Sunday, 25 December 2016

Review of the year - December 30th 1976

On the penultimate day of 1976 I looked back at the year, and amazingly found something worth writing about.

January was all exams, February I got flu and watched the Winter Olympics from my sick bed, March nothing much. April seems to have been the biggie, the school ski-ing trip to Italy, which I do indeed still remember 40 years on. Our band also made its debut performance, under the temporary name Mercury.

May's high point was inheriting 400 Scorcher comics, which I eventually returned to their original owner Dave Lyon earlier this year; June seems rather diary-self-obsessed, and July and August were the legendary heatwave. September I started at a new school, October I'm fascinated by TV and comics, November nothing to say, and December the band plays again and I start a comic strip which, 40 years later, I have yet to finish.

Wow. The best years of your life can seem pretty dull when you sum them up. No wonder I put so much detail into the decorations of the diary pages. And check out the most popular Record For The Day of 1976. Laurie Lingo and the Dipsticks? Dave Lee bloody Travis? Bring on punk, I say.

Kev F Sutherland, as well as writing and drawing for The Beano, Marvel, Doctor Who et al, runs Comic Art Masterclasses in schools, libraries and art centres - email for details, and follow him on Facebook and Twitter. View the promo video here

Christmas Day 1976

Merry Christmas everyone! Here is my teenage diary from Christmas Day 1976, full to the brim with the presents I got and the TV I watched. I think Christmas telly has improved in the last 40 years. As for pressies? What can improve on the the Look-In and Willy The Kid annuals, two Stan Lee Origins Of Marvel Comics books, and the Album Of The Soundtrack Of The Trailer Of The Film Of Monty Python And The Holy Grail? Not a lot, that's what.

Actually the TV wasn't that bad. Morecambe and Wise & Parkinson were still on the BBC, Bruce Forsyth was still on the Generation Game, Christmas Top Of The Pops was on just like it should be, and Airport and Oliver qualified as New-To-TV movies. And then, just as now, ITV either hadn't bothered or we'd forgotten it existed.  God bless us every one.

I didn't feature my usual Record For The Day on Christmas Day, instead listing the records that I got as presents. The album, Queen's Day At The Races, doesn't get its mention till Boxing Day. But here are all three treats.

Kev F Sutherland, as well as writing and drawing for The Beano, Marvel, Doctor Who et al, runs Comic Art Masterclasses in schools, libraries and art centres - email for details, and follow him on Facebook and Twitter. View the promo video here

Friday, 21 October 2016

Kneeling? What's that about? - October 21st 1976

An odd entry this, because I hadn't posted it up here on the blog until the BBC People's History Of Pop asked for a scan of it, following the interview I did with them earlier in the year. So this is clearly one of the spreads I thumbed through and read from, but not one that I'd uploaded yet. I can only remember referring to the passage about kneeling.

It reads "Lunchtime: Nick & I went to the music rooms and met some of those friendly fifth years. At least Nick did some kneeling - and if there hadn't been three of them...". So it would appear we were being bullied in the fourth year, and for the life of me I have no memory it whatsoever. I haven't read the earlier entries which might give us more of a picture of what was going on. I shall have investigate.

My Records For The Day, which is where People's History Of Pop's interest in my diary comes from, are outstandingly unmemorable. Does anyone remember The Coffee Song by Osibisa or One Love In My Lifetime by Diana Ross?

Thursday, 13 October 2016

Captain Britain meets Captain Genocide - October 13th 1976

"And that definitely is our new name!!" Rarely has a sentence been less accurate and more long-forgotten. I do not remember our band ever being called Captain Genocide (as legend recalls, we spent most of our time known as Walter Tottle). And I have no memory of a song called Mary. If anyone remembers better, and even better if the song was ever committed to tape, then I'd love to hear about it.

And elsewhere in this diary entry we find evidence of school bullying, which I'd also long since erased from my memory. "Nick and I sang his new song in the Music Rooms when in came three fifth years. Guess who got two fists in the stomach and resisted the temptation to crush the three of them?" Oh bless my little cotton socks. Such restraint. (The story continues in this October 21st entry)

Much more memorable is the subsequent music lesson where we found that, to any classical music - or whatever Mrs Blob chose to play us - we could sing "Nick Nacky Nick Nack Nicky Nacky Noo". And did.

