Tag Archives: Old Grey Whistle Test

diary of a pimply kid: memories of the late 60s & 70s – Focus on the Trees.

(*a little bit fact; a bit more fiction; much exaggerated.*)


Wednesday 31st May 1972 – (aged 13, end of 2nd year)

Everyone today is talking about a band from Holland called Focus. They were on the Old Grey Whistle Test last night. Most in the Smokers Union shelter say how amazing that yodeling guy was. Some though, those I see wearing the ex-RAF great coats with an LP by the band stuck under their armpit, have a smug ‘told you’ smile and ignore our conversation.

Focus on The Old Grey Whistle Test.

It was very wet at PE time. Old Boot (gym teacher) decided it was too wet to play football. What?! This is Glasgow. Rangers, Celtic, Thistle, Clyde and Queens Park all manage to play ok.

Anyway – PE was switched indoors to the gym. Everyone has football boots – only a few also brought gym shoes. Those of us who hadn’t were lined up to get two of the belt! Old Boot got more exercise than any of us.

The tawse / belt / Lochgelly

Buses were late to pick us up at 4 o’clock. Had to stand out in the rain till they arrived. Trip home was a bit smelly.

Woods clearing ‘football pitch.’

Rain stops but did some studying for exams till teatime then out to the clearing in the woods for a game of football. Get chased by Mr McIlwham who says we shouldn’t be using trees as goalposts because they can feel the ball hitting against them. (Cuckoo!)  

Lucky we weren’t using a Mitre Mouldmaster, then is all I can say.

Mitre Mouldmaster

Well, that’s it – game’s a bogey! We tell Mr McIlwham that we’re off now to break some windows and scrawl graffiti.

See us kids, eh?!

Broken window

(Post by Colin ‘Jackie’ Jackson of Glasgow – March 2022)


roller skating and music. (A guest post by max gower of the ‘powerpop’ blog.)

PowerPop blog – an Eclectic Collection of Pop Culture.

Max Gower is from Nashville, Tennessee and is the man behind the successful PowerPop blog – an Eclectic Collection of Pop Culture -including roller skating as we’ll see from post that follows.

The blog is extensive with hundreds of articles covering music; tv shows; cartoons; books; movies, and being USA based, baseball.

Max explains a little of his background and what led him into creating the blog:

My name is Max, and I was raised in middle Tennessee just outside of Nashville and I still live there. When I was 8 years old in 1975, I bought my first Beatles album and became a huge fan. I read everything I could get my hands on about them and British culture.

The Seventies in general were special…besides being a kid I loved the styles and attitude. That period was about individualism for me. I loved the earth colors and even the avocado green refrigerators and appliances. Nowadays houses, cars, and clothes all look alike…but not then.

I also have a huge love for baseball (love the LA Dodgers), silent movies, and playing music. I’ve played in rock bands since I was 16 and I still get together with the guys to play in the garage. I spent the 80s and 90s playing in bars, clubs, and parties.

I went to college to become a graphic artist and I got a job as one. I then found out that troubleshooting computer network problems was more what I liked to do. I’m now Director of IT in a corporate office of a restaurant chain.

I started a blog in 2017 to find more people that liked 70’s culture, movies, and tv shows, along with The Beatles, Badfinger, and unknown power pop bands like Big Star. I’m not a real writer, my posts are personal memories/views mixed with facts.

The PowerPop blog provides an excellent read for anyone interested in pop culture in general, especially so The Seventies. and is well worth checking out.

Once Upon a Time in The ’70s are delighted to reproduce below an article from the PowerPop blog of June 11th 2018, which we’re sure will resonate with many.


In the mid-seventies, my big sister would take me to the skating rink. I would go in as a little kid and trade my shoes for skates. I never understood why my sister went there and hardly ever skated. She would be in the corner with her girlfriends talking to guys while I was out there falling down. There was not a lot to do in a small town so this was a lot of fun.

I remember being exposed to a lot of music while skating. Someone would say over the intercom “All Skate” and they would blast a song at ear-splitting volume. Songs like “Juniors Farm”, “Sally G”, “Can’t Get Enough of Your Love”, “Rocky Mountain Way” and Free’s “All Right Now” would play while I learned how to skate decent soaking up the atmosphere.

They would play the 4 corners. You would skate until the music stopped. You would then go to a corner and they would call a corner number and those people in that corner were eliminated. This would go on till there was only one person left.  I won one time. The song that was playing and then stopped as I went to my corner on that night was Frankenstein. What I won was a single by Wings called ‘Silly Love Songs.’ It was the first thing I ever won…I earned that single and still have it today and also bugged my Mom till she bought me the Wings at the Speed of Sound album…not Paul’s best to say the least but it brings back too many good memories to be that bad.

In the Seventies skating and going to rinks was huge. It was a place to gather and have fun with your friends. No texting or emails or blogs…Some were great at skating backward, doing tricks, and sabotaging other skaters…I was just a simple skater…As time went by I would find my own way down to the rink…as I got older I was the one that hung with friends and wanted to talk to girls instead of skating. I kept going to the rink until I was around 15 and then all of my friends and me just stopped at once. We had moved on to other things by then.

I did go again after my son was born in 2000…we had fun but the music sucked…no loud guitar music at all…just programmed electronic dance music… I guess you really can’t go back home.

I’ll never forget my friends and the music in that period of my life…That is why music is so important…it can transport you back through time and you are at that place again.


Thanks for allowing us to reproduce this, Max. This is just for you!

The Edgar Winter Group – ‘Frankenstein‘ live in session for the Old Grey Whistle Test in 1973. (The best music video to feature on Once Upon a Time in The ’70s in my humble, if slightly biased opinion.)