Friday, 28 November 2014

The First Ten Sonnets translated into modern English

I thought you might like to see how the obscure language of Shakespearian times has hidden the true meaning of the Sonnets. But you must prepare yourself for a shock! For once translated into something you can understand the language become somewhat colourful and even rude in the extreme at times. 
Contrary to what many believe these sonnets were not all written by William Shakespeare himself. However this isn't some story to take away the man's talent and credited it to some Nobleman or other writer. Just a conversation between him and his muse. Which in this case is Queen Elizabeth the First. Nevertheless when the muse answers the writer, it's not done in William's words, but her own words. 
What these few Sonnets show here is William's desire that the Queen should marry and have children. It shows the age gap between him and her and how the Queen constantly puts herself down, even her own sexuality. 
I have only shown the first ten Sonnets, to distinguish between Shakespeare and Elizabeth's written parts I have coloured Shakespeare's words RED and Elizabeth's BLUE. Additional words need for context or that are not translated (but needed) are shown as green.   

The texts of these Sonnets will be in the early stages of his work starting around 1580. Some of the other Sonnet's (not featured in the ten here) will date after that date to around about 1592.
The un-translated version, but showing who wrote what, is in this PDF file: Sonnets all 154  

 

THE SONNETS


by


William Shakespeare and Elizabeth Tudor (Queen Elizabeth I)




No 1


From beautified whores men desire sex,
That thereby beauty's Rose might never die,
But as the grim reaper should by time end,
His tender heir might carry his memory:
But you concerned by your own clear womb,
Feed’s your eternal flame with self-substantial fuel,
Making a famine where abundance lies,
You are your own enemy, to your lushes self too cruel:
You are now the world's newest ornament,
And only announcements to the tasteless spring,
Within your own bud (inner-self) you hide your feelings,
And an affectionate ill-bred person wastes time in being mean:

Have Pity on this world, or else this useless person stay,
Have sex with the world now, or end in up dead.

 

No 2


When your forty, worn in face,
And time digs deep trenches in your beautiful complexion,
Your youth's good looks so gazed on now,
Your sex drive will be a tattered weed absolutely worthless :
Then when someone asks, where is your beauty,
Where has all the fertile juice of your sexy days gone;
Then you say within my own deep sunken arsehole,
Together with all my masturbation guilt, and my flattery,
How much more flattery can you take and be beautiful,
You could always say 'This beautiful child of mine
Shall sum me up, and even make up excuses for me'
Showing of his beauty by succession like mine.
The result is to be new made when you feel old,
And see your fertile juices warm when your ice-cold.


No 3


Look in your mirror and tell the face you see,
Now is the time that face should form another,
Whose fresh repair is the best to do soon before you can’t,
You annoy the world, un-consecrate some virgin.
For where is she so beautiful whose intact womb
Scorns the stick-ing (ploughing) of you sexual activity?
Or who is he, so fond will be the tomb,
Or his masturbation to stop changes?
You are your mother's Mary image and she sees in you
Recalling the lovely April day of her prime,
So you through windows of this age shall view,
Despite the wrinkles this is your golden time.

But if you carry on living like this,
Die (come) single and your imitation dies with you.

No 4


Poor loveliness why don’t you spend,
On yourself your beauty's legacy?
Nature's legacy gives nothing but doth lend,
And being honest she bends to those who are free:
Then beauteous mean why do you abuse,
That massive dick given you and fuck instead?
Profitless lender why don’t you use
So great a cunt of all cunts and still can not come?
For having a wank with yourself alone,
You doing it yourself you taste nothing,
Then how when nature ends your life,
What acceptable audit will you leave?

Your unused beauty must be in-tombed with you,
Which if used makes a profit to be.


No 5


Those hours that with no sexy work did frame
The lovely gaze where every eye doth dwell
Sexy people play the tyrants to the very same,
And the unbeautiful which is beautifully good at:
For never-resting time leads summer on (youth)
To hideous winter and confounds him there, (old age)
Sap checked with frost and sexy leaves quite gone, (ugly)
Beauty covered in snowed and bareness everywhere:
Then were is summer's distillation left! As
A liquid prisoner pent in walls of glass,
Beauty's effect without beauties benefits ,
And no longer with any idea of what it was.

But flowers distilled though they with winter meet,
Loose but their show, their perfume always lives sweet-tasting.


No 6


Then let not old age ragged dick deface,
In you your youth even though it has been:
Make sweet-tasting some vial; treasure you some place,
With beauty's fertile juice, even if it be self-destroyed:
That use is not forbidden lending,
Which pleases those that pay the willing loan;
That's the stuff for yourself to breed another you,
Or ten children, happier be it ten for one,
Ten times yourself were happier than you are,
If ten of you ten times remodelled yourself:
Then what could death do if you should depart,
Leaving you living in forever?

Be not self-willed for you are much too beautiful,
To be death's conquest and make worms your heir.


No 7


Look in the east when the gracious light
Lifts up his burning foreskin, each under eye
Do homage to his new-appearing sight,
Serving with looks his sacred majesty,
And having climbed the steep-up heavenly hill,
Resembling strong youth in his middle age,
Yet mortal looks adore his beauty always,
Attending on his golden pilgrimage:
But when from high most pitch with weary bog,
Like feeble age he droops from the day,
Those arseholes (‘fore duteous) now converted are
From his low tract and look another way:

So you, yourself out-going in thy noon:
Unlooked on will shrivel unless you get a son.

No 8


Music to hear, why does music make you cry?
Sweet things with sweet things war not, joy delights in joy:
Why love loves you that which you receive and received not gladly,
Or else received it with pleasure that annoys you?
If the true agreement of well-tuned sounds,
Or unions married do offend your ear,
They do but sweetly argue with you, who confounds
In singleness the parts that you should really carry:
See how one string is sweet husband to another,
Striking each in each by mutual ordering;
Resembling father and child and happy mother,
Who all in one, one pleasing note do sing:

These speechless song being many, seeming the same,
Sings this to you, 'You single will amount to nothing'.

No 9


Is it for fear to wet a widow's cock,
That you indulge in the single life?
Alas, if you issueless should happen to die,
The world will cry for you like a it was your wife,
The world will be thy widow and always weep,
That there is no form of you left behind,
When every private widow womb may keep,
By children's eyes, her husband's genitals in mind:
See what a generous world this is and how it spends
Shifts but his place, for always the world enjoys it;
But beauty in the world has an end,
And kept unused the user so destroys it:

No love toward others in this bosom is
So that you waste time so killing guilty perpetrators.

No 10

 
Great guilty and a contradiction that you have no love for any
Who are you to say, you who are so irresponsible.
Except if you can, you are worshipped by many,
Of course it is clear to everybody that you do not love any:
For you are so obsessed with a killing hatered,
That against yourself you fight till fight fights itself,
Trying to win beauty and ruin it.
Although rebuilding it should be your foremost goal:
Woman change your thoughts, that I may change my mind,
Should hate be more beautifully lodged than sexiness?
Be as you appear, that is gracious and kind,
Or at least to yourself kind-hearted prove,

Make you another one of you, for love of me
That beauty always may live in your child or you.