Captain Britain was a new comic, about whose arrival I was very excited, and here was my first attempt at drawing him. I've gotten better. 

Records For The Day, our own "Mary" by "Captain Genocide" notwithstanding, and classics - Climax Blues Band and Joan Armatrading, a good week for new singles.

Kev F Sutherland, as well as writing and drawing for The Beano, Marvel, Doctor Who et al, runs Comic Art Masterclasses in schools, libraries and art centres - email for details, and follow him on Facebook and Twitter. View the promo video here

The Scottish Falsetto Sock Puppet Theatre do Shakespeare played at the Gilded Balloon at the Edinburgh Fringe August 2016. On Tour through Spring 2017.

Wednesday, 14 September 2016

Bar Mitzvah Boy - September 14th 1976

Talk about over compensating, how's this for the most boring diary entries ever - seriously, is there an interesting word in these two pages? - balanced by one of the niftiest layouts. 

I'm not sure how many teeth I thought I had (to be honest I'm not sure how many teeth I really do have, but I'll have a guess that it's not that many) but the design's pretty original isn't it?

The TV's pretty much a cross section of everything you think was on the telly in the 70s. If they made one of those "I remember the 1970s" talking heads shows and only mentioned Nationwide, The Sweeney, The Tomorrow People, George & Mildred, Some Mothers Do Have Em, Play For Today, Mastermind, Supersonic and Angels, you'd go "yeah, that's pretty much it" wouldn't you?

Records for the Day, both disco classics from the days before irony and pop music had been introduced.

Kev F Sutherland, as well as writing and drawing for The Beano, Marvel, Doctor Who et al, runs Comic Art Masterclasses in schools, libraries and art centres - email for details, and follow him on Facebook and Twitter. View the promo video here

The Scottish Falsetto Sock Puppet Theatre do Shakespeare played at the Gilded Balloon at the Edinburgh Fringe August 2016. On Tour through Spring 2017.

Tuesday, 6 September 2016

Snerks? 4th Sept 1976

Among the familiar items in this flashback from 1976 we have the start of new series of Doctor Who, Tiswas, The Two Ronnies, and The Generation Game. And a hidden gem in the form of Lucky Feller, the sitcom written by Terence Frisby, about which I only just had a chat last week with his son Dominic off of the Sitcom Trials. Dominic's loaded some episodes online, let's check them out together.

But what is Simon Simon? A 1970 Silent Comedy? That's not Mel Brooks Silent Movie? That's ringing no bells. The same goes for the Records For The Day. Nice and Slow by Jesse Green? I'm guessing that describes its ascent up the chart.*

But the haziest memory for me is not the "circular haystacks" (any kid from the 70s remembers those), or the nine week summer holiday I describe (the 1970s, you had to be there). It's me painting my guitar. Oil painting my guitar. Oil painting my three string guitar? Maybe these are pages from someone else's diary?

Also Harry North, artist and writer of Doctor On The Go, what does Snerks mean? Answer Me!

*In order to complete this blog I googled Jesse Green's NIce & Slow. Of course I totally remember it. Just not his name or its title. Sorry Jesse, wherever you are. PS, do you know what Snerks is?

Kev F Sutherland, as well as writing and drawing for The Beano, Marvel, Doctor Who et al, runs Comic Art Masterclasses in schools, libraries and art centres - email for details, and follow him on Facebook and Twitter. View the promo video here

The Scottish Falsetto Sock Puppet Theatre do Shakespeare played at the Gilded Balloon at the Edinburgh Fringe August 2016. On Tour through Spring 2017.

Wednesday, 27 July 2016

Comic reviews, cycling & cows - July 27th 1977

I reviewed a lot of comics in my teens, to no avail, for no actual audience. Yet I designed my diary as if it was as widely read as a twenty first century blog (well, more widely read than this 21st century blog. But, you know, a proper one). Check out the "Coming Soon" box. "An exciting new addition to this diary" is advertised. If you can use the word "advertised" when no-one's actually looking.

