Tag Archives: Top of the Pops

uncovering my tracks (Parts 3 & 4)

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

Part #3: ALICE BANNED

(Catch up with Parts 1 & 2 of UNCOVERING MY TRACKS, here.)

My tastes were changing. I was thirteen years old and all ‘growed up’.

However, the 1971 kid in me still found it tough being weaned off the bubblegum and sugary Pop hits of the day.

The previous year, we’d been on our first overseas family holiday. Spain, it was, and wherever we went, whenever we went, bloody ’Candida‘ by Tony Orlando and Dawn, was being given big licks.


Breakfast in the hotel dining room: “Oh, Candida, We could make it together.” Lunchtime by the pool: “The further from here, girl, the better, Where the air is fresh and clean.” Evening by the beach-side bratwurst bar: ” Hmm, Candida, Just take my hand and I’ll lead ya. I promise life will be sweeter, And it said so in my dreams.


Back home in UK, The Mixtures and ‘The Pushbike Song’ had been popular enough to reach number two in the January charts of 1971.

Probably more so in those days before digital photos, when you returned from holiday, you craved anything that gave that instant hit of warm, glowing memories.

Scent and music best serve this purpose, I find. In the absence, though, of Yankee Candles emitting the heady, mixed aroma of sun-cream, paella and bleeding Watney’s Red Barrel, my parents opted for an LP that contained both these songs,

Chuffed to bits, they proudly told me I could play it (carefully) on the new radioogram.

My excitement, however, didn’t last long when it very quickly became apparent that the songs were not performed by the original artists Still, money was tight, and it was better than nothing at all.

A few months later, and buoyed by their ‘new cool,’ my folks bought another of those trendy compilations, principally for the T. Rex track ‘Get it On.’ Of course there was no fooling me this time. Once bitten and all that. Also, the song ‘Coco,’ was on the LP, and I had the proper, 7″ single by The Sweet. I could spot the difference.

The rest of 1971 music passed me by without leaving much of an impression. I do still have ‘Bannerman‘ by Blue Mink in my collection, but that’s about it.

The following year though, shaped my music of choice – pretty much for life.

On a family weekend trip to Blackpool, I remember buying what would be only my third album. (The second was ‘Slade Alive‘ by Slade.)

That album was ‘Love It To Death,’ by Alice Cooper. I have no idea as to how I knew of the band. I think perhaps I was flicking through the record box and the rebellious, now fourteen-year-old in me had decided to exact retribution for my mother’s uncomplimentary remarks about T. Rex.

You think Marc Bolan is ‘dirty’ and ‘weird,’ do you? Get a load of this dude and his cronies!

(I unfortunately now own only a CD copy. I sold the vinyl to a second hand record store in Stirling not long after being married when we had no cash.)

A few months later, Alice Cooper arrived in the UK for a series of shows. His reputation preceded him and of course the very conservative press of the time were all over it. I was desperate to go to the Glasgow show. It would be my first gig. But there was zero chance of that happening.

Determined my mind would not be corrupted by some deviant from the other side of the Atlantic, my folks properly ‘grounded’ me on the evening of 10th November 1972, to prevent me sneaking off to the show with a couple of pals who did have tickets. It was for my own good, of course.

One of my mates though, somehow managed to smuggle a tape recorder into the venue and so I was at least able to hear a very muffled version of the show.

My first gig would have to wait.

**********

Part #4: HEAVY ROTATION

It wouldn’t be too long a wait before my first gig – only another four months or so, in March 1973. But in the meantime, my Alice Cooper LP ‘Love it to Death‘ was being played to death in my bedroom.

It whetted my appetite for more ‘heavy rock.’ In late 1972, however, gaining access to such music was not easy. You either had to know somebody who had bought an album and lent it you, or you took a punt and bought blind (or perhaps that should be ‘deaf.’)

Some shops though, like Lewis’s in Glasgow had ‘listening booths,’ where you’d be allowed to listen to one or two tracks from an album in the hope that you’d eventually buy.

(Latterly, the dingy wee Virgin Records shop at the end of Argyle Street, then Listen, in Cambridge Street, Glasgow offered the use of headphones to listen to music. The down side though, was that only one person at a time could listen – we used to pile about six mates into the listening booth along the road in Lewis’s.)

Some rock bands, however, like Free, Deep Purple and the excellent Atomic Rooster had been given airtime on the UK’s prime time popular music show, Top of the Pops in late 1971 / early 1972 and although a bit late to the party (again) I started to search out music from such artists .