Thursday, 13 November 2014

Mary Queen of Scots and the Death of Lord Darnley

THE KING THAT KILLED HIMSELF


Henry Stuart, Lord Darnley’s, pushy mother, wanted Henry to marry Mary Stuart. It made his claim to the English throne stronger for he was also descended from Margaret Tudor, only from her second husband. Queen Elizabeth was not in favour, perhaps for the above reason, yet more likely to be that Henry was not popular in Scotland, as he along with many others had also rights to the Scottish throne. She discovered this unpopularity by pointing out Darnley to William Maitland, Mary Stuart's representative at court. Maitland disgust was apparent and he also spoke it. She did however agree to let Henry go to Scotland, after Robert Dudley intervened on his behalf.89
Henry Stuart Lord Darnley
The upshot of all this was that he married Mary in 1565. It looks as if they had a lot in common and may well have fallen in love. Mary’s heart and head were this time in total agreement. Her head thought ‘heir to the throne of England’. This didn’t matter to Elizabeth; indeed the English Queen may have been told this would happen by her astrologer!
90 Still she just couldn’t let Henry make the biggest mistake of his life.

William Throckmorton, who had returned from France in 1563, once again was needed in the role of ambassador to see if he could reason with them, to call the wedding off. So he left in April 1565 for Scotland. He almost certainly bragged that he could convince Mary not to do it. Though the Queen and Council were more likely convinced he couldn’t. He was quite correct, if any could, for he had a friendly attitude to Stuart, probably due to when she tried to help him once, while in France, over some trouble that resulted in him being detained by the authorities. The Queen/Council was more right and Mary was pushing for the marriage before he could get there. In the end he was locked out of Stirling Castle. When he did see the Scottish Queen it was too late. He wasn’t sure why she had done it and admitted it to Elizabeth. This didn’t stop Henry’s mother (the Countess of Lennox) being placed in the Tower of London, for arranging the marriage. The Scots were far from pleased. The English ambassador, in his report to Queen Elizabeth, said, “Darnley would have no long life amongst these people.” 91
Darnley didn’t, three years later he was dead. The question asked then and by historians since is “who killed him?”
There appear to be two schools of thought for the murderers, the Scots Queen with her associates and the Scotch Nobles. There are strong cases for both parties, in Mary’s situation, she had fully discovered what sex was, with Henry, which might in his case, have been rough, however there’s a slight problem, the way Henry died. It looks suspiciously like someone had arranged for the house at Kirk O’ Field to be blown up when this man was dead already. He was found, laid out (neatly), under a tree, in a garden some distance from the remains of the house. Dressed only in a nightshirt and his body was said to be unmarked, which might mean he had been poisoned?92 Also found was the unmarked body of his valet, some clothes, a chair and a dagger. Cecil was sent a drawing of the scene as evidence of the murder, which has survived.

Why would anyone go to all this trouble of laying him out, ceremonially like, and then blow up the house? If they were going to blow up Darnley, whilst he was inside and woke him
up, why did they not wake others? There was only one survivor, from the blast, who was injured, several others were killed outright and why did they not just stab or shoot him and the valet?
So what did happen?
We can only speculate. I believe he wasn’t murdered at all. Mary however makes herself look suspicious by her previous behaviour. For example when telling Henry of James’ birth, she places great emphasis on that it WAS his child.93
Maybe she was as surprised that it was indeed Henry’s child. If this is the case, obviously she was having sex with at least one other man. The speech does imply there were lots of rumours going around that James’ father wasn’t Darnley. From what I can gather this seems not to have been the case, later this is very true, not at or around conception time. Randolph, an English diplomat, did hear gossip that Mary was having an affair as early as 1565. Who? All he knew was it had been a ‘courtier’. Her speech also shows a great dislike for Henry, though it sounds a bit confused to me “his father has broken to me”.94 Maybe her English wasn’t good? If she was plotting his death, she saw her own as well, as again emphasis is placed on James ONLY uniting England & Scotland. Sir William Stanley asking why not, where then she gives the reply quoted previously, pulled this up. I thus think she was having sex with at least one man (if not more) and had stopped with her husband. Just to clear up one thing, James is Henry Stuart’s child, simply on the grounds that a portrait of Henry (aged 17) does match those (looks wise) of James as a child. Further to support that, James had no control of how the paintings were done at this age. On the run up to Henry’s death, we do know he was expecting Mary to come the very night he died, for she had been nursing him during an illness. This was so severe it kept him bed ridden for ages. She in spite of this was with the Earl of Bothwell, who she was in love with, for she married him after the death of her husband. Let us suppose that Henry was still in love with Mary and felt betrayed by her affair, which we can assume he knew about. He may have told her she would face the consequences if she did not come that night. Mary might have ignored his threats or passed them off as idle words from a jealous husband. Darnley’s threats were not against Mary, whom he loved, but against himself.
Suicide - poisoning himself - was not the thing a king should do. That valet may have thought that, when he found him dead in bed. He may have arranged an operation to cover the suicide up; with perhaps the sole survivors help, clearing his master’s name. These servants all slept around the room Darnley was in, some near the door. The loyal valet taking his own life too, unable to go on without his master.95 The view of suicide (for whatever reason) was not expressed at the time, because his
death was perfect for the overthrowing of Mary, by her own people, and that’s what they did.
The so-called murdered man may have been contemplating his own death (maybe his wife’s as well) for sometime, as the gunpowder had been stored at the house on his command. There is even stronger evidence, that means he could no-way have escaped from the house, even if a party of assassins had woke him. That drawing, which Cecil was sent, proves that Darnley was incapable of walking! The body did have something on it, yet wasn’t caused by a physical assault. Most pictures of this drawing make some marks on his legs appear like a stain, or a blot, perhaps even a censoring of the private parts, 96 at least that what I first thought. However on closer inspection, I recently discovered that on his upper right leg, on the inner side was a large ulcerated sore, about 30cm long and 15cm wide. There was evidence of strips of skin still present, though it first appeared to me as though tissue had been lost, as though an animal had bitten it, this not being the case. On the left leg are two smaller ulcers, one above the knee about 8cm long, 6cm wide, the other below the joint about 6cm long.97 We know he was suffering from syphilis and this disease does produce these sorts of ulcers. Still with these at this size and in those places, he must have been completely bed ridden still and in total agony if his calf muscles moved.98 The medicines must have been all about his room to treat it and most would be toxic! We also know what they treated him with. In one of the letters Mary wrote to Bothwell she says Darnley’s breath was that bad she couldn’t go near him. And it was that way because the Mercury treatment he was having made his teeth rotten. It would have been on his mind to take his life for ages, with these kinds of sores and the immense pain, nether mind what he felt about Mary. Mercury would have done the trick.
Everyone at that time jumped to the same conclusion of murder, for different reasons. There was no medical examination, though forensic medicine didn’t exist, that would have told them the truth. Elizabeth warned her cousin to find the murderers, for Mary’s enemies would accuse the Scots Queen.99 The English Queen also warned the Scottish Lords, ‘not to deprive their Sovereign Lady of her regal estate.100
William Cecil, putting his legal knowledge to work, also wrote that Mary did not have to by law answer her subjects, although she did deny having Darnley killed, which was true, if my theory is right. Mary probably made up a story that she had spoken to a French man as she left Darnley that night. So even she thought he had been murdered. The Scottish Lords did deprive Stuart, forcing her to abdicate. Nicholas Throckmorton (English ambassador) returning to Scotland again Said, “The Scottish Lords intention is to establish a regency and keep Mary a prisoner”.101
Nicholas made it clear as well, that the Scotch Queen was quite reckless, doing nothing about those accused. The angry crowds of women alone got him worried. “I find she is in very great danger”?
102
The English were outraged, a former English lord killed, the Scots Queen imprisoned. Many believed the Scots Nobles had killed her husband, though some may have believed it was she. Sir William Cecil on the other hand had to be persuaded by the Queen. She was partially in agreement with the Spanish ambassador, who thought it was preposterous to treat a Queen this way, demanding that she did something to save the life of her cousin. Despite this the English did not give Mary much support for she also asked for French support as well as English.
The England of Elizabeth I, were not on friendly terms with France. Several of the arguments went back to Henry the fifth, also they were not opposed to persecuting (and later massacring) Protestants and Mary Stuart, now an ex Queen of Scotland, did not mind who helped her. It clearly broke the Treaty of Edinburgh agreement as well. She doesn’t seem to have understood her own position, and why help was kept at a low level from all sides. Elizabeth, who probably helped the most, did not want war with Scotland and wouldn’t break any fragile treaties with anyone. The Pope in Rome (Pius V) was concerned about Mary’s marriage to the Earl of Bothwell.103 He was actually protestant and
Earl of Bothwell
Mary agreed to that religion’s style of ceremony. No wonder it upset the Pope! The story that she was forcefully taken by him and married off is totally ridiculous. Nicholas Throckmorton had spoken with her and said she was prepared to give up the crown and live as a “damsel” 104 with Bothwell. Mary invented the rape story so as not cast suspicion on her involvement with the so-called murder of her husband. Now widely seen as being Bothwell’s doing. Thus ipso-facto Mary’s doing as well. Besides that, he was also still married to several other women! In addition she was in love with him and became pregnant, which she admitted to Throckmorton, refusing a divorce on the grounds she was seven weeks gone!105 Mary explained the rape story personally, in a letter to the English Queen. Elizabeth was still disgusted by it! Throckmorton also told the new regime that they (the English) did not accept the abdication or the regency. The French, also treading carefully policy wise, did the same as the English, in other words, as little as possible. They had little time for the new regime in Scotland and even their ambassador was attacked, loosing his goods. In spite of this, they were not altogether convinced that Mary had been a good monarch, quite possibly gave some thought to her being a real problem, for them. For she was sent to make sure Scotland remained a loyal ally to France.

