(Please switch off this music if not required or if you arrive at another piece of music , whether audio or video, before Abba have finished this little ditty which I have set to come on automatically at start of this page; otherwise you'll have 2 tunes playing "over" each other : struth,these amateur websites :)
And so we come to the last decade of our little "memory-jogger" website. It is for the youngsters who may not yet consider themselves to be silversurfers or oldies-----wishful thinking , folks :))
Although I have admitted that the 1960s is my personal favourite decade, the 1970s will still figure large on this site ( more so than the 1950s, which I knew so little about , having been only 11 years old when they ended ). The 1970s represent my 20s, always an important time for memories of younger days; still a golden age as we start out on the obstacle course known as adult life. But, although my own life through the 1970s was probably more exciting and interesting in so many ways, compared to the 1960s, the simple fact is that, in broader terms, the 1970s seem such an anti-climax after their amazing predecessor. I'll see what I can do to "tell it like I saw it"----
and then you can let me know how much you disagree or not by sending an .
I suppose in our 20s , many of us hope that we'll go out into the big world and get a job or career that will start us off on the road to success or just contentment in how we are going to spend our working life for about 40 years ( why can't we start the first 40 years with money, fun , holidays and happiness.......without the need to work at all ; and then do a bit of work towards the end of the 40 years :)))) It seems a better way round to the way we all do it at present !!!!
But I followed the usual route and eventually , after all that education ( which didn't really teach me anything about the jobs I was to do ), my career started its long and varied path :
I suppose we also look forward to :
Not surprisingly, my 20s didn't bring me the home pictured above. Instead it was a 2 bedroom flat , just off Putney Hill , and it cost the princely sum of £7,000 ( complete with swimming pool and underground parking---wow :)))). Gosh, how things have changed a teeny bit since the early 1970s .
For me, though, the decade was the time to explore the wider world much of the first part of the decade was spent in Belgium and France ( and becoming what my Dad used to say was bi-sexual--------my Dad could never pass up the chance of a fit of laughter: and , out of a word like "bi-lingual", the world was his oyster :))))))). BUT I also had a "year out" which led me to work in France as a grape-picker during harvesting season and then back-packing across Europe, as far as the former Jugoslavia and the Balkans ( a fascinating area to which I returned several times later in my life). All in all , a 20 year-old saw and learnt a lot in 1970. And it was VERY different to the years of learning Latin verbs and all the other academic stuff ! All part of memories that never die.
Enough of me for a while. All I need to say is that I lived in that flat in Putney, SW15, from the early 1970s and then throughout the decade : I had always known that I would spend a big part of my life in London, a place I had known would beckon me, from the very first time I ever went there so many years earlier. I never forgot my provincial roots, and am still proud of my home to the age of 18, and all the love of my parents, teachers, friends and places and memories during the time I grew up there. -----------------------------------------
I don't want to be unfair to the 1970s but : let's put it this way : the first half of the year saw the break up of TheBeatles !!!!!
Then the loss of the
at an unplayable altitude ( against our WURST foes----one of Dad's jokes there) , and after our greatest-ever goalkeeper had been deliberately given a dodgy beefburger the night before the match).
And to cap it all the whole year started with the 1,000th episode of "Coronation Street" in January (I used to like Corrie once upon a time-----where did they go wrong ? : I think it was when Minnie, Martha and Ena were no longer in the Snug)
------------------------------------------ So I had this feeling in 1970 that the decade was not going to reach the mighty peaks of the 1960s. I didn't know then just how bad it would be , compared to the 1960s. By "bad", I don't mean my own life............I refer to society, culture, music and more.
But, hopefully before this Page turns too gloomy, let's look at a phenomenon that reached its Golden Age in the 1970s :
THE GREAT BRITISH SITCOM ( and indeed wider humour-based TV programmes).
We are talking about a whole decade of brilliant British Sitcoms and comedy shows that are never likely to be surpassed in sheer numbers and quality in such a short space of time.
