Wednesday, August 3, 2011
1978: Baby set my heart on fire
It's coming up to Christmas 1978, and my next-door neighbour asked me if I wanted to go to her school Christmas party. Despite her being at a convent school in another town, I knew a lot of her schoolfriends and jumped at the chance, especially as her friend Chantal would be there.
This exotic creature, with her drainpipe jeans and loafers and prototype Susanne Sulley hairdo was a year older than me and obviously way out of my reach, but I could look. I could even touch...
As it was Christmas, and there was a disco, the nuns had decided to allow boys in, so I wasn't the only one. A pile of fishtail parkas in the vestibule gave it away on arrival, and I pinched a Who badge and attached it to my v-neck.
It was a proper disco, and in the middle of it was Chantal in her satin trousers, a goddess, twisting and writhing to Message In A Bottle and Best Friend's Girl and Hanging On The Telephone, her coterie dressed almost identically to her.
We all danced to everything - even trying out some fancy footwork to this Racey debut hit which was racing up the charts at the time, but which was quickly abandoned due to lack of any kind of skill.
During the course of the evening I half-jokingly asked my neighbour if she thought Chantal would mind if I touched her satin trousers. So she went and asked her. I was mortified. Her look said, 'as if I'd ever let someone like you come anywhere near me'. Cue scratch of needle on record signifying that the evening was over and rather large note to self.
That said, I did accidentally brush by.