Mary escaped from her Scottish prison, much to the new Regent’s surprise106 (her half-brother James Stuart, the Earl of Moray).107 This she did by proposing marriage again! Her ‘loyal’ people (the Seton & Hamilton’s) joined up with her; she once again talked of marrying. This time a Hamilton! She quickly decided not to discus the issue in the Scottish Parliament, through legal and lawful means and they decided to do battle with Moray’s forces at Langside in Glasgow. At the battle, loyalty was not obvious. Mary’s general was Moray’s brother in law. The ramshackle army deserted or argued and despite having greater numbers and Mary riding down to urge them forward - they fled.
Mary, still not giving up, never excepting defeat, needed an army, so she escaped to England, setting off from what would become known as Port Mary, on a perilous journey across the Solway Firth which took 14 hours. She landed at Workington on the 16th of May 1568. She actually (formally by letter) requested to go to England, when safe in Scotland, seeking the protection of Elizabeth, which to all intent and purpose would make her appear as confined as the Scottish people had kept her. Her people tried to talk her into going to France instead. But Mary had other ideas.


References

89. This got Robert out of the marriage plan too.
90. Astrologers then had no opposition to them predicting things, even if they got things wrong. Simon Forman even made predictions about death and the age it would happen.
91. Marshall PP 90-91.
92. Some Historians suggest he was strangled, but the drawing Cecil is sent shows no sign of this, plus witness statements although not very clear, rule it out.
93. James was born 19th June 1566.

94. Steel P60.
95. This kind of loyalty still exists today in some royal servants.
96. These are indeed not present.
97. These measurements are based on guesswork, assuming Darnley was 6 feet tall.
98. We can dismiss the statement that he recovered enough to walk around.
99. Ridley P148.
100. Read P383 July 27th.
101. Read P383 Possibly Read’s own opinion on the papers. Cal S.P. Scottish 1563-69.
102. Rowse P48.
103. Ridley P148.
104. Throckmorton’s word not mine. Rowse P48.
105. Mackay P221. She lost the baby a few weeks later.
106. Her son was crowned King, at Stirling during this time.
107. He seems to have preferred the spelling of ‘Stewart’


This piece is taken from my book The Shy Queen. The PDF of it can be found elsewhere on this blog.

 

Sunday, 6 April 2014

The Beatles did stop The Rolling Stones hitting the top!

As part of the process of checking who has had the biggest climb to the top I came on something very odd concerning the established fact that the Beatles and Rolling Stones never put out at the same time singles that would compete with one another.
While I was looking at the charts for 1963, I came across the charts for the run up to Christmas. It clear shows a Rolling Stones record being held off the top by none other than the Beatles!
Of course at the time nobody would have been aware of this fact, simply because there was no official chart of the day. Instead several charts would show different records top. The most popular charts of the period were the New Musical Express top 30 and the Melody Maker which by 63 was a top 50. It also used the most record shops to complete it's survey, however this was only a fraction of the stores in the UK. Some of the major stores didn't supply sales data to any of the charts! The chart later adopted as "official" by the first chart books made by Guinness, was made by a record trade magazine called Record Retailer. It is still considered by most chart fans to be very unrepresentative of the time. For one thing it excluded Extended Players from the top 50, as it had it's own EP chart. Both the Melody Maker and New Musical Express allowed them into it's listings. However the NME chart did allow albums into it's listing, plus listed AA records as two separate chart entries, which both The Maker and Retailer didn't. 
The unfairness of these charts and the lack of coverage of the shops means that the 60's charts are very unrepresentative of what actually was selling in the country as a whole. Which means that The Real Chart can show for the first time how a record by the Rolling Stones was threating the Mersey group from the start. Whilst in the Record Retailer the Stones stopped short of the top ten at number 12. 
Of course we can't actually say what record buyers were buying in the missing major stores, because the chart isn't broken down that way.  But it doesn't need a genius to work out that Harry Secombe's  If I Ruled The World, was selling better there than in other record shops! It's much higher position, clearly better than in the other charts, points to this. Also amongst the teenage pop tunes it stands out like a sore thumb, the kind of record that Dad was buying rather than his kids! In the other countdowns it's best position was with the Retailer chart, but it wasn't top ten! It's worst was the NME chart were it was late entering the 30 and was lower down in it. You can quite imagine that NME editorial board wasn't too keen on having an interview with Harry spread in it's paper! Harry's not really 'new music' is he? Of course with the record in the other charts, NME had to let it enter their chart.
In the chart for the 15 of December we see Marvin Gaye heading up the chart to number 17. This record is one that would not appear in the countdowns of the other charts. Further down (not shown) is a record from Rolf Harris, all about a kid screaming his head off having lost his mum! Up from 42 to 34. Again it failed to make the charts.
Back to the Beatles and Stones battle. They had two different fan bases at that time. The Beatles appealed to the rockers somewhat, but the largest percentage of their fans were teenage girls. The Stones however, had the Mod movement backing them. It was clear with all the hype that the Beatles had the upper hand. It seems odd that Stones would record a Lennon & McCartney track given the rivalry between the two bands, where it not for the fact that the Band's manager had been working for Brian Epstein as a publicist promoting the Beatles! That said, even in the years to come in the story of the Rolling Stones you can't imagine them covering a Beatles track again!!   
    

