Tag Archives: Alice Cooper

my 1970s teen-angst diary (part 2)

(Post by Andrea Grace Burn of East Yorkshire – April 2021)

Revisit Part 1 of ‘My 1970s Teen Angst Diary’ here.

INTRODUCTION RE-CAP

First crush, unrequited love, friendships, breaking-up, making-up, chicken in the brick, going to the flicks, grey tights, the disco, ponies, clogs, orchestra practice, sexism, a court case and Col’s wooden ‘Andie Block’…it was all going on in 1974!

In those far off pre-digital days of my youth – the 1970s – there were no bloggers, no tweeters, no Instagram or Facebook opportunities to express or comment on whatever thought popped into our heads. And wasn’t it great! The notion that other people might be remotely interested in our inner thoughts was alien; I grew up hearing that old chestnut, “you know what thought did,” even though I had no idea what it meant.

On my ninth birthday in 1969, my mother gave me a five year diary; encouraging me to “keep all my secrets” within this little blue leather book with a lock and key; as she had done in her youth. I kept it sporadically.  It is only in the past two years that I have begun writing a journal once more and it is considerably less entertaining than my teenage diary!

June 2nd, 1974

 “Saw a film called ‘300 Spartans.” Hollywood, violins,  corny but quite good. For lunch, cooked chicken in brick with garlic, also potatoes, peas, fruit salad, milk, gravy & dry cake. Yum!

 Went to Col’s to see rabbits. We just missed DARRYL SMITH! Col was in a towel as he was getting ready for a bath. Couldn’t see rabbits. Went for a walk round the block with Zoo.”

 June 13th, 1974

 “Didn’t go to orchestra practice. I’ll get Mom to write a note. I might (well, probably will) have to testify about accident which Julie and John had (fight). Help! I will tell the truth, the whole truth and nothing but the truth, so help me God!

Went to piano lesson. Playing Fur Elise. NOT going to disco Saturday night as sold out of tickets. Going to TOP RANK Saturday morning.”

NB: I had witnessed a school fight between Julie and John, which had begun as a flirtatious game but ended with Julie falling down stairs and knocking out a tooth. Her mother reported it to the police and it ended up in the Juvenile Court. My testament prevented John from being sent to Borstal.

June 17th, 1974

“At school today Kim said that Pamela had told her that Darryl Smith had told her to tell Kim that he HATES ME!  (Boo Hoo.) I don’t know why, except that he thinks I’m dependent on him, so at next disco I’m going to dance with other boys (not that I’ve ever danced with Darryl, though I’d love to!!). This might make him see that I don’t need him, so he might like me again. I HOPE SO!! 

Still, as my pals say, “there are more fish in the sea,” though I still like Darryl as much as before.

Saw TV programme on SLEEP – very interesting.”

June 20th, 1974

“Nothing much went on today. Got pen friends, I will write to a few more.  It is EXTREEMLY hot today & tonight!! So hot, I might not use sheets!!

I have just heard a cat scream. Zoo is in heat. Made fudge – turned out like caramel – very nice!

 Julie’s mum doesn’t want her to come to m y house again. She said “you know who your pals are in these cases.” GOOD NIGHT!

June 22nd, 1974

 “Went to Halesowen to Sainsbury’s with Mom and Dad. Dad got sick ’cause they went to a party night before. Gave Shaz a birthday present – Elton John, ‘Don’t Let the Sun Go Down On Me.” Went to disco tonight. Alright but a lot of kids there about 17 – some about 15. They stuck pins in you. Spent night at Shaz’s house.” (WTF – STUCK PINS IN YOU?)

July 16th, 1974

 “Tonight went to Carnival (in the States, a Fun Fair is called a Carnival) in Shenley (near Bartley Green Reservoir). Went on ‘WALTZER JOY-BOUNCE’, ‘SCRAMBLER’, & ‘ROCKETS’. 2nd time on WALTZER man spun me, Shaz & Becky round so I was nearly sick, skirt went back, couldn’t move or lean forward.  ROCKET handle moved up or down but ours didn’t work so we were up in the air all the time – I screamed & held on to Shaz. Scrambler man said to Shaz that I had white knickers on. When we went by him he patted Shaz’s knee. Went on stalls. Shaz won a furry toy on stick.”