There were what I call the "First Division" : the undisputable all-time greats , such as "Dad's Army", "The Good Life", "Porridge", "Some Mothers Do Ave Em", "Fawlty Towers","Are You Being Served", the continuing oldies:"Steptoe And Son" and "Till Death Us Do Part" , "The Two Ronnies" (forkandles:))), the much-maligned genius of Benny Hill, "Monty Python's Flying Circus" ( which admittedly was first broadcast in UK in 1969). There must surely be more.........but not bad for starters:))
The "Second Division" could fill pages........a few : "It Ain't Arf Hot Mum" (or is that "First Division" ?), "Bless This House", "Citizen Smith","Man About The House", "Robins Nest", "The Liver Birds", "Father Dear Father","The Lovers", George And Mildred","My Wife Next Door", "Love Thy Neighbour", "On The Busses","Terry & June","The Goodies", "Oh Brother","To The Manor Born", "Up Pompeii", "Open All Hours".........enough ??:)))
How about that for a list that took 1 minute to come to mind: and leaves years of a golden age of TV nostalgia !!
Instead of placing a few pictures now of some of my favourites, let's slip a photo onto this page every now and again at any point, without warning, and remember the Golden Age of BritSitcom.
But,before that, let's remember the cheeky Benny Hill (switch off Abba at top of page in order to hear sound here please):
I suppose most folk would say that "Only Fools and Horses" is the greatest Sitcom of all time ( and although the series falls outside the MND era, I still show 2 video clips later on this page).
But, personally, I have a personal favourite which I think beats "Fools & Horses". Do you remember ?
So here they are : Bob and Terry : the VERY best ........
Sorry for my self-indulgence there, but, in my humble opinion that is the great Dick Clement and Ian La Frenais at their very best ( I only wish "Auf Wiedersehen" had also been in the 1970s : another classic from that duo, who also of course wrote "Porridge").
May I take this opportunity , before we move on (especially as we don't really have time-----among all the sitcoms -----to discuss any other 1970s' TV) , to recommend one of the best websites of any genre on the internet :
If 1970 had seen us lose The Fab Four and The World Cup, 1971 saw us lose our currency (another event which is nailing in more and more nails to the coffin of the 1970s:))
Old friends disappeared
and, while we were being ripped off, we got new-fangled coins like
So what was happening in the world of ??????
Well, more bad news, I'm afraid. I believe there is good, even great , popular music in EVERY decade (and not just the 1950s/60s/70s); but, blimey........I sometimes find it hard to be charitable when it comes to 1970s' music--------
to someone reaching teenage years as the 1970s started, my comment will sound very unfair ( because the music of the 1970s will be very special to those younger silversurfers -----I apologise:))).
But, if you were a teenager who was "brought up" on the gourmet sounds of the 60s, you will understand my meaning.
Unlike the "change-over" of music between the 1950s and the 1960s (when nothing really changed dramatically for a few years of the new decade), the 1970s seemed to me as if they "took over" from the 1960s very quickly. My recollection is a big change of style and direction in 1970, followed by several different styles and genres throughout the 1970s. We will discuss in more detail on this website's separate Music Page.
My recollection how music "evolved" during the 1970s goes something like this :
Early 1970s: Bland but melodious to start, moving on to T-Rex who began the Glam Rock craze (and are still the best of that genre in my opinion: Mark Bolan had "something")
2. Consolidation of Glam with Slade, Sweet and a host of bands who looked anything but glamorous (do YOU remember Gary Glitter ?????) and who wore things that made The Kings Road and Carnaby Street boutiques of the 1960s look like branches of M&S :)))))
Anyone of a nervous disposition, look away NOW
NO MORE, NO MORE, NO MORE---------No requests from viewers please :)))))))))))))))))))
It's simplifying a whole decade of music(unfairly probably, so I promise we'll examine in more detail on Music Page)
but I think , with a few exceptions, the Glam Era (above) covers the early-mid 1970s; and then the rest of the decade is covered by "Disco" music of one sort or another, from Abba to the Bee Gees, from Boney M to Donna Summer.