Footnote: these charts are unsorted so they are missing data from them, hence the lack of weeks and sales symbols.

Sunday, 5 January 2014

Reflected People 1973 to 1975


1973 to 1975


SCHOOL’S IN FOREVER


Growing unemployment led to the increase in the age that young people left education establishments between 1972 and 1973. The official figure broke the million barrier. It would fuel arguments from trade unions that were getting complaints from their members, over youngsters taking jobs from older people; due to them being paid less, and being more controllable, from the education system, by employers. They had pressed the Labour Party to stop kids entering the labour market, before 1966. The employers also did the same for different reasons, to the Conservative Party, who had taken power in 1970. Employers, under the guise of the Confederation of British Industry (C.B.I.), wanted to put an end to the young people coming to them for jobs. Well not all youths, only the ones who had not learned much at school. Those that left at 15 probably had not taken CSE or GCSE exams. These were now going for jobs that in years gone by they were not expected to take or even get! Once again this was caused by unemployment. Another couple of factors put pressure on to raise the school leaving age. The first has to be local councils, which are budget minded and like all capitalist, want growing amounts of money to use. Even the ones that claim not to be capitalist use the same system, as more than half of any council’s expenditure is connected to education, than keeping kids at school will help their budget. It’s also good news for teachers and their unions, with more jobs for them, when jobs elsewhere were getting harder to find. Though not all teachers wanted this, as it created more work for them and teacher training was perhaps slow to catch up with this created demand. Newly qualified young women teachers also tendered to leave after they got married. Teachers were thus in short supply. This would result in more work and for the same pay, for those already teaching. They too had to put up with the kids that had to stay on for the extra year. Dr Rhodes Boyson, very much on the right of the Conservative Party and an educationalist, thought that schools would become unmanageable. Not all children simply accepted the extra year; one boy even took his own life, by hanging himself in 1974. Parents had to support their kids longer. Poor and uneducated parents often let their child leave, regardless of the law. It’s likely that this was put down to truancy, as Boyson believed. The Inner London Education Authority found in their surveys that 15 being worst for truancy. Many got some sort of job, which was cash in hand. This meant that employers got away with not paying National Insurance and any tax and the rest. Newspaper headlines screamed ONE MILLION TRUANTS, but some benefited - both kids and adults.
Official statistics showed that only 60% left school at age 15. But this was due to the grammar schools, who kept kids till 16 anyway. After the age of leaving discrepancy was corrected some 70% of pupils gave up education, so even some Grammar school pupils were flooding on to the jobs market at 16. The increased numbers of children leaving made the further education figures look good, with 10% more by 1979. However in real terms this was probably a reduction or no change at all, due to the “baby boom” generation. Nevertheless most children accepted the extra year and those parents with children who had left school, were not keen on their other children joining the dole queue. More youths on the dole was making a mockery of the need system of poverty relief that post war government had introduced. Easter and summer leavers flooded the Employment Exchange every time. Most got jobs quite quickly. However the opposition parties used these new high figures to attack any Government and any policies they had. Even if these policies had nothing to do with unemployment. The problem for any government was that these figures and the inflation rate figure were regular read out in the House of Commons. If they fell they were all right, yet if the baseline trend showed increase they were still blamed. News reports of jobless youths committing suicide and the distressed parents put further pressure on MP’s. The truth is that both of these figures were unconnected with most government plans or actions to keep them low. This is because that like medical drugs they work in some cases, don’t in others and have side effects, which are mostly none beneficial to the country as a whole.

