Monthly Archives: November 2008

February 4th 1973

“TIB w-end” / “Went to the baptist church – bloody bore – felt sick for day” / “Got ‘ome 6:30” / “Goodies back on telly (yippee)” / Angela still after me”

I wonder if Angela looks back on this church weekend with any fondness at all?

I wonder if she remembers being ‘after’ a boy?

I wonder if she remembers spending the nights zippered up in a sleeping bag with that same boy?

I wonder if she could please contact me to remind me exactly what went on?

In other news, the baptist church evidently did little for me other than make me feel sick (isn’t the baptist church the one where they wave those smoky things about?) and the Goodies were back on telly!




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February 3rd 1973

“TIB W-end” / “Trev turned up lunchtime – went round all the churches” / “dad brort my tape recorder – took ‘ome camera, shirt etc” / “Played football lost 7-6 (Huh)” / “I’m gonna hit Ray S so hard” / “Angela + THE question”

A part of me remembers visiting all the various churches in Eastleigh. Why?

Because a bigger part of me also remembers going to Jack Hobbs Records and buying a sale copy of Strawbs’ hit single “Part of the Union”

Don’t ask me why I associate the two. Clueless, as usual.

Likewise why I coerced my Dad into hauling away my apparently unwanted shirt and camera and bringing me my faithful little tape deck.

No surprise at being on the losing football team – I wonder if something went on during the match that made me want to hit Ray S so hard?

As for THE question, I will claim nonchalant forgetfulness.

You don’t get me, I’m Part of the Union…

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February 2nd 1973

“TIB w.end” / “First nite – good larf – theme Light of the World – had a candlemass in Church” / “All in quite good, didn’t get much sleep”

Another teenage weekend of crashing at the vicar’s pad. Heh!

Memory does not serve me well as to how many people were there.

I have no clue what a ‘candlemass’ is.

Furthermore, I suspect ‘Light of the World’ is a subject I would prefer to punch in the throat these days.

I do however, remember zipping my and Angela’s sleeping bags together.

Which is probably why I didn’t get much sleep.

Yes, Angela was not her real name and yes I am trying to be a gentleman about things


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February 1st 1973

“Arguverge” / “Started to get stuff ready for the TIB w-end at the Vicarage” / “Bort new training shoes” / “Thought about buying In Search of Space or swap it for S&G Cass + H.T.T.B.” / “Focus on TOTP”

Another cornucopic diary entry. (Is there such a word as cornucopic? Computer says “no”)

Mum & Dad threatening to row again

My anticipation builds for another weekend of potential teenage debauchery at the vicarage

A new pair of ‘trainers’ – more likely plimsolls

Music trading. I know that S&G Cass refers to Simon & Garfunkel, but I am racking my beleaguered brain to remember what the acronym H.T.T.B. stands for.

Focus on television again. It feels bizarre now that a single appearance on a Thursday night’s “Top of the Pops” was considered enough of an ‘event’ to mention.

It was like that then though. It’s not like these days when pretty much any video or live performance can be called up on YouTube, ‘music’ television repeats the same set of songs over and over again and/or you can buy video compilations of your favourite artist’s material.

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January 31st 1973

Pete lent me In Search of Space” / “Dun another Martin silly tape” / “Had an ‘aircut” / “Got Pictures at an Exhibition back from Dave”

There it is again – a reference to “a silly tape” for Martin. Whoever the hell Martin was. There’s obviously something ‘artistic’ going on, but nothing so memorable to….well, allow the 50-year-old me to bloomin’ well remember what I am banging on about!

However, the most important mention in this somewhat dysfunctional diary entry is the one that tells me that Pete loaned me Hawkwind’s ‘tour de force’ album “In Search of Space

I have spoken of Hawkwind in these diary corridors before, as well as as applauded their 1972 hit single “Silver Machine“.

“In Search of Space” was Hawkwind’s second album, first released in 1971. It contains just 6 tracks, fifteen minutes of side one swallowed up by the hypnotic rhythms and cosmic repetitiveness of “You Shouldn’t Do That” (fyi, link goes to vastly inferior live – and curtailed – version), where bass, drums and fuzzy guitar are punctured by sax breaks and Dave Brock mumbling “should do that, shouldn’t do that” over and over. I LOVE this cut so much that it almost overwhelms the rest of the album for me.

As if by complete contrast “You Know You’re Only Dreaming” has an almost traditional blues feel to it, albeit one with a psychedelic bent.

Side Two’s opener, “Master of the Universe” is a permanent fan favourite, representing for many the true sound of 70’s-era Hawkwind, starting off silently before slowly building to its mind-numbing dope-enhanced riff. (People always said that Hawkwind sounded much better if you were on drugs – really?)

We Took the Wrong Step Years Long Ago” is a so-so chugs-along acoustic effort, whilst “Adjust Me” sounds like the band are merely improvising a spacey electronic ‘nothing’ song that includes unnecessary chipmunk-style vocals.

