Wednesday, 14 September 2016

Bar Mitzvah Boy - September 14th 1976

Talk about over compensating, how's this for the most boring diary entries ever - seriously, is there an interesting word in these two pages? - balanced by one of the niftiest layouts. 

I'm not sure how many teeth I thought I had (to be honest I'm not sure how many teeth I really do have, but I'll have a guess that it's not that many) but the design's pretty original isn't it?

The TV's pretty much a cross section of everything you think was on the telly in the 70s. If they made one of those "I remember the 1970s" talking heads shows and only mentioned Nationwide, The Sweeney, The Tomorrow People, George & Mildred, Some Mothers Do Have Em, Play For Today, Mastermind, Supersonic and Angels, you'd go "yeah, that's pretty much it" wouldn't you?

Records for the Day, both disco classics from the days before irony and pop music had been introduced.

Kev F Sutherland, as well as writing and drawing for The Beano, Marvel, Doctor Who et al, runs Comic Art Masterclasses in schools, libraries and art centres - email for details, and follow him on Facebook and Twitter. View the promo video here

The Scottish Falsetto Sock Puppet Theatre do Shakespeare played at the Gilded Balloon at the Edinburgh Fringe August 2016. On Tour through Spring 2017.

Tuesday, 6 September 2016

Snerks? 4th Sept 1976

Among the familiar items in this flashback from 1976 we have the start of new series of Doctor Who, Tiswas, The Two Ronnies, and The Generation Game. And a hidden gem in the form of Lucky Feller, the sitcom written by Terence Frisby, about which I only just had a chat last week with his son Dominic off of the Sitcom Trials. Dominic's loaded some episodes online, let's check them out together.

But what is Simon Simon? A 1970 Silent Comedy? That's not Mel Brooks Silent Movie? That's ringing no bells. The same goes for the Records For The Day. Nice and Slow by Jesse Green? I'm guessing that describes its ascent up the chart.*

But the haziest memory for me is not the "circular haystacks" (any kid from the 70s remembers those), or the nine week summer holiday I describe (the 1970s, you had to be there). It's me painting my guitar. Oil painting my guitar. Oil painting my three string guitar? Maybe these are pages from someone else's diary?

Also Harry North, artist and writer of Doctor On The Go, what does Snerks mean? Answer Me!

*In order to complete this blog I googled Jesse Green's NIce & Slow. Of course I totally remember it. Just not his name or its title. Sorry Jesse, wherever you are. PS, do you know what Snerks is?

Kev F Sutherland, as well as writing and drawing for The Beano, Marvel, Doctor Who et al, runs Comic Art Masterclasses in schools, libraries and art centres - email for details, and follow him on Facebook and Twitter. View the promo video here

The Scottish Falsetto Sock Puppet Theatre do Shakespeare played at the Gilded Balloon at the Edinburgh Fringe August 2016. On Tour through Spring 2017.

Wednesday, 27 July 2016

Comic reviews, cycling & cows - July 27th 1977

I reviewed a lot of comics in my teens, to no avail, for no actual audience. Yet I designed my diary as if it was as widely read as a twenty first century blog (well, more widely read than this 21st century blog. But, you know, a proper one). Check out the "Coming Soon" box. "An exciting new addition to this diary" is advertised. If you can use the word "advertised" when no-one's actually looking.

As for what the exciting new addition was, I can't imagine. I can tell you that, at the end of these two pages, I cycle out to a field and do a drawing of a cow. Who says my life wasn't a roller coaster of adventure?

The Records For The Day were a mix of songs that went on to be legendary and songs that went on to be virtually untraceable on Youtube.

Friday, 17 June 2016

Kneeling? What's that about? - October 21st 1976

An odd entry this, because I hadn't posted it up here on the blog until the BBC People's History Of Pop asked for a scan of it, following the interview I did with them earlier in the year. So this is clearly one of the spreads I thumbed through and read from, but not one that I'd uploaded yet. I can only remember referring to the passage about kneeling.

