Let me start by saying that as a person of a vintage from 1956 I have absolutely no recollection of The 6-5 Special, I know I should have and I’ve heard of it of course, and I’ve even read of it on Wiki, so I know it existed beyond doubt, but for some unknown reason in our house at the same time as The 6-5 Special was being broadcast there must have been something else that my mother wanted to watch “on the other side”, being that there was only one “other side” and video recording, catch-up tv and iPlayer were all things too far fetched to even feature in “Fireball XL5”, then if you missed a program then that was your once in a lifetime chance to view it again, ever.
But only the first few clips from the video above are from The 6-5 Special, the rest are musical interludes from my childhood and early youth, this is the music that shaped us, the music that was on the radio from dusk to dawn and in our house there was never a minute of the waking day when either the radio or TV was not switched on and broadcasting for my father was a huge music fan, being brought up as he was in the “proper dancing” era of the crooners and the big bands and being an eager amateur entertainer himself (you just never showed him a microphone if you wanted to leave the premises before 3am), he devoured all sorts of music, complained constantly about the sort of music we kids enjoyed, but then included “our music” in his repertoire the following week, the juxtaposition of Frank Sinatra and Joe Cocker was an easy one to make in his mind.
He adored The Beatles, hated The Rolling Stones, mocked Sonny & Cher as “bloody beatniks”, thought Procul Harum’s “Whiter Shade of Pale” was just genius, pointed out to the seven year old me that “there’s something a bit queer” about The Dave Clark Five because they were wearing cuban heels and “no man wears bloody stiletto’s”, on the other hand he also thought one of our bin men was “a bit effeminate” because he had naturally wavy hair, “no bin man should curl his hair like that”.
Life, like the tv sets of my youth was very black-and-white to my father, as a man he had a role in life, “to go out to work, to earn money, to raise a family, to ensure your wife didn’t have to work so as to look after the kids” – and then – “to drink beer and play snooker with your male friends afterwards” and the TV programs of the era simply reinforced this although he did laugh frequently at scenes from The Rovers return in Coronation Street because women were in the pub of a mid-week evening and every fool knew that THAT would never happen in real life.
But the music, theres a memory for almost every one of those clips of excellence…
The “scruffy buggers” Rolling Stones who’s fan magazine my dad took back to the shop and got a refund for after telling the bloke in the shop that it was unfit for children to read.
Cilla Black, the luckiest woman in show business, proof if proof were needed that bullshit is all you need to succeed in show business.
Billy J Kramer, my grandmother loved Billy J Kramer even though he couldn’t mime for toffee and danced like someone had tied strings to his arms and legs and was pulling them from backstage.
The Move for whom my father had no noun in his vocabulary to suitably describe other than to gape open mouthed and repeat “bloody hell whats the world come to” and yet he sang “Fire Brigade” to himself constantly, especially when he accidentally set fire to our Morris Oxford one year on holiday in Cornwall while trying to rewire the radio set so it didn’t crackle so much.
The Bee Gees, will there ever be a reunion of the The Bee Gees, whatever happened to The Bee Gees, oh hang on…
The great Joe Cocker, a man that my father should not have liked, but did, probably because he was from Sheffield, I swear that in my Museum of Recollections Joe Cocker won Opportunity Knocks but the true facts prove me wrong, still, I haven’t corrected the record card because he would have had he ever entered Opportunity Knocks, which clearly he didn’t…
Peter Sarstedt, the abiding memory I have of Peter Sarstedt is of this song playing through my head in the early hours of one morning while I was leaning over the side of my bunk bed being sick onto the floor below, splashing our Ned on the bottom bunk in the process, and the sick was mainly of baked beans, I’m sorry, I know its rather random, but there you are, thats the Museum of Recollections for you.
Jethro Tull, Sam Kirkbride, what were you thinking of ?
And The Beatles, All You Need is Love, is sitting on the beach on a red hot skin blistering day in Great Yarmouth and a thousand tinny transistor radios blasting the summer of 67 out across the beach, a summer when we were all naive enough to think that all you really needed was a flower in your hair and to go to San Fransisco for it all to be alright again.
But finally lets remind ourselves of the “something a bit queer” Dave Clark Five and their Chelsea Boots that inspired such rage and mockery in my father, but me and Ned liked them and eight short years later I took to wearing them also, and still would today, I just don’t care dad.