Thursday, 18 December 2008

CHRISTMAS MESSAGE

In keeping wi' abody else, I'm gonna have a wee xmas break. So no more posts till January.
A big THANKS for all your comments. Good to know you're enjoying looking back at Dundee life during the 60s,70s & 80s.
Any newcomer to Retro Dundee who is not too sure of the layout, here's a wee guide:
When you visit the blog, not all the material will be on view, you will only see a few of the most recent posts on the page. To view ALL the items, go to the "BLOG ARCHIVE" to the left of the posts and click on any month to view that months material and scroll through them.
If you want to leave a message, there is a small "COMMENTS" feature at the bottom right of each post, again just click onto it if you have something to say.
Those of you who are regulars, my break might be a good time for you to backtrack over the older posts again to read the comments. There are a lot of amusing ones as well as many with added extra info.
I've still got loads of stuff to put on...so stay tuned and I'll be back in full flow early January.
CHEERZ GG

Wednesday, 17 December 2008

SWITCHING THE XMAS LIGHTS ON - 1980'S

Aaaaaahhh..!! Affy bonnie. This looks kind of cosy and quaint now, but this is how they went about switching the christmas lights on in Dundee in the early 80's. Just a bit of a sing-song....no pyrotechnics.

Tuesday, 16 December 2008

THE OLD WINTER CARDIE


...and keeping the retro Dundee Xmas fun going, here is a wee verse from 1973...

THE NIGHT TWAS COLD AND WINTERY
AS LOCALS DRANK FESTIVE DRAMS
FOR SANTA HAD DROPPED IN ON FINTRY
IN A CARDIGAN OF THE YOUNG SHAMS!

Feel free to download it and put it to good use.
Click on the image to get the larger better quality version.

Monday, 15 December 2008

CHRISTMAS CARD FROM PETER GABRIEL

Back in the 70's, when I used to get music papers every week, one of the things that cropped up regularly in the small ads were addresses to Fan Clubs. That said, I didn't really have any notion to join any because I didn't devote myself to any band in particular or even any music genre - I was open to all.
However, I still had the curiosity niggling away at me thinking about what kind of correspondence I would get if I did join one.
So in 1977, I decided to subscribe to a new club on the scene that I spotted called 'Friends Of Peter Gabriel', which sounded a bit more intimate than the usual fan club. In return I got regular newsletters containing tour date info, recording updates, special offers, merchandise, that kind of thing, which I rather liked because much of stuff was way before music papers got hold of it, and so it was fun to be one step ahead of the media!
One item I got which was a nice surprise was a Christmas card from Peter himself.
Here it is above - a rather surreal kind of illustration with "Here Comes The Flood" on it, referring to one of his tracks.
Inside, of course, it has his hand written greeting.
Much of the correspondence I got also came with an ink rubber stamp of the postal address - as on the record sleeve of a single I purchased shown above.
So it was all quite enjoyable at the end of the day, but now that my curiosity had been satisfied, I didn't feel the need to re-subscribe the following year.
It was just a one-off thing.
It's probably a good bet that I was the only one in Dundee who got a card from Peter that year!

Sunday, 14 December 2008

TOP OF THE POPS IN THE 70'S

Between the ages of 12 and 15 in the early 70's, the TV programme that we always talked about in Dundee's school playgrounds was Top of The Pops. A show you didn't dare miss. Whether we were playing 2-touch in the culdee or hanging around the chip shop, we would all stop what we were doing and rush home every Thursday evening to catch the latest episode. At Craigie High, like most schools, we all had our favourite groups scrawled all over our jotters and bags. Pure pop fun.
Below are 2 original TOTP intros, for a wee bit of nostalgia. First one is from '71 and the second from'74. As you'll see there was more than Glam Rock bands on offer with there being a fair smattering of Rock and Soul acts in the charts too.


video

Friday, 12 December 2008

QUEEN - CAIRD HALL - 13th DEC 1975

 