As for what the exciting new addition was, I can't imagine. I can tell you that, at the end of these two pages, I cycle out to a field and do a drawing of a cow. Who says my life wasn't a roller coaster of adventure?

The Records For The Day were a mix of songs that went on to be legendary and songs that went on to be virtually untraceable on Youtube.

Friday, 10 June 2016

Asbury & Burns - June 10th 1977

The comic strip panels that I most chose to cut out and stick in my teenage diary came from Look-In, which was the only comic with full colour painted artwork, printed on glossy paper. Sure the Marvel reprints had glossy colour covers, but Look-In would feature two double-page action strips and a single page humour strip, along with another half dozen black & white strips, all of the highest possible quality of art, every week.

Harry North, Mike Noble, Arthur Ranson and Bill Titcombe were among the other artists wrapped in a painted cover by Arnaldo Putzu, who'd previously been most famous for the Carry On movie posters. And above we see two of my favourites, Martin Asbury - doing the Six Million Dollar Man - and John M Burns - doing The Bionic Woman.

John is still working, drawing regularly for 2000AD and is still at the top of his game, the grand master of painted comic strip artwork. His draughtsmanship is unequalled, and his stylistic flourishes constantly imaginative. I learned (and long ago forgot) everything I ever knew about drawing the folds in clothing from copying John M Burns.

Martin Asbury, no fool he, made the sensible and lucrative move into storyboarding movies, working on 7 James Bond movies from Goldeneye to Skyfall, as well as two Harry Potter films and Labyrinth.

My Records For The Day today straddled the fine line between quaint and naff. I'd clearly misheard the Alessi Brothers, but the far less memorable Gene Cotton was getting mentioned for the second time.

Thursday, 19 May 2016

David Soul & Ray Clemence - May 20th 1977

I knew little and cared less for football in 1977, and to be honest nothing much has changed, so caricatures of Ray Clemence and Alex Stepney are an unusual inclusion in my diary. I'm guessing they were the keepers in that year's FA Cup Final? Someone can Google it for me, I'm sure. David Soul is much more in keeping with the usual content of my diary.

That said, it's an unusually absent-minded spread of diary pages, by my usual anally-retentive standards. I've managed to list only one Record For The Day, and I've totally forgotten to put a date on Thursday's entry. I seem to have been quite shaken by the events of the day (I'm happy to report that the subject on Thursday's entry is still alive and well).

Monday, 9 May 2016

The How Many Million Dollar Man? - 10th May 1977

It's hardly a major typographical error, more a prediction of the effects of inflation over the subsequent years, but I seem to have slightly mis-credited the illustration by Martin Asbury that I've used on May 10th 1977's diary. The TV series and comic strip were The Six Million Dollar Man, not the Six Thousand Million Dollar Man. Sorry it's taken me 39 years to get round to spotting that.

Another Giles cartoon has faded over the years, and right beside it we see 21. The third instalment of the series that began in 1963 as Seven-Up, this was my first encounter with Michael Apted's historic programme, following the lives of children born around 1955. The next instalment of this series will be in 2019, by which time the survivors of the original programme will be 63.

The text of my diary is rarely the most interesting part, but here we see the band, Walter Tottle, gearing up for an imminent gig. Given that we played about three gigs a year, and fewer than a dozen in our entire career, this is a momentous occasion indeed. Of which, of course, not even a photograph let alone a recording survives. It's hard to imagine it nowadays, but back in the 1970s, it was only a diary written in felt tip pen that recorded any of these passings. Kids today.

My Records For The Day were par for the course, both being minor hits, neither being all that cool.

Sunday, 1 May 2016

Jim Tavare & Mark Jones - The Monkhouse Club May 1988

Not a bad bit of poster design, though I say so myself, achieved with a little bit of buckshee typesetting, and after-hours effort on the photocopier at my day job, Colourtrix (don't look for them, they're not there any more). Here's Jim Tavare, with a full head of hair with which younger readers might not associate him, towering over the Monkhouse Club on May 16th 1988.