July 17th, 1974  

“Had Summer Fair at school tonight. Ii did Pony Rides with Georgina & Jean. Georgina brought their  ponies, FELLA & JUPITER. I think we raised around £5.00. Georgina gave me 20p for my ‘hard work’ (cough cough!) I went in my jodhpurs & riding boots & several boys laughed at me. I got a coke & as I picked it up, I spilled Mr. Gupta’s (History teacher) coffee right in front of Mrs. Carter.” (Head Teacher) Oh well. Went to Georgina’s for an hour. Got home about 10.00pm.”

Andrea, aged 14, on one of her favourite ponies.

July 18th, 1974

“Last day of school this year! GREAT!  I’ll be 4th Year next year! Help! Tonight I am at Becky’s. We have just had an omelette. (Yum!) Tomorrow we are going to town early then going skating.  That should be funny! I’ll write about that tomorrow!

There are some Spanish girls at school. One of them did hand-stands at break on playground & 2 did piggy-backs. They are popular with the boys here. One boy said, “ Can I tickle your fancy?”  She didn’t know what it meant.

 Sang ‘School’s Out’  (Alice Cooper) as we walked home!”

(Copyright: Andrea Burn 11th April, 2021)

no apologies – apollo’s the best.

(Post by Colin ‘Jackie’ Jackson, of Glasgow – February 2021)

Every city in the UK, every city in the world for that matter, will lay claim to having had the best, the most iconic ‘live’ venue of The Seventies.

Every city in the world, except one, however, will be wrong. And that’s because the most revered, the most venerated theatre to play was right here in Glasgow – The Apollo. End of.

Opened in 1927 as the equally famous, Green’s Playhouse it could initially accommodate ten thousand people between the cinema complex and the dancehall which was situated above. From the ‘40s through to the ‘60s the biggest dance / jazz bands around, such as The Joe Loss Orchestra and Ronnie Scott’s Big Band sought bookings there.

As the music scene took on a more rebellious nature with the advent of rock ‘n’ roll, subsequently spawning The Beatles and The Rolling Stones, there was no shortage of controversy. Kids who had been jitterbugging and lindyhopping to their hearts’ content some years ago, were now parents of their own teenagers, and absolutely disapproving of the long haired, dope-smoking,  dishevelled looking ‘stars’ of the day.

The Green’s had played host to most of them by 1972, of course – even Jimi Hendrix had appeared there five years earlier. But the polemic of decency was raised yet another notch in November 1972 when the already notorious Alice Cooper, rocked up for a one-off show.

I was not longed turned fourteen but was already a big fan of the band – ‘Love it to Death’ was the second album I’d ever bought, money being no object now I had a paper round.

This would be my first ever gig. Or rather ‘concert’ as they were quaintly called back then.

Unfortunately, the band’s reputation had made national news in UK and my parents got wind of this ‘perverted, twisted, sick drunkard.’ (I always think Vince Furnier would have been quite chuffed at that description.) Not only was I banned from going to the show, I was put on lockdown for the evening of 10th November.

It was so unfair!

My friend Callum however, had somehow managed to smuggle a small tape recorder into the concert and a couple days later let me borrow the recording. The sound quality was totally pants, but at least I felt in some small way, that I’d experienced the show.

It would be another four months before I was allowed to my first gig. Rory Gallagher. He seemed like a nice Irish lad and didn’t chop off dolls heads and dance with pythons, so my folks were ok with that.

I just had to hope my ticket allocation was successful. Having seen the concert advertised in in Sounds music paper, I hand wrote my letter to the Box Office of Green’s, asked my Dad to write a cheque for£3.30, the cost of three tickets (additional ones for pals) and bought two first class stamps – one for the required S.A.E. (stamped addressed envelope) which would ultimately spill forth the requested tickets or my Dad’s uncashed cheque.

(Ya dancer! I was successful as it happens.)

Of course there was always an alternative to the hassle of a postal application – you could turn up in person at the theatre and pay cash. Dependent on the band you wanted to see, this could be quite straightforward. But for the likes of The Faces, Status Quo  and The Stones, the queue would start at least the day before the Box Office opened and wind its way down Renfield Street and through the lane.

There was no shelter either. If it rained, you got soaked. And I can tell you, there’s nothing more uncomfortable than walking around in loons that have initially become wet at the bottom hem, but the damp patches permeate the denim material, working its way up to your knees, and beyond.

Queuing though was an experience you really had to, erm, experience. Nobody had smart phones to occupy them of course, and so many friendships were formed and dates arranged. Most folk brought a wee ‘kerry-oot,’ and the beers and fortified wine were liberally shared around; which then inevitably led to the question of toilets, or lack of, and ultimately the occasional fight.

