene, so fine, lets ignore that, shall we?

But fine, the tight, revealing outfits, and the platform boots, so beloved of that era, oh fine, I remember those! Thankfully, or otherwise, as I was at school during the height of the glam rock era, I missed out on most of that. Not entirely, but thankfully, cover bands werent filmed back then, unlike today in these You Tube days! So, no, you cant see me strutting my stuff lol! 😛

But fine, put Middle Of The Road in a You Tube search, and just maybe…? Oh fine, the Abba look wasnt a lot better! Mind, I suspect many people found the flapper look shocking in the 1920’s, even many younger people lol!

OK, all the same, when I look back on that era, even now, it was fun to live through though!

Right, talking of shocking 70’s looks, brings us to tonight’s video! Yes, this is 70’s kitsch at its worst, in all truth. But if you take it as a look back on fashion history, and put a few fingers over your eyes, its quite funny to watch. And yes, people really did wear clothing like this back then!

Do you believe in Father Christmas?

No, I’m not really asking that question of my readers, I think I know the answer of at least 99.99% of you, if I did! But yes, it gives a clue to my video choice, not your normal Christmas celebration song.

It has to be said, that in terms of Christmas record releases, the 70’s was probably the most productive era since the 40’s, and early 50’s, at least in the UK. It seemed that any glam rock band (and others) worth anything wanted to produce a festive record at Christmas.

And yes, they were fun, and fitted in with the general merriment of the season. Hey, yes, I love most of them to be honest. But thankfully, someone had to be different. Yes, Greg Lake.

The irony is, its still played incessantly at Christmas, despite in fact being a cynical comment on the meaning of Christmas at that time. Just remember, this is at the height of the Cold War, the final flings in Vietnam, and of course the Middle East was pretty much a battle zone half the time too.

Oh, and the total commercialisation of Christmas too.

Greg Lake was not a glam rock artist, just the opposite in fact, he was a member of the very successful prog rock trio, of Emerson, Lake and Palmer. Which may explain why he produced something very different. ELP in fact did record their own version of this the following year too, but I cant find a ‘moving’ video for that. Probably because they wouldnt consider anything like making a video lol!

“May there be peace on Earth.”

40 years on, we are still pretty much as far away from that as we were back then.

So, regardless of whether you believe in Father Christmas, or not, may I, at this time of year mention the true meaning of Christmas, and wish you a wonderful time, at this time of year. The video…

Oh, and for those who love such things, a couple of Christmas pictures of me, sorry, Jean Harlow

Standing by the tree

Christmas Presents

Its been a long player

That in joke might sail past any younger readers, but in the good old days, when you bought an album, or LP (long player, as they were known when I was young) they played at 33 1/3 rpm. And yes, 33 days from now, I wont be here in England, at least for a week, guaranteed! Well, I suspect I will come back at that point, as I have a return air ticket, but I wouldnt mind…lol!

Its a funny thing, by the time I was 9 or 10, I had a very decent collection of singles to my name, but not a single LP. Principally because at that time I wasnt actually buying my music, just choosing the singles I wanted, and that was the cheaper option. Therefore I was about 14 before I bought my first album, and must have had well over 100 singles by then. No, 40 years on, I’m not sure which was the first. If you twisted my arm, it would either be Osmonds, or Partridge Family/David Cassidy related I suspect? But as I say, dont quote me on that! I soon moved on to the likes of Gerry Rafferty, and Glam rock stuff, thats for sure lol! Though “The Plan” by the Osmonds certainly wasnt teeny bopper stuff, that much I do remember. “Crazy Horses” was probably one of the first ‘ecological’ releases, and on that album.

No, its a great song, but if you want to find it, you’ll need your own You Tube link lol! See if you can find “Are You Up There?” from the same album, if thoughtful religious perspective is your scene.

But no, after that piece of whimsical musing, this is really about what happens 33 days from now, a break from the insanity of work, for a wonderful week, with great friends across in the US, cant wait.

And musically tonight, two for the price of one, albeit the same song.

