Glam Rock was an odd thing. You couldn't get away from it on the telly when it was at its height and no-one seemed to question it and just went along with it, despite it being patently barmy.
The trouble i had with it was, great outfits - shame about the wearer. Almost without fail, every musician of the time looked like they'd strolled out the local factory, had some clobber chucked at them, sprinkled with glitter and then shoved up on stage to get on with it.
The likes of Sweet, Glitter Band, Slade, New Faces and, especially, Rod Stewart had local equvilants for me down at the breakers yard. they were just cod.
Two exceptions were David Bowie, who made great songs but was rather TOO odd looking for me, and Roxy Music.
They were fab: They made great records, they looked great in the clobber and they looked like superstars.
Can distinctly remember this apperance on The Old Grey Whistle Test and its the quintisentail them: Brilliant outfits, a nice and cocky turn from Mr Ferry and the sheer oddness of a song that didn't really have a chorus and has random sax playing all over it.
Thursday, 24 December 2009
Saturday, 19 December 2009
Like most under 10's of my generation, a Saturday morning trip to the pictures was all part of growing up.
But not the common ABC Minors Club for me, no siree, mine definetly fell into the "the did that for KIDS?????" camp that so much from that time now falls into.
Our local cinema is i guess what could've been called a Flea Pit, altough i didn't know the term then - a very small, one level independent that had no money.
And they did this thing where - and here we go into "children were trusted to be independant and make sensible decisions/that was bloody stupid and they should've been prosecuted" territory - you walked down to your nearest bus stop, waited for a special coach, paid the driver who then took you to the cinema. Price of the ticket was bus fare and admission to the cinema.
Wait ages in the queue (how i miss that at the flicks - the waiting was all part of the antcipation), then were let in.
The auditorium before and during the film could easily be likened to the scene in Gremlins where the little bastiges are running riot during Snow White, but this was real and 15 years before.
Anyway, looking back on it at it now, its obvious the owner had some sort of deal with Univeral Pictures as we were treated to endless Woody Woodepecker cartoons followed by the feaure which was invariably - and i'm not making this up - 1930's horror films.
Clearest and fondest memories are of Son Of Frankenstien, with all the girls screaming whenever Karloff appeared and the huge cheer when Basil Rathbone swings down and knocks the monster into the lava pit.
I mean, really. The classic Universal Horros are pretty much all PG's these days but, back then, they'dve been the equivilant of at least a 15 now. I work in a cinema now i'm a "grown up" and, if we tried doing the same now, we'd be closed down.
Friday, 18 December 2009
Another toy i treasured. Guess i must've been about 6 or 7 when i got the fella and i LOVED him.
Dunno what happened to my one but i've recently got him again via the 'Bay and it all came flooding back - the nifty snowshoes-type attachments, the helmet that was just too big for my Action Man, the brilliant lighting up parts and the lovely sparkly plastic he suits made from.
Odd though in that i remember it being purple and not blue, and don't remember the cheesy face at all.
But we're talking 40 years ago since i last saw him.
Tuesday, 15 December 2009
One of the very few things i've kept all these years. Pow! was mainly a British comic reprinting Marvel strips with a smattering of UK comedies.
But for their 1971 annual they produced quite a bunch of all new tales featuring an eclectic mix of superhero types.
But they were all odd.
And the art. I was used to the Spanish studios work on the likes of Janus Stark, Adam Eterno etc but here we didn't have the usual Victorian b/w moody tales, these were brightly coloured affairs but featuring heroes and villains depicted in a way i'd never seen before.
So made a huge impression - and still does today. Urge you to seek one out on the 'Bay. You'd be in for a treat.
Sunday, 13 December 2009
Thinking about it, and ruling out animated or puppet characters, there were three people i wanted to be when i grew up.
Steve from Land Of The Giants (think it was the hair)
Steve Austin (the bionic stuff, the red tracksuit and, oddly, the broken nose)
But above all it was Tony Curtis.
I wanted to be him so much it hurt. Didn't matter what film he was in, that was the bloke i wanted to be, the ultimate version being his Great Leslie in The Great Race.
A vastly overlooked and underrated actor - would be nice for him to get more recognistion before he pops it.
Friday, 4 December 2009
Blimey, where to start?
My memories of the loin-clothed one are a veritable pot pourie of conflicting thoughts and feelings.
I was aware of the Johnny Weissmuller films from rainy sunday afternoon screenings. Thought he was rather a dullard back then so didn't really pay those much attention (although, if i'd been a bit older, Maureen O'Sullivan might've been an attraction).
Much preferred the Gordon Scott outings as they were in colour and he was far more heroic looking.
The Ron Ely TV series was nifty - if you ignored J'ai - and had quite a few quicksand resolutions. LOVED quicksand. Why don't they appear in films any more? Would make them SO much better... Hold on, they were in Indy 4... Ok, ignore that.
Also at the time was the Filmation cartoon series which, today looks rather crude, but was all there was back then so was lapped up.
Finally there were the Burne Hogarth collections and that was the real deal as far as i was concerned - beautiful, moody B&W artwork and the tales taken seriously, no cheetah anywhere.
But, despite their widely different approaches, loved them all.