33 years ago today, Queen were rockin' the Caird Hall... and a gig I was at.
Bohemian Rhapsody was at #1 in the charts at the time and that was the song they opened the show with. The Caird Hall lights were turned off, and out of the darkness a loud mystery voice was heard announcing..."Ladies & gentleman, welcome to a night at the opera"... then out blasted the middle operatic sequence from Bohemian Rhapsody. It was still pitch dark as we listened to the familiar song without the band being present, then as the song progressed it eventually reached the famous guitar riff segment, and out burst Queen onto stage, complete with exploding flash bombs. Quite an intro!
Needless to say they kept these kind of theatrics going throughout the rest of the show.
The items above are the original ticket stub and music paper ad from back then.
Below is a recording from this very concert. 2 tracks in fact with Dundee getting a couple of shout-outs during the chat to the audience.
 
video

60'S WINTER COATS

Before the more popular quilted Anorak's and Parka's arrived in the mid 60's, the winter coats most often worn by kids in Dundee were - the black Trench coat and the navy blue Duffle coat. I never had both but I definitely had a navy Duffle with the inside of the hood tartan lined. I remember one winter when we were having a sna'ba' fight, I had my Duffle coat hood up when somebody threw a snowball at me and it shot between the gap at the side of my face and inside edge of the hood, got trapped in the back of the hood then ended up rolling down the back of my shirt! Brrrrr!
I wouldn't be surprised if Health & Safety have banned snowball fights now for being too dangerous!
Photo by the Scotsman.Tints by GG.

THE INN AT THE QUAY - 1982

Dundee's "floating pub" was a very short lived novelty. In business only for a few months in 1982. The Balmoral (the boats former name) was modified to become The Inn At The Quay around spring 1982 and it sat at Craig Pier, beside the Leisure Centre. It was a good wee pub to visit in the summer months because you could sit out on deck and take in the warm lighty nights. Everytime I was there it was always a young crowd on board and I'm fairly sure it had dj's on at weekends. The funnel had an image of a "key" on it which was a wee bit of visual humour - key/quay. You could say it was an INN joke..!!
I remember in August that year, I arrived back in town after a 4 week tour of France and as soon as I stepped out of the rail station, the Quay was the first place I headed for, then it was straight up to the Deep Sea for some proper food..a puddin' supper!
By winter the floating pub had shut.
Photo by DC Thomson.Tints by GG.

Thursday, 11 December 2008

DAVID LOW - COMMERCIAL STREET

A little glimpse inside David Low's Sport shop in June 1972, the golf department being on the upper level.
Apart from all the obvious golfing equipment in the foreground, also on display are items such as (on the shelves above the assistant) boxes of "BIFFIT" sets, a Slazenger sports bag and a "Clock Golf" box, which was a putting game for the garden. Tucked away in the right-hand corner you'll find hats, gloves and golf balls.
My trips to the shop were 9 times out of 10, visits to the ground floor department where they had all the football goodies. Kits, boots, scarves etc. It was also a very handy shop for getting football match tickets. Even when Cup games were advertised in newspapers as being sold out, the shop managed to conjure up tickets from under the counter, which was a real life-saver sometimes!!
Photo by DC Thomson.Tints by GG.

Wednesday, 10 December 2008

VISITING SANTA'S GROTTO IN THE 60'S

I remember being taken along to Santa's Grotto in department stores like D.M Browns, Draffens & G.L Wilsons (photo above) as a wee lad in the 60's.
The one thing about it I can recall most is that us primary kids applied a bit of know-how to the situation.
Santa's sacks of gifts were seperated into different age groups. Something like Under 5's, 5 to 7's and 8 to 10's. We noticed the pressies were bigger & better the higher the age group. So when it was time to chat to Santa, instead of telling him our correct age, 7 for example, we'd say we were 8, and he'd take something out from the appropriate sack!
Well it was the difference between getting a water pistol or a Luger with a silencer!
Photo by Dundee University.Tints by GG.