Then to Glam and Disco , we have to add 2 other major popular "types" which were present in the 1970s.
One is "heavy metal/heavy rock" etc-------a genre which was the natural innovative successor to the 1960s but which , although selling in massive amounts, left me with a feeling of having let down the roots from whence it had sprung: more of them later.
The final part of the 1970s' "types" of music are a widely-varying combination of widely-differing miscellanea which I have "lumped all together : from "teenage sensations" ( Osmonds, Davids Cassidy & Essex, Rollers, etc) to the "harder-to-classify" Elton John, Rod Stewart, the interesting Roxy Music, the not so interesting Barry White , etc etc ); doses of Motown and Reggae; and , at the end of the 70s: Punk (which never really made the musical impression that it seemed to make in the press).
Having seen pics of the Glam scene..............it's fairly safe to look this time:
The Disco "scene" .......
Before leaving the above photo (I picked an artistic one for discerning viewers) , I must make special mention of Abba.
My own view ( as we are resticting ourselves mainly to mainstream chart music on these "decades" pages) is that Abba were probably one of the most proficient groups of all time at what they set out to do and the talent which they displayed (and I mean their music---------too:)))))).
It is easy among us music "anoraks" to scoff at chart music, let alone the type of chart music that is sometimes known (particularly in USA) as "bubblegum music". I make jokes many times about the sort of pop music that makes me, personally, cringe: the boybands, the worst novelty records, Donny and Marie :)))))). But the plain fact is that , though we all have special musical tastes that perhaps hardly anybody has ever heard of, we can never let music become so pretentious or "specialised" that we start to talk of some hugely successful, and often very talented, "middle of the road" (including the group of the same name , who are superstars on the Continent) performers as though they were
inane rubbish. The Beatles and Stones sold many millions of records : nobody dares to "rubbish" them. But, in the same era, take a completely different "chart type"...........lets say Cilla Black : she also sold in millions rather than hundreds of thousands, had 2 Number 1s in a row in one of the most competitive years in chart history, a dozen Top 10s, chose very good material which masked her "non-Dusty" voice but were written, arranged and produced to the highest level; yet she is often "rubbished". I think Abba suffer the same fate sometimes, very unfairly. It is very easy for us music "anoraks" to get into a bad habit of raving about performers who have their fan-club meetings in telephone boxes. In the 60s, you were "in" if you listened to the dreadful voice of Dylan ; but "square" if you listened to fun, middle of the road "Hermans Hermits". I didn't agree with that sort of musical pretention then, and -----even as my specialist knowledge grew dramatically----I will never agree with it. I think we'll leave The Electric Prunes, Inspiral Carpets and Pink Fairies to other websites.............
What got me ranting on about all that ? It must have been my artistic picture of Abba , reminding me that they were a lot more than just 4 great legs and four horrible hairy legs :))))))))
OK, having shown a few items of Glam and Disco, I should now cover the 3rd category which I have identified : Heavy Metal/Hard Rock/Progressive----whatever handle you wish .
This type of music was peculiar in a way that is difficult to explain. But it centres mainly around the fact that virtually all the most popular music which covers the period 1950-79 is covered by inclusion in ths singles' charts of the period.
Not so (or at least to anywhere near the same extent) with Heavy Metal. This type of music has to be included here , because we are covering "popular" music on this site-----the stuff that folk went out and bought ; and we're staying away from the "cult" unknowns whose fan clubs meet in phone boxes. I have to mention, thjerefore, that , although heavy metal was not a big singles' charts' inflence, it was enormous in its selling-power via LPs, albums. There are some staggering statistics here that CANNOT be ignored :
1. The two leading proponents of Heavy Metal (Led Zeppelin and Pink Floyd) are both among the 20 highest selling artists of all time , and considering that list of 20 includes singles as well as albums.......LZ and The Floyd, who sold relatively few singles, must be regarded as musical giants.