The Milky bar Grocer’s daughter

One of these ‘side effects’ was brought about because of the above and the others already spoken of, plus the disrespect of older people to those younger. Most adults those well over 21, during the seventies, think that young people became more disrespectful to the older generation. This was true because of the schooling and yet it was the other way round as well. Many adults became quite resentful of young people, because the young people seemed to have more money. This spending was of course seen in the buying of popular music. Adults paying large bills: from the rent/mortgage to food and heating/light, left them with little surplus cash. This ‘surplus cash’ was then spent on luxury items. Few bothered to save then. It was universally considered that buying music was a luxury item; indeed you could say that most of what young people spent their money on was considered by adults to be a waste of time. In essence the young person, once any board was paid, was free to spend on what they liked. With adults this hardly applied, thus young people had gained a little extra money and being criticised for it. These moans reached government ears and with the other moans eh; should that be concerns, they passed acts needed to keep children at schools for a longer period. The 1972 Local Government Act, though this did not come completely into effect until April 1974, was one such act.
Most of these older people believed that the community sprit was at its height during the war. Mrs Thatcher and others certainly did and she plays a role in what happened. Ironically the seeds of their discontent of the young had also been sown during the war. It was the 1944 Education Act that took the school leaving age to 15, although it wasn‘t raised till 1947. It also had the provision to increase the same to 16, once the Ministry of Education was satisfied it could be practical. And there didn’t need to be another act or parliamentary debate on the subject. There hadn’t been much of one on the 1944 act itself! It went through Parliament ‘smooth but slow’ 1 The Ministry thus thought it was practical in 1972. The minister in charge was Margaret Thatcher. She who stopped free school milk, but what she didn’t know, at the time, she was building up the problems she was deal with as Prime Minister, they were trivial compared with the cost of free milk!
There was no evaluation done, by the scientific communities, on the likely affects that keeping children on at school would have. No economist did any calculations of the withdrawal of large numbers of people from the work place, simply because many of them thought that it would increase productivity to have better educated young people leaving school. To fit in with this, new aspirations about increasing A-Level and O-Level qualifications were being brought in, however the entire Government and all the parties, simply ignored youths/children contribution to the economy. There was opposition to Mrs Thatcher’s plan, but it wasn’t to do with the creation of problems that Britain was to become involved with. The Daily Telegraph called it “little short of Lunatic”.2 Thatcher was seen as being a socialist in this context, simply because she was for-filling Labour’s broken pledge of 1966. The other side effects of rising rates in local authorities and reduced spending by adults having to support their children for longer than before and more tax. They also ignored the effect inflation was based on too much money circulating in the economy. The Church had strongly argued for young people to be in education from the industrial revolution, believing that the young were being corrupted morally by having no or little education. They would probably wouldn’t have accepted (and still won’t) that; teaching reading, maths and so on to teenagers causes and caused a fundamental breakdown in moral standards and social behaviour.
All of these factors came into play again as the results of the jump in the school leaving age had a downside to the financial side of Britain. The first side effect of the extra year was blamed (at the time and still is for many) on the oil price and shortage of 1973; The Yom Kippur War of October 73 quadrupled the crude oil price. Trade unions also took the can for it as well. The Miners led by Joe Gormley and Rail Unions battled with Edward Heath’s Conservative Government about how much people should get paid. Heath had given tax cuts out in his budgets and with cheap credit was causing growth in the economy at 7.4%. Workers thus needed high wages to pay debt. Massive wage rises were seen by the Labour Governments between 1974 & 1979, as responsible for the colossal rise of inflation to its highest figure (since the war) of 24.9%. This was achieved in 1975. Only since this figure, like the record charts positions, were not based on up-to-date figures, don’t refer to that year, but are referring to 1974 and even 1973. Under Dennis Healy time as chancellor, policies were brought in to control wage rises. Pay was therefore only to rise inline with inflation and preferably under it. These ‘contracts’ did not take into account that a firm might be making a profit or the increasing costs of children since they were in school now longer. Unrest among working people grew. While at the same point, bosses increased their salaries even when the companies were not making profits. Trade unions members on TV news tried to defend their union’s actions. They pointed out that inflation had eaten into the workers wagers and that land prices or oil, which had nothing to do with their members, caused inflation. The TV News also would come under attack by the Glasgow University Media Group as promoting a middle ground style of news coverage, in a sequence of books, with names such as: Really Bad News. They showed that TV news backs various opinions and delivered a centre political view of the world. By the end of 2000 it was a centre-right view as the old regimes tried to control the poor morals of the people. With the power cuts of 1972, because Arthur Scargill and others got Flying Pickets to stop coal reaching the power stations, militant unions became the topic of a pop song. The Strawbs hit the top of the chart with Part of the Union. But was it sung in praise or against the unions, you could ask yourselves? Not that most
teenagers were interested in the news or the decline around them. Teenage girls were interested only in seeing the latest pictures of pop stars in Jackie Magazine, which came out Saturdays, Boys were into football and league tables were often pasted onto their bedroom walls. Snooker also had parents rushing off for small tables. Thanks to colour TV and the BBC 2 programme Pot Black, made only because of colour. It doesn’t make sense in black and white! That’s assuming they had a colour set, and the power was on!
If the unions were simply being blamed and had not caused the rise to 24.9%, then was the oil rise doing the damage? I doubt it, because it doesn’t fit with the theory that too much cash is to blame. If any product rises in cost too much, in the market system, the rise can be got round by not buying as much of it. Indeed the Government had a “Save it” campaign on following the crises. Although oil may have contributed to a small rise of less than 10% due to the need still to buy it, something that the Government does every year was the cause of it. The budget! This for 1973 was very different to all the previous years. In that year the budget was set like all the others on the spending and income for the previous year’s total. Yet in 1972 the 15-year-olds that should have left were still there, the following year. The 1973 budget should have taken an amount of the overall budget for that year to account for all these kids not getting paid by employers. However since that figure wasn’t available, due to the kids getting different levels of wages or none at all, the chancellor could not do this. The reason for this being that if the Government didn’t stick to the figures (of previous years) when setting the budget, then Britain could go bust, because employers wouldn’t have the cash to pay people. In 1971 there were about 8 million aged between 16 and 24. Yet that’s not really practical for our purposes. Let’s do some calculations. Since I was at school when they raised it, I can tell you that each class of my school had 30 to 40 pupils in it. I understand that this was about typical around the rest of the country. So my school had 9 classes per year of kids, before the rise, thus it had 3 sets of 9 classes. After 1972 it had 4 sets of 9. Assuming 30 kids per class, then 270 pupils should have left each year. If they all got a job that paid say £16 a week, then the Treasury had to make sure that £4,320 was circulating in the economy for each school. This adds up for 30 schools to £129,600, about the number for Sheffield and so on. Even if the Schools took on extra staff and resources, it still would hardly affect the overall figure that was circulating. A huge amount of money was thus issued in the budget of 1973 that was not needed; however it would remain hidden, as costs had risen, due to oil, a three day working week and all the other faults that hit Britain in 1973 and74. With the crisis that hit Britain a small amount of money left floating went unnoticed. The ship of state had hit the iceberg and no one knew!

Inflated leavers

Therefore inflation hit that high in 1975 due to the budgets of 1973 & 74 not cutting back the cash needed to pay school leavers, who hadn’t left! This left the money floating around, it also explains why inflation has since never gone that high. Ironic that the woman who brought inflation under control, was responsible for the trigger of it going so high in the first place! “Nah!” would have said Alfred Sherman and Alan Walters two bright academics, who wouldn’t shake the hand of Keith Joseph in 1974. “It’s all this subsidising and money supply ripping that Heath’s doing! Let the entrepreneurs have a free run that will solve the problem,” it didn’t and they did.
The next side effect was to make Richard Branson a rich man. Branson was really good at cheating; he was even doing it at school. It turns out most millionaires are, according to those that study them. Branson himself had been tax fiddling the Government by selling records by mail order that were meant for export, thus avoiding purchase tax. Richard himself was helping the down trodden youth also, but made money at the same time.
Getting wind of the postal strikes forced him to set up record shops as well. With 240,000 postal workers led by Tom Jackson on all out strike. Branson had a huge problem thanks to Mr Taxman, who caught up and wanted £38,000 over 3 years! Credit made it easy for Richard, as he didn’t have to pay for the records he got from suppliers for 60 days. Cash or cheque customers paid quick and Virgin staff had gone to America and seen the Tower Records chain selling music from the shelf. Each new store, helped by credit delay, opened to pay off the taxman. Contacts with musicians brought Tom Newman asking for a recording studio and the rest was added to give Virgin its own label in 1971. By 1973 Virgin had signed up Mike Oldfield, who produced experimentally a whole album, with no gaps or voice, called Tubular Bells.
John Peel played it in full on Radio One and it went to number one on the album chart a single was also lifted from the album. The rights were also given to a filmmaker and used on The Exorcist. Within a short time he was a millionaire. The next Branson type who benefited was Pete Waterman. Whereas Richard knew nothing of popular music, Pete knew everything and told Magnet Record company boss Michael Levy that his companies records where “crap”.