Yup – a microcosm of Glasgow life, right there. In one street.

So why do I steadfastly maintain the Apollo (it changed hands from the Green’s in September 1973) was THE best venue of the decade? Well, the glowing feedback from the bands and artists themselves cannot be ignored – if you were liked, you were LOVED. If you sucked, you’d best keep the tour bus engine running. You knew where you stood with a Glasgow audience!

(I only saw one band get real pelters from the crowd. Rather surprisingly, it was Badfinger. I still like the band’s music to this day, but the night of The Apollo, I think the gods were against them as well as the crowd. The sound was poor; their voices decidedly ropey and just the ‘feel’ of their set was sub standard. They took a good deal of abuse, it has to be said and I truly felt for them.)

Some of the tickets I managed to retain.

Other aspects to relish of this incredible venue were the distinctive aroma (!!) the battered seats; the bouncers, who by their reputation alone generally kept everyone safe – though I think they met their match the night The Clash played in July 1978 …. and apparently when an army of teenybop David Soul fans got hold of them!

There was the famous bouncy balcony (actually built that way intentionally, I believe) which I witnessed first hand, being in the front row for a legendary Christmas show in 1975 by The Sensational Alex Harvey Band. If I was scared witless in the balcony, I wonder how the poor souls in the stalls below felt?

And then there was the incredibly high stage area. This was terrific for wee short-arses like myself in the Stalls. For although the bouncers were quick to enforce the ‘no standing’ rule on those by the aisles, they couldn’t reach those in the centre so easily. They escaped a battering and felt empowered to stand on the seats as they pleased. But due to the stage height, my view was not much impaired.

However, the experienced Apollo gig goer soon realised that it was best NOT to get seats in the first few rows if you wanted to see not only the band frontman, but the band itself, who were set further  back and consequently out of sight.

Artists such as, Status Quo; AC/DC; Rush; Roxy Music and King Crimson are amongst the many that recorded ‘live’ albums at The Apollo They were quick to realise that such enthusiastic crowds on their records could only further enhance their reputation as live acts. They could have chosen any theatre in any country, but they chose Glasgow.

Why? Because our mantra is ‘People Make Glasgow.’

People made The Apollo, too.

And my top three Apollo shows? I’d be tempted to say three of the five Rory Gallagher gigs I attended. But I’ll go for:
1) Rory Gallagher – March 1973 – my first gig.
2) SAHB – December 1975 – widely acknowledged as one of the band’s
best ever shows.
3) I should say Queen – but Lynyrd Skynyrd tips it just for the incredible
atmosphere and the fact they had Steve Gibbons Band supporting.

If you’d like to share accounts of your favourite Apollo shows, either leave a Comment below, or contact us at submissions70s@gmail.com

summer 1972 – School’s out.

(Post by Paul Fitzpatrick, of London – February 2021)

1972 in Scotland – The Eurovision Song contest is held in Edinburgh (New Seekers, Beg, Steal or Borrow comes 4th); The Average White Band are formed.

I can’t remember what I had for dinner last night, but I can remember watching Top of the Pops nearly 50 years ago in the summer of 1972.

The summer had already got off to a great start when it was announced that the summer school holidays had been extended by two weeks to align the school leaving age in Scotland to 16 with the rest of the UK.

On top of that I had been invited to go on a camping holiday to Ayr by a good mate Alan McGuire and his family, so five of us and a dog made our way down the old A77 to join the other happy campers at Ayr Racecourse in August 1972.

The next 10 days were among the best of my young life.

Ayr racecourse was closed for the summer and being utilised as a camping site that year.

We were a 20-minute walk from the beach & harbour, a 20-minute walk from the town centre and there were great facilities on site.

Every day was an adventure, and we’d literally collapse into our sleeping bags at night exhausted from the day’s events which included nightly footie matches between the Scottish and the English, all ages and abilities welcome. Matches that went on for ever with the cry of ‘next goal the winner’ never being adhered to.

The sun was shining, there were no midges, everybody was really friendly, and the days seemed to last forever, right up until it got dark at what seemed 10pm most nights.

And if that wasn’t enough, there was the most unbelievable soundtrack being played in the background on the radios and on TV.

I usually missed Top of the Pops (TOTP) because it clashed with football training on a Thursday, but I always made an effort to watch it during the holidays, and I was glad I did that summer, as there were so many memorable moments.

Leading up to our holiday, TOTP was getting interesting; first there was Bowie who had come from nowhere, I’d never heard of him, and the song he was playing (Starman) wasn’t one I’d heard before.