1972 also saw the blossoming of Glam Rock in the UK. Arguably started by Marc Bolan in mid 1971, the Glam movement was well and truly on the march through 1972.

(Paul has already written an excellent post on Glam Rock, focusing on Marc Bolan in particular. Uncovering My Tracks will run a more general feature as one of several ‘specials’ at a later date.)

At school, though as a thirteen / fourteen year old lad, it was not de rigueur, to show your true Glam self. Stars like Bolan and Bay City Rollers were for the girls. Boys had to be into what was perceived to be ‘harder’ rock. As mentioned in an earlier post, I got terrible stick for admitting I liked The Sweet. Little did those ‘macho’ pals of mine appreciate that most Glam bands could rock-out some pretty heavy riffs too.

My first rock album however, was one of those blind / deaf purchases I referred to earlier. I had read of this band Uriah Heep in Sounds paper / magazine, and around mid-1972, sent away for their debut album, ‘…very ‘eavy… very ‘umble.’ This immediately took over from the Alice Cooper LP that had hogged the turntable for so many months.

I still play this album a lot, and for me, the late David Byron was one of the best vocalists in rock music.

From a kid who was totally unaware of The Beatles just a few years earlier, I was now completely immersed in music. I couldn’t play a note, of course – I was far too lazy to learn despite my parents’ best efforts. And singing? There was more chance of me holding the World Heavyweight Boxing title than me holding a note.

1972 had been a year of musical enlightenment for me. It had started with me pestering my folks to buy me a shirt similar to one I’d seen Kenney Jones wear while playing drums for Rod Stewart on Top of the Pops. I wanted to look ‘cool’ at my school disco.

We never found one, of course, and I had to settle for a turquoise, paisley pattern shirt and matching kipper tie, with lilac needle-cord trousers.

It ended with me wearing that very same outfit to a disco in London (I was part of a representative Glasgow Boy Scouts group visiting the city) where I ‘got off’ a girl from a local Guides troop.

I made her laugh, apparently.

I now know why.

Isn’t Life strange, though? The song that kicked off 1972 for me, and remains possibly my all-time favourite single, is ‘Stay With Me,’ by The Faces.

… and the song that brought the year to a close, reminding me of that disco in London, is – ‘Angel‘ by Rod Stewart and The Faces.

ROLL ON 1973!!!

(To be continued …)



now that’s what i call compilation music!

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

Volume #1 – June 1968

If proof were needed to illustrate just how much music influenced our younger years, you need look no further than this very blog: in less than five weeks, posts broadly centred around Mott the Hoople; Rory Gallagher; The Who; Ian Gillan (Deep Purple) and also The Apollo, Glasgow, have garnered over two thousand hits.

And that’s from only a small, sample representation of the music genres that blossomed throughout The Seventies.

Those of us at school during the decade will remember kids wandering round the playground with LPs under their oxters, proudly displaying their allegiance to Yes. Or Wishbone Ash. Tangerine Dream, maybe?

Those with less pretentious taste of course, would carry their favourite albums in plastic bags. They probably contained works by Mott the Hoople; Rory Gallagher; The Who or Deep Purple. But you could never really be sure. Equally, the secreted album could have been ‘Electric Warrior,’ or ‘The Rise and Fall of Ziggy Stardust and The Spiders From Mars.’ Maybe it was ‘Rollin’’ or ‘Cherish,’ ‘Crazy Horses’ or ‘Rock On.’ Who knows?

In all likelihood, though, it wouldn’t have been one of these – a Hallmark label, Top of the Pops compilation. To draw one of these babies from a Listen Records bag in front of your pals would have been the death of cool. Ominous sounding, single peals of a heavy bell would ring out; tumbleweed would roll. Children would run and hide beneath their mothers’ long flowing skirts.

Awkward!

Volume #25 – July 1972
Volume # 23 -April 1972
Volume #29 – Feb 1973

I often wondered who bought these albums. They were immensely popular, so a great many people obviously did. Then I realised it was actually people like me who bought them. And you.

Or at least our parents did. Whether they did that in some futile attempt at resurrecting their youth (you know – kind of like what we’re doing with this blog!) or genuinely trying to do the best by their kids, goodness only knows.