Leicester's Monkhouse Club, which had started in September 1987, was approaching the end of its first year of monthly shows, with Alan Seaman booking the acts and the two of us sharing the compering. Cathi Rae and Norman the Skiver were by now well established as regular local acts, and since none of us was yet above the level of open-mics, the two headline acts were really what people came to see.

The Monkhouse Soap Opera was adapted from Phallas, the soap opera which I wrote and Alan & I performed every week on BBC Radio Leicester's Primetime. Some recordings of this weekly atrocity still survive, that I haven't listened to since they went out. If I can ever bring myself to do so, and if the cassette tape has lasted these decades without dissolving to iron filings and sellotape, then a podcast of legendarily unlistenable quality awaits. Lucky old posterity.

Giles and the Mackinnons - May 2nd 1977

Few things are more delightful to read than a Giles annual. At the time of posting this blog, I've just finished reading the Giles annual 1956 (bought yesterday in Exeter for just £2.50, and one I've not seen before now). They're uniquely evocative of their time, Giles framing the state of the world through his particular comic lens, and take the reader instantly back in time. So it's very interesting to see the cartoon above, clipped straight out of that day's Daily Express (Mum & Dad claimed they started getting it so Nana could do the crossword, then kept getting it through force of habit, not dropping it until well into the 1980s).

I've splashed some watercolour on it, which has survived the passing years better than the newspaper itself, combined as it has with whatever glue I used to turn it to a brittle brown mess. I wasn't planning ahead was I?

As always, I've illustrated the TV I watched, and well done anyone who can remember whatever The Mackinnons was. IMDB records that it was a BBC Scotland series starring Bill Simpson, and the BFI says it was a medical drama, but more than that I can't find.

Some intriguing Records For The Day here. The Bay City Rollers cover of It's A Game, which remains listenable to this day, then a Belgian Eurovision entry (give it a listen, it's cracking), and The Calendar Song by The Trinidad Oil Company. I might not have had the best musical taste, but I was eclectic in my selection of rubbish.

Thursday, 24 March 2016

The School Concert - March 24th 1977

The school concert, a major performance by Walter Tottle and the Expanding Liberals by the sound of it, and of our pre-match nerves. And it seems to have gone rather well. Obviously we were robbed of the great success we deserved, but you'll find a video of our efforts elsewhere on this blog and, I'm sure you'll agree, we could've been contenders. In fact we were contenders, as today's gig was a talent contest.

There's a photo of us at this gig somewhere, remind me to dig it out sometime. Oh, here it is.

(Left to right: Kev Moore, Peter Scott, Steve Fletcher, Kev Sutherland, Nick Tyson. I'm sure Nick or my Mum will update me as to the identities of everyone else in the picture when they see this blog.)

Nifty artwork from my attempt at a Six Million Dollar Man strip, too. I seem to recall sending this off to Look-In and getting it back with some kind comments. I don't think I used to photocopy artwork in those days, just sent off the originals, so this one's lucky to have survived as long as it did (before I cut it up to stick in my diary, obviously).

Records For The Day are quaint, one from a movie and one not. One about being able to be anything that you wanted to be, one about someone who once cut a record but it didn't make it. What sort of crystal ball was I using?

Tuesday, 15 March 2016

"Blog" - a new word coined, March 15th 1977

Check out that Record For The Day. "Blog". Remember where you heard it first.

Now it might not have strictly been a record, being a song by our band Walter Tottle and the Expanding Liberals. And it may not have been For The Day since, unless we recorded it, which I very much doubt we did, it'd be lucky to be a record for much more than the during of our singing it. I imagine it's a fun song we made up while jamming, then promptly forgot. It certainly never became part of any performing set that I can recollect.

But could this be the first recorded use of the word Blog? The OED has its first recorded use as being in the 1990s, as an abbreviation of web-log. But we used it in 1977, and I recorded it in my diary. Does this mean I own it or something? How much can I claim?

To be honest, it was Nick's song (as the diary, or if you will web-log) notes, so anything that's coming our way copyright-wise, goes to him. (I see that we were going to be visited by school music teacher Mrs Borem, for whom we were to do a recording. We held the session in my back room where we began the tape recording and, before we could play a note, Nick said "This is for you, Mrs Blob". We collapsed in fits at this and probably never recovered. The name Mrs Blob stuck, and perhaps she is the origin of the name Blog?)

