Day 2 – The Sweet - Blockbuster
Blockbuster was my first real favourite song. I begged my dad to buy the single and when I looked into his eyes all I saw was despair, not only at the state of modern music but also at the fact that his eldest son, the boy who would carry on the family name, had succumbed to the death of music (in his eyes).
He wouldn’t buy it for me so I had to make do with snatches from the radio and the rare opportunities we had to watch Top of the Pops.
My mum was beginning to fall in line with my dad’s opinions too. Both of them hated the fact that the band had long hair and wore make-up – something that was wholly unacceptable in my dad’s eyes.
I distinctly remember him referring to them as a bunch of “men dressed as women”, which I found a little hypocritical because he loved the old form of musical entertainment where men like Danny La Rue really DID dress up as women.
The dawning of this song was the first time my dad realised that he was getting out of touch with the youth of the day and his own youth too.
When the song was released in 1973, he was only 26 years old but life was different then; he had three young children and a full time factory job. My mum didn’t work and money was scarce.
My pleas for music fell on deaf ears and not just because of his hatred of the song.
We didn’t have a car or a telephone and any holidays were limited to day trips to Rhyl or Blackpool on a coach, although later we would actually start going on holiday for a week or two to places like Brighton.
My dad’s only luxury was a tiny Honda 50, a little motorbike that got him to work more quickly and conveniently than the buses. We had to travel everywhere else by bus, which was irritating, particularly in winter.
Other kids I knew seemed to be better off. I went to a Catholic junior school in Walsall and since it was one of only a couple, the other kids who attended came from all walks of life. It was during this time that I began to realise exactly what money could buy. Some kids in my school were as badly off as we were but others were spoilt rotten. You could tell at Christmas when the income gap was at its most noticeable. The last week before the Christmas holiday was always spent playing games brought in by the kids. The richer kids had a massive number of games – they were spoilt for choice. Thankfully they were multiplayer and we could all join in.
Around that time we had a school disco. The teachers told us that we could bring in our own records and we would be allowed to dance to them. I had no records. The rich kids seemed to have loads; Slade, T Rex; even the dreaded Osmonds.
I felt a little hurt and several seeds were sown around this time. I would be able to have enough money to buy what I wanted and, perhaps more importantly, I would not look down on others who didn’t have as much as I did. These seeds would grow in the coming years, particularly when I encountered even bigger income gaps when I went to secondary school.
I look back on Blockbuster with a fair bit of nostalgia. I loved the Glam Rock scene; and another seed was sewn, one that wouldn’t germinate for a few years – a love of rock music.
Not something my dad would look forward to at all.