Tuesday, 9 December 2008

BILLY MACKENZIE'S XMAS SONG - 1984

Better get yer hankies oot..!!
As a special wee treat for Christmas, here is Dundonian, Billy Mackenzie singing a weepy festive song called "The little boy that Santa Claus forgot".
Billy was in The Associates, and it was 24 years to the day that the band performed this song at Londons top jazz venue, Ronnie Scott's. This is the actual recording from that session on 9th December 1984, along with general footage from the gig in the video below.
The song itself was composed way back in the early 50's.


video

Monday, 8 December 2008

TELEPHONE HOUSE MURAL - 1976

I was always impressed with this piece of work everytime I saw it.
The 30ft long Dundee Panorama Mural was made from cut-out copper panels and hung in the foyer area of Telephone House in Ward Road.
It was created by John Shields and Joe Millar who were lecturers in Design at Duncan of Jordanstone College of Art.
These 2 images, taken on 7th April 1976, show the full panorama in the top picture and a close-up of the central section below it.
Photos by DC Thomson.Tints by GG.

Sunday, 7 December 2008

THE CRAIGIEBANK SHOPS - 1962

This is a section of the Craigiebank shops located on Arbroath Road near the Kingsway circle. The picture was taken in December 62 and the shops in the image, starting at the far end corner, are :
DPM - Dairy
Patterson - Butcher
Yeaman - Newsagent
Post Office
MacFarlane - Chemist, Optician & Photography.
These are the local shops I went to throughout the 60s & 70s. I remember the Post Office sold wee kids knick-knacks such as plasticine, crayons, magic slates and stuff like that. One of my favourites when aged about 4 was Magic Painting Books. They were just plain white pages with simple illustrations drawn on but when you filled in the illustrations using a brush dipped only in water, the colours would appear on the page, like magic!
The other aspect of the picture is the wee boy with the ball. I used to take a ball along to the shops too. The idea being to skillfully keep the ball on the pavement away from the road. When a pedestrian was coming towards me, I would imagine it was an opposition player and play a 1-2 off the wall as I ran past them, pretending to be Pele!
Photo by DC Thomson.Tints by GG.

Saturday, 6 December 2008

THE WELLGATE WATERFALL - 1986

The Wellgate waterfall was installed in 1978. It was constructed of 2 curtains of plastic wires down which trickled water into a pool below. There were also 3 small fountains shooting water upwards in-between the 2 main curtain cascades, and the whole installation was illuminated by coloured spotlights set in the base of the pool.
As the water feature became the focus of attention, people started to throw coins into the pool like a wishing well, and every so often the pool would be dredged with the money going to charity.
The surrounding plants increased in quantity as time passed by until it eventually took on it's oasis-like appearance above, which was taken on 30th November 1986.
Photo by DC Thomson.Tints by GG.

Friday, 5 December 2008

BUZZCOCKS & JOY DIVISION - DUNDEE - 1979

Not a full house for this gig on 8th October 1979 but it was still quite lively!
Buzzcocks did come up with a few punk-pop classics in their day it has to be said and it was great to hear these gems blasting out live in the Caird Hall.
The crowd at the front of the stage were pogoing and gobbing like it was a punk gig from 1977 but the support band, Joy Division, was proof that alternative music had moved on to the next phase - it being almost 1980 and now time for the post punk/new wave era.
I can remember hearing the awesome electric drum on "She's Lost Control" and thinking how futuristic this Joy Division track sounded. I can still conjure up the image of Ian Curtis doing his agitated dance movements in my mind!
I used to have the Caird Hall poster for this gig on my wall too, printed in maroon & yellow colours. The poster did have Joy Division as the support act on it, whereas the ticket doesn't give them a name-check at all.
Unfortunately, I ended up chucking the poster out when I moved house, so my ticket stub is all I can display on Retro!

