Dedications: My four late friends Rory, Stan, Bryan, Jeff - shine on you crazy diamonds, they would have blogged too. Then theres Garry from Brisbane, Franco in Milan, Mike now in S.F. / my '60s-'80s gang: Ned & Joseph in Ireland; in England: Frank, Des, Guy, Clive, Joe & Joe, Ian, Ivan, Nick, David, Les, Stewart, the 3 Michaels / Catriona, Sally, Monica, Jean, Ella, Anne, Candie / and now: Daryl in N.Y., Jerry, John, Colin, Martin and Donal.

Monday, 18 June 2012

My first colour television ....

Things we take for granted: Watching the Trooping of the Colour on television over the weekend, with all those scarlets and vivid colours, got me thinking, after some nostalgic discussions with a new friend on here - hi Colin - of what life was like before we were used to flatscreen widescreen HD.  My first colour television was in 1972.

I did not really see much television in the black and white '60s until about 1967 - colour tv did not really happen in England until about 1969 and most people did not have it until the early '70s. We mostly rented televisions then - can you imagine?, from that Radio Rentals chain (just like most people did not have washing machines, but went to the laundrette to do the weekly wash). What a difference 40 years make, but of course this was also the pre-internet world with no computers or cellphones. ... AND there were only 3 television channels which closed down early - no wonder we were out a lot making things happen!  There was a lot of good television drama then though, unlike now with all those so-called reality and talent shows and acres of cable channels to fill with any old tat. Now a good drama series (like SHERLOCK or DOWNTON ABBEY) that get people talking is a rare event ...

Anyway in 1972 I was renting a large apartment in Chelsea (Draycott Place, just behind the Peter Jones store in Kings Road - I walked past there last year, those houses cost fortunes now...) with my best friend Stan, and 2 girls Sally and Mary - and we were watching the black and white television one evening, the film BECKET was on which I was half-watching and half-way I popped down the road to the off-licence (probably for a cheap bottle of wine or some cider, which we drank a lot then ....) and there was a Radio Rentals store on the way, so I stopped and looked .... Back at the flat I was going "there's reds and blues, and gold and greens.." describing the colour in the film we were watching. There was nothing for it but to join the colour revolution - next day it was down to Radio Rentals to sign up for a colour tv - thats me with it, left. We paid every week for renting tv but never owned it, but at least got upgrades [televisions were ugly bulky things then, with wood veneer, and if you had an indoor aerial fuzzy pictures ....] (an aside about that era: my pal Stan had not seen BLOW-UP so I took him to a revival at the Chelsea Classic cinema in Kings Road - when we realised we were living in a location from the film - as we had to pass that restaurant used in the film).

But how quick things change: By 1979 (about the time of the photo right) I was sharing another apartment in South London and settled into a 10 year relationship (Stan and Sally had married and Mary returned to Australia) - we were used to colour television by then, and that December I got my first - rented again - vhs video recorder, so one spent the early '80s recording everything, and instead of just watching films passively one could now own a favourite film by recording it from tv or - with particular favourites - buying the offical vhs cassette to replay any time.   We did not realise then that those clunky cassettes would be in turn replaced by bright shiny disks and one would have to re-buy everything all over again (just like we did when CDs replaced vinyl..). I am not upgrading to Blu-Ray just yet though!

1 comment:

  1. Love the dinky typewriter ! changing those black/red ribbons was a bugger though.