Firstly, the original, and well known version of this song, and tribute to a great singer recently taken from us

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oKGZNZOkTPQ

Ironically, they hadnt planned to record it, the plan was for another wonderful group from my young years to do so, The Seekers. They finally did in 2002, after Maurice Gibb’s death as a tribute, and here that is too.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?NR=1&feature=fvwp&v=CUfUNNN68eQ

The clue, think of a certain New England State, lol 😉

 

Songs that change music

Yes, I’m sure everyone could name at least several records that have done that for them, one of the obvious ones for my generation being Queen, and Bohemian Rhapsody. A sound that was not only very different, but singles just werent this long back in the days when you had to cram it all on to one side of a 45 rpm record! Yes, American Pie (Don McClean) was longer, but that took up both sides of the single!

Nowadays, with CD’s and the like, the whole length thing is irrelevant, but back then…

Me, I came through, and loved the whole flower power music scene, though I certainly wasnt into the sex and drugs of that era, I was far too young for that! For me, it was just about the music. To be honest, the first time that image, and look came into it for me, was the early seventies, as I started to enter my teen years, and yes, I guess puberty played a part. What coincided with that time was the start of something called glam rock. For my younger readers, try wikipedia for more details, something you couldnt do back then lol!

I’m not certain how big a Bowie fan I was, say compared to Sweet, Mud and Slade, but yes, his music was a definite influence. But for me, there will always be one song that launched the whole glam rock scene for me, and thats the video delight I have for you tonight. And yes, you see the blonde guy, by the name of Mick Ronson? Well he played a bigger part in all of this than he ever got credited for. Bit like Pironi with Adam Ant, I would say.

But this is just one of those songs that just appeared on Top of the Pops, and everyone went wow, and was talking about it the next day. It might not have changed music, but changed my musical perception, that is for sure.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xvnoRTC7JQ4

When clothes were dull!

And yes, there is any amount of tongue in cheek in that title, because the time I’m going to talk about tonight, well clothes were a little outrageous to say the least, especially amongst the Glam Rock cult.

Sadly (or otherwise) I was a little too young to be allowed to get into the whole Glam Rock chic, being as I was still only in my teens for those short few glorious years. Others may not have been as demure as myself, despite all that, but hey, I had a mother to cope with who wasnt keen on me going wild in that sense. Ah well lol…

Didnt stop me loving all the Glam Rock music though, absolutely adored it. The funny thing was, my mother didnt mind my incessant playing of Flower Power music, the Kinks and all that back in the 60’s, but she probably thought I was too young to understand, and she was right. The connotation of Lola, by the Kinks sailed straight over my head!

But I was in my teens by the time glam rock came along, and maybe she thought that was a dangerous age, but anyway…If only she’d known what seeing the video for Radio Ga Ga would do for me, lol!

By this time, colour TV had been around for about 5 years in the UK, though I’d never seen it other than in a TV showroom. But what happened then, was that this group (not sure what song) were becomning popular in the charts, and I went to school with a girl who was related to one of the group. The one wearing the Indian headpiece in the video, for those who want to know. And I got an invite to go and watch Top Of The Pops in colour, at her house, a TV bought for them by said guitarist in fact. Could I go on my own, could I hell, I got chaperoned by my mother! Aargh! In fact fate was to show that Glam Rock would bring me freedom by singing locally in a tribute band for a short period of time. No, not Sweet, a group called Middle Of The Road was the main part of our act, though we did a few other songs as well, mainly New Seekers. Would have loved to have done Abba, but we didnt really last long enough for that, lol! Be a devil, type Middle Of The Road into You Tube sometime, and imagine me doing the Sally Carr bit, only nowhere near as well!

Oh, back to the TV thing, all I know is that shortly after seeing colour TV for the first time, we soon had one in our house, though I dont think ours was bought by a member of a pop group!

Gentle warning, these outfits, especially Steve Priest’s (said guitarist, thanks to Wiki for name reminder) are not designed for those of a nervous disposition!

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=63CiRbiaoFo&feature=related