Words from a Bird. Day 26
Listening to Ian Dury singing 'Sex and Drugs and Rock and Roll' this afternoon, it crossed my mind as to how old I was before I realised that it was childhood polio which crippled him, rather than being an affected pose for stage purposes. I suppose I would have been around 15 when he appeared on Top of the Pops, so it set me wondering how many other things I was unaware of when growing up.
We might as well get Boy George out of the way first. To start with, I didn't realise that he was a fella, and when that particular penny finally dropped, it didn't even cross my mind that he might bat for the other side. There were many others who also failed to trigger my 'Gaydar'. Larry Grayson - frequent use of the name Everard should have been a clue. Then there was Mr Humphries of 'I'm free' fame, Liberace (say no more), and Kenny Everett. Kenny was a tricky one, alternating between Sid Snot (macho, leather, studs) to Cupid Stunt (Dolly wig, huge boobs and a beard).
As many of you will know, I am a huge fan of Meatloaf, and spent the years between 1977 (release of Bat out of Hell) and 1981 (release of Dead Ringer) insisting that his last name was Loaf, and that Meat must be short for something. Please accept my apologies Mr Marvin Lee Aday......
Then there were the singing duo, Sparks....not entirely to blame for this one. My dad insisted that the moustachioed one was Adolf Hitler's illegitimate love child. I knew that they were brothers (I had Jackie magazine to thank for that) but still didn't question my dad's claims re Ron Mael's loose connections to the Fatherland.
I also believed that Valerie Singleton, Peter Purves and John Noakes all lived together in one house with the Blue Peter dogs, that wrestling hurt, and that David Cassidy was actually a girl called Priscilla (my dad once again - he hated long hair on a man).
Going back to music, I didn't realise that Pans People were meant to be a sexy diversion for the dads (thought they were just brought on if the group/singer was busy that night). I also believed that TOTP was filmed live, the bands really sang, and that the audience were enjoying themselves. All wrong, of course.
So it would seem that I trolleyed through my early years in blissful ignorance to all that was going on around me.
Reality is not all it's cracked up to be, you know...