Thursday, 4 December 2008

THE ODEON - STRATHMARTINE ROAD

The Odeon was a picture house I used to go to occasionally rather than regularly. Main reason being it was at the other end of town to where I lived and it needed 2 buses to reach it. It was probably the plushiest of Dundee's cinemas though, from what I can remember of the 1960s/70s period.
A part of the build up to the main movie features were of course the Pearl & Dean adverts on screen, and here below are a couple of original P&D ads from the late 60s/early 70s era to transport you back in time!

video

Wednesday, 3 December 2008

JOHN MENZIES - MURRAYGATE - 1985

John Menzies moved across the road into these premises in Murraygate in the early 80s, the store having been vacated by Woolworths. Everything was on ground level this time, with the above record department at the far end of the shop. On the left is the Computer section and on the right were wall racks of cassettes and audio accessories.
This picture was taken in December 1985 and in amongst the album racks under "S" are - Shakin' Stevens, Status Quo, Simple Minds, Soft Cell, Saxon, Supertramp, Rod Stewart, Savage Progress & Small Faces.
Photo by DC Thomson.Tints by GG.

Tuesday, 2 December 2008

JOHN MENZIES CARRIER BAGS

I never thought I'd be able to put the top photo to good use but seeing as I mentioned Bruce's carrier bags in the previous post, I've decided to plonk it on here.
It's a John Menzies carrier bag and this is me arriving home with yet another album - picture was taken in 1975.
And just what LP is lurking inside?
Well it was a brand new release back then - Led Zeppelin with "Physical Graffiti".
The slogan on the carrier is - IT'S IN THE BAG.
The example underneath it is another JM record department carrier bag, this time from the 1980's.

BRUCE'S CARRIER BAGS

Every Friday, as soon as I got my wages, I was down to Bruce's Record Shop like a shot.
The Reform Street shop opened in December 1974 and I've already put up a couple of posts about Bruce's, like the time when Rod Stewart appeared for example.
However, I can also remember the time when all of Dundee's record shops banned the Sex Pistols album when it first came out, but Bruce's, being more hip, had improvised a huge sign in their shop window stating proudly that they had the album in stock and on sale. I think the record sold out that same day!
Goodness knows how many albums I ended up buying from there in total but these are the bag designs I brought them home in.
Top example is their 70's one - the other is their 80's one.
Bet you didn't know their famous slogan - I FOUND IT AT BRUCE'S - is an anagram of - OBTAIN FUTURE DISC..!!

Monday, 1 December 2008

KIDS TRANSFERS IN THE 60'S

Another quirky little item I can remember from 60's childhood is transfers. I don't recall ever buying them from shops, they just seemed to be items I got "free". I got them out of comics and from the rag man who used to drive his van around Dundee's housing schemes for jumble. There were usually around 10 transfers on a sheet of paper and what you did was, cut out one of the images, wet your arm or back of hand (usually by licking), place the transfer onto the wet patch, hold into position for about a minute then peel off the back paper to reveal the image on your body like a tattoo. They were usually pictures of rockets, birds of prey, sportsmen and soldiers. The transfer above is an original unused one from the 60's which was too precious to waste my saliva on!

Sunday, 30 November 2008

BOB VALENTINE - REFEREE

A familiar figure in Scottish football in the 70's & 80's was Dundonian ref, Bob Valentine. Along with all his weekly appearances in the top League games, he also took part in major tournaments such as the World Cup in 1978 & 82 and the Euro's in 1984 & 88.
Despite this hectic schedule he was actually a DC Thomson employee and worked in Meadowside casing dept.
The ball he is holding in the picture is signed by Pele!

Saturday, 29 November 2008

CHARLESTON BOYS ON TOUR - 1970

Not the clearest of pictures, but what I like about it is the gear the school boys have which is of typical of the time. The omnipresent quilted blue anorak and the ubiquitous football team sports bag.
The photo was taken in Lochee on April 1970 when 4 teams from Charleston Celtic left Dundee to play games down South. 2 teams went to the Newcastle area and the other 2 travelled to Newmarket.
Feel free to click on the image to enlarge/download if you think you can identify anyone.

