Monday, January 9, 2012
1977: I nearly lost my head last night
Now that TOTP has glided into 1977 the memories are really kicking in.
As the very first entry in this blog explains, I was now on the very brink of being a fully paid-up member of the chartwatch brigade and record-buying public. What we see on our screens from now I was watching religiously back then, though I have to say some bits are sketchy. For example, I don't remember that Clodagh Rodgers song charting at all, though I was warmed to see that when this episode was shown she was trending on Twitter. Now THAT'S the kind of world I want to live in. Boney M were dreadful too weren't they? That orchestra has a lot to answer for.
What really jolted me though was the inclusion of Don't Give Up On Us by David Soul. My next-door-but-one neighbour, a girl a year older than me from a family of well-to-do if rather showy butchers - they had an ironing machine and went on the QE2 - we were fast friends with was mad mad mad on him. She played this record to death. On the Private Stock label, B-side Black Bean Soup. We heard it so much there was nothing we didn't know about it. She wasn't the only one going mental for him though. It was a classic case of girls wanted him, boys wanted to be him. Not so with Starsky, though Mrs P has confessed a soft spot for him over Hutch.
It's hard to imagine now unless you were there, but Starsky & Hutch was massive, wasn't it? I mean HUGE. No time was wasted in spin-off merchandise either, and my brother and I had annuals and toy cars, etc. However we never once bought the records. They didn't appeal. Soppy ballads in the main, though of course Silver Lady's a corker, suffering from weak production, but the rest you could keep. Especially this one. As '76 became '77 their fanbase just got stronger. But IIRC, by the end of the year fashions had changed.
Still, in the interim we never missed an episode. Saturday nights were Starsky & Hutch night. I don't remember many of the eps, except one in which Starsky's girlfriend died. Watching with our friends, the three siblings - girl, 13, boy, 12, girl 11 and my 11-year-old brother and 11-and-a-half-year-old me along with the teenager from their dad's shop sent to babysit us for the evening, the room became a river of tears. The babysitter looked rather uncomfortable with it all. It seemed it had got us right in the heart. Or were we just following the crowd? Anything the eldest did, we did too back then. At that moment I felt rather foolish.
I don't think I've ever cried at a TV show since. I've certainly never seen Starsky & Hutch since its first airing. Is it actually any good? Is there singing in it? It's one of the rare things I'd like to leave frozen in time. I can't imagine it's aged at all well, much like David Soul - and his music.