2. In terms of album sales worldwide, both groups are in the Top 5.
3. "Dark Side Of The Moon", from Abbey Road Studios, stayed in the USA Billboard Album Chart for 14 years and in the UK Album Chart for 27 years !!!!!!!!! And I thought Hermans hermits were popular :))))))
4."Thw Wall" sold 23 million copies worldwide.
I could go on......but you see why we must take a break at this point from using the singles' charts as the main key to what is "popular" music or not !
And The Floyd and LZ were far from being alone. Cream had really started it all back in the 60s during one of Clapton's "phases" . Indeed some could argue that The Who also originated the genre during parts of their different talented career. The 70s were packed with the progressive rock bands who thrived in the album charts , never appeared on TOTP and who were never heard of by the middle-aged generation ------who all heard of Slade and Sweet and Mud and T-Rex. There are too many to name here: Guns 'n Roses, Def Leppard, Black Sabbath, Yes, Nirvana, Iron Maiden, etc etc. But they were a force to be reckoned with
A recent picture here shows another "album" progressive group who I actually saw in concert when they had a Number 1 hit SINGLE ....in 1964 (!). They cannot be described as Heavy Metal in any sense :)))) But they sold millions of records, all albums , in the 1970s and were /are one of the leading bands ----now and 45 years ago; and as they originated from my own part of the world , I give them a special mention (and more respect than heavy metal).
But back to Heavy Metal for a moment, I feel I have to give my own personal opinion: I have a lot of their music and listen to it : as the natural successors to the music of the 60s, I can do little else but feel "pulled" by them. BUT.....on the whole....I feel that , for all their innovations and experimentation and musical skill : I feel they ultimately let down their "roots". Just as so many of the social changes of the 60s did not turn out "for the best"; so I feel that these Heavy Metal bands were mainly self-obsessed and self-centred; and their "innovations" were , amongst other things, responsible for the ghastly "electric " music that I dislike so much. Well, that should get a few e-mails coming in to my Inbox :))))))))))))
OK, let's round off the music of the 70s by briefly illustrating a few examples ,all in one go, of what I called the "miscellaneous " part ( I'd walk a long way to avoid some of these : oooops : I'm talking about millions of posters on schoolgirl bedroom walls with some of these):
And don't let's forget the end-of-decade I had purple spiked hair for those that want to know..........
Just a few pictorial memory-joggers from the music scene of the 1970s. From Glam to Disco to Punk, and a few odds and sods along the way ( I couldn't find a photo of Little Jimmy O-----devestating , isn't it ?:)))))))))
A decade that had such a hard act to follow; but it tried its best-------among the boybands and the return to pretty American boys like The Osmonds and David Cassidy, Yellow Ribbons Round Oak Trees, some of the more absurd Glam , and the truly dreadful Punk sound............there was talent in the shape of Abba, Bee Gees, Roy Wood, T.Rex,
and many more; and much fun: such as summed up by the late Les Gray and Mud; and Chris Norman and Smokie.
It was no worse, and probably better, on average , in terms of chart pop music than any other decade before the 60s or after the 70s------just a personal view of course ( and free "Rollers" videos to anyone who thinks I do not keep a full library of all the noteable landmarks in the history of popular music:))))))
More music ----my personal selection----on separate Music Page of this website.
As for my life in London : it was an experience that I wouldn't have missed for the world. It broadened my mind (something I've always tried to do , sometimes even with a modicum of success). I became an adult, I saw a whole vibrant world of every type imaginable, I learned what can only be learnt from living in a capital city every day for some years. It was a long way from the first 18 years of my life, which seemed a lot further away than 100 miles up the M1. I loved it all. I still enjoyed the haunts, such as Chelsea, that I had liked so much as a frequent visitor in the 60s.
But I set about exploring as much of the city as I could-----because I suppose I knew it would not be my home forever.
I never really found north of the Thames as interesting as the south. And I never found the suburbs of much interest compared to the very heart of the place: Chelsea, Knightsbridge, Westminster, Strand, all the Thames-side areas ,Soho. The latter was a wonderfully "atmospheric" area, so full of life -----nothing like the tourists' normal view of it as a sex centre. The best restaurants in London were there ; theatres; delicatessens; pubs; and Soho Square itself was one of my favourites in London ( and I tried to see as many of the often hidden away squares as I could : so many were quite unlike Trafalgar Square and those that everyone has heard of).
