Tuesday, June 01, 2010

Childhood crushes

When I was about seven my pop star of choice was Scott Walker of the Walker Brothers. His face was plastered over my walls, my pocket money was spent on the group's singles and I think it is fair to say that I was quite obsessed with him. As well as having incredible looks he also had that deep tuneful voice - even parents liked the sound that this trio made.

Now my dad was in the music biz and one day announced that he had tickets for us (us being my mum and me) to go and see the Walkers (and other groups) at the recording of the programme Ready Steady Go.

Oh I was so excited and when the afternoon came we duly trooped up to Holborn where the recording studios were. We queued up to go in - lots of teenagers around, I think I must have been the youngest person there. We showed our tickets to the door people, got ourselves a seat - which was quite easy as most of the older kids were there to dance around in the spotlight - and we sat through probably quite a few famous groups of the day but I can't recall who they were. The moment was drawing nearer for the top of the bill to come on, Scott Scott - I can nearly see you - when Cathy McGowan walked to the middle of the stage and said that unfortunately the Walkers were unable to appear. Lots of groaning from all around and I have to confess to bursting into inconsolable tears. I was so upset and the fact that Paul Jones singing High Time was on instead (I quite liked him as well) was not going to stop me feeling that it was the worst moment of my life.

We crept out my mum and I whilst Paul was singing and went for ice cream sundaes which seemed to have magical properties because things didn't seem so bad by then. My dad found out later that the Walker Brothers had been unable to perform because they were too out of it on something or other and had more or less flaked out in their dressing room. It didn't put me off their music (or indulging in 'something or other' when I was a bit older) and I still think that Scott Engel (to use his real name) is one of the best singers of our age.

Who was your first childhood celebrity crush?


Sarah said...

I used to like ABBA then when my mother had gone and queued for tickets for a concert some months hence, the time the concert came around I'd gone off them completely and considered it très naff to be seen in the crowd.

The fickleness of youth!

Ayak said...

Jimi Hendrix was mine...in my teens. I even made my Mum perm my hair into a frizz so I could look like him!

I loved Scott too...yes he did have a very unique voice. I actually knew a girl once who went out with him for a while.

Steve said...

I must confess to having Sun Ain't Gonna Shine Anymore on my MP3 player - it's an absolute belter of a song. As for childhood crushes... mine were Charlie's Angels. All of them but especially Cheryl Ladd. If I could have a time machine I'd be off to late 1970's California to woo her.

Nora Johnson said...

If I were to confess my childhood crushes were Heidegger & Schopenhauer, you'd straightaway suspect I had been on "something or other"! So I won't. (But I was partial to Wagner's music - maybe why I took the Germanist route later...)

Did like Walker brothers too.


Keith Eckstein said...

I never fancied Scott Walker (but that's no surprise, really), but did fall deeply in love with Suzi Quatro until I discovered Felicity Kendall.

In between there were the three girls from Rock Follies; with whom I carried on a one sided polygamous affair - years later I met Charlotte Cornwell and she was still gorgeous - I wonder what Suzi Quatro is up to now?

French Fancy said...

Sarah - I felt exactly the same about Abba at the height of their fame. They were not cool enough for me to enjoy Now of course I love them

Ayak - oh your lucky lucky friend. I bet she has some wonderful memories. As for Jimi - I have an album or two but there was no crush

Steve - Oh I remember Cheryl Ladd - the small blonde cute one. Yes, she was very pretty (but not as pretty as Scott)

Nora - I am seeing you in a new light. A childhood genius perhaps?

Keith - how nice to see you here. I remember Rock Follies - Charlotte Cornwell is John Le Carre's half sister, but you probably knew that. I used to know Julie Covington quite well (we were neighbours in Notting Hill) and I always felt she never had the success she deserved

French Fancy said...

p.s, well, it was more Ladbroke Grove than Notting Hill - and years before it was so trendy

Anonymous said...

You were quite the wild child!

I had a crush on David Bowie and Marc Bolan of T-Rex.

love those cupcakes said...

When I was little I did want to be Alma Cogan (oh, those dresses), then had quite a thing for Billy J. Kramer (met him after a performance locally once and wasn't impressed), graduated to the likes of Leonard Cohen and Frank Zappa and that bloke from Japan (the band, not the country!). Actually, I had loads of crushes. Fickle was my middle name.

Scarlet Blue said...

Sadly, my first proper crush was on Woody from the Bay City Rollers.
I still flinch when I see a tartan scarf.

willow said...

Paul McCartney. When I was in first grade.

Lulu LaBonne said...

Peter Noon - Hermans Hermits mmmmmm

Fran said...