Elsewhere I see i'd written to Marvel comics complaining that, I dunno, they weren't as funny as they used to be? And I've drawn myself ski-ing, from a strip I was doing based on the school ski-ing trip from the previous year that had clearly left its mark on me. And emotional scenes with Jasmine and Tony who, I can reveal (spoiler alert) got married some years later. Happily ever after.

The Record For The Day, other than our own long-forgotten Blog, was the Muppets' Mahna Mahna (whose spelling I just had to look up, so I'm forgiven for getting it wrong having never seen it written down).

Sunday, 21 February 2016

Lee Majors Winking - 21st Feb 1977

Nifty drawing of Lee Majors winking, though I say so myself. The rest of the images are by a caricaturist whose work I greatly admired, even though he was in the Daily Express (like I had the faintest idea what a right wing rag it was back then), Cole.

I can only suppose this is half term, for me to be lazing around midweek in February, rehearsing with the band and buying records - The Goodies' Nothing To Do With Us album, which was a favourite for years.

The Records For The Day are A Groovy Kind Of Love by Les Gray (late of Mud), and a track from the Goodies' album, I Wish I Had Something To Say.

Monday, 1 February 2016

Big Starsky & Little Hutch - Feb 1st 1977

Oh come on, I was trying. Experimenting with coloured pens, working from photo reference, and you can tell who it's supposed to be can't you? Can't you? It's Starsky out of Starsky and Hutch, very obviously. And for that sense of completeness, there's Hutch on the next page, on the front cover of Look-In. The Hutch painting's a tad better than mine, being my Arnaldo Putzu, the regular Look-In cover artist whose work adorns a great many of my diary pages at this time.

The most surprising details in this diary spread is the news that I came first in a cross country run at school. As far as I can recall, that was the last physical exercise I ever took.

Some nice Records For The Day, none too obscure, but none too naff. Mind you, Chicago had gone past their best by then hadn't they?

Friday, 22 January 2016

Signed by "Clive Whitehall"? - Jan 22 1977

Until I started uploading these teenage diary pages very recently, nobody had seen them since they were written, and as far as I know nobody saw them at the time. Though this entry suggests I showed it around, and to grown ups, occasionally. I've joked that no-one reads my diary, and asked anyone in the future who does read it to sign in the box. Lo, just the following month, it's been signed by someone who appears to be called Clive Whitehall. I have no memory of a Clive Whitehall. Maybe my diary was read by a ghost?

The illustrations aren't showing any great improvement. You can see what I'm trying to do with my superhero figure drawing - that's The Sensational Sta-Lite you're looking at there, by the way - but paying any attention to learning what bodies actually look like clearly wasn't high on my agenda. Life drawing, kids, concentrate on your life drawing.

The Records For The Day suggest I also wasn't paying that close attention to the music I was hearing either. "Play That Don't Ya Know" by Black Cherry can only be Play That Funky Music White Boy, heard for the first time.

I can't find Steely Dan doing Haitian Divorce anywhere, so here's a covers band. It's what they would have wanted.

UPDATE: Clive Mitchell. It was family friend Clive Mitchell. Thanks Mum for filling me in with that detail.

Friday, 15 January 2016

Black Beauty + me talking like Alan Patridge - Jan 15 1977

I'm usually too embarrassed to find amusing the cringeworthy nonsense my fifteen year old self writes in these diaries, but even I was driven to laugh out loud at this pitch-perfect Alan Partridge impersonation from January 1977.

"Fore and aft the execution of my paper delivery, yea verily did we produce punk rock sweet to the ears, and did we truly satirise the songs of yore in style hilarious". I hope I was being ironic, but I fear this may be an example of #AccidentalPartridge 35 years ahead of its time.

The Records For The Day were hardly "punk rock sweet to the ears", coming from Mr Big and Al "listen to the production on that" Stewart.