Friday, 28 November 2008

WATT'S IN THE WELLGATE

Watt's in the old Wellgate, was a shop that sold electrical goods and music items. Like Larg's in the 60's, it had a record counter as well as listening booths, and this is where I bought my first ever 7 inch single.
Pride of place goes to The Turtles with "She'd Rather Be With Me" and it cost 6/8d in old money (about 33p!). That was back in 1967 when I was 9 years old.
The lower image is a reminder of the shop's paper record bag.
As you can tell by the rubble in the picture above it, the photo was taken in the early 70's when the old Wellgate was being knocked down to make way for the present one.
The shop to the right of Watts is John Temple the gents tailors.

RADIO TAY'S FIRST DAY - 1980

Radio Tay began broadcasting across the local airwaves on the morning of 17th October 1980. The station's opening announcement was made by Gerry Quinn who also had the honour of playing the first ever record.
Here below is that very first introduction to the new station, complete with debut jingle!

video

Wednesday, 26 November 2008

LARG'S - WHITEHALL STREET - 1977


I used to really like going to Larg's in Whitehall Street. I always made a beeline for the basement to gape at all the guitars hanging up on the wall, the drum kits on the floor and the amps in their wee room. Always ended up buying more plectrums than I could use when schoolboy age.
Another room in the basement area sold racks of sheet music.
Upstairs there was a roomful of electric organs and another area that sold electrical goods.
Underneath the snap is a reminder of the shop's carrier bag with a keyboard design on it.
In 1976, a year before the above picture was taken, I made quite a major purchase now that I was a wage-earner. I bought a very expensive hi-fi. Huge wooden speakers made in Norway with a very powerful amp and top quality turntable. The amazing thing is, it's the same one I still use today. I have of course added lots of modern extras to the stack since but over 3 decades later, the Larg's hi-fi still gets played on a daily basis!

Photo by DC Thomson.Tints by GG.

Tuesday, 25 November 2008

GOLDBERGS - MURRAYGATE - 1970'S


Goldberg was a clothing shop the size of a department store and was to be found at 11 Murraygate, near the corner of Commercial Street where John Menzies were.
It was quite short-lived at this spot really, just there during the early 70's to mid 70's period.
Unlike other department stores, it didn't just sell standard everyday style clothes, it was actually surprisingly fashionable gear they had. The gents/boys dept was upstairs and items I can remember getting from here for example were a yellow & white paisley pattern shirt, psychedelic kipper tie and 2-tone trousers!
Still being at school however, meant I was only allowed to wear this kind of groovy stuff at weekends!
The ad from '72 says Goldbergs with an "S" but the shop front says Goldberg without the "S" - so take your pick! 

Monday, 24 November 2008

PAUL HAIG - FAT SAM'S - 1986

This is an NME review of Paul Haig's gig at Fat Sams - the gig taken place on 10th August 1986.
I was at this one, me already being familiar with Paul live, having seen him play with Josef K in Edinburgh a few years before.
I can't recall too much from the Fatties set list other than he did perform all my favourite tracks from "The warp of pure fun" album (which I've still got on vinyl).
Staying on the fun theme...although this was a Paul Haig gig and NOT a Haig/Mackenzie gig, needless to say Billy Mackenzie did make an appearance and sang a couple of tunes. In between tracks, Billy pointed to Pauls fluffy cropped hairstyle and commented "He's got a head like a squeaky ba'" then pretended to squeeze it. Pure fun...and a good night had by all.
To read the review, click on the image to enlarge or download.

Sunday, 23 November 2008

THE SEAHORSE - HILLTOWN - 1970'S

The Seahorse up the Hulltoon wasn't my local chip shop but this advert from 1976 reminded me that I used to pop in there quite a lot efter the futba on Saturdays & Wednesdays back in the 70's.

