Friday, December 30, 2011

Dear Diary:1980 - December. The Last Post

It seems fitting that after two years and 24 posts, as Dear Diary reaches it's last entry - so we finish on King of the Blingers, Jimmy Saville who also bowed out with a closing coda this year. Light on entries but heavy on celebrations (three birthdays,  Christmas and New Year's Eve) -  a couple of moments to note include...

My First Concert: Adam and the Ants at Chelmsford Odeon (13th) - as we've mentioned previously an absolute skull-cracker of a gig, during the brief transitional shift when Adam was slowly shedding the hardcore of mohicans and kilted fans that had dragged around behind him as the shadowy Ant People - before the pre-teen/ Televisual crowd massed on the now cavalary jacketed Adam (with newly installed songwriting team-mate Marco Pirroni). The Chelmsford audience for this date was a sweaty swell of ructious skins and punks snarling, scrumming and thumping lumps out of each other at stage front, to a point where Adam had to stop the performance midway through one number - to bark at a hot-spot of rucking punks/skins..

The Shadow of The Damned: from the earliest Dear Diaries well May 79 - the as it happens (not in  the Jimmy Saville sense) output of those first-past-the-post(s) punks have been rendered and recorded with regular entries. December 80 sees The Damned at their most dynamic - a one off Christmas curiosity single - There Ain't No Sanity Clause and the widescreen genius of double LP The Black Album. Not surprisingly my second gig and follow-on to the Ants outing was The Damned at the Lyceum 5th July 1981 for their fifth anniversary gig with a setlist supporting the Black Album (details here)..

Now and then: all singles bagged December 1980

The Quinn Martin style epilogue: If, back then, some anonymous bod, had told me  'in 2011 you'll write the sleevenotes and interviews for Marco Pirroni's latest album (The Wolfmen - Married to the Eiffel Tower), and rattle off 8 pages of overviews  and interviews for a magazine cover feature on The Damned' - it really would have scrambled my teenage brainwaves. In fact it scrambles my middle aged brainwaves now.. I mean, really, who'd a thought?

To borrow a question from Marc Bolan - whatever happened to the teenage dream? Well in this case, it came true!

So that's it chums - we're all done with Dear Diary. If you've been in from the beginning, a huge thank you is due for sticking around - if you've been a dipper-in or occasional grazer of these scribbled bits - a tip of the titfer is due to you too.

What's next - there's a new monthly motif possibly lined up for 2012. A magazine based take on vintage times - but more on that in Jan. So until then, have yourselves a hoot for hogmany, a knees-up of a New Year's Eve - and I'll catch you next year x

The singles list is fairly sprightly, but beware the album chart - a giddy mix of nutty comps, new wavers and A O R-tists

Top 75 singles

The Damned - There Ain't No Sanity Clause


John Medd said...

Another classic from J Saville's wardrobe; this is almost formal wear for him. I'm sure you and Piley could put a montage together of his best (and worst) track & shellsuits. You can use my strap line if you like: Trackies Of My Years.

Happy New Year to you and yours. J x

Ishouldbeworking said...

Ah, I shall miss these diaries. But your purchase of a Crombie that month does point to you entering a whole new phase of development, so I suppose it was time to move on.

Thanks for sharing them. All the best for 2012 to you and your Sarfend crew - here's to another year of musical merriment!

davyh said...

It's a Quinn Martin-style Epilogue on the LOTR we need.

HNY Mond x

Cocktails said...

What you didn't buy chart topper 'There's no one quite like Grandma'?!

Happy New Year to you (and a belated Happy Birthday too!).

Drakeygirl said...

RIP Dear Diary. Just like Sir Jim, these posts should be buried in a gold coffin and fondly remembered (apart from the dubious elements).

Mondo said...

Trackies Of My Years *makes note*

ISB - you are bang on, the Crombie was a key to a 'a whole new phase' - incredible are you psychic or owt!

Sadly there was no final resolve with LOTR Davy. All left in the dangle - literally! And same to you and h'all the Hs.

Cheers Cocktails Did I mention I'm back working just round the corner from you now?

Is that my dubious calendar elements or Sir Jim's D?

Cocktails said...

No, you didn't Mondo. And clearly I have failed to mention to you that I have left my job. I'm currently working from home, so instead of spending all my money at Rough Trade and the Record Fair, I'm now on ebay all the time...

Simon said...

Happy New Year mate. Have a good un!

Mondo said...

Working from home - sounds fab cocktails. And what's the Bay breakdown - mostly a buyer or a seller?

Cheers Simon and to you and all way out west

drew said...

All the best to you and yours Mondo when it comes.

Matthew Rudd said...

A fine end to the series. In December 1980 a certain Liverpudlian was shot dead in New York, of course, so I expect having diaries for the era makes it easier to decipher where you were when you heard the news.

Antmusic, might I add, is the only Adam and the Ants song that doesn't prompt a walkout to the smoking area during a commercial 80s night. It's a harrowing thought but true.

I did wonder if there would be mention of St Winifred's School Choir when I saw the date of the diary entry, but no. I'm not sure whether I approve or not. At the very elast you could have told us what your grandma(s) made of it. One of mine kept dropping hints about a Christmas or birthday present (she was born on December 24th) whereas the other didn't have a clue.

As always Mondo, compelling stuff and a happy new year to you and yours. If Howard Jones does a gig near you in 2012, go on my behalf.