Ballroom Blitz

My local radio station, RevFm (“KRVL 94.3 FM, Kerrville / Fredericksburg”) has quite an eclectic playlist. I think I have heard it all, many times. “The rock station that knows Zeppelin had more than four songs” does not play country, MOR, soul, Spanish or rap. No house or shed or whatever. No pop.

it is a rock music station aimed at older white blokes, I guess – “the music you grew up with! Like schooldays without wedgies and zits!” – like moi.

Although I didn’t grow up with this music on the radio, it is a large part of the soundtrack of my teens. British radio was just different, with Radios One for youff and Two for Dad on the Beeb. Exotic folk who lived in London had Capital Radio, Brummies had BRMB and we had Radio One. Dad had Jimmy Young.

(WordPress is a pain n the arse btw on an iPad). I digress.

I regress.

So the notion of radio stations that just played Rock, or soul, was a distantly foreign concept that Johnny Walker would mention, or John Peel would chat about when he was not avoiding DLT’s fate by dying before Jimmy Savile and shagging young girls. These DJs had worked in the States, so were cool.

By the time I had grown out of “Prog.Rock”, after taking back my third Lamb Lamb Lies Down LP, and giving up on Genesis whilst Peter Gabriel was still the front man, Punk was full swing, and Graham Parker, Eddie & The Hot Rods, The Pistols, Joe Jackson and Elvis Costello were my music and I think I tuned out of radio.

All this time, though, there were the despised Glam Rock records of my schooldays playing on jukeboxes, or in the background. Before he was made an unperson, Gary Glitter vied with Slade and The Rubettes and The Sweet and The Bay City Appalling Rollers to be top dog on TOTP. Especially at Christmas.

My enduring love was Steve Harley & Cockney Rebel, with an occasional fling with Loudon Wainwright III on the side. My first gig was Cockney Rebel, at Malvern Winter Gardens. They were backed by the awesome Be Bop Deluxe, who my mate Steve Portman dismissed as rubbish.

So, as Martin Killips points out is how I start sentences, how come The Sweet get to play on a Hill Country Rock Station? Those camp opening lines surely give it away! Zep, Yes, Sabbath, Sweet, Zep, Free, Bad Company and a lot of cool stuff like Gabriel, Young (Neil!) and the Stones pop up, plus the homage to the Bea-yawn-tles, of course. Surely someone asked how The Sweet got in the list?!

No. Slade too, but rarely and not Merry Christmas. Americans don’t do Christmas pop records like the British do or did. Just Muzak to get you shopping, which changes at midnight on December 24th.

When Ballroom Blitz starts (“Are you ready, Brian?” “uh-hum! [camp as Christmas]” “Let’s go, FELLAS!!”) I smile. Classic. Sounds great! Now, if we could get Gary Glitter and Mud and Slade and The Rubettes playing, that would do it. But not the Bay City Effing Rollers.

Update: Jan 27 2013. The Sweet also have The Blockbuster on the RevFM Playlist. I expect there is a closet in the station with 6 inch stack heels and a silver sequinned satin jumpsuit with feather boa, plenty of mascara, and a blond long haired wig.

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