Thursday, August 16, 2007

Where were you?


It was thirty years ago today!

1977
I was in Belgium attending an International course for science teachers.

I assure you that this sort of thing was not usual. A feminist inspector had nominated me. Manchester Education Committee agreed to foot the bill.

All the lectures were in foreign so we just ignored them and had a fine time. On the first evening the champagne reception put most of us out of action for a couple of days.

On one particular evening I had been dancing on the table in a very seedy underground dive of a nightclub. I staggered/crawled back to my hotel room and flicked on the radio.

My God these Belgians like Elvis.

An hour later I stirred from the drunken haze - still Elvis.

Summat strange I thought - he must be dead.

I had been his no 1 fan.

But by this time I'd lost interest. I wasn't that bothered. I needed some sleep to prepare for the next day's drinking.

How did I do it?

When Kennedy died I was at a sixth form conference in Wigan.
When Bob Marley died I was saving my mum from a chip pan fire.
I can't tell you about John Lennon.

KAZ


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33 Comments:

Blogger Dave G said...

I was at home clearing my studio out the morning of Lennons death, amongst the things I threw out were all my old eight track tapes, all the beatles albums and Lennons. I kept Shaved fish and Imagine for some reason. Weird. The chip pan fire sounds like it could be a good post, Super Kaz saves the day (and her mum).

4:12 pm  
Blogger garfer said...

My mother popped her head round my bedroom door to tell me the king was dead.

To tell you the truth I wasn't that botherered, being more into Brotherhood of Man at that point in time.

Uh, huh, huh.

4:24 pm  
Anonymous Piggy and Tazzy said...

I was eating a sausage sandwich while playing on my Atari when I was dogging school.

4:49 pm  
Blogger MJ said...

What is it with Brits and chip pan fires?

4:51 pm  
Blogger MJ said...

Piggy, you were at dogging school? I'm surprised you weren't teaching the course.

4:53 pm  
Blogger Geoff said...

I was probably playing tennis.

His death meant nothing to me though my mum and sister suddenly became Elvis fans and went to see that musical which made a star of Shakin' Stevens. I think it was called ELVIS The Musical.

5:10 pm  
Blogger Dave said...

Is Elvis dead?

5:26 pm  
Blogger KAZ said...

Dave:
Were 8 track tapes reel to reel?
I'll try and rewrite the chip pan fire a bit to make it a good story.

Now where did I get that idea from ??

Garfer:
Oh the shame.
Elvis was only great for a few years - but he was GREAT!

P & T:
Was that before or after you were a vegetarian?
And I blame you for all my 'dogging in Barnsley' searches.

mj:
It's cheaper than going to the chip shop.
And you ..see above ...for dogging in Dorset.

Geoff:
Snappy title.

Maybe you aren't accused of this often Geoff - but *You are just too young*

It was a 1957 thing.


Hello Dave:
How insensitive of me.
I should have broken it to you gently.

5:55 pm  
Blogger Liz said...

I was only 10 when Elvis died. We were living in Oxfordshire temporarily and I remember being in Centre News in Wantage and they were playing wall-to-wall Elvis over the PA. My Mum told me that Elvis had died and that's why they were playing his music, but I don't think I really knew who he was then.

John Lennon's death had a greater impact as I was that bit older and knew perfectly well who he was. I was ill in bed with tonsilitis when Lennon's death was announced. I listened to Radio 1 all day - Andy Peebles had only recently returned from interviewing the great man in New York and they were playing bits of the interview interspersed with Lennon and Beatles tracks.

I missed Bob Marley's death entirely - I was away camping in an effort to get my Bronze Duke of Edinburgh's award. No one brought a radio or indeed any other kind of music device - can't imagine teenagers going anywhere without a music player of some kind nowadays.

6:12 pm  
Blogger Old Wom Tigley said...

What a great way of remembering things, get everything to happen on the days celebs die...

Love Me Tender... don't worry Kaz that no a request it was my favourite song by Elvis ;)

6:35 pm  
Blogger stitchwort said...

Bob Marley dead?

Oh yes, of course, his ghost was in the Muppet Christmas Carol, wasn't it?

7:20 pm  
Blogger Arabella said...

I was canoodling with my first serious boyfriend in the front room, when The Mother popped her head round the door with the news about Elvis.
Any member of The Stranglers and I'd have been devastated.
Took me another ten years or so to take any notice of him.
Off to play Viva Las Vegas!

8:31 pm  
Blogger Ackworth Born said...

I heard it on the radio. I was driving down the B6194 from Ashton to Oldham (the back road) and passing Cockfields Farm at the time.

I don't remember when I heard about John Lennon and I'm not exactly sure who Bob Marley is/was.

My favourite Elvis song was Old Shep followed by Wooden Heart!

oh dear, you've got me humming it now -- it'll be in my head all night!

9:14 pm  
Blogger SL said...

Lennon - you were having sex weren't you...

9:58 pm  
Blogger KAZ said...

Liz:
Poor Bob died before the i pod. But I bet someone had a walkperson under their sleeping bag.

