September 1975, its my 19th birthday and Mr Stewart has a #1 hit in the UK pop-pickers hit parade with “Sailing”, a track from the newly released “Atlantic Crossing” album which I had purchased with glee, its still a good album, I still play it, its still got some good tracks on it what more can i say.
Those of us who were there will by now be wallowing in a warm bath of nostalgia whilst those who are unfortunate enough to have been born the wrong side of the 1970s will be watching this video and thinking “He looks a bit gay doesn’t he ?” and indeed with the benefit of hindsight he DOES look a bit gay but let me take you to the 19 year old JerryChicken’s world right now and compare…
I’m 19 years of age in the middle of that month, we established that, young free and single, wage earner, wage earner who, at the end of each month receives a stipend that no-one else has a prior claim to in that every penny I earned was mine to spend as I saw fit, things will never be quite the same again, never again in my life will I ever be free of prior claims to my monthly stipend and if I knew then what I know now, well, things would have been done differently…
I like that haircut in that video, I have a yearning for the haircut in that video, its a bird-puller haircut is that but if you walked into a 1975 barber shop around these parts and asked for a Rod Stewart hair cut you’d get a short back and sides cut round a pudding bowl like everyone else did, more Gilbert o’Sullivan than Rod Stewart and no complaining. The only way to get a proper Rod Stewart haircut around these parts was to go into town and frequent one of the hair cutting palaces known as a “salon” and owned by men who were distinctly on the verge of the gayness yet “up” with the modern trends and for this you would need to hand over most of your as yet unclaimed monthly stipend.
“Bugger that for a game of soldiers” the 19 year old me thought, “I’ll cut the bloody thing myself”
And so, with the aid of a pair of huge scissors with serrated edges that my mother had optimistically bought for her new dress making hobby, a hobby which never actually materialised but which had all the gear bought for it and then thrown in a cupboard, I slunk off to the bathroom one Saturday afternoon and commenced to cut my Neil Young style shoulder length absolutely unstyled lank hair into the sort of $200 haircut that you see Mr Stewart sporting in the above video.
And i have to say, the result wasn’t all that bad either – you see the advantage of a Rod Stewart haircut is that its SUPPOSED to look like a right bugger, and mine did for as I walked out of the bathroom with my new-look hair all spiked up on top with copious amounts of my mothers Sylvicrin hair spray, my father looked up from his Saturday Green Final and told me that I looked “A right bugger”, to which I retorted “That’ll do me father, that’ll do me”.
Matched with a flouncy brown shirt that had huge beige and white lilies printed all over it and a Harry Hill style collar (cost most of a weeks stipend from the Brian Mills Catalogue, 26 weeks at 50p), a pair of flares that had used most of a days production of cloth at a nearby woollen mill and required heavy weights stitched into the hem to keep me from sailing away in even a light breeze, and a blue jacket with round lapels and white piping, next years fashion this was, yes Cyril-over-the-road had done his nicking job again – I was a right bobby dazzler me.
Given that ensemble you’d think that pulling a bird would be simple, they’d be falling over themselves to touch me in Cinderella’s surely ?
There aren’t that many birds to pull in the tap room at The Fox to be honest, still, getting blind drunk on platform boots was always good for a laugh on the way home.
The Sutherland Brothers, a pair of genuine and Scottish brothers wrote “Sailing” in 1972 in their guise as a folk/rock duo, a genre that the intellect followed in the early 70s but which wasn’t always a huge commercial success, although strangely I prefer their version, followed by their major pop pickers hit parade, erm, hit, “Lying in the arms of Mary” in which the Sutherland Brothers and Quiver demonstrate that not everyone in the 1970s had a coiffure style quite like mine, some of them could look like right buggers just by growing their thinning hair over their ears…