Notebook: New platforms for a showbiz legind

Related Topics
I HAVE seen the future, and it is the past. First it was flares, now it's platform shoes and those tight,

skinny-ribbed sweaters with horizontal stripes, next it will be those shirts with long, floppy scalloped collars. Yes, the Seventies are back, already. At this rate we shall be feeling nostalgic for last week by the middle of next year.

But, the Seventies: an anonymous decade, you might think, an uneasy breather between peace, love and Thatcher. But think again, and remember those heady, early days of glam rock; and remember Noddy Holder, the man with a face from a Brueghel and a voice that made a shout sound subtle. He wore a top hat with mirrors on it did Noddy, and Rupert Bear trousers; his little friend Dave dressed up in all sorts of shiny things, too. They were in a group called Slade, they came from Wolverhampton, but they made some cracking records, glam with attitude, and misspelt: 'Mama Weer All Crazee Now', 'Cum On Feel The Noize'. In the early Seventies, let me tell you, we knew how to enjoy ourselves.

And now Noddy is back to tell you all about it in a new Radio 1 series, beginning tomorrow night and fetchingly entitled Glitter and Twisted. Among the memories of these temps d'or et perdu will be Bolan and Bowie, the platforms and space boots, Lieutenant Pigeon and 'Mouldy Old Dough', deeleyboppers - those headbands with eyes on springing stalks attached - and, of course, that great band Chicory Tip, authors of the seminal 'Son of my Father', and the not quite so celebrated 'Good Grief, Christina'.

'It was a really fun time. If you didn't take it too seriously it was very enjoyable, the music and the clothes. I think that's maybe what's wrong with today's culture, everybody takes everything too seriously.' In Noddy's view, glam rock was a reaction against all those serious guitar bands, twanging on remorselessly, backs to the audience; more generally, a reaction against the economic gloom of the time. On Noddy's reading, Edward Heath was the founding father of glam rock.

He has grown into his face now, and the voice is used mostly between records as a disc jockey in Manchester, where he has a weekly show on Piccadilly Gold. Noddy lives a lot in Cheshire now, where restaurants advertise their wine lists as 'over an inch thick', but not a lot of it has rubbed off. Piccadilly Gold is pronounced in the Black Country way as Piccadilly Goald. 'Oim a shoawbiz legind, oi am,' he tells his audience, amiably.

'People like Noddy,' says Marc Riley, Glitter and Twisted's producer. 'You don't see them thinking, 'oh, that arse', like you do with some of the others. The wonderful thing about Slade was that they had fun but they made wonderful records as well.' Indeed: three instant number ones in one year, 1973, never done before or since, including 'Merry Xmas, Everybody', 2 million sold, still on the list. Noddy has cred. And now Vic Reeves and Bob Mortimer have a spoof 'Slade in Residence' spot in their television series: Noddy has cult, too.

Slade last played live in 1985. They have recorded since though, and even as you read this, little Dave, who became a Jehovah's Witness, is touring Europe with Slade Mark 2. Noddy wouldn't play; he's fed up with touring. You needed discipline, touring, as well as having fun, says Noddy; he was careful, and invested. But he will still tell you about Frankfurt in 1964, beers and brandy chasers, and pounds 25 a week, very good money in those days, let him tell you. Ah, yes, the Sixties. On the way out of the BBC studios in Manchester, Noddy is proud to spot a secretary in platforms. He isn't wearing them himself. 'I'm too old for that now,' says Noddy, 47.

(Photograph omitted)

React Now

  • Get to the point
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

SThree: Trainee Recruitment Consultant - Dublin

£13676.46 - £16411.61 per annum + OTE: SThree: SThree Trainee Recruitment Cons...

Ashdown Group: Marketing or Business Graduate Opportunity - Norwich - £22,000

£18000 - £22000 per annum + training: Ashdown Group: Business and Marketing Gr...

SThree: Trainee Recruitment Consultant

£20000 - £25000 per annum + Commission: SThree: Are you great at building rela...

Ashdown Group: Database Analyst - Birmingham - £22,000 plus benefits

£20000 - £22000 per annum + excellent benefits: Ashdown Group: Application Sup...

Day In a Page

Read Next
Labour leader Ed Miliband unveils Labour's pledges carved into a stone plinth in Hastings  

Election 2015: Smash the two-party system! Smash the voting system!

Armando Iannucci
Tactical voting is a necessary evil of the current first-past-the-post system, where voters vote against what they do not want rather than in favour of what they do  

Election 2015: Voting tactically has become more fraught in new political order

Michael Ashcroft
General Election 2015: Ed Miliband's unlikely journey from hapless geek to heart-throb

Miliband's unlikely journey from hapless geek to heart-throb

He was meant to be Labour's biggest handicap - but has become almost an asset
General Election 2015: A guide to the smaller parties, from the the National Health Action Party to the Church of the Militant Elvis Party

On the margins

From Militant Elvis to Women's Equality: a guide to the underdogs standing in the election
Amr Darrag: Ex-Muslim Brotherhood minister in exile still believes Egypt's military regime can be replaced with 'moderate' Islamic rule

'This is the battle of young Egypt for the future of our country'

Ex-Muslim Brotherhood minister Amr Darrag still believes the opposition can rid Egypt of its military regime and replace it with 'moderate' Islamic rule, he tells Robert Fisk
Why patients must rely less on doctors: Improving our own health is the 'blockbuster drug of the century'

Why patients must rely less on doctors

Improving our own health is the 'blockbuster drug of the century'
Sarah Lucas is the perfect artist to represent Britain at the Venice Biennale

Flesh in Venice

Sarah Lucas has filled the British pavilion at the Venice Biennale with slinky cats and casts of her female friends' private parts. It makes you proud to be a woman, says Karen Wright
11 best anti-ageing day creams

11 best anti-ageing day creams

Slow down the ageing process with one of these high-performance, hardworking anti-agers
Juventus 2 Real Madrid 1: Five things we learnt, including Iker Casillas is past it and Carlos Tevez remains effective

Juventus vs Real Madrid

Five things we learnt from the Italian's Champions League first leg win over the Spanish giants
Ashes 2015: Test series looks a lost cause for England... whoever takes over as ECB director of cricket

Ashes series looks a lost cause for England...

Whoever takes over as ECB director of cricket, says Stephen Brenkley
Fishing for votes with Nigel Farage: The Ukip leader shows how he can work an audience as he casts his line to the disaffected of Grimsby

Fishing is on Nigel Farage's mind

Ukip leader casts a line to the disaffected
Who is bombing whom in the Middle East? It's amazing they don't all hit each other

Who is bombing whom in the Middle East?

Robert Fisk untangles the countries and factions
China's influence on fashion: At the top of the game both creatively and commercially

China's influence on fashion

At the top of the game both creatively and commercially
Lord O’Donnell: Former cabinet secretary on the election and life away from the levers of power

The man known as GOD has a reputation for getting the job done

Lord O'Donnell's three principles of rule
Rainbow shades: It's all bright on the night

Rainbow shades

It's all bright on the night
'It was first time I had ever tasted chocolate. I kept a piece, and when Amsterdam was liberated, I gave it to the first Allied soldier I saw'

Bread from heaven

Dutch survivors thank RAF for World War II drop that saved millions
Britain will be 'run for the wealthy and powerful' if Tories retain power - Labour

How 'the Axe' helped Labour

UK will be 'run for the wealthy and powerful' if Tories retain power