I became a "food-taster" for every dish of every nationality----Terry Collier would have been horrified ( see 1960's Page:) : only in a capital city can you go to restaurants that range from Korean to Turkish, from Japanese to Hungarian, from West Indian to Persian. I like food................and I like its diversity.
I also went to a theatre a lot ( an abiding interest which I don't think I've mentioned on this site so far, but which I had been introduced to in my later years at school, from 16 to 18). I had my favourites, from the lovely little Savoy to the Royal Court to the Aldwych ( which I frquented a lot, as, in those days, it was the London base of the Royal Shakespeare Company-----another "weakness" I have so far tried to hide:))). I have always supported and visited the RSC at Stratford. But the best theatre in which I ever had the privelege of attending a performance is undoubtedly the Comedie Francaise in Paris ( and I've visited some of the finest, especially in Italy and Germany).
Even with all the excitement of London in the 1970s, especially later on in the decade when poverty abated, I still visited Paris whenever I could------an everlasting love of mine.
I still had plenty of time for the music concerts. The Marquee gave way to The Talk Of The Town as I went through the dreaded "I want to be more sophisticated" phase------and I saw some great performers. I finally got to see that Tom Jones was a match for The Stones and The Who when it came to live performances. I broadened my tastes , too, by coming through the wannabe sophisticate stage, and listening to a lot of the folk and Gaelic/Irish-influenced music in the pubs. Mind you, I think some of the best concerts I ever saw were at the unlikely "Hammersmith Odeon".............
I saw just about every type of act there , from Nana Moussaka to Elton John, from Tina Turner to Gene Pitney (one of my old favourites , who I was lucky enough to see many times, including a couple of years ago before his untimely death-----at a time when his hair was white and we were all a lot more than more than 24 hours from Tulsa:
great memories : RIP Gene , thanks for the memories).
My love of music grew and widened-----it remained, as it does today, my most passionate interest.
I also went to the cinema in the 1970s more than any other time in my life. The posh ones in Haymarket, Leicester Square, Shaftesbury Avenue were OK. But my favourite was near my home in Putney : the Odeon in th high Street , near Putney Bridge ( I lived at the other end of High Street, half way up Putney Hill). In particular , being a big fan of the Golden Age of films, of the 1930s and 40s, I looked forward to the Odeon's Friday all-night theme programmes: sometimes horror films, sometimes comedies, sometimes films noir, sometimes musicals: I loved them all. And , next door to the cinema was one of my favourite eating-places: The Texas Pancake House , open all hours and just right for a huge fry-up followed by pancakes with everything before going home to sleep on Saturday morning. I googled the Odeon to find it still exists ( as one of those 3 screen cinemas) ; but I can't find anything about The Pancake House, scene of so many calorific excesses.
I think it is now safe to come out in public and say that some of these delights were financed by a great device which I made with wire and which opened the gas meter in my bed-sit without leaving a mark............
In addition, because I simply did not earn enough in 1971, I lived a lot on my only savings account ( which was the £400 which I got when I sold my Vauxhall Viva SL90 (don't forget the "Pampas Green": back to the 1960s Page again ???????). I did not need a car in London, and I never even noticed its absence-----when I had been clocking up 70,000 miles a year before I moved to London !!! The sale of that car ( plus my criminal activities......) "got me by" until I discovered the most wonderful part of having to have a career : promotions : yeeeeeehhaaaawww :)))))))))))
I look back on each of them over many years with a warm glow that only a typical Dickensian figure could feel :))))))
Talking of cinema, some of my favourites of the decade :
There is a Page on this website about News and Events, so I really have no need to refer to the following here :
but who cares ? The 1970s were a bit of an anti-climax after the previous decade so.........as well as celebrating the best Sitcoms ever made.........let's just fit in a few other items to be proud of in the 1970s.
