Did anyone ever know Jimmy Savile (apart from his mother)? Behind the hair, the cigar, the tracksuits, the jewelry, the charity work, and the colourful, now then now then public personality he was a peculiar old bird with perhaps some dark and dodgy corners and a lot of whispers about his private life. But I don’t want to go there because I have no idea and neither does anyone else either, for someone who was famous for so long he remains a bit of an enigma. But his place in British pop history is secure at least because he was there from the beginning on our televisions and radios and, like him or not, was the face presenting many of our happiest pop memories.
All the old TOTP presenters liked to have pretty young girls standing next to them but none more than Jimmy (who sometimes veered into dirty old man territory) and this must have taken some determined organizing.
PS: Don’t Frida and Agnetha look terrific in this?
I’m sure you don’t need yet another reminder that you’re getting older but today is the 25th anniversary of the Live Aid concert. Yes, it was a quarter of a century ago. I had conflicting feelings about the event at the time, being a cynical young lefty student who had absorbed the anti-hippy attitudes of punk at an impressionable age I was a bit sniffy about the idea of pop stars thinking they could change the world by singing a few choruses of “Give Peace A Chance”, especially when those pop stars included Nik Kershaw and Howard Jones. And looking back we can “blame” Live Aid for the fact that nearly every major tragedy since has come with it’s own usually-dreadful charity single and worthy televised celebathon.
But it’s easy to sit on the sidelines lobbing snarky grenades at other people’s good intentions or blame Bob Geldof for not overthrowing international capitalism instead, and I wasn’t enough of an arrogant prick to begrudge the fact that at least someone was doing something and what I thought about their records or motives or haircuts was beside the point. Though those feelings never led to me actually giving any money to Live Aid, something I felt a little guilty about that summer particularly as I had donated quite a few quid to support the families of striking miners.
So I wasn’t entirely caught up in the whole thing and actually missed the first part of the concert as I was on a train back to London from Kent where my second year of art college had ended the day before and I’d been to an end-of-term party. Though I was a little miffed at missing The Style Council I don’t remember feeling that I’d missed the moon landing or the first half of a World Cup final or something because, to me, it was just a charity rock concert and it was only as the day went on that it became this massive, history-making, must-see global EVENT that we all know it as today — I think even Geldof and Midge Ure were a little surprised at the scale of what they had started.
But I must have thought Live Aid was important enough to have kept The Daily Mirror from the following Monday who did one of their great wraparound covers for it (click here for a full-size image of the whole thing). In case you’re wondering what was on the telly that night, the BBC were showing ‘Allo ‘Allo while on ITV there was a repeat of The Sweeney plus Des O’Connor Now with guest Engelbert Humperdinck.