Nooo! What a disappointment. I'm with Scarlet Blue though. For me, it was the Bay City Rollers. I even had the tartan trousers to go with the scarf. Goodness knows what I looked like trogging around a Midlands town looking like that.

Ed Pilolla said...

what a bummer. my crush was on shannon dougherty (sic?) of the tv show 90210. she was the bitchy popular girl. oh, i had a thing for stuck-up girls. i actually got sick from my own personal love bomb for the girl-character and stayed home from school the next day. yeah.

Angie Muresan said...

Fifth grade, Michael Jackson.

A Cuban In London said...

You know what? I'd never heard of this band before. He's got a great voice! And no, I'm not joking.

I had so many crushes when I was an adolescent that I don't even know where to begin. I fancied Cindy more than Madonna, was into the Wilson sisters (from Heart) and fell for the old Mariah (curly hair circa 'Vision of Love').

Greetings from London.

Mark said...

I can't really remember any chilhood crushes. But I did discover Meryl Streep when I was about 18 and I've thought she's gorgeous ever since.

Clarity said...

Michael Jackson and Jackie Chan, kinda weird. :) Oh and Richard Harris, a bit.

Your story is sweet, but perhaps that moment saved you from being irrevocably entwined? peace, X.

A Super Dilettante said...

I love Scott Walker's version of "If you go away" - I think his version of Jacques Brel's ballad is as sumptuous as the original version. I hope you are enjoying reading It's only a movie by Mark Kermode. There is a famous song by the same title sung by TV personalities "Don't cry baby, it's only a movie". Fancy Kermode choosing the same title for his book.

PS. I got your beautiful letter yesterday. Your words are a great solace to me. Thanks my dear xxx

Vera said...

I had a megga crush on Clint Eastwood when he used to be in Wagon Train, which my Mum never used to let me watch, which made me even more lusty for him. I was all of thirteen or so. Didn't have any other crushes, but did have a rampant time with Queen, having found them when watching 'Save the World'. I was all of forty-plus. I think, if given the opportunity, I could of become a groupie - well, better late than never! But I do remember having glorious smooches on the dancefloor with 'No regret' when out clubbing. Ah, those were the days! Glad to have them gone, but glad to have fond memories. Interesting post, - made me delve into my memoirs.

Scarlet Blue said...

Apologies! I have just noticed that you are an award free zone... and I've just given you an award... shall I pass it on to someone else?

C. Troubadour said...

Hmm, first celebrity crush? That would have to be Richard Dean Anderson as MacGyver. He seemed like the kind of guy who would have been great to have around as a big brother (age difference didn't really register to me as an issue).

Selina Kingston said...

Donny Osmond ! And then I met him a few years ago at some event we were involved with and he was so charming. I told him I had his poster on my wall when I was little and he said....wait for it ....I didn't look old enough. Yes, he said that. I don't care what anyone says, I LOVE HIM !!!
And by the way ice cream sundaes still have major magical properties

Jennysmith said...

Lordy, FF! Mine was John from Thunderbirds in Spaceship no. 5. The one who hardly ever saw his father.

He was a lovely blonde bit of stuff.

I loved Scott Walker singing "Mexico" in 1968.

Monalisa said...

Loved the Walker Brothers (anyone really).

We were 14 and spent time hanging about outside hotels and in London, hoping for a glimpse.

Never actually saw them.

Reno said...

My parents took me to see Some Like it Hot when it was first released. Was there anyone else in the movie besides Marilyn Monroe?

A few years later at the Fillmore in San Francisco, it was Grace Slick ...

French Fancy said...

Fi - yes, I used to have a thing on Bowie and my hair used to be (naturally) like Mark Bolan's. I don't know Bowie's current stuff but I love the Changes album

cupcakes - out of all those names you gave I have to say that Leonard Cohen also 'does' it for me - but mainly because of the songs he writes, not his looks or his voice.

Scarlet - what about the tartan trews though? Did you have a pair?

willow - Old Macca used to be very cute but my favourite Beatle was George.

Lulu - Oh blimey, that takes me back, Hermans Hermits indeed

Fran - see Scarlet - that's how you do it - you get the tartan trousers as well. like a proper numpty fan

Ed - I'm wondering what a 'love bomb' is. I can think of lots of saucy type answers though

Angie - Jacko was superb in his heyday, but then he went too weird (behaviour and looks) for me

Cuban - now you must be a lot younger than me and have been living somewhere away from popular culture for a long time. The Walkers were Americans who made it big first in Europe and then (I think so anyway) the States.

Mark - I have to confess a female crush on Meryl. I think she is just superb and I have blogged about her about four times now. She is gorgeous and from what one reads about her - just truly natural and unstarry. I love her face - well I think she is just perfect

French Fancy said...