See this page and others on the BBC's Peoples History Of Pop

Saturday, 9 January 2016

Elvis, Nixon, Jim'll Fix It - January 9th 1977

In my teenage diary I show incredible dedication to completing a fully-detailed decorated diary, even when there is less than nothing to report. So it is that we see the TV I watched, and some nicely eclectic Records For The Day; we see the results of my desecration of my Look-In collection (I still have the shards left behind once I'd stripped the best pictures out of the comic strips); and we see me stripping odd little themed items across the days, as if I'm inserting features into a local radio show, in this case little boxes commemorating famous birthdays. Elvis and Nixon? Have I mentioned I was fifteen years old?

My Records For The Day are Mae, a track from a David Cassidy album that I have to this day, though haven't played for a while (I bought a turntable a few years ago, but it went back on a shelf not long afterwards); and Don't Be A Do-Badder from Robin And The Seven Hoods. Like I say, eclectic.

See this collection on the BBC's Peoples History Of Pop.

Friday, 8 January 2016

Happy New Year - Dec 31 1976/ Jan 1 1977

As I write this, the Doctor Who story The Face Of Evil has just been repeated on BBC 4 (apropos of nothing, it wasn't promoted, it's not part of a series of repeats, we just found it on iPlayer. What's that about?). And lo, here we have me watching it for the very first time on January 1st 1977, captured in a double page spread which shows what was on TV, what music I'd been listening to, and how bad my figure drawing was. 

Bruce's Choice, shown on New Year's Eve 1976, seems to have been remade by the BBC this past New Year too (though Bruce was too ill to host it, so Alexander Armstrong stepped in), and there's a Ronnie Corbett solo special, just like was on the BBC earlier last year. Is there anything on TV in 1977 that they won't remake today? *Spots new series of Jim'll Fix It, steps away from the subject*

And check out me DJ-ing till 2.30 in the morning. That's right, you heard me. Kev F was on the decks aged 14, rocking Hogmanay using our school drama teacher's cassette tape deck. Rock & Roll.

My Records For The Day were Come Together and "Honk Tonk Angels", aka Wild Side Of Life.

Sunday, 3 January 2016

Sensational Sta-Lite - July 9th 1977

The Sensational Sta-Lite was co-created by my New Zealander friend Anthony Robinson and I in the third year (year 9 in new money) when we tried making comics together. I seem to remember we used to produce alternate pages in a sort of relay system. He'd take my page home and add his, making the plot up as we went along, then I'd do the same. If any of the strips have survived, I don't have any. So this version of Sta-Lite, who was one part Green Lantern, one part Warlock, and many parts made-up nonsense that probably stretched to half a dozen pages at the most, is all posterity has to go on.

The content of my day to day diary was as unremarkable as you must be getting used to. In a slightly meta-textual moment, it makes mention of the letter I was sending to my old school friend Steve (Noble) who'd moved away to Bristol at the start of the year. Our letters, as heavily illustrated as these diaries, and which went on to include cassette tape recording that were the podcasts of the day, were very much a sister publication to the diary. I wonder if they survive?

And look, horror of horror, at the two empty panels on the right hand page? Quite why I failed to finish the page, illustrating the other two TV shows I'd clearly left room for, we will never know.

The Records For The Day are wonderfully arcane. You know you're getting eclectic when you've chosen three records that, 40 years later, you've never heard Johnnie Walker play on Sounds Of The Seventies. (Mind you, if Johnnie Walker ever plays anything that's not on The Most Obvious Greatest Hits Of The 70s, we do a celebratory dance, if we haven't already turned over to Radio 6).

Conan & the band - August 2nd 1977

The band, called Rio temporarily over the summer hols, with Jasmine Gamble as lead singer while Nick was away, were rehearsing heavily for a talent contest. And for once in my heavily illustrated diary I find enough to write about with the band's activities to fill a whole page with writing. (The text continues on the next double page spread.)

UPDATE: I've found this long lost photo of the band, Rio, on stage at the talent contest at Kibworth Rugby Club. Left to right: Kev Sutherland, Steve Fletcher, Jasmine Gamble, Kev Moore.

I understand some peoples diaries are all writing, with no pictures to speak of. Me, I couldn't let the day pass without at least reviewing half a dozen comics, copying a picture of John Buscema's Conan, and decorating the pages with typefaces from Mum's Letraset book and elaborate borders coloured with Platignum pens. See this page on Peoples History Of Pop.