Wom:
Ah - 'Love me Tender'.
Did you see the film?
Not much of Elvis - but what a screen presence.

Stitch:
Nice one Stitch.

But I thought that was Alec Guiness.

Arabella:
I have to say that by 1977 I too would have been more upset by a member of the Stranglers.

It was good that Elvis had a late posthumous surge.

Gerald:
I recorded Old Shep on my reel to reel through the mike.
In the middle of recording my dog barked.

So years after my dog had joined old Shep in doggy heaven I had a tearful reminder.

sl:
It was complicated - but you are not wrong.

10:26 pm  
Anonymous NiC said...

On holiday with my parents, probably for the last time, just done my O levels. I was into punk by then and had definitely lost any feeling for poor old Elvis.

10:43 pm  
Anonymous Diddums said...

I don't think I had even heard of Elvis - I didn't watch TV much (no captioning)...

11:41 pm  
Blogger The [Cherry] Ride said...

I was in a friend's basement playing a board game called "Mousetrap." I barely knew who he was.

For Lennon, I was lying in bed and could hear the news announce from my parent's room.

2:31 am  
Blogger KAZ said...

NiC:
1977 - the year of the punk!

I watched the Elvis documentary last night which confirmed that he was only good for a few years until Colonel Parker took over.

He preferred the money... footballers please note.

Diddums:
You can get subtitles most of the time now - thanks to digital.
However they are a bit phonetic and wierd.

I saw 'Eddie Shah' for additional.

the [Cherry Ride]:
I never played Mousetrap - apparently it had an ingenious plastic structure to build.
Better than little wooden houses eh?

6:43 am  
Blogger Murph said...

Dancing on the Tables at a Science Teacher's Conference?!!!

Mind you I bet they were Periodic Tables or Log Tables.

10:47 am  
Anonymous Piggy and Tazzy said...

Kaz - It was before I was veggie.

I was 15 years old.

My veggieness started when I was about 28.

11:09 am  
Blogger KAZ said...

Murph:
You've heard the phrase 'Easy as falling off a log'.

So, considering my state of inebriation, I'm glad it was a periodic table.

Piggy:
But you're only 29 now aren't you!

I was glad to see from your recent post that you don't overdo the cake.

I like a healthy lad.

12:00 pm  
Blogger The British Bird. said...

I was 15 and more interested in boys that I should have been, my mum said I should have been concentrating on deciding what I wanted to be when I grew up. I still dont know!
I remember all the bawling though.
Theres people that SWEAR Elvis is still alive ad kicking, working in a 7/11 somewhere.
I hope I dont die on the crapper in a pool of my own vomit, poor guy.

1:01 pm  
Blogger KAZ said...

Hello Brit Bird:
Such a shame that we only remember Elvis as a tragic figure.
Pity he didn't die earlier when he was at his talented best - like James Dean.

9:36 pm  
Blogger tony said...

when Lennon got shot,I was living in Northwich,Cheshire.I bought a copy of Liverpool Echo.Banner headline something like "John Lennon Shot Dead" I didnt keep.It would be worth a lot now?
Elvis?I was babysitting my neices in Burnley.........the moral of this story,? Bad Things Happen when in North West?:)

10:28 pm  
Anonymous NiC said...

I've just read the post again...somehow I missed the somewhat salient point that you were in Belgium at the time of getting the news. My commiserations. I used to have to got to Belgium for work when I was a scientist too. I didn't care much for it.

5:39 pm  
Blogger KAZ said...

Tony:
Burnley's a bit like Belgium really - both begin with B, have pasty faced people and are a bit out of touch.

I'm always in the North West (ouch!)

NiC:(See above)

Work didn't really enter into it - so it's a shame we weren't in Paris or somewhere a bit more exciting.

Not that I'd have noticed.

6:01 pm  
Blogger tony said...

Ha-Ha Belgium & Burnley! At least if your passing through Belgium a fair chance your on the way to somewhere interesting (ie Amsterdam!!!)
If you pass through Burnley.all you have ahead of you is Blackburn!

8:28 pm  
Blogger Gareth said...

I was seven , I probably had no idea who he was.

8:30 pm  
Blogger KAZ said...

Tony:
Ah yes - but at least Blackburn has the wonderful Rovers.
Ewood is where I leared to love footie.

But I'd still rather go to Amsterdam - where they really love their reggae.

Gareth:
OK - but you'll be as old as me one day.

Guess what - I was searching for a picture of champagne earlier today and ended up at your blog!!

11:13 pm  
Blogger tony said...

Ah The Rovers Return!
Check out this site for some fine Elvis Photos!

6:04 pm  
Anonymous Piggy and Tazzy said...

It feels like I've been waiting since 16th August 197 for you to do a new post now.

7:18 pm  
Blogger KAZ said...

Tony:
Thanks. What a great site.
I got so involved that I burned my pizza - don't worry I had a spare.

P&T:
It's OK - I'll supply the other 7 - you just carry on waiting!

7:30 pm  

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