Google Analytics

Thursday, 26 December 2019

Young Thugs

The Beatles: Magical Mystery Tour

Tuesday, 26th December, 1967. Boxing Day. Went with Phil and Neville to see Magical Mystery Tour on television at the Lowther. You won’t bump into any teachers there but it’s not rough like some of the other pubs down by the docks.

No one in except Bloddo as usual standing on his own at the bar, grimy gabardine mac riding tight round his stomach, bicycle clips riding tight round his ankles. Phil noticed that his purple socks matched his purple nose.

Sat waiting for it to start at 8:35. Changed channel to BBC1. Bloddo muttered something under his breath about “young thugs”.

Who was he, I wonder all these years later. Where was he on Christmas Day when the pubs were closed? It wouldn’t have hurt to have asked would it? Casual indifference. Young thugs.

That’s how Phil remembers it. My version is different. It wasn’t Bloddo who called us thugs. I don’t think we even needed to change channel because David Frost was on when we arrived and Bloddo ogled the Breakaways. The TV schedule bears that out.

I think it happened afterwards as we walked rowdily home with three pints of beer inside. We passed a middle-aged couple arm-in-arm. The woman whispered “young thugs” which I overheard and repeated to Phil who fell into helpless drunken laughter: a mixture of pride and disbelief because three more unlikely young thugs there could never have been. Three grammar school boys! We were under-age drinkers if that counts. And young thugs.

Whose version is right? Is anything on this blog right? Were we called thugs twice?

But back to the Beatles’ film. It was rubbish. No plot. No structure. Just surreal events and silly-joke characters on a tour bus. Like ‘Buster Bloodvessel’. It didn’t help it was in black and white. Even when repeated in colour on BBC2 a week and a half later, hardly anyone, or any pub, had a colour set.

I still don’t like the songs. They have a strange, directionless feel, like that last directionless year at school, waiting for the van to come to take me away, the fool on the hill, the Bloddo at the bar, now I’d lost myself instead. You say,“Why?” And I say, “I don't know.” You fail exams on nights like that. 



17 comments:

  1. I had to watch it with my parents. I would rather have been out and being called a young thug. My mother moaned all the way through that it was rubbish, my father went to sleep and I just wanted it to be good even though I knew it wasn't and my mother to shut up. We reminisced about it in my film class recently and we all had the same recollection of it, our parents.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I'd never have admitted to parents I thought it was rubbish. Good to hear your film class isn't all highbrow and intellectual.

      Delete
    2. Who could be about the Magical Mystery Tour? Anyway most people aren't highbrow and intellectual, they're intellectual and normal like me, if you beat the highbrow out of them. Get me in a class and suddenly everybody is very down to earth.

      Delete
    3. Admit to my parents it was rubbish? No of course not. I went out and bought the EP next day.

      Delete
  2. And now you're an old thug. Full circle. LOL!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I'll come and get you with my knuckle dusters and bike chain.

      Delete
  3. I loved Fool on the Hill. The only modern bit of recorder solo (duo actually) that actually worked.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. The songs compare well with other Beatles songs at the time, showing their development, but they remind me of a time when I'd lost my way and felt confused and I suppose unhappy.

      Delete
  4. I have to wonder if there was some TV version of MMT on over here. Where is my little brother, when I need to ask him these questions. I hate being the last one standing!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. It seems you were not given chance to see it. Wikipedia tells us the music was released as an LP record there with the addition of some singles hits, but that the poor critical reaction to the film in the UK put American TV networks off. It was shown there in a cinema for charity in 1968 but not in commercial cinemas until 1974, and not on American TV until 1985.

      Delete
  5. Never watched it, but that old Radio Times made me smile. As a note of interest television programmes were bad then as they were on this Boxing Day.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. It's from an old newspaper online. I looked it up to check the date and time and thought it interesting to include the whole thing. I can remember most of the names in the BBC1 schedule but don't do well with the other channels. There can't be many of us now who remember Wally Whyton, or that the Gojos were predecessors to Pan's People on Top of the Pops.

      Delete
  6. Yellow matter custard
    Dripping from a dead dog's eye
    Crabalocker fishwife, pornographic priestess
    Boy, you've been a naughty girl
    You let your knickers down...

    Pure poetry Sir Tasker! Eat your heart out Percy Bysshe Shelley! And what about "The Fool on the Hill"?

    And nobody seems to like him
    They can tell what he wants to do
    And he never shows his feelings
    But the fool on the hill
    Sees the sun going down
    And the eyes in his head
    See the world spinning 'round, oh oh oh, 'round 'round 'round 'round

    It could conceivably have been about you - except for the fact that Lennon and McCartney never met you...did they?

    ReplyDelete
  7. Now I know why I never saw the film after reading the previous comments. I liked parts of the album. Like much of Dylan at the time the words made no sense. I think I never used enough drugs!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I don't think John Lennon believed the word meant anthying when he was writing I Am The Walrus. They were cobbled together from a variety of ideas and images.

      Delete

I welcome comments and usually respond the same day (unless it looks like you are trying to advertise something).