I wasn’t even sure what I was watching, he was strange but cool at the same time, the rest of the band were pretty weird as well, apart from the guitarist who looked reasonably normal, (in a ‘glam-rock normal’ sort of way), but there was no mistaking the quality of the music, it was incredible, and I rushed out to buy the single from Woolies the next day.

The following week Alice Cooper exploded onto our screens for the first time, all menacing in black with ghoulish eye makeup and a sword. It was all theatre of course but we didn’t know it at the time, and we were suitably shocked.

During his performance I remember a girl in a pink smock innocently dancing on stage beside him and thinking ‘you need to be careful hen; he could have your eye out with that sword’.

During his performance I remember a girl in a pink smock innocently dancing on stage beside him and thinking ‘you need to be careful darling; he could have your eye out with that sword’.

Once again Woolies duly received my hard-earned paper-round money.

Cooper with his cutlass on TOTP 1972

So, the hits kept on coming and the following week another band I’d never heard of dropped into my orbit. They were called Mott the Hoople and they rocked up with the anthemic All The Young Dudes, another jaw dropper, which we discovered came from the pen of Bowie.

Woolies, here I come!

We arrived in Ayr on a Thursday, settled in and happily realised that watching TOTP was a communal, must-do activity, so a large group of teenagers including my pal’s older sister Elaine gathered round the TV in the racecourse clubhouse to see who would be appearing that week.

It would be fair to say that the majority of the assembled audience were female and were there in anticipation that their current crushes – David Cassidy or Donny Osmond would be making an appearance on screen.

Unfortunately for the girls there would be no Donny or David that week but they weren’t disappointed as it was the evening that You Wear it Well was performed by Rod Stewart with The Faces in tow. Everybody seemed to love Rod back then and he was back on form larking around, presumably bevvied, which was The Faces de-facto state in those days.

I found a record shop in Ayr the next day.

The following Thursday, our last in Ayr, would be no let down in form as we gathered round the TV to watch the unfortunate Jimmy Saville introduce another new band, called Roxy Music, who were like aliens from another planet.

This bunch of misfits had a vocalist who looked like an Elvis impersonator, and an androgynous silver glove wearing character with a Max Wall haircut playing some sort of box/keyboard, that made weird but wonderful sounds.

The rest of the band looked like extras from Star Trek, but like Bowie and Mott, they jumped out of the screen demanding your attention and the music was captivating. As soon as I got home, I was heading to Woolies for sure.

There were so many highlights on that holiday, I even went to my first gig, to see a band called Chicory Tip. Although we only knew one of their songs, their number one hit Son of my Father.

Little did we know at the time that this one hit wonder would be a precursor to Donna Summer’s I feel Love and all her 70’s disco hits, as it was written and produced by the legendary Giorgio Moroder. On reflection the little moog synthesiser hook is a giveaway.

Our days at Ayr Racecourse raced by and sadly the adventure came to a close, but the memories of that holiday didn’t end there.

My pal’s family dropped me off at my house on our return and I rang the doorbell to be met by a perfect stranger, we both stood there looking at each other for a minute, him wondering who the hell I was, me thinking the same, but with a look of panic etched on my face.

The man broke the deadlock by very reasonably asking what it was I wanted and looked confused when I blurted out, “where’s my Mum”?

He replied that he didn’t know where my Mum was, which was a bit disconcerting, and it was at this point that the penny must have dropped for the bemused chap, when he saw my holdall, sleeping bag and crushed look and said “Ah, we just moved in here a few days ago, you must be the son of the people we bought the house from”.

Yep, my family had moved and had forgotten to tell me.

Having moved myself a few times over the years now, I know it’s stressful and I know there’s a long to-do list, but we usually remember to take the kids with us.

I remembered there had been talk of moving as I had been told to keep my room tidy for people viewing the house, but the fine details and timelines had not been important to a 14-year-old who expected to be packed and transported with the Tupperware, plus like I said, I never got the memo!

The new house was only half a mile away and as I made my way there, I got excited about the prospect of my new home and all that that entailed and reflected on the great holiday I had just experienced.

I had spent time away from my loved ones for the first time but with people who had welcomed me into their family with open arms.

I had experienced much independence, went to my first gig, kissed a girl, had an amazing time and on top of all that, I had all these great songs washing around in my head.

Further grown-up adventures obviously lay in wait, but for my 14-year-old self, this was the perfect summer holiday.