Saturday, 22 November 2008

WAYFINDERS - 1966

I remember a lot of us wearing Wayfinders at Balerno school in the mid 60's. They appealed to primary aged kids because they were shoes with 2 novelties for the price of one. The first obvious one was the animal track soles for identifying various animal footprints. The second not so obvious novelty was a hidden working compass in the inside heel which needed the wearer to lift a wee round lid to get to it. The idea behind them was to encourage kids to have outdoor adventures, but the problem was, in order to see the animal tracks we had to stomp around in the mud which then lead to a bit of bother from parents when we came back home with messy shoes! Ok for snow unless they were bought in summer which usually meant the sole would be worn away by the time it snowed! Still good fun though.
I also seem to recall they came with a free wall chart or a booklet all about animal tracks.

Friday, 21 November 2008

BELLFIELD STREET PANELS - 1985

In the early 80's, the decision was made to regenerate the Blackness area which had become rather dilapidated by then. One of the ways they used to attract attention to the buildings was to use art. The example above was one of the many projects to catch the publics eye. These Dundee transport themed panels in Bellfield Street were the creation of Kenny Munro, and were made using silk screen prints on tiles.
I took this photo of the car in 1985.

Thursday, 20 November 2008

SHERRIFF'S - VICTORIA ROAD - 1960'S/70'S

Brian Sherriff's shop at 93 Victoria Road was THE place to go to get Airfix models and radio control cars. Just looking in the shop window was fun, seeing all the ships, planes and vehicles. It had everything you needed for model making, the kits, spare parts, wee pots of paint and transfers. It's heyday was the 60's when it was as popular with dads as it was with kids.
The above picture was taken in the mid 70's when it closed down to make way for new development on the site. The wee side street with the big incline is Idvies Street.

Wednesday, 19 November 2008

ABC CINEMA - SEAGATE - 1969

This is how the ABC in the Seagate looked back in the days when cinema's only had one screen. I used to visit it quite regularly in the 60's & 70's. Whenever there were real big blockbusters on, the queues used to stretch way past Gellatly Street car park. Another thing that I recall was when we were still at school, aged around 15/16, we used to get the bus into town at half-fare, then go see an X film! A double victory for school kids!! That was the only way to see Bruce Lee in action because videos hadn't been invented.
In the picture above is a full length animation called "A boy named Charlie Brown", released in 1969, and it just so happens I have the movie in my collection. So below is a quick view of the intro for all those who would like a wee trip back in time.
By the way, the other film on with it is "Our man Flint".
Photo by DC Thomson.Tints by GG.

video

Tuesday, 18 November 2008

EURYTHMICS - BARRACUDA - 1983

This was a gig organised by Dundee's Dance Factory, who used a variety of venues around town when presenting gigs before they eventually settled at Fat Sam's.
This one featuring the Eurythmics took place at the Barracuda in the Marketgait on 27th February 1983, a while before Fat Sam's opened.
Although I was at this one, I was too boozed up to remember much about it now. All I can recall is, because the venue was a disco, there was no stage for live acts to perform so the band were just tucked away at the side of the dancefloor. I can also remember Annie in her grey suit and cropped orange hair doing her robotic dance moves which was a bit of a fad at the time with clubbers!
The band line up: Annie Lennox, Dave Stewart, Clem Bourke (ex Blondie), Mickey Gallagher (ex Clash & Blockheads) and Eddy Reader doing backing vocals.
Click on the image to enlarge and read the other bits & pieces on the flyer.

Sunday, 16 November 2008

DAVID BOWIE CONCERT - CAIRD HALL - 1973


 
A few months ago, my brother unearthed a batch of photographic slides he took at a David Bowie concert in the Caird Hall on 17th May 1973.
It wasn't a gig I was at but I do remember a few Craigie High schoolmates went to it.
This was a period when Bowie haircuts were very popular in school at the time too!
I did make up for missing out on this event a few years later, going to his 1978 gig at the Glasgow Apollo.
Anyway, the above colour images are the very ones from Bowie's '73 Dundee appearance, with quite a variety of costume changes during the concert as well, as you can see!
His backing band on stage were of course "The Spiders from Mars" and featured Mick Ronson on guitar, Trevor Bolder on bass and Mick Woodmansey on drums.


Click onto the photos to bring up the enlarged versions.