Saturday, March 10, 2007

Tip-toeing apologetically down Memory Lane

Bill gave me a link to a music site which set off a veritable Proustian avalanche of memories.

The problem is, I have been telling my daughters for yonks that when I was their age, I worked hard at school, went to bed early and was more interested in reading Lyrical Ballads and listening to William Byrd than experimenting with make-up and fantasising about pop stars.

Wot a load of tosh. When I clicked on 1972 – I was 13 then – it all came flooding back. How many nights did I spend listening to Radio Luxembourg under the covers, waiting to hear if Without You by Harry Nilsson was number one again? How many bottles of Strongbow cider did I down with my friend Graham whilst swaying/falling over to the Moody Blues or the Stylistics? (probably a quarter of a bottle)…I was even allowed to go to the disco at the local secondary modern school on a Friday night where I drank Vimto as if there were no tomorrow and danced to the O’Jays and The Jackson Five. I was a wearer of mini skirts, hot-pants and platform shoes; I spent my pocket money on Anne French Deep Cleansing Milk, Hint–of-a-Tint shampoo, gonks and Jackie magazine. I was in love with a Hell’s Angel who chatted me up in the Milk Bar – and also with Marc Bolan and Dave Kynaston, the Head Boy at school.

No, honestly – in the name of Bill Withers – who am I to judge?

17 comments:

Tinsie said...

Just don't let them read your blog, and keep up with your stories of teenage virtue.
Parents are expected to lie about things like that heh ;-)

Mouse said...

Oh god! This made me blush to the roots of my grey hair! Please, if my daughter ever finds your blog don't sneak on me!

Louise said...

When I have cleaned the house from top to bottom, taken the dog for a walk so long that his little legs shrink an inch, done the washing and ironing, sorted out all my paperwork and paid all outstanding bills, I shall have a trip down memory lane on your blog, Gigi! (This will probably be later today, as no-one in their right mind does all the above on a Sunday!).

Mouse - love your blog and have put up a link on mine - hope that is ok?

Betty C. said...

I just got the reference to this site from Tinsie's blog and LOVED it! I'm reliving 1967 as I comment, and just wrote a post about it on And So Forth.

BTW my 15-year-old daughter is obsessed with "I'll Never Fall in Love Again" at the moment...so this music can cross generations.

Louise said...

I've just logged on to 1969 - not for any particular reason. What worries me is that I still remember every single word! Remember a poem learnt in English - forget it!

Louise said...

PS - I've just got to the song by Zager and Evans 'In the year 2525' - cooo, that brings back memories - who the hell were Z+E?

Gigi said...

tinsie - they wouldn't dream of reading Mum's boring old blog, so no worries there :-)

mouse - your secret's safe with me...

betty - have you noticed how many reprises they're doing these days of old songs? My girls won't believe me when I say "Oh, this record came out when I was 15"

louise - I remember 'In the year 2525' too...sung by two long- haired bearded hippies, wasn't it? Maybe not - I can't find any photos on Internet. And surely you remember 'I wandered lonely as a cloud, that floats on high etc etc'?
Did you really clean your house from top to bottom and all the rest? You're making me feel terribly guilty...

Louise said...

Are you kidding! I cleaned the drawingroom, emptied the dishwasher, ran a couple of machines and looked at the ironing! And did the GK crossword in yesterday's Telly!

Gigi said...

Phew. That's OK, then. I feel better now!

Numpty McHoon said...

Ah the memories...
Yeah, another teenager of the 70's here so I can relate.
Not in that traditional American way tho.
My family were relatively poor (at age 18 I had only ever 'owned' 2 albums), so radio was most important, and thankfully in LA I was spoilt for choice. Rebellion was growing your hair long (check), smoking (unchecked), playing music really badly (check), pot (unchecked), drinking (unchecked), sexing (unchecked unless solo acts count), and driving recklessly (unchecked).
When I first heard Mott the Hoople I was hooked for life to this new fangled sound. iirc their leader Ian Hunter was from Shropshire. Ian still produces music and tours, but he lives here now (well in NY). Like you, an expat, who married a someone from (t)here.
A list of what I loved then and now would be quite long. Lou Reed, Bowie, T-Rex, Sparks, and then when punk came of age the Pistols, Clash, et al I was primed and ready.
Today I've got the Mekons, Billy Bragg, John Prine, Randy Newman, Tom Waits, Warren Zevon, Elliot Murphy playing on my Sansa most of the day. But there is so much more...
What was it all about? I suppose it was trying to figure out the world, and my place in it.
Still working on that.
I've not had kids, but reading you about yours got me looking in my rear-view. Music is as much a part of the life of teenagers today as it was for us, that's what I observe here too. Frank Zappa put it in perspective when he observed rock and roll was as much about fashion as it was the music.
As you and your sprogs know.

