Colin Bell… At the last SMART meet, dear Alan was reminiscing with me about a band called Chaquito I used to play a lot, they did a nifty version of The Good, The Bad and The Ugly, i’d largely forgotten, but Al’s brain cells clearly work better than mine…however this led me to thinking about another artist around at the same time Walter (later to become Wendy) Carlos, who scored the film Clockwork Orange. As we all enjoy trivia associated with our Hastings history I thought i’d share a story for your amusement….or not! Bear with me while I digress slightly for a moment to put things in context. In 1971 my dad, a builder like Andre’s dad was working for the then editor of the Hastings Observer whose name was John Cornelius, a lovely guy. He remarked to dad that the Observer had nothing in it for the ‘youth of today’ and was fuddy duddy. John asked me to start a column writing Record and Band Reviews being a then ‘youthful DJ’. Thus Top Sounds was born and the first column appeared on Saturday April 3rd 1971 and continued for a couple of years until busy with other projects, gigs etc I handed it on to our Alan. Clockwork Orange was released to huge controversy in 1971 and when some 18 months or so later it was due to be screened in Hastings, the fun started….Hands up who remembers when the cinema in Queens Road was called The Gaeity, anyway the Council in their wisdom decided before any Hastonian could be allowed to see it they demanded a private screening, thus it was that a committee of about 5 geriatrics and me by invitation representing the ‘youth of today’ attended said screening all by ourselves in a vast empty cinema! Twenty minutes in they all left! Leaving me and one other. They immediately banned it as far to unsuitable for genteel Hastonians! They of course missed the point of the entire film, and its anti violence message because they hadn’t seen the film! Don’t you just love the irony!
Arguably one of the most liberal towns in the country full of wonderful musicians, artists, poets etc and you weren’t allowed to see a film, I voted for it, so don’t blame me! If I was going to ban anything from that time I think Clive Dunns ‘Grandad’! might be right up there…what would you ban from the 70’s?…Happy Christmas to all, have a good one.
Alan Esdaile… Remember this because Alan Jensen started a petition to show the film. Not sure what the final outcome was but think it was still banned. Nick Prince might know?
Pete Fairless… Thatcher
Darren Holmes… I think Colin Bell would have banned Martin Buchan!!! lol
Nick Prince… Yes the film was banned by the Watch Committee of the Council, when it was due to show at the Classic in Queens Road. Almost every Council bar a handful banned, A Clockwork Orange, one such council that didnt, was the “ultra moderate” Rother, who were just that when it came to the local cinema. It was the last film to attract capacity audiences at the then, Classic, in Western Rd, Bexhill, as an 800 seater with circle and stalls. Isnt it odd that the Watch Committee didnt kick in the doors of the Orion every week to get off on the fare.
John Storer… Saw “A Clockwork Orange” on a pirate video in the early 80s. Didn’t understand it, but then have never got any of Kubrick’s films (with the exception of “The Shining” of course). At least it wasn’t as risible as “Eyes Wide Shut”. What would I ban from the 70s? Polyester shirts and ties, and the fact that we all thought Fosters was a quality lager!
Chris Meachen… Yep, remember having to travel to Bexhill to see it.. What would I ban from the 70’s? maybe all that tartan tied & sewn round Bay City Roller fans?
Phil Gill… I saw it at the Regent in Rye. Worth the Dengates bus ride.
Nick Prince… an uncut version of A Clockwork Orange enjoyed a four week run at the ABC (Now Odeon), Queens Road in 2000. A directors cut, or uncut version of a banned film has to be viewed by a watch committee in order to be banned again. There were no such calls for this again in Hastings. A mockery was made of the watch committee, when they brought in the late Rev Derek Sefton-Ullmer of All Saints Church. Derek, a man I knew very well, had a vulcanic sense of humour, who when expected to ban, A Life of Brian, went the opposite way and found it the funniest thing he had ever seen. Much to the committees disgust. And that was the end of them.
Nick Prince… I would like to ban, or preferably string up all those Borough Councillors who voted to demolish the Albert Memorial in 1973. Otherwise my 1970s ban would be Jimmy Savilles Clunk Click Every Trip adverts, and The Sparrow by The Ramblers. 🙂
Mick O’Dowd… I would like to ban ” Love Like a Man” that Colin Bell used to play to death at Chichester Boys Club gigs!
John Wilde… Blue Nun wine, Austin Allegros, Hillman Avengers, Tank tops
Colin Bell… Thanks Mick, im now unwrapping that Ten Years After CD I got you for Xmas…Lol!
Carol Ann Bolton… Nylon sheets. Remember Brentford Nylons. I NEVER bought them but when I stayed at my friends house the sheets sparked and gave you a shock.
Phil Gill… If you did anything more energetic in bed than sleeping, those nylon sheets gave you friction burns.
Yvonne Cleland… Wide-legged jeans. Disco. Yuk.
Eric Cawthraw… Yep, I’ll go along with John Storer with the ban on Fosters – and their other brew Carlton Draught. Even worse was Barley Wine – now gone I think. It was syrupy both in sweetness and texture and tasted horrible – a bit like glugging honey delicately blended with dog sh*t. Oh yes and club bouncers that banned trainers – like you’re going to break your foot kicking any one in them!
Alan Esdaile… I remember drinking Barley Wine and Eric sums it up just right. Cheap and got you pissed quicker but also made you feel sick.
John Storer… Eric and Alan … you missed a trick with Barley Wine …. undrinkable on its own but great if mixed in a pint glass with a bottle of Double Diamond …. the cocktail of choice when I used to drink in the Millers Arms in Ore. I had two uncles who used to work at the Whitbread brewery. Every worker was allowed two free pints a day. Everyone had two pints (the equivalent of 6 bottles, I think) of Barley wine.
Sarah Harvey… Cheesecloth shirts and tops… one wash and they fell apart…whilst wearing them!
Monica Bane… Well thought out Colin. Enjoyed the article . Monica X
Tony Court-holmes… saw the film in Brighton as it was banned in Hastings