The rationale for buying these albums was obviously sound. Being classed as ‘budget’ releases, they were considerably cheaper than those of established ‘chart acts;’ they boasted between twelve and sixteen tracks, so, more bang for your buck; to buy all the tracks in 7” ‘single’ format would have been prohibitive for many people, and the compilation comprised current, very recent and predicted chart hits.

Trendy.

I still have the several of the Volumes that my parents bought – I remain steadfast in my assertion that I did not actually pay for any myself!

Volume # 15 – Jan 1971

Volume # 18 – July 1971

The observant reader will notice that the central image is not from the Top of the Pops series. Rather, it was released by Hallmark’s rivals, Music For Pleasure, who were first to exploit the compilation market. This particular one was the first such album into our household, closely followed by TotP Volumes #15 and #18, from January and July 1971 respectively.

The green covered Volume #18 is memorable for two reasons. It was the first of two in the series to reach Number 1 in the album charts, deposing The Moody Blues album, ‘Every Good Boy Deserves Favour,’ believe it or not! And, having watched the Top of the Pops TV episode on Thursday, my mother sought a refund from the shop she’d bought it from two days prior, because, she spat, “…that Marc Bolan ‘person’ looks dirty.”

The fact I still have that volume in my collection indicates the course that particular conversation took.

(For all you Pop Pickers out there, the other to reach Number 1 in the charts, was Volume #20 in November 1971. This one had covers of Maggie May, Sultana and Tweedle Dee, Twedle Dum, and ten others. The Chart company though, soon acceded to protests from other labels and artists, and disallowed budget priced albums from chart computations, reasoning they held an unfair selling advantage.)

The producers of these albums never pretended they were anything other than covers. But having grown up on a diet of yellow label food and imitation leather ankle boots, they had me fooled for a year or two. I didn’t know any better. And looking back, in those days before tape recorders, never mind CDs and this new-fangled streaming thing, the albums were a good lead into hearing new music.

In fact, were it not for my favourite, Volume #19 from September 1971, I may not have discovered bands like Curved Air, or appreciated George Harrison’s solo output.

When I did learn the terrible truth, though, I felt let down. Betrayed.

This could also have been in part to my now having earned money of my own. Paper rounds opened up a whole new world to me. The power of spending; the power of choice.

I learned what John Kongos and The Sweet actually sounded like. I wanted the real deal, and with cash to burn, I craved originality.

My interest in the Top of the Pops and other such compilations quickly waned. My last volume was #21 in December 1971, the Christmas chart edition, given to me by a now out-of-touch Santa Claus.

I immediately considered the performers on these albums to be amateurs; poor imitators of the originals – which I now know to be completely wrong. These folk were respected and hard-working, professional session musicians. Their number included a chap, Elton John, who went on to do rather well for himself. There was also a young woman named Tina Charles and a bloke called Trevor Horn who graduated via this process.

Actually, in the interest of research for this piece, I played through my copy of Volume #18 – and it really wasn’t so bad. Stop laughing, it wasn’t! (Oh, all right – cut me some literary slack here, please.)

In total the Top of the Pops albums series, which ran to ninety-one regular volumes between 1968 and 1982, was like most things ‘Seventies’ – revered at the time; dismissed through ensuing decades, but now regarded with some kitsch fondness. Costing between 75p and £1.25 back in the day, many volumes can now be found online at around eight pounds.

Love them, loathe them or simply leave them, these early to mid Seventies compilations were certainly iconic of the decade.

Hello. My name’s Jackie. I’m a Sweet fan ….. and I love early Seventies Top of the Pops albums.

Volume #16 – March 1971



novelty that never wore off

George Cheyne: Glasgow March 2021

Right, class…we’re going to play a wee game of word association here.

If I say “World Cup qualification”, what’s the first thing that springs into those brilliant young minds?

Anyone? I know it’s been a long, long time, but may I remind you this is a history lesson and the subject is the 1970s.

What’s that, David? England, you say? Well, you can take that smug look off your face right now because that is wrong, wrong, wrong. Sure, England were at the 1970 World Cup – but they got a free pass, there was no qualification required.

Really, Torquil? The Scotland rugby team? Firstly, the Rugby World Cup didn’t start until 1987 and, secondly, if rugby is the first thing that springs into your mind, you should probably be in the advanced Higher class instead of being stuck in here with this lot.

Anyone else? What’s that, Johnny…Scotland? You’re on the right track but it’s only partially correct.

Okay, lesson over, the phrase I was looking for was novelty football songs.