No sex please! We’re at school

The other side effects of increased education would be seen in the next decade, but it started to get more problematic in the seventies. This was down to sex. Basic sex education had become a joke! Apart from those in the adult world who disagreed with it entirely, it was being taught before most children were even interested in it. However it concentrated on the “birds and the bees” and the stuff one can see, as Eminem would put it years later “on the Discovery Channel”. As most young people would have left school from senior school around the age of 15, it continued to be taught at before that age. Another reason for it to be taught was the onset of puberty. Teacher thus could answer these questions, which children had about changes to their bodies, to the whole class. Actually as humans are a sexual race, a lot of sexual development takes places a lot earlier than 12. Be that as it may more emphasis takes place after 12. Human reproduction teaching consisted of technical drawings of the male/female body, a film of the birth of a child, the mention of sperm and eggs being released, but no clear description of how the sperm got from male to female. Generally it was referred to as the “fertilisation process”! This was the effect of the permissive sixties, believe it or not! But even Richard Branson had discovered the problems with getting help for teenagers with sexual transmitted diseases as early as 1968, when he placed an advert in his student (anyone over 16 in education) magazine. Breaking the law by putting in the advert, which was for a sexually education centre, the word “venereal” resulting in a seven pound fine.3
This simple form of sex education was (by the Government and Church) of course seen as sufficient for children leaving school at 15 then.4 Equally it was not really; they would have to get details from other people.5 And that’s the crux of the matter. Youngsters after they enter puberty need instructions from a wide variety of ages. Instead they started after the Second World War to get it from other teenagers. Most would agree this was and is a bad way of learning about sex, hence the sex education that is outlined above. Yet as this was a best poor, it was back to teenagers again for the ‘good stuff’, hence the popularity of Sweet’s record “Little Willy” in June of 1972, something to laugh about around the bike-shed.


Another factor then entered, by the early seventies, was comprehensive education. This saw most boys and girls merged into the same school. They also did more merging at the back of the bike-shed, which started to make some of the girls faint in class or in the assembly. Apart from strong catholic schools, keeping the girls apart from the boys wasn’t seen as a problem. Some however did notice that girls didn’t get a good education, because of the distractions. Not all of the girls got pregnant, but some did form permanent (as they thought) relationships and got married after leaving school. However this does all come about from being at school and what they learned there makes them into the parents they would become after the age of 16. A decent education makes a good parent argue politicians. However I would argue that it doesn’t even make a good politician. Most biologists tell us we are merely animals, though members of parliament don’t like that and have become superior to that kind of talk. Only they ignore advice like this, with a perilous consequence. They did with the school leaving age! But then again nobody knew much about that sort of thing in 1944. Mr Butler (whose act it was) went wrong in that he assumed that education of the mind is all young people needed. This might have been true before the school leaving age went past the age of 12. With puberty in full effect, which is by no means a development of our sexual needs and drives, as already mentioned these have been changing since we were born. It’s much greater than that, puberty changes who we are. Our personality develops, how we relate to others, of both sexes, changes. Later also how we will raise children becomes an issue. Everyone in Britain, who left education, before 1947, wouldn’t understand what doing this to the children would mean. Nowadays we do though comprehend this, yet it still is being ignored. Once again if education controls who we are and what is studied; then any kind of talk which makes education itself to blame for Britain's social and moral problems will not be tolerated. All that happens are debates about how under funded education as lead to social problems, by the left-wingers and how private schools make better children, by right-wingers. They all still agree that a decent education makes good parents and blame the parents of children who have ‘bad’ kids and this attitude was common in the seventies.
Youths however were downgraded by adults. The best example of this can be seen in the BBC’s TV series Dad’s Army. Private Pike is a stereotyped young person of the 1940’s. Yet, because he mixes with the other people of the platoon, forms no peer group with other young people so should have been more adult than youths of the decade it was filmed in. However he hasn’t grown up. What his captain calls him rang true with many adults watching in the seventies. Showing there’s also a lot of the attitudes and beliefs of older people in the seventies, in the character. Pike watches too many films, picking up stupid ideas from them. And is idle or incompetent in any task he does. Strike TV for films and you could have anyone who has left school at 15/16. Also it’s Pike that has to do all the dirty jobs, like any apprentice/Youth scheme lad!

Souled Out & Super Bad at Art

The first dramatic effect of the education system that really annoyed most people was graffiti. Although the illegal use of writing or scribbling on things can be found at most times in history, the painting on walls reached epidemic levels by the mid seventies. The spray can of paint was blamed for the increase. There was a simpler reason. Most education in schools concentrated on what had been taught from the early days of teaching. Art was taught at first to inspire young people with culture. Perhaps with a view to make them think how wonderful Art Galleries were and so on. Art Colleges had been set up and with their influence, convinced many teachers to take Art into the classroom. It’s amazing how many people think they can’t draw even today. This is based on the prints of paintings and the originals in the art galleries around the world, which people have on their walls. Few can draw like Constable;6 most can draw like Lowery critics said of him “Matchstick Men and Cats & Dogs”. Yet even his work is hard to produce. Art School graduates often went on to teaching. When you look at some modern art, you soon get the impression that anyone could do it. Some of it doesn’t (to an untrained eye) look like any skill was involved at all. For instance Cy Twombly “untitled” piece from 1959 looks like a very young child had just been allowed to scribble all over the six-foot canvas! Yet nobody would pay over a million pounds for one that been done like that! With this kind of modern art being taught at Art College, then teachers would be able to see any kids with this kind of potential early on and then develop it. To what extent schools were proud of these budding artists can easily be seen it the art classroom and the corridors of the schools. The famous still life image by Andy Warhol of Coca Cola bottles or cans, was picked up by art teaches and haunts schools to
this day most likely. 7 Still it is seen by those thinking education has only positive results, as a thing to encourage young people to escape from the boredom of their lives.
Over in America, around the New York Slums, where Black people were housed, James Brown’s soul music had really taken hold. Groups and solo acts such as: The Isley Brothers, Harold Melvin and the Bluenotes, the Ojays and Barry White, easily crossed the pond with smooth well produced numbers like If You Don’t Know Me By Now, Back Stabbers and That Lady. In Britain music making was seen as art itself. But Pete Waterman found out, when he went to the place it was made, looking for the magic ingredient that made US soul better than English music, it was a factory! Writers and producers Kenny Gamble, Leon Huff and Tom Bell just turned out songs to earn a living.8 The Labour Party could have nationalised them, if they had been in England. The high American crime rates blamed on black people, where influencing the street language. Yet as can be seen the songs were about love, even so the acts were seen as BAD. This soon caught on, the original meaning getting lost in marketing by record companies. These had caught on to impact that television advertising had on selling records. With the stream of acts that were flowing into and off the top 50 at much faster rates than in any of the previous decades, more and more acts were having only a few hits. This was especially true with soul music. A lot of soul groups/acts who made albums couldn’t get them to sell. Once an act became big, it was easy to sell albums, but acts such as Ultra Funk featuring Mr. Superbad, Creative Source, Timmy Thomas and Robert Knight, had little chance of having a big selling album. Because the format of the 12’’ LP limited its playing time per-side to 30 minutes, getting long soul music on them restricted the total numbers of tracks on the album. Average playing times of singles were on the increase throughout the seventies anyway. The 2.30 minutes single was up to nearly 4 minutes by the end of the decade. But soul music was aimed at dancers in clubs and the like. Pete Waterman became an expert picker of hits from his work as a DJ in these clubs. So the 1972 Isley Brothers’ That Lady at slightly over 6 minutes wasn’t untypical for soul music, being long. However if you put a lot of long tracks on one album, you reduce the track numbers down considerable. Unfortunately an album with only 4 or 5 tracks per side was often seen by the record buying public in England as being not good value for money. Enter K-Tel International, with its cheap TV and Radio advertised 20 plus track album. They quickly established their product range of ‘Limited Edition’9 LPs in the market place. Technically they were compressed small grooves, which gave them increased track numbers, but very low sound levels. This meant you had to turn up the volume control to get them to same level as other albums and singles. Music Centres also became popular at this time and if you pushed the radio button after just listening to one of these albums at only a low level, were still blasted out by the radio station, all though they always advertised them as “Original Hits” and “Original Stars”. This being done to prevent confusion with the Top of the Pops LPs (the ones with the pin up girl on the cover) produced by Pickwick International, with session musicians covering the hit songs. These were being sold alongside them in Woolworth’s shops. Together with their rival Arcade, K-Tel had 30% of album sales.10 The need to get 20 tracks 11 on each album meant a further reduction in the running time was needed. Rather than fade them all out early, verses, most likely the second, on pop songs were edited out. However editing was extreme at times with a 3-minute track reduced to 1.45! The artwork on some of these albums is sometimes very good. This brings us back to graffiti! At least 3 K-Tel LPs used the wall with spray can painted names of the acts rather than the usual photos of them. Either this was to do with saving money, on photo fees, or more likely not wanting to put black people on the album, which was believed to reduce sales, or they just wanted the first album that way Super Bad (released in 1972). Then found it successful in terms of sales, which it was, thus releasing Souled Out (1974)12 and Soul Motion in 1976. During these dates however the spray can culture exploded. If you look at British films made before 1976, which feature English streets, subways and bridges, such as Cliff Richard’s 1974 film Take Me High you’ll see little evidence of any paint spraying or vandalism at all!
 