Children of the Sun“, the album’s closer, builds to its climax and contains a riff that sounds suspiciously like a slowed-down version of T.Rex’s “Children of the Revolution” and you do have to wonder if Marc Bolan (consciously or unconsciously) co-opted it.

However – and I think this will become a repeated theme as this diary blog continues – it is the LP’s sleeve that drew me to the album as much as the contents.

The 12″ album cover offered a perfect canvas for artists and designers to flourish. Something that is almost impossible to achieve with CD sleeves (too small) and impossible with MP3 downloads. Us kids of the seventies used to pore over each and every element of the record sleeves, soaking up even the smallest printed details

“In Search of Space” was designed by the ‘infamous’ Barney Bubbles, a graphic designer (real name Colin Fulcher) who became – for many years – Hawkwind’s permanent ‘artistic collaborator’. Not only did he design the band’s album sleeves, he was also responsible for their logo, posters, stage sets, stage lighting and special effects.

Bubbles later went on to design iconic sleeves for the likes of The Damned, Elvis Costello, Carlene Carter & Ian Dury, as well as becoming a music video director (his finest moment being The Specials’ “Ghost Town“). He was also responsible for creating the logos for the NME and Strongbow Cider.

The world lost him -sadly to suicide – in 1983, but his influence over record art & design will stick around forever. There is a book of his work entitled “Reasons to be Cheerful” (itself an Ian Dury song title) for anyone interested in this art form.

For “In Search of Space” he produced a striking die-cut interlocking fold-out sleeve (inside, opened, shown on right) which contained not only the vinyl in a straightforward white inner sleeve but also a 24-page book entitled “The Hawkwind Log“, supposedly telling the story of the spacecraft “Hawkwind”, found abandoned at the South Pole. It’s a pamphlet style compilation of pictures, spacey quotes and sci-fi data, written by Bubbles in collaboration with Hawkwind’s ‘space poet’ Robert Calvert.

Here’s an example of the writings…. Space/time supply indicators near to zero. Our thoughts are losing depth, soon they will fold intro each other, into flatness, into nothing but surface. Our ship will fold like a cardboard file and the noises of our minds compress into a disc of shining black, spinning in eternity…..


Good job I had a haircut today or someone may have mistaken me for a drug-fuelled hippy when I walked around mumbling “should do this, shouldn’t do that“!

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January 30th 1973

“Pete wants to buy my S+G cassette for £1 – will sell” / “Wrote another silly play for Martin. One we dun in dinner hour very funny (guffaws of laughter)” / “Sylvia Focus enters singles chart”

I sometimes look at my entries and just blink in the sunlight.

Whilst I can understand the comment regarding selling my S+G (Simon & Garfunkel) cassette for a quid and my barely contained excitement at Focus’ Sylvia dropping into the Top 30, I really have NO CLUE regarding “wrote another silly play for Martin” nor the now mind-altering “One we dun in dinner hour very funny (guffaws of laughter)

What WAS this all about, and why – given the apparent response – can I not remember a damn thing about it and why am I not now earning millions from being a successful comedy writer?!

That was a rhetorical question by the way. Just in case any of you readers decide to get smart with me!

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January 29th 1973 (II)

Got job (hooray) over Lancaster & Crooks. Start friday week – about £1.70 friday night and all day saturday”

Washing cars aside this was my very first ‘proper’ job.

Lancaster and Crook was the local supermarket, one in an independent chain of maybe 4 or 5 locations. (Research online showed the sum total of zero entries for the company)

I applied for, and got a job at the same time as my friend Nigel did. As memory serves we were both due to start on the same date.

The job entailed – as I am sure I will expand on in future diary entries – helping to keep the shop shelves stocked with goods, general tidying and…. delivering grocery orders to customers on “the bike”.

Yes, like that one in the photograph.

Stop laughing now.

More on the start of my working career later I’m sure.

For now though let me ponder on the realization that I was all excited to be earning £1.70 for what appears to be approximately 12 hours hard graft. That’s approximately 15p (22¢) an hour.

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January 29th 1973 (I)

“Wrote a silly play” / “Borrowed Family Entertainment – Family – Quite Good”

No idea what “wrote a silly play” refers to exactly – maybe the next few days entries will give a little more of a clue?

Entertainment” was Family’s second album – referred to these days as their “sophomore” release – first released in 1969. 

I have written about Family before, so there’s not much I can add to my past comments about the band themselves.

This album features “The Weaver’s Answer” as the opening cut, a track which – as time went on, and despite hit singles – very much became the band’s signature song. It’s a haunting, depressing little number about a dying man revisiting his life, which concludes with Ric Grech’s violin depicting the fellow’s final breaths.

There are 10 other cuts but none that I can recall with any clarity as this album has failed to in any way ‘sit with me’ in the interim 35 years. If I want to hear Family these days I will always gravitate towards their singles or the previously mentioned “Old Songs, New Songs” album.

In keeping with my wife’s feelings about Family’s vocalist, I read this comment about him recently…… “I always thought that sheep would know what Roger Chapman was singing about” – OUCH!

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