The 70s charts were awash with teams belting out their tunes. You know the ones…terracing-style chanting backed up with some cheesy lyrics and fronted by a bunch of giggling players looking like they’d rather be anywhere else than in front of a mic.

It was big business. There were World Cup songs hogging the airwaves at the drop of a Mexican sombrero in 1970, a German tirolerhut in 1974 and an Argentinian gaucho hat in 1978.

Credit where credit’s due, the whole concept was kicked off by England’s 1970 squad singing Back Home.

It was just the nudge football needed to move into the marketing-savvy decade. Every player in Alf Ramsey’s squad was handed a Ford Cortina 1600E – quite the machine back then – and, of course, there was the Esso coin collection and other branded merchandise flying off the shelves everywhere.

That was the marker laid down for Scotland’s World Cup efforts in ’74 and ’78. There were Vauxhall Victors for Germany and Chryslers for Argentina.

From flashy suits to trashy tack, the merch and the money piled up. But it’s those anthems which stick in the mind from all those years ago.

Not that you’ll need any reminding, but here’s a guide to those novelty World Cup tunes of yesteryear.

Back Home – England’s 1970 squad.

Put together by Scot, Bill Martin and Irishman, Phil Coulter, the song somehow managed to avoid a jingoistic theme and settled for a more humble message and a strong connection with the fans who’d be watching the actions from their armchairs.

Cheesy lyric: “They’ll see as they’re watching and praying, that we put our hearts in our playing.”

Best lyric: “Back home, they’ll be thinking about us when we are far away.” 

Easy Easy – Scotland’s 1974 squad

Also penned by Bill Martin and Phil Coulter, the single abandoned any pretence of humility and instead dived head-first into the possibility that it was going to be easy for Scotland in Germany. Left some of the tub-thumping behind long enough in the middle of the song to personalise things by name-checking Willie Morgan and Denis Law.

Cheesy lyric: “Eanie meanie moe, get the ball and have a go and it’s easy..easy.”

Best lyric: “Ring a ding a ding, there goes Willie on the wing…ring a ding a ding, knock it over for the king.”

Ole Ola – Rod Stewart and Scotland’s 1978 squad

Not sure if Rod was influenced by samba or sambuca when this official single was put together, but it never really caught on. Lots of name-dropping within the tremendously-upbeat lyrics, the song also used Archie MacPherson’s TV commentary from the game Scotland qualified for the tournament.

Cheesy lyric: “Ole ola, ole ola…we’re gonna bring that World Cup back from over there.”

Best lyric: “There’s an overlap, good running by Buchan. Kenny Dalglish is in there. Oh what a goal! Oh, yes…that does it!”

Ally’s Tartan Army – Andy Cameron, 1978

This may not have been the official World Cup song, but it was the one that caught the imagination of the fans. All the talk of really shaking them up when we win the World Cup makes it a proper in-your-face tune and Andy Cameron even got to perform it on Top of the Pops.

Cheesy lyric: “We had to get a man who could make all Scotland proud, he’s our Muhammad Ali, he’s Alistair MacLeod.”

Best lyric: “We’re representing Britain, we’ve got to do our die – England cannae dae it ’cause they didnae qualify.”

It wasn’t only the World Cup which attracted this genre in the 1970s – booking a place in a cup final was closely followed by booking a place in a recording studio.

It meant all sorts of ditties were around in the decade and the novelty never seemed to wear off.

We had Good Old Arsenal (1971 double team), Blue Is The Colour (Chelsea’s 1972 League Cup final team), I’m Forever Blowing Bubbles (West Ham’s 1975 FA Cup final team) and We Can Do It (Liverpool’s 1977 side).

Scotland’s sporting heroes of the 1970s seem to have missed a trick here by not releasing novelty songs of their own when they were at their peak.

But it’s never too late to pay tribute to them, so – with a bit of a tweak here and there for the lyrics – here are the tunes which befit these stars.

