A nice cup of tea

May 1, 2016

A nice cup of tea

Numerous celebrities have died so far this year. One of them was the last of the PG Tips chimps. I always preferred Typhoo Tea to PG Tips, yet as a child I persuaded my parents (and relatives) to buy PG tea for the whole of the 1960s just for the Brooke Bond collector cards contained within each pack.

In a recent book about Shakespeare (he died this year too…400 years ago though) there was the interesting information that until the discovery of Tea in the C18th and its eventual widespread adoption as the drink of choice for us here in the UK, the majority of the population went about their day pretty well continuously drunk. Alcohol such as Ale/Beer and later, Gin etc was far “safer” to consume than water straight from a well/stream/river. It didn’t seem to occur to people of the C17th and earlier to make the connection that perhaps they should also filter and boil water from rivers or wells before consumption too.

What on earth is this song about I used to think back in the pre-internet days of 1993 when it was first released. Well, the official video for the song shows umpteen images of college kids and the updated video shows them (20?) years later so I guess the song is about regrets of times past when the singer was a teenager. It’s the chorus that makes the song so memorable but the words are vague enough that I can’t really pin down what exactly he’s regretting. Perhaps lost youth or a failed relationship? Personally I say good riddance to 1974 and 1975.

Got no reason for coming to me
And the rain running down
There’s no reason
And the same voice coming to me
Like it’s all slowing down.
And believe me

I was the one who let you know.
I was your sorry ever after.
74 75

It’s not easy
Nothing to say cause it’s already said.
It’s never easy.
When I look on in your eyes then I find that I’ll do fine.
When I look on in you eyes then I’ll do better.

I was the one who let you know.
I was your sorry ever after.
74 75
Giving me more and I’ll define.
Cause you’re really only after
74 75

Got no reason for coming to me.
And the rain running down.
There’s no reason.
When I look on in you eyes then I find that I’ll do fine.
When I look on in your eyes then I’ll do better.

I was the one who let you know.
I was your sorry ever after.
74 75
Giving me more and I’ll define.
Cause you’re really only after
74 75

74 75
74 75
74 75

RNI World Service

May 1, 2016

rni

Radio Northsea International broadcast from International waters via the Mebo 2 from early 1970 until August 1974 (with a break between September 1970 and January 1971) on a variety of Medium wave frequencies at first before settling on 220m. They also broadcast on FM to Holland and often on 49m and 31m shortwave to the rest of the world. Interestingly, in 1971 and 1972 the daytime shortwave broadcasts on Sundays were in English supplied by the DJs on board, whilst 220m medium wave carried Dutch programming, only some of which was live. The rest of the Dutch daytime shows consisted of tape recordings prepared earlier on land as often happened with Radio Veronica. Evenings on 220m Medium wave usually reverted to live English speaking DJs from 7pm or 8pm onwards.

There are many many hours of recordings of RNI available around the Interwebs. If you click here or click the image below you can hear a recording of A.J. Bierens on RNI on Shortwave that I made on my (t)rusty Philips reel to reel tape recorder on a Sunday morning circa 1971/1972.

RNI

After August 1974 The Mebo 11 moved to the Mediterranean Sea and apparently ended it’s days being “used as target practice by the Libyan Navy in the 1980s and sunk in the Gulf of Sidra”.

Alan Class comics

May 1, 2016

Untitled

A steady stream of people continue to type “Alan Class comics” into search engines and, simply because I once posted a few cover images, they end up here. The place they really ought to visit is here where they can buy not only Alan Class comics but even still buy some of the printing plates used to produce the actual covers. A first in comic collecting?

Laya Raki

May 1, 2016

Laya

Do you remember those soft-porn “glamour” magazines of the 1950s and 1960s? There were loads but the only ones I can recall at the moment are Parade, Picture Goer and possibly Tit-bits? They weren’t top-shelf pornographic, but always had covers (and interiors) showing minor film star bikini babes. Laya was gorgeous enough to feature regularly.

laya raki

It seems that Laya’s real name was Brunhilde Marie Alma Herta Jörns and she was born in Germany. Her exotic looks ensured a career of thousands of semi-clothed pin-up pictures as well as a few films and TV series (The UK’s “Crane” from 1963-1965 being the most noteable). It is possible that she was photographed even more often than the legendary pin-up Bettie Page.

This little booklet features Laya.

