Friday, 16 October 2015

Teenage Kicks

For anyone of a certain age who comes from this neck of the woods the words Teenage Kicks have a special meaning.

Teenage Kicks is the title of The Undertones' first single - which is also the late John Peel's favourite single of all time (and he knew music, did Mr Peel).  In fact, he liked this song so much he had some lines from it engraved on his headstone...Teenage dreams, so hard to beat

The funny thing is about the Undertones is that although they came from Derry, which was going through a terrible time in the '70s, they sang little pop songs like Here Comes the Summer, My Perfect Cousin and who could forget Get Over You.  In other words, they were normal teenagers intent on ignoring all the horrible stuff going on around them at that time.

The Undertones were a Derry band but they played in Portrush at least once a month in the good old days before they became famous.  I probably have enough photographs of The 'Tones for about a month's worth of blogging, but I wouldn't do that to you, my faithful few readers, since I suspect you would be a lot fewer by the end of the month...

Anyway, I have a little story for you today - a Photographic Story, as it were.

The Brother must have had his camera along this particular evening and he must have been up on the balcony - hence this shot:

Hot and sweaty teenagers - 1970s style

I know, I know - what on earth is that guy in the foreground doing?   Clearly 'in the moment'.  Nowadays we would say he's experiencing mindfulness.  Whatever.

Not the world's best photograph, I will grant you, and to be honest I nearly passed over it.  Then I spied some-one I know well in the shot - me!  That's me, or a younger version of me to be more precise - in the beige sweater front left.  Regular readers will recognise me from the haircut, I suspect.  And you can see what I'm doing, for there be a camera strap just visible over my left shoulder and the camera looks like it's raised to me eyes, as one does when one wants to take a photograph with an OM-1.  

And here are some of the snaps wot I took, from that very position on that very evening...

The lads

Feargal Sharkey

'Are you seriously taking my photograph?'
Ain't that a hoot?  Mind you, when I look at that first picture and see where I am standing it might just explain why I have severe hearing problems now.  But there's no telling young people, is there...


  1. Cool snaps Michael, and a great looking back to the good old 70's. It's the usual thing, actually, as this or that snap has never been seen as being a good photo at all we tend to discover that it most likely was no such thing as wasting film, after all. They all say something, and they are all moments that never will come back.
    I spot a good Gibson guitar in there, and definately a Rickenbacker bass... I remember having one very high on my wish list around the time you snapped these ones. Never got one though. It was quite well beyond my limits back then.
    Funny that you mention hearing problems, as that was the first thing I was thinking of when I realized where you were standing... But no, there is no telling young people, and that's a fact.
    Great post again, and keep them coming!! Bandfriday is a thrill, I tell you that much :))

    1. Thanks Roy - and you are right about the Rickenbacker bass. I remember the day Mickey Bradley got that and proudly showed it off to us - just after their first record deal and ££ advance. He works for BBC Radio now. I sent him some snaps and he told me the Rickenbacker cost £400 - a lot of money back then (and still a good lot even now).

      True what you say about wasting film - some of the shots I took years ago and thought they were rubbish turned out to be interesting, some 30 years later.