Last week while the boys were away I launched a major assault on my &Duck website, adding a lot of my artist's books and a few of my design jobs (I haven't finished putting them all up yet, but I got a fair way in). In the process, I pulled down an archive box marked 'books' that had been sitting on top of a cupboard for the past five or so years, and discovered a treasure trove of things I had forgotten about. I'd assumed the box was old books I'd stashed, but in fact it was my storage box for student work and stuff I'd made in Bumblebee's infancy.
And down the bottom was... gasp! This:
Bought in England in 1979, this innocent notepad became my weekly obsession. I unpacked it in 1980, in steamy Townsville, where Colonel Duck was posted. Each Sunday evening I would sit cross-legged in front of the tv, and turn on Countdown. In the last ten minutes, I would scribble down the top ten as they were announced. I did this from September 1980 through to June 1981, when I ran out of room. I didn't start a new pad, instead I think I got a boyfriend sometime around that period, and therefore got the start of a life.
But it makes me all misty-eyed to look through the pages... what follows is merely a selection:
One of the things I love about these lists is the mix of music. None of this separation between mainstream and indie music that you get these days. I'm sure the lead singer of MiSex (who, BTW, my mother nearly ran over once in Townsville when he was supporting Split Enz, to my teenage awe and embarrassment) was trying not to vomit as Gavin announced this choice run-down of hits.
Check out the humour in 'MONGO ROCK'. I couldn't tell you if that was deliberate -- probably not, knowing the wide-eyed kidlet I was -- but it's ironic, because if I were asked to nominate the worst Australian performers of the early 80s I would, without hesitation, say Ross Wilson and Pat Wilson. And I only pinpointed in my mind why this afternoon as I was driving Bumblebee back from Cooma ahead of wild weather: smugness. They acted like they knew what Australians SHOULD be listening to, and bestowed that music upon us as if we should be grateful. And I hated them for it. They're probably very nice people, but I loathed everything Mondo Rock released, except 'State of the Heart'. And Bop Girl is going to pop music hell hot on the trail of Oh Mickey. BLAH!
The Leo Sayer Hit is actually More Than I Can Say, but I fluffed it and obviously never went back to it. That's always been my way... onwards, onwards, time for picking up the mess later (*snort* says BB and my mother).
Classic young teen, I flirted with coloured pens for a while. Can you believe the Slim Dusty number 1? It stayed in the top ten for a long time, as did Joe Dolce's Shaddupa you face.
But peoples, beware of using coloured pens for your precious documents, for this is what happens to the back of the paper!
My mother nearly fainted this week, with Dr Hook on the show. The only other time she swooned like that was when Shakin' Stevens was hosting. I can't remember this Abba song: On & On & On. Let's have a listen, shall we?
Oh yes. Frida's had better hair days. Not one of their best hits, is it? They sound as synthesised as that Cher hit a while back.
I love the way I keep writing Molly Meldrum in as if there could be a chance he wouldn't be there the next week. No wonder my parents thought I'd be a librarian. And -- *swoon* -- Suzi! I'd started spending my pocket money on singles around this time, and my collection closely correlates with many of the songs in this book. Well, the only other way of hearing new songs in Townsville was some horrible American relay broadcast on the local radio station on Saturday nights, running through the top 100 hits for that week. I didn't discover the cool stuff from this period until I got to university and got to plunder everyone else's record collections.
I can't begin to tell you about the thrill I got when I rediscovered this little gem. I thought I'd lost it, years ago! I think I'll make a proper solander box for this. Sigh!