LR

3D

In case

May 1, 2016

In case of fire

Honor House ads

Unusual comics

May 1, 2016

UnusualTales5

Although all Charlton comics are unusual, if not downright bonkers, some are more unusual than others. “Unusual Tales” appeared bi-monthly for a decade or so, finishing with issue No 49 in March/April 1965. All well and good. Two months later the comic continued with issue No 50, but now it was titled “Blue Beetle”. After five issues as “Blue Beetle” to March 1966 it then became “Ghostly Tales” in May 1966 which ran from issue No 55 to issue No 169 in October 1984. Charlton would finish publishing comics altogether within the next twelve months.

BlueBeetle50

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formerly

There is some sort of logic about all of the above. Yet somehow, someone at Charlton Comics decided to issue another comic that continued on from “Unusual Tales” 49. And No 50 in 1966 is part of Volume Two when Volume Three had already appeared a year earlier ?!? But as issue No 50 of “Shadows from Beyond” published in October 1966 ended up being a one-off anyway rather than the promised quarterly publication I guess it’s not important in the great scheme of things. Just another unusual comic that’s received a mention in this Blog.

formerly unusual tales

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ShadowsFromBeyond

Two more books

May 1, 2016

It was said five years ago that books would be obsolete in five years. I always thought that would be somewhat premature. Books are still being produced, although in smaller numbers than they used to be. In very small numbers regarding the two books I feature here!!

Weekly Music Charts

As the chart book says “Printed and Published by Amazon” I presume copies are only assembled as and when someone actually orders a copy. This book fails to address the main question I wanted answering. How and by whom were the Radio Caroline and Radio London charts compiled? Did they refer to charts published by the BBC/Musical Express/Melody Maker or just ask the DJs for this weeks favourite tune?? Or were records included in the charts by more sinister means? Perhaps money changed hands for the promotion of certain singles? It had happened in the States in the 1950s and it has been said that one of the main reasons Ronan started Radio Caroline was to give greater exposure to his roster of clients.

Radio Caroline Chart 8th April 1967

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Radio London Chart 9th April 1967

I’m bemused by the vast differences between the Caroline and London charts through the mid 1960s. For example in April 1967 there are only a handful of songs (seven!!!) that feature in the top 30 of both charts. If you listened only to Radio London you would be exposed to dozens of songs that never graced the Light Programme or Radio Caroline.

Holding the fort

In this book “Prince” Michael gives a fascinating insight into the behind-the-scenes machinations that led to his whole family squatting on an ex-Navy fort three miles out to sea for decades. Perhaps if he hadn’t been a mere 14 at the time, with the Government fearful of potential negative publicity, they may have been removed by military force in 1968 and the Principality of Sealand may never have been created.

Nuff Said 57

May 1, 2016

Microfiche comics

Another technological dead end from the early 1990s.

Herbie

May 1, 2016

The Fat Fury

Long before the VW Beetle of the same name there was THIS Herbie. Sometimes in plain clothes, sometimes wearing a sink plunger on his head as the world’s oddest superhero “The Fat Fury”, but always with (magic lollipop derived?) super powers far in excess of Superman himself, his adventures across time and space are totally bonkers. All 23 issues of his own comic from the 1960s have been available from Dark Horse for a number of years as three Archive volumes. All three books will cost you (not me) in excess of £100 though.

no kiss

The recent demise of Ronnie Corbett and the subsequent documentaries about his numerous television appearances prompted me to investigate the first sitcom where he was the star rather than a supporting actor. “No that’s me over here” was even worse than I could have imagined. The surviving episodes from London Weekend TV originally shown in 1970 (earlier episodes are lost) were written by the usually safe hands of Barry Cryer and Graham Chapman but I got the impression that Ronnie was making stuff up as he went along. He chattered away non-stop just as he did when sitting in his armchair for those Two Ronnies “monologues”.

No thats me over here

I puzzled why Ronnie (and his neighbour Henry McGee) went to work in dark suits and bowler hats. The place where they worked didn’t seem a “city” environment that would require such dress. In fact Ronnie never seemed to do any work at all. He just spent the day in the office acting like a naughty schoolboy. Plots of the three episodes I’ve watched so far involve Ronnie trying to act younger than he is in a futile attempt to date one of the office girls despite being married, going to the pub straight from work every night and getting very drunk despite his wife having a meal waiting for him and…..oddest episode of all…inviting neighbours round hoping for a “swinging orgy” despite his wife originally not being keen on the idea.

Why does his wife put up with him? I guess that’s how the world was in 1970. Men were in charge and women knew their place. 1970 was also the year when men’s fashion was extremely odd and when mini skirts were at their shortest. Ronnie seems to be constantly smoking and drinking and there is also some swearing. I wonder what time of night the episodes were originally shown?