Gigi said...

hmm...numpters - you weren't that much of a rebel, really now - were you? Quite a reasonable teen, I would have thought.

I didn't realise Ian Hunter was from Shropshire - Oswestry is just up the road from my home town. I liked Mott the Hoople too...and I actually went to see T-Rex when they were in Plymouth (I think it was Plymouth).

I'm not so interested in music these days - and I have no idea what a Sansa is :-) (a type of iPod?)

Numpty McHoon said...

I was indeed rebellious, only I came down on the side of what is right and proper as my parents were drunken lazy shiftless layabouts who barely kept a roof over our head.

Sansa: A type of iPod (only better)

Gigi said...

You're right numpters...we tend to think of rebellion as 'bad'..but it depends on where you're standing, doesn't it?

Good for you...:-)

Sarah said...

I was also a teen in the seventies and clearly remember taping songs off the radio with the tape recorder's microphone pushed up against the speakers.

My brothers were great buyers of records, so I didn't need to be as they blasted their music out loud enough for the whole household to enjoy. I bought Jackie magazine and saved up to go into London, have my hair cut and buy the odd item of clothing. I always looked awful!

I got up to some wild things, but hardly ever got home late, so never really got into trouble. Ah, the joy of mobile phone-free days!

angela said...

Thanks for the link...and the trip down memory lane. When we get almost drunk H. gets out all his old 45's...
It embarrasses the progeny no end..
Angela

roadsofstone said...

Enjoyed that post very much. It brought back memories of listening to the hiss fading in and out as the signal from 208 Radio Luxemburg struggled to make it across the stratosphere as far as Stratford-upon-Avon.

Listening to Luxie always was so much better after dark, not just because the stiller air was more conducive to long-range radio reception, but also because of the sheer illicit listening pleasure.

I'm looking forward to trying out that music site. 1973 was at least in part defined by my first tape recorder, and recording the Radio 1 Chart on Sunday night with the microphone in front of the speakers as Sarah recalls. It always made those recordings more memorable when you knew where the doorbell ring and dog barks would come through all the countless playbacks.

From 1973ish I seem to remember 10cc -and Dreadlock Holiday, perhaps, plus possibly Roberta Flack's Killing Me Softly, a memory forever immortalised (or was it 'tarnished' ?) by Hugh Grant a few years ago in the film version of About a Boy.

By 1978 and 1979 I was driving with friends to discos in Norton Lindsey village hall. Many was the evening spent 'taking the air' outside whilst trying vainly to sidle up to some uninterested girl to the distant soundtrack of Blame it on the Boogie. If you got as far as High-ho Silver Lining without a prospective squeeze in sight, there was no point in hanging around for Nights in White Satin.

And now we've got it all to look forward to, through different eyes. But I agree there's little scope for criticising such teenage behaviour when it's still so fresh in memory.

Interesting the effect those experiences have had on my music collection, though. I have no truck with 70s music at all these days (presumably far too painful to contemplate). Judging by the contents of my iPod, it must have been the 80s by the time I felt comfortable in my own skin.

Fortunately, after a year of rediscovering all my old and near-forgotten favourites from that time thanks to mp3, I've recently gone out to buy new music. Maybe I'm sensing that nostalgia ain't what it used to be, since it feels like high time to find another age.

Gigi said...

Oh yes - that's right - I do remember taping the top twenty on a Sunday night...and High-ho Silver Lining brings back a few memories of fruitless discos...best forgotten. Nobody ever wanted to squeeze me...:-(