Ian Stewart and Lachie Stewart

Gold medalists at the 1970 Commonwealth Games – Keep On Trackin’ (Eddie Kendricks)

Celtic

European Cup finalists 1970 – Hoops Upside Your Head (The Gap Band)

Ken Buchanan

World lightweight boxing champion 1970 – Ken You Feel The Force (Real Thing)

Jackie Stewart

World Formula 1 champ 1971 and 1973 – Life In The Fast Lane (Eagles)

Rangers

European Cup Winners’ Cup winners 1972 – Barcelona (Freddie Mercury and Montserrat Caballe)

David Wilkie

Two swimming gold medals at 1976 Montreal Olympics – Pool Up To The Bumper (Grace Jones)

Partick Thistle

League Cup winners in 1971 – Handbags and GladJags (Rod Stewart)

HANDBAGS and GLADJAGS

uncovering my tracks (part 1 & part 2)

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

Part #1: APPLE TREE AWAKENING

Do you recall the precise moment you became aware of music? Not the nursery rhyme, lullaby type stuff your exasperated parents would feel compelled to sing as you exercised your lungs at some god-awful hour of the night.

No – real music. The tunes that set you off on your personal musical odyssey. (See how I cleverly avoided using that dreadful ‘J’ word, just there?)

I grew up in a household filled with the sound of marching military bands and film soundtracks. The Royal Marines Bands Service and South Pacific still come back to haunt me. In fact, having asked my Dad what was the music of choice to get me settled when I was a nipper, I was horrified to hear it was ‘I’m Getting Married in The Morning,’ from the musical, ‘My Fair Lady.’

Sheesh! 1958 – even Pat Boone or Dean Martin would have almost passed as ‘cool’ then. But no – I must have been the most uncool six year old in Glasgow when I first became aware of some combo called The Beatles.

1964 – The Swinging Sixties and all that were just around the corner and the only reason I became aware of the biggest music phenonemon until Wet Wet Wet came along (‘J’ for joke) some twenty-odd years later, was because my father had written a banner with the words ‘She Loves You, Yeah, Yeah Yeah’ to stick on my Uncle Robert’s Triumph Herald on the day of his wedding. And even that was a year after the release date.

Unbelievably, it would be another five years before I eventually ‘got with it,’ as we would say. And I remember the precise moment.

I was climbing the apple tree in our back garden with my pals, when one mentioned the cartoon he had seen on TV (yeah, I know – apple tree / garden / TV – we were terribly middle class, not that I’m at all ashamed of that)

Cartoon? He said ‘cartoon?’ That was me – I was in. What was this ‘cartoon’ of which he spoke?


**********

Part #2: SWEET SWEET MUSIC

The first single and first album I bought. – read on!

In truth, it was the cartoon more than the music that commanded my attention of The Beatles and ‘Yellow Submarine.’

I was to remain blissfully unaffected by the hype surrounding the Fab Four for many more years. Indeed, even now, I don’t quite ‘get’ them. I know that amounts to something like heresy, but while I can appreciate their later work, I still have more time for each of John, Paul, George and Ringo’s solo efforts than that they produced together. In fact, ‘Back Off Boogaloo‘ would end up one of my favourite singles from 1972, the words being scrawled in an old-school Kolossal graffiti style across the cover of my English jotter.

Even at the age of ten, I railed against convention. Not for me, this accepting what was uniformly and blindly followed. Unimpressed with the biggest band on the planet, I was already showing a stubborn and ‘punk’ attitude.

I nailed my colours to the Ohio Express and The Scaffold masts in 1968.

1969 was another year more focused on football, Batman and Thunderbirds. I do, however, have vivid memories of returning from the annual Carnival with my Cub Scout Pack, on the top deck of a Glasgow Corporation bus, singing the latest big hit by The Archies.

I’m not so sure that was evidence of a musical maturing, though.

Being only eleven / twelve years old in 1970, my scant pocket money stretched only to a copy of Shoot! magazine, a pack of football related bubblegum cards and a handful of gobstoppers. Any money I saved would go towards buying a trick / joke item from Tam Shepherd’s magic shop in Glasgow city centre.

Music and records would not become a priority until the following year when at the age of thirteen I developed the ‘cool’ gene.

OK – maybe ‘cool’ is stretching it. But I was the only kid in school who owned a copy of ‘Kongos’ the debut album John Kongos in his own name. This was the first album I bought and paid for on my own, and came a few months after my first single, ‘Co-Co,’ by The Sweet.

It’s fair to say I got a bit of stick at school for my choices. But hey – nineteen years later, The Happy Mondays covered John Kongos’s ‘He’s Gonna Step On You Again.’ It was ‘cool’ then, wasn’t it?

One thing about the early Sweet singles was that while the ‘A’ side was of a pretty commercial, twee style, the ‘B” sides were infinitely more rocking. They had a harder edge, and I played them as much as the principal song.

My musical development was to take on a heavier bias.

TO BE CONTINUED …

**********

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.