Put all this together and you can see that teaching kids Art at school was going to lead to them, when they got bored, using these skills to express it. Then after 16 they learned about politics and how free speech can be denied, which was taught them too in university, they then expressed these views on the world they lived in! The Irish Republican Army made very good use of their artists to decorate the streets. All the extreme ends of the political movements used the spray can to inform, while you could say the rich political movements paid vast amounts of money for their artists and put it in fashionable places.
Teaching kids art of course doesn’t mean that every child will go out and spray a wall somewhere. Indeed a second ingredient needs adding, yet in schools this was there already, so the final piece is hormones, past age 12 there’s too many of them. The mixture was perfect, artistic expression, peer groups, hormones. Next development was the spray can to be found in the garage of the growing car owners – called dad!
Teenagers, as we have seen already, pick up most of their behaviour patterns from other young people. One woman through research confirmed that children past the age of 12 were picking up more things from peer groups then were learnt from parents. Peer groups are very unlikely to form were there are a good cross-section of ages, although cliques can form.13 But mum and dad are handy to supply the stuff to fuel bad activities, that’s if you have got both of them!

We want mum and dad together!

The liberated sixties had caused in religious and political eyes a breakdown of the family unit. Has they wanted to return to these ideals the growing number of family musical acts might have given them encouragement, but they were not the only ones who needed a family unit. The family bands would get lots of letters from kids whose parents were divorced or breaking up (around 80,000 in the UK at this time). Groups like the Jacksons, Partridge Family and of course the Osmonds all became popular as divorce rates soared. Michael Jackson overtly concern with children might well have sprung from this period, but it was the Osmonds who hit hardest in Britain and I don’t mean in popularity.
Their first real hit in the States, didn’t make the top 50 here. One Bad Apple was a direct rip off of the Jacksons’ ABC. Yet a few years later their Rock ‘N’ Roll number Crazy Horses gave them a top five hit. Instead of having the mellow image they had in the States, they were considered to be like Slade (musical) over here. It didn’t last long! The brothers soon became Teen Idols and Donny began releasing singles aimed at teenage girls, along with posing for photographs for girls’ magazines. The Media were interested from the start when thousands of girls were shouting “we want the Osmonds” at Heathrow in November 1972. However they and Donny were not the only guys breaking girls’ hearts. Splitting from his own fictional family (Partridge), David Cassidy was the other pin-up on girls’ bedroom walls.
The fans (mostly girls) would go to no ends to see their idols. As Top of the Pops audience numbers had grown so huge, TV centre bosses banned Cassidy from coming there on crowd safety issues. However the real reason that the bosses were fed up of not getting their cars in through the gates. Besides this was trash telly and News and currant affairs were the BBC brand image at that time. News people couldn’t get in too! They got their own back on the fans, the BBC reported on the Six O’ Clock News about Osmond fanatics going wild. Watching were the writers of Sweet’s hits and Teenage Rampage was born.

Shout! Let it all out

The rivalry between Donny and Cassidy fans was nothing compared with their combined hate of Bay City Rollers fans. Roller fans went one better they had their own fashion. The Rollers had started in 1967 as the Saxons, a school-based band from Edinburgh. Line up changes and a hard struggle had produced a hit in 1971 thanks to Jonathan King, yet nothing after it, till 1974. This hard time was probably caused by Manager Tam Paton. He was obsessed with image and even tried satin and frilly shirts on them. This didn’t do them a lot of good in the hard Scottish world of entertainment.14 His control was strict. No smoking, no drink and no girlfriend. The members were allowed all of them in truth and did, just not in the public eye. In the end the band and their manager had to target the market they wanted to break into by buying teenage magazines with Osmond/Cassidy fans address in and send them promotional pictures. The results showed up in the four top ten hits of 74. The tartan trousers and scarfs of the band were rushed into production. Girl followers were thus easily spotted. The only really distinctive features of an Osmond/Cassidy fan were a picture badge of the star, possibly a T-Shirt or bag. Some schools were having debates about school uniform wearing. Some allowed normal clothes to be worn. Tartan however was considered unacceptable! Scarf wearing girls were told by teaches that those are for outside not inside the classroom.
The Rollers fans won the battle in the end, when Cassidy pulled out from touring after the death of a teenage girl in a crowd control accident in 1974. He wasn’t happy with his idol image anyway. Tam Paton was very happy with the idol image and with the antics of teenage girls made sure that ‘Rollermania’ was seen on the headlines. The popular press found out that stories of the band increased sales and all were happy. All accept the band. The Rollers were not what they seemed to be, as Midge Ure found out with his band called Silk. Like many proper bands, Silk were so good at playing music they could be mistaken for a record playing. They were, by none other than Bill Martin!
If you look at the songwriters credit on many seventies singles, particularly the Bell/Arista label, you will probably find the names Martin/Coulter. These blokes (the other Phil Coulter) where like Waterman and his gang, or Simon Cowell and Louis Walsh. They were still unknown then and their predecessors were Nicky Chinn and Mike Chapman. They were next door to Bell Records at RAK Records and were rivals. Martin/Coulter wanted to be like them having lots of hits. They developed a role. Martin came up with ideas and Coulter wrote the tune. However they liked to run the show and market the product, which they aimed at 14-year-old girls. As packaged as Cornflakes or holidays. They even tried the same format with another band called Kenny.15 Their hits included The Bump and Julie Anne. Real bands were a bloody problem to them. So when Midge came to the studio expecting to play instruments on the record, he got a shock! He got a bigger shock when they found out all they needed them for was to sing a chant. Silk walked into the recording of what sounded like a Bay City Rollers track, hardly surprising as the Bay City Rollers didn’t record their own music. Instead the same session musicians were now playing the backing of Silk’s new single. When the group objected Bill Martin raved at Midge (only 22 at the time) “You sing that bloody song if you want a hit”.
Fortunately the band did sing it and made it big time, after a slot at prime time BBC on a new section on TOTP. Four bands without hits played to 15 million people! Well you only need a million to buy a single! They did and Forever and Forever went huge.

