The Sweet, ‘Blockbuster’ and A Domain Name That Can Never Be Mentioned!

I’ve only had to ‘take down’ one post since starting this blog and sadly it was one I was quite proud of. As it turns out, the domain name for this place is one quite a few other parties would like to get their hands on, as it reflects the name of their product or business. Back in 2016 I had also gone down that route before deciding it all sounded a bit too Dr Who-ish so changed tack. The post that caused objection used the domain name as a title, as it was going to kickstart a new series where I journeyed back in time via a magical jukebox (yes, an idea a 10-year-old might have come up with in retrospect, but I went there). The first spin of the dial, using a random generator no less, took me back to this date:

Year – 1973
Month – 2, i.e. February
Date – 14 (St Valentine’s Day!)

This year could not have been better for me, as it was the year I became a teenager, and also the year I became obsessed with pop music and chart rundowns (already written about here). Referring to the UK Singles Chart from the 14th Feb 1973, the act at the No. 1 spot was this one, glam-rock band the Sweet with their only chart-topper, Blockbuster.

Blockbuster by Sweet:

Since first writing that post (now trashed), it’s become apparent there was much love for the band Sweet back in the day and they are often mentioned in the various blogs I visit. Mr Medd over at Are We There Yet? has a whole category dedicated to them. It still amazes me, watching footage of the band perform, how they somehow manage to look macho whilst wearing so much gold lamé and glitter. Steve Priest, the band’s bassist, sadly died in June of this year aged only 72. He was the one who always got the spoken word lines in any song:

‘We just haven’t got a clue what to do

It was also Steve who wore the most outrageous outfits and unlike the other members of the band, was always ‘plastered in makeup’ (his words). He got quite miffed when it was cited Bowie set the bar when it came to glam costumes, because he was the first to wear hot pants on TOTP. It was hot water he got himself into however when he decided to sport a German helmet on the 1973 Christmas edition of the aforementioned show. Brian Connolly (he of the long blond, not ‘long black hair’) was a great singer, but it was Steve who brought personality to the band. Unlike Bowie he was not an innovator, or an artist, he was a bloke who wanted to be in a band and had a bloody good time doing it.

The many faces of Steve Priest

There are many tributes I still have to write for people from the world of music who have died this year, but we’ve all been pre-occupied with other life-changing stuff, so I’m a bit behind. Watching this footage of the Sweet from 1973 reminds me as ever of simpler times. There were still only three channels on telly and you all sat around watching the same shows as a family. We had no central heating when I was growing up (not that we were poor, it just wasn’t a thing yet), so in the month of February there was no chance of me being anywhere else except in front of our two bar electric fire (complete with feature faux fireplace) watching the box with my parents. With no social media to mess with your head, and the concept of helicopter parenting not having been invented yet, life was indeed ‘sweet’.

I have written about the Sweet around here before when I shoe-horned Little Willy and Hell Raiser into posts, so won’t go there again. I will end with another clip however, this time of the band performing Teenage Rampage from 1974, where yet again Steve makes his own unique contribution. Sweet were incredibly successful during those post-bubblegum pop, pre-hard rock years, but the lifestyle took its toll and now only Andy Scott of the classic line-up is still with us. I accidentally caught myself watching an interview with Brian ahead of his death in 1997, but wished I hadn’t gone there. Best to remember your teen idols as they were I think.

So, ‘What’s It All About?’ – Well I think I’ve gotten away with it this time and not mentioned the offending term that brought about the threat of legal action. I’ve still only mentioned one of the songs however that was written about in that original ‘magical jukebox’ journey, so hopefully I’ll be able to reinstate the others at some point, by stealth.

I wonder if anyone else has had a sticky situation where they’ve had a ‘take down notice’ or been threatened with legal action? I know that Feargal Sharkey‘s name used to strike fear (no pun intended) into many a music blogger’s heart, but maybe those days have gone. I’d love to hear from you, and as you know by now, I always reply.

Until next time….