Oh no - I just did all the remaining comments and then Blogger crashed - I hope nobody minds if I redo them in the morning - I've currently lost the will to do it now

French Fancy said...

Now let's try again with replies - Blogger can crush the soul out of a person sometimes...

Clarity - Oh I remember Richard Harris - I liked his speaking voice very much. I did prefer him as Dumbledore to Gambon, even though I think MG is a cracking stage actor

ASD - I love that Brel song sung by Scott - and also Barbra Streisand. I mean it is such a perfect song that most singers do it justice.

I abandoned the Kermode book. It was a present and I found it quite badly written, especially as it is meant to be a biography and in the preface he admitted he had made a lot of it up.

Vera - Oh Queen were fantastic. I had a sort of crush on Freddie and was very upset when he died.

Scarlet - No, it's mine and I want it - pass it on at your peril, will do it in a week or so. Thanks for the honour as well

CT - Now if I had never watched The Simpsons I would have had no idea who the actor playing MacGuyver was. But Marge's sisters are obsessed with him - so at least I know who he is (sort of)

Selina - I should imagine Donny was the epitome of courtesy and kindness. How great to meet a former crushee

Jen - only you would love a puppet, you quirky odd personage

Mona - Now you were a hardcore fan, to hang about like that. What a shame you never even caught a rushed glimpse as they ran from taxi to hotel

Rreno - hello and welcome to the blog. Ah Marilyn, how could anyone see her in a film and not either want to be her or not want to love her?

e said...

First childhood crush had to be the Beatles, particularly Paul, when I was about four as my mother played them on her hi fi alot...Later, she played eight tracks of ABBA, but by then, I had my own tastes...

Anonymous said...

Oh, now you're talking!! (Not that you aren't usually...) I was a huge Walker Brothers and Scott Engel fan. I still listen to them.

Sorry they didn't appear on the RSG you went to... I'd also have cried my eyes out.

I went to several of their concerts at the Finsbury Park Astoria (which became The Rainbow).

Here's a youtube video of them on RSG... maybe you can pretend you were there, I know I often do when I see them.



Angie Muresan said...

This was years before he went wacko, but still, I feel a bit embarrassed to admit the crush.

Carol said...

Oh dear!! Mine was Clint Eastwood...I was utterly convinced that I was going to marry him one day!! Hehehe, I did find out recently that the reason he looked all mean and moody in his western films had nothing to do with his image and everything to do with the fact that he's actually allergic to horses (i'm afraid I giggled rather a lot when I found that out....does that make me a bad person?)

C x

French Fancy said...

e- I was a George fan although Paul did have that sweet babyface

Val - oh thanks for that. I remember the Rainbow - walking in a stoned fashion to Finsbury Park Tube after concerts.

Angie - Never feel ashamed about a crush.

Carol - I never knew that about Clint.

Lane said...

My first crush was the one in the white suit (the dead one) from Randall and Hopkirk. I can't remember which was which.
I was very young:-)

How cool to have gone to Ready Steady Go. Just such a shame it didn't turn out as planned:-(

French Fancy said...

Oh I remember the white suited bloke - the original was so much better than the Reeves and Mortimer remake.

Jean said...

I hardly dare admit this in public but I had a crush on Russ Conway, the piano player. I was very young !!
Next it was George Harrison and more latterly Kevin Costner followed by Jon Bon Jovi.
These days I am horrified to find I spend more time worrying about my runner beans than dreaming of encounters with handsome young men. I didn't plan it that way, I just suddenly discovered that it had happened.

Delana said...

I have to admit, I've never heard of the Walker Brothers either! My first childhood crush was....Elvis. I saw him in a horrible B movie called Girls, Girls, Girls (my very first encounter with him) when I was 10 or 11 and I couldn't sleep for a year! I was completely in love.Then I saw the live concert he did all in black leather and I was done in. I didn't tell a soul because I thought there was something really wrong with me!

My favorite Beatle was George too, FF

French Fancy said...

Jean - I've got to confess to not knowing of your first admitted crush and as for the others, yes George Beatle was lovely. Of course I don't have crushes any more - I'm with you on the veg (well, shrubs).

Delana - maybe they just didn't make it big in the States, despite being American. I thought they did but then I thought they would have been mega bright superstars throughout the world. My cousin was an Elvis fan.

Ken Devine said...

I really liked the Walker Brothers too...so distinctive and unpretentious. Proper musicians.

Ken Devine said...

Oh, and what a great story.

Clippy Mat said...

that's a trip down memory lane. I loved the Walker Brothers back in the day.
My first crush was of course Davy Jones from the Monkees.