A bumper bundle of half a dozen Records For The Day, two of which went on to become punk classic (both by The Stranglers) and the rest moulder in pop's bargain bin of history.

Our name was Rio - August 24 1977

Nice picture of our temporary band Rio, though I see they're not mentioned at all in the diary entries themselves. Elsewhere I'm sure I tell the tale of our summer line-up, while Nick was away on holiday, and the talent show we entered. And our name was Rio. For the record, my chin was never that square, Fletch's face was never that chubby, and Mum helped me with the drawing of Jasmine cos I couldn't draw girls. What did we look like really? This...

(Left to right: Kev Sutherland, Steve Fletcher, Jasmine Gamble, Kev Moore. And this is what photos looked like in the 1970s, taken on a tiny Instamatic camera without through-lens framing, so you could never be sure anyone was central in the photo, and you only ever took one shot because of how much film cost. )

My comic reviews, aka The Wednesday Column, are mostly DC comics this week, my haul from my summer holiday trip to Scotland, where a different distributor clearly gave me a chance to see comics that were harder to get hold of back home. See this page on the Peoples History Of Pop.

Record For The Day was the Carpenters' obscure b-side to Top Of The World.

Comic reviews and rehearsals - Aug 10 1977

Look at that wristwatch. Why don't I wear one like that nowadays I wonder? And, yes, I genuinely wore my watch with the face pointing towards me, inside my wrist, on an oversized leather strap with studs on. I think I thought it was a bit superhero-ey.

My review of the week's comic strips are intriguing. I review the individual strips in the various Marvel UK black and white reprints I got every week, and I seem to hate most of them. But rereading those reviews nearly 40 years later I can remember every strip. Which is more than I can say for Barbara Beattie who, according to this entry, I later shared a car with all the way to Scotland.

My Records For The Day, which I imagine I recorded on their first hearings, all went on to be classics for a change. See this page on Peoples History of Pop.

Saturday, 2 January 2016

Walter Tottle's 6th gig - May 11 1977

Walter Tottle And The Expanding Liberals With A Member Of The Royal Family, The Corgis And A Shaggy Dog With Special Guest Star Gertrude Gruntingthuttock was the name of our band. It is astounding we weren't more successful.

In this diary entry from May 11 1977 we play our sixth ever gig, doing (as far as I can tell) one number at a barn dance. We were certainly working slowly and surely towards our inevitable fame. See this page on the Peoples History Of Pop.

Top Of The Pops with Jimmy Savile and an edition of It's A Knockout place this night's telly firmly in the not-to-be-repeated column, unlike the Record For The Day slot, which featured Kenny Rogers' Lucille for the 3rd and 4th times.

Friday, 1 January 2016

Logan Murray & Alison Goldie - The Monkhouse Jan 18 1988

The Monkhouse Comedy Club in Leicester started 1988 with a double bill of Logan Murray and Alison Goldie, supported by the regular line-up of locals, myself and Alan Seaman, Cathi Rae and Norman The Skiver (who will be celebrating his 80th birthday in 2016, I have learned. Let's have a party).

Logan Murray is still going strong on the comedy circuit and is well respected as a teacher of comedy too, having taught everyone from Rhod Gilbert and Kayvan Novak to half the guests on Mock The Week and all of We Are Klang (see his website for details).

Alison Goldie is also big on the teaching front, describing herself as a coach for creativity, work and love.

The figures on the poster, however, are neither Logan nor Alison because, clearly, I didn't have photos of them at the time. Being the days before the internet, unless I was posted a black and white 10 x 8 print through the snail mail which, over the Christmas and New Year period was clearly harder to arrange than usual, then I had to improvise. The characters shown with their faces blanked out are John Dowie and a member of Cliffhanger Theatre (most likely Rebecca Stevens), from their play James Bond Licenced To Look Ill, at Brighton's Zap Club. I can't find the original photo online, but here's another one from that same show.

You can find Logan and Alison on Twitter (as @LoganComedyGuru and @ladyinbed). But don't look for The Monkhouse, it's not there any more.