They were not however dressed like the other bands. Silk had baseball shirts and James Dean haircuts. However this was another Martin/Coulter trick, they had tried the shirts (only) on the Rollers.16 Nor did they explain to the young Midge that they used the session musicians to ensure that tracks were recorded quickly, thus saving costs on studio time. At least that’s what Les McKeown (lead singer with the Rollers) was told.17 However even the Rollers were caught out by the Newspapers and their record company told the band to play the music, which they did from Bye Bye Baby onwards. Oddly it made the band happy for a while. Not drinking milk! No the still did that. You could say they put up with this rubbish, because of their background. For Les was bullied at his secondary school where there were plenty of beatings, if you didn’t go with the flow. He thus adopted an act of not showing any weakness, he says, all his life.18 Even though you can tell from his Roller experience, he was weak. Tam Paton had them too, it would appear. For the ‘Roller’ merchandise was credited as being “official” “approved by the band” and also made millions. Despite Woolworths having stocked it and C&A’s million square yards of tartan, neither the band nor Tam saw the money.19 Still fashion and music were linked together forever as well. The effects of these fashion urges would have lasting effects and the young girls probably never grew out of wanting to be fashionable, if they got the bug. Males were a bit slower at catching up. But then again even the tartan and beautifully crafted new music like You made me believe in magic couldn’t save the Rollers (or Silk) from the Punk Revolution and it was their last hit in 1977.
Apart from bands that did perform themselves and those that just sang on records, another way to have hits was just let the session musicians do the whole thing. At Polydor records Wayne Bickerton and Tony Waddington (another Martin/Coulter) did just that! Both the Rubettes and later Racey, were not real groups at all. This didn’t stop Sugar Baby Love spending three weeks at the top in 1974. Not that Wayne & Tony who also wrote the song had a choice; no other act would sing this ‘rubbish’. But few real bands could survive without making hit singles. Most tried to release singles and use them to promote the album. Generally it was because the singles failed to make the Top 50, artists became ‘album bands’ such as Genesis. When they did hit the singles chart in 1977 with Follow You Follow Me, concert fans started shouting “sell out” when it was played.20
For a solo singer not having hits was near to death in the music industry. So we come to other person who stimulated the manic girl fans as the other acts in this chapter, Mr Cook. More bullies at his Secondary school, but he whacked one and the boy’s father as well, so he became one of the gang.21 Time was spent playing drums that got him into a band and a showbiz style agent. The band eventually fell apart and his agent (who couldn’t get him into the actors union with the name Cook) asked the lad called David, where he lived? “Essex” was the reply. Now you all know his name, but this happened in the sixties and David wasn’t well known then. After trying to get singles made into hits, David Essex settled into acting. The American rock music of the fifties effect on British teenagers inspired the film That’ll Be The Day and David got a part, but he never gave up on getting into the singles chart.22 The film and David’s single called Rock On, catapulted him into the charts. A TOTP producer forced David into wearing a white suit, this became his trade mark.23 He was a big star by the time if his number one of 74, which was called Gonna Make You A Star.

Sex and Testosterone

Funnily enough that is what the rivals to Martin/Coulter tended to do their acts. Nicky Chinn and Mike Chapman first met up at a London club in 1970. They conned their way into a meeting with Mickie Most, boss of RAK. He had already brought Suzi Quatro over from the States to Britain. Meanwhile over there, bands had been experimenting with make up effects and brightly coloured clothes. By 1973 this had been named ‘Glam Rock’. Naturally the instigators of this style, bands like New York Dolls, were critical of those that followed in their footsteps. Chinn & Chapman embraced this form, TOTP loved it too and it perfectly fitted with the advent of colour television broadcasting in the UK. Although colour sets were expensive and not all that common. I remember a cousin of mine, whose wedding was spoilt because the Hotel had a colour TV showing Great Zoos of the World even though the picture, was all green! Guests still gathered round it like it was the most exciting thing in the world! However I would dispute that Glam Rock was created by TV or TOTP, just because of colour sets, although many costumes of Glam stars were designed with TOTP in mind.24
To make the biggest impact on TOTP they had Suzi dressed in black biker’s leather. It worked his first went to number one. They also penned her, the weird 48 Crash. It didn’t make the top, presumably teenagers couldn’t relate to the song’s subject matter. Being that it was about the male

menopause, which is supposed to happen at 48 years of age.25 Her trade mark was a bass guitar. She had little choice but to become a sex symbol, for most number one acts were male during these years. Apart from Stephanie De Sykes, Quatro was the sexiest woman on the charts, having number ones.
For Chinn & Chapman the bread and butter acts were Sweet and Mud. Hits like Blockbuster and Tiger Feet are the soundtrack of the Seventies, for many people still. They reflect the high level of testosterones swarming around teenage males.


1 Evans P102.

2 Campbell P230. DT 23/4/71.

3 Jackson P21/22.
4 In order to compensate for the problems that education had on young people, sex education needed constent upgrading every few years.

5 Stupid ideas also circulated, such as girls shouldn’t wash the hair during a period. Pressley P21.

6 John Constable actually was self-taught; his late paintings also went on to inspire the impressionists.

7 I remember seeing this image in my school (Hurlfield) and many years later (near the entrance) inside Walthoef School.

8 Waterman PP43-46

9 Some of the albums went on to become best sellers and can still be found very cheaply at car boot sales in large numbers.
 
10 Napier-Bell P155.

11 Most likely a link with the top 20 chart.
 
12 Artwork by Phil Richards.
13 Often these form to stop others gaining power/information, such as the old boy network or glass ceiling; still they have been formed from education establishments in the first place.

14 McKeown P52.
15 Kenny got into trouble with the BBC; they believed the ‘K’ on their shirts was the same as Kellogs!
16 In reality they were probably looking for another BCR as they lost control when Arista told the band to sing and play.

17 McKeown P105.
18 McKeown P29.
19 McKeown P91.
20 Bowler & Day P150.
21 Essex P20.
22 Essex P103.
23 Essex P110.
24 Simpson P40.
25 Read P191.