Thursday, February 2, 2012

1976: We'll share a dream

My dad was never into music. He couldn't understand why my brother and I were so into it as teenagers and can't really understand it now. While mum was the record buyer and had the radio on, dad spent from the Sixties onwards listening to speech radio. So the entire amazingness of those decades more or less completely passed him by.

Yes, he'd say the latest by Olivian Newton John was 'smashing', and he'd hear the odd pop song that would strike some kind of chord but other than that it was all down to us. But that wasn't to say he was averse to popping a record on, mostly when it was his cards night.

This mid-Seventies men-only midweek mingle was rotated around about five of his friends each month. So once every five or six weeks it was our turn to host. Our recently extended dining room was a model of Seventies chic. Orange shagpile carpet, huge lamps, large table and sideboard combo that would have made the cast of Abigail's Party green with envy. The dining room table would be temporarily covered in a green baize and the little poker chip lazy Susan would be dusted off. Peanuts were put in bowls and those little biscuit things in the shape of fish, the drinks trolley refreshed and that ruddy Demis Roussos album put on the stereogram. At last, some music he liked.

So Mum's out, dad's hovering in a cheescloth shirt with a plunging neckline, shark's tooth on a thong if you were really unlucky, and of course the requisite brown flares, waiting for hairdresser Aubrey, bank manager Adrian, Malcolm who ran a string of lucrative hardware shops, Glynn, who looked like he should be in the brothers and perhaps Scot Bill or American Don, whose idea this whole card night thing had been. But he was soon to return to the US never to be seen again, but that's another blog entry.

It was a heavy smoking event, it being 1976, and though we were discouraged from entering the gaming den, we were allowed to hoover up the snacks. I'm not sure how much money changed hands at these events, but it certainly wasn't for matchsticks.

Nights out at the Silhouette Club could only end in tears. Far better to be at home.


  1. Whenever I see Demis Roussos, I think of two things:

    1) Abigail's Party.
    2) That hijacking of an American airline in the 1980s.

  2. Ah, the unattainable glamour of being a grown-up in the seventies. I am awash with nostalgia for orange shagpile and lazy Susans now. I imagine that this is the scene just before the guests arrived.

  3. That's more less it exactly, RS. Throw in some double french doors and you get the picture.

  4. What a perfect Seventies ensemble, right down to a Brothers lookalike and a hairdresser called Aubrey. And did you inherit the shark's tooth?

  5. My brother and I looked for it in vain. It didn't last long as it was roundly mocked. We've not dared speak of it since.