First, as the Queen celebrated her Silver Jubilee, a Brit won a major Wimbledon Championship :
And special mention for a more legendary character than Ms Wade.......a winner of the most gruelling test of endurance : 3 times (and runner-up twice) :
In 1977 (by which time I had a car once again), I received one of only 3 speeding tickets received in my 40 years of driving)............all because I was racing home on a Saturday afternoon to see how much money this legend would win for me in the Grand National ( when they said he couldn't possibly do it again). I never saw him "live"; nor the great Arkle who I saw on grainy old black and white TV and who was probably the most outstanding horse of modern times. I say "probably" because, in the early years of the 21st century, I saw a horse called "Best Mate" who might have stolen Arkle's crown if he had not died so young ( I have vivid memories, long outside the era of this website, standing in torrential rain at Huntingdon just to see "Best Mate" "in the flesh"). So now you also know I am a fan of the turf (but only the turf with fences on it:).
And , because I know some of you will have been shocked by the pictures on the 1960s Page about womens' fashion:
I wanted to take this opportunity to put those people's minds at rest. Those "items" shown above were removed in the 1970s ( remind me to go back and re-write those last few words when I get chance). The disgraceful "mini" was replaced by a good old-fashioned type of ladies' trousers ( not trousers as we know them , Jim----but , you see, the pound was devalued in the 1970s, there was an economic crisis, materials were in short supply................
" short "
for the 1970s
And while we're on the subject of beauty, I should really leave the following item for the News/Events Page of this website .............but it has such a vivid part of my memory that I feel a need to refer to it here on the 1970s Page, the decade when it first went into service and remained so for 27 years. I went to see it several times , and it was as much a thing of beauty as an example of technological achievement. I firmly believe that , if this beauty had been made in America, it would now be in mass production and used everywhere. It's my view that Americans "killed" it ( mainly out of sheer envy, and a certain unlikeable national characteristic ------and don't forget, I am a USA fan; all countries have their "not so pleasant" traits ) ; one day the Yanks will "reinvent" it as their own. Until then, we are left with memories of a great British achievement (oh, and the French made the tyres :))))))
A pretty good topic on which to bring our 1970s Page to a close.
But I'm already beginning to think of all the items I've "missed" here------and on the 1950s and 1960s Pages; so I promise to try and keep adding more data as those memories keep flooding back. And , once again, I invite viewers to
with any requests, comments or polite suggestions:)))))) . This is a small website, just meant to jog a few memories of a time in which we "of a certain age" spent our childhood and younger years ; so I can't promise to cater for all requests: but, time allowing , I WILL try to mention any item which is important enough for us to have room for ; and to answer any questions about subjects where you might get a sensible answer, such as music (but not DIY --aaaghh) ; and to provide material; all if my wife allows me the Swedish secretary which she has so far refused , mainly on age grounds ( what use are secretaries of "our" age-----we'd need a vigorous 25 year old:)))).
And just as on the 1950s and 60s Pages, I repeat the same comment here about "picture of the month" : if you want a picture and it is chosen "out of the hat" (if I can find the picture.......not the hat ) : I will publish it (with your name if you wish your name to be shown----and anonymously if you don't) and it will stay on the site for a month (when I hope there will be more requests for another one to replace it for the following month).
I'm sorry if you were expecting one of the big sites with the names and events of everything that went on in the 1970s ( and , on earlier Pages, the 1950s and the 1960s), but, as I said on an earlier page: I don't think even the huge "retro-sites") can deliver anything but a gloss. This site aims just to ring a few bells. And then you'll recall other related matters that are YOUR memories------which never die. Thanks for reading......and I hope you find time to read the other few pages on the site, especially the Music Page (as it is close to my heart ). Take care, best wishes.....and please feel free to browse.
Oh, I nearly forgot my promise earlier on this page to show a couple of "Fools & Horses" clips so, even though they are a bit later than MND's era.....they ARE a bit special. Enjoy ...................
A few links for 1970s fans (or wider era) PLUS one of the most famous "goodnights" of the 70s :