The first episode of “The 70’s” programme wasn’t bad at all. There were a few things, which I would have liked, looked at in more depth or my recollection was different but it was better than I expected it might be.
The advert for the programme is misleading or it’s misleading as things stand at the moment. It infers that lots of things went wrong and somehow the 70s were to blame. I want to state right here and now that a lot of the things which did happen were not down to those of use who lived through that period of time. These things were delivered to us by successive governments for us to enjoy and marvel at although there was little of anything which they did that we could either e joy or marvel at. Governments eh? Somethings never change.
My interest in music began in the 70s and I was very familiar with many of the bands shown in the first episode. I wanted hair like Bowie during the Aladdin Sane period although I wasn’t quite as keen on the lightening strike across my face. T Rex were a girlie band and not for the likes of me who was fast progressing into one of the long haired weirdo’s who walked around school with a number of albums under their arm.
I was into Yes, Alice Cooper, Deep Purple, Wishbone Ash, Free, Genesis, Uriah Heep, Thin Lizzy, ELP although I’d also been keen on Slade before everything they released went straight to number one. Elton John, Sparks, Mott the Hoople, Mike Oldfield, which I dabbled with as well.
Less exciting were the power cuts. We got sent home from school, the shops closed and we had to read by candlelight. That wasn’t ideal. Our maths teacher told us that dire things were going to happen and inflation duly went of the scale.
I’d also confess to not being a great fan of punk albeit that it was short lived. Having spend hours, days, months and years learning various instruments and being able to play complex stuff, I kind of despaired at music returning to three chord pop ditties even if the lyrics were political or whatever.
I left school in the mid 70’s and went straight in to a job. I went for an interview with a bank at their head office and I was shown into a room with a fairly old, grey haired chap behind a big old desk. We went through an interview, which was really just to make sure I didn’t have two heads and worship a sun god etc.
The best bit was when he asked what I would do if I joined the bank and I was offered a recording contract by one of the record labels. I immediately replied that I wouldn’t be interested because working for a bank would be a long-term career whilst music would certainly not be. He was happy with the answer I gave. We both knew that if such an eventually happened I’d be out of the bank in pico-seconds but we’d danced the danced and I said what he wanted me to and it was all okay.
As it was I had long hair, which the manager at the branch I worked at was okay with. I gad to have a photo taken for my HR file and I was allowed to have it pinned up and hidden for the photo. I also played a fair number of gigs for the banks staff club at various venues throughout Scotland.
I left after three and a half years most of which was pretty enjoyable, mainly because a lot of people my own age worked in the bank and social life wasn’t bad.
The 70s weren’t as bad as it might appear. My band stayed away from drugs. We used to play and practice at the local Miners Welfare. We practiced on Sunday early afternoon following the miners Sunday special of breakfast a pint, a stripper and a couple of games of bingo. They were very good to us. They supported us by letting us practice free and sometime helping transporting our kit to gigs. It’s gone now long since, just a few houses where it was.
I wonder what Mondays next episode of the 70s will be like? I’ll let you know.