Friday, July 1, 2011
1974: Always loved to stay at home
It wasn't too often you got bands on Blue Peter, but this is one that really sticks in my mind, mainly because at the time it seemed so incongruous.
Though I preferred Blue Peter over Magpie, I was aware that it wasn't in the least bit trendy, despite Peter Purves' flares and slimfit shirts. It was like watching three teachers. But I couldn't be doing with the garish Magpie. Mick Robertson - an early crush of my wife's, I'm horrified to report - was just painful.
With his curly, unruly hair and denim he always looked like he was trying too hard. Watching him at work now he's got zero personality and the show is no less worthy than Blue Peter ever was. Whole episodes devoted to canals; right up a nine-year-old's street.
Crackerjack aside, pop didn't really seem quite at home on BBC Children's television. It was much more ITV, where you'd see Lift Off With Ayesha, the Marc Bolan show and the Bay City Rollers show. Pop was mass-market, cheap, brash, everything the BBC was not, until Cheggers started playing pop a few years later.
So it was a surprise to see Gary Glitter's erstwhile backing band popping up with their first hit and what was considered such a staid show. This rocking, stomping glam rock tour de force against the bare white of the BP studio clearly lodged itself in my brain. That, and it's a corker.