Thursday, 30 May 2013

Mum's artwork - May 29 1977

May 29th diary's 1977 page is a rarity, bearing an illustration by my Mum, Corral Sutherland. Now we see both where I got it from, and also how at age 15 she's putting me to shame with her freehand drawing. I think she probably still does. She went to Edinburgh College Of Art in the fifties and her life model was Sean Connery. That's right, you should be impressed. And that was a rough drawing that she didn't want and was about to bin, think on't. On the facing page you can see the level I was at, with a resolutely two-dimensional self portrait with Spider-Man.
You try telling the kids today that your telly consisted of Captain Pugwash, Blue Peter, Nationwide and Panorama, and they won't believe you.

My Records For The Day avoided the hit parade, being a cover version of Walk Right In by Dr Hook, and a Kenny Rogers b-side (for, I note, the second time).

Monday, 27 May 2013

It's A Knockout & sunbathing - May 27th 1977

I remember this, sunbathing over the sunniest weekend of the year so far, following what had been quite a disappointing spring weather wise. 1976 had been the driest summer on record, the "drought" as we called it, with standpipes in the streets, people sharing baths, and my Dad collecting used bathwater in a barrel at the back to put on the garden. A record crop of sweetcorn that year, I recall. But 1977 wasn't shaping up that way, hence my celebration in illustrated form of the joy of sunbathing, or am I just celebrating the disproportionate immensity of my feet?

On TV we have shows that they'll never repeat, including Tiswas, which was mostly not kept on video, and It's A Knockout about which little more needs be said. And a dodgy sounding film called The Trouble With Girls, which hasn't popped up a lot recently. It's a great shame that such fondly remembered shows as IAK and Top Of The Pops have had their memories sullied by the discovery of what was going on behind the scenes, let us hope that the kids of today don't have their great childhood shows spoiled in the same way (though, given that most 9 year olds seem to subsist on a diet of Keith Lemon and Family Guy, I'm guessing they're not as innocent as we were to begin with).

My Records For The Day are the usual mix of predictable pop hit, Telephone Line by ELO, and weird b-side from my small and random collection. Girl Get A Hold Of Yourself by Kenny Rogers is from the flipside of Ruby Don't Take Your Love To Town, now you ask.

Sunday, 26 May 2013

John Burns art - May 24th 1977

Beautiful John Burns art in this spread from my diary from May 1977. This was the most common way I would decorate the pages of my diary, by dessicating my copies of Look-In, by far the best drawn and most expensively printed of the comics I received every week, and sticking them into my diary with Cow gum before designing the page around it. I use the word designing in its loosest sense.

The painted art in Look-In was the most impressive I'd ever seen in a comic, especially the pages by John Burns (this one being from The Bionic Woman), Martin Asbury, Mike Noble and Harry North. As a result of my use of them in the diary, hardly an original page remains intact, and a back issue in a retro shop will usually go for around a fiver. This means that my diary, running as it did in this way for about 3 years (in 1978 I seem to have moved to keeping a much simpler picture-free diary accompanied by a scrapbook for letters, and in 1981 stopped keeping a diary completely), put paid to about 150 Look-Ins (or is that Looks-In?) costing me a potential £750 in resale value. Kids eh?

Those Records For The Day:

Thursday, 16 May 2013

TV Schedule Disaster - May 17th 1977

It's a measure of how exciting the life of a 15 year old is that the most important thing I could find to write was that I'd recorded the TV shows on that night by writing them on the wrong pages in my diary. It's also indicative of just how seriously I was taking my studies, that I give revising for exams as the excuse. If I was revising that heavily, why was I still recording all the evening's TV shows by drawing my versions of their logos in multicoloured felt tip pens? Quite how much time this wasted I cannot begin to imagine, though I daresay it pales into insignificance alongside the number of hours I now sacrifice on the altars of Facebook, Twitter and Youtube.

See this page on Peoples History Of Pop.

(What did I tell you? Seconds after writing this diary entry, in 2013 that is, I made up my mind to go straight to my email and start the day's work, not to get distracted. Oh, I thought, but it won't hurt to just check out what's on Facebook. 10 minutes later I've liked three things and read this whole article. Thanks heavens I only had my own obsession with TV and comics, and a pack of Platignum pens to distract me.)

My Records For The Day were Gimme Love Your Way by The New Seekers (which doesn't seem to exist online) and Moving Out Today by (so I seemed think on this first hearing) "Marie Sager". I know.