It reads "Lunchtime: Nick & I went to the music rooms and met some of those friendly fifth years. At least Nick did some kneeling - and if there hadn't been three of them...". So it would appear we were being bullied in the fourth year, and for the life of me I have no memory it whatsoever. I haven't read the earlier entries which might give us more of a picture of what was going on. I shall have investigate.

My Records For The Day, which is where People's History Of Pop's interest in my diary comes from, are outstandingly unmemorable. Does anyone remember The Coffee Song by Osibisa or One Love In My Lifetime by Diana Ross?

Friday, 10 June 2016

Asbury & Burns - June 10th 1977

The comic strip panels that I most chose to cut out and stick in my teenage diary came from Look-In, which was the only comic with full colour painted artwork, printed on glossy paper. Sure the Marvel reprints had glossy colour covers, but Look-In would feature two double-page action strips and a single page humour strip, along with another half dozen black & white strips, all of the highest possible quality of art, every week.

Harry North, Mike Noble, Arthur Ranson and Bill Titcombe were among the other artists wrapped in a painted cover by Arnaldo Putzu, who'd previously been most famous for the Carry On movie posters. And above we see two of my favourites, Martin Asbury - doing the Six Million Dollar Man - and John M Burns - doing The Bionic Woman.

John is still working, drawing regularly for 2000AD and is still at the top of his game, the grand master of painted comic strip artwork. His draughtsmanship is unequalled, and his stylistic flourishes constantly imaginative. I learned (and long ago forgot) everything I ever knew about drawing the folds in clothing from copying John M Burns.

Martin Asbury, no fool he, made the sensible and lucrative move into storyboarding movies, working on 7 James Bond movies from Goldeneye to Skyfall, as well as two Harry Potter films and Labyrinth.

My Records For The Day today straddled the fine line between quaint and naff. I'd clearly misheard the Alessi Brothers, but the far less memorable Gene Cotton was getting mentioned for the second time.

Thursday, 19 May 2016

David Soul & Ray Clemence - May 20th 1977

I knew little and cared less for football in 1977, and to be honest nothing much has changed, so caricatures of Ray Clemence and Alex Stepney are an unusual inclusion in my diary. I'm guessing they were the keepers in that year's FA Cup Final? Someone can Google it for me, I'm sure. David Soul is much more in keeping with the usual content of my diary.

That said, it's an unusually absent-minded spread of diary pages, by my usual anally-retentive standards. I've managed to list only one Record For The Day, and I've totally forgotten to put a date on Thursday's entry. I seem to have been quite shaken by the events of the day (I'm happy to report that the subject on Thursday's entry is still alive and well).

Monday, 9 May 2016

The How Many Million Dollar Man? - 10th May 1977

It's hardly a major typographical error, more a prediction of the effects of inflation over the subsequent years, but I seem to have slightly mis-credited the illustration by Martin Asbury that I've used on May 10th 1977's diary. The TV series and comic strip were The Six Million Dollar Man, not the Six Thousand Million Dollar Man. Sorry it's taken me 39 years to get round to spotting that.

Another Giles cartoon has faded over the years, and right beside it we see 21. The third instalment of the series that began in 1963 as Seven-Up, this was my first encounter with Michael Apted's historic programme, following the lives of children born around 1955. The next instalment of this series will be in 2019, by which time the survivors of the original programme will be 63.

The text of my diary is rarely the most interesting part, but here we see the band, Walter Tottle, gearing up for an imminent gig. Given that we played about three gigs a year, and fewer than a dozen in our entire career, this is a momentous occasion indeed. Of which, of course, not even a photograph let alone a recording survives. It's hard to imagine it nowadays, but back in the 1970s, it was only a diary written in felt tip pen that recorded any of these passings. Kids today.

My Records For The Day were par for the course, both being minor hits, neither being all that cool.