Aah… summer sunshine, and my thoughts turn to Seventies school holidays and listening to Radio 1 in the garden. Clacton, Brighton, Blackpool – which lucky seaside town was hosting the wacky, tacky, prank-filled wonder that was the Radio 1 Roadshow this week?
On whose grey beaches had Smiley Miley unpacked his mighty truck? In which hotel corridors were incorrigible Ready and Noely and Diddy David letting off fire extinguishers and filling the shoes outside Kid Jensen’s room with shaving foam and piss?
Happy memories – but now, like so many of our memories of wholesome family entertainment on the radio, on TV screens and stages throughout the Sixties, Seventies and Eighties – there is a discomforting tarnish on that golden era, thanks to the corrosive effect of the Yewtree operation and its Herculean efforts to satisfy our current fervour for rooting out the deepest and darkest, the most sad and shaming secrets from our past.
And doesn’t it make collecting pop memorabilia a tricky business these days? I love leafing through this 1969 Radio 1 annual (the first one ever). For instance, when did you last see anyone dressed as impressively as Stuart Henry….?
Yet, now I suspect I’m supposed to feel embarrassed to own it, not least because there are several figures from the early days of Radio 1 in the annual who haven’t or wouldn’t pass the Yewtree propriety test. But if we become ashamed of holding memories of Radio 1 and its raucous roadshows, or Top Of The Pops, or It’s A Knock Out or thousands of hours of TV shows from 50 or so years ago – if we deny all that fun in the sun – then how impoverished and distorted will our past become for social historians of the future?
By the way, I do have a “Jim Fixed It For Me” soap-on-a-rope badge for sale, if anyone’s interested…
Post by David