Blockbuster Lyrics
(Song by Mike Chapman/Nicky Chinn)

Ahhh, Ahh Ahhh

You better beware, you better take care
You better watch out if you’ve got long black hair
He’ll come from behind, you’ll go out of your mind
You better not go, you never know what you’ll find

Ahh Ahh, Ahh Ahhh

Can’t look into his eyes, you’ll be surprised
If don’t know what going on behind his disguse
Nobody knows where Buster goes
He’ll steal your woman out from under your nose

Does anyone know the way, did we hear someone say
(We just haven’t got a clue what to do)
Does anyone know the way, there’s got to be a way
To Blockbuster

The cops are out, they’re running about
Don’t know if they’ll ever be able to blockbuster out
He’s gotta be caught, he’s gotta be taught
‘Cause he is more evil then anyone here ever thought

Does anybody know the way, did we hear someone say
(We just haven’t got a aho)
Does anybody know the way, there’s got to be a way
To Blockbuster

Does anybody know the way, did we hear someone say
(We just haven’t got a clue what to do)
Does anybody know the way, there’s got to be a way
To Blockbuster

Ahh Ahh, Ahh Ahh
Ahh Ahh, Ahh Ahh

Buster buster blockbuster
Buster buster blockbuster
Buster buster blockbuster
Buster buster blockbuster
Buster buster blockbuster
Buster buster blockbuster

Author: Alyson

Whenever I hear an old song on the radio, I am immediately transported back to those days. I know I'm not alone here and want to record those memories for myself and for the people in them. 57 years ago the song "Alfie" was written by my favourite songwriting team, Bacharach and David. The opening line to that song was, "What's it all about?" and I'm hoping by writing this blog, I might find the answer to that question.

15 thoughts on “The Sweet, ‘Blockbuster’ and A Domain Name That Can Never Be Mentioned!”

  1. I had a bit of hassle when I used a picture of Buckfast Abbey taken from Google Images and the photographer asked me to remove it.
    Remember dancing to this one at primary school discos

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Yes, I think I remember you mentioned that picture before – It’s always the least expected that cause the problem. I think C had an issue with a picture of a cake but she might put us right on that one.

      Not only the school disco but we did some sort of gymnastic routine in PE to it as well. Some of the younger teachers must have thought it was a way of getting us girls into class!


  2. I love the Sweet, cool post. The only problems I’ve had was when I posted photos that I didn’t attribute and were copyrighted. But once I added the credit (or put in a plug for their in photo book in the caption) they were cool with it.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. I’m surprised they were such a success in the US as they just seemed so British, and best suited our own home-grown audiences. Then again, the Bay City Rollers (not from Bay City) were really bit too, so just goes to show.

      I’ve not had any issue so far with pictures and have relied on the fact I don’t make any money from this place and assume it would be seen as ‘fair use’. Cross fingers that continues.

      PS – I know I still have to put in a mention for your comic and will do that soon once it fits into the theme of a post. Think I have an idea for that.

      Liked by 2 people

  3. Ah, seeing the Sweet always brings some very welcome cheer – not just because they were so out there with their fashion but also I think, right now, as you’ve touched on before, they remind us of the comfort of childhood memories (I love yours). Indeed, that era seems something of a sweet spot for growing up in too – lots of new and easier ways of doing things and being entertained but without the pressure and relentless distraction of social media and other technology. I’m glad I was the age I was then, even though we watched ToTP on our ancient black and white set and missed out on the full glory of their glittery togs!
    A while back we watched a documentary on Brian Connolly filmed not long before his death, in which he was preparing to perform at a Butlins, it really was quite heart-breaking to see how much he’d prematurely aged – yes, best to remember him at the peak of his career. I desperately wanted to have his hairstyle for a while!
    Re. taking stuff down – fortunately I didn’t have to take down the piece of cake you refer to but I usually do a little subtle editing before I use a photo (cropping, flipping and tweaking the colour) and I do remember doing that with the cake just in case an angry baker came my way!

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Yes, during these dark days, literally and figuratively, it was nice to watch the Sweet in their bright colours and OTT makeup ‘hell-raising’. Think I’ve watched their entire back catalogue this week. I’m pretty sure I would have watched them on ToTP in black and while too back then, as it was possibly just after that we got our first colour telly. Of course we also had all the pop magazines so knew exactly how colourful they were in real life.

      It was a shock to see how Brian’s health had deteriorated by the ’90s. It made me sad as he was such a beautiful man back then – His hair certainly was covetable and I think it tended to be the hairstyle of choice for girls who had moved from the long straight hair with centre parting.

      Glad your cake pic didn’t get you into trouble but a good idea that, doing a bit of subtle editing. I tend to use picture of album covers etc that are all over the web so it would be hard to get into trouble over those. Cross fingers it continues – Just got to remember not to mention my domain name!

      Liked by 1 person

  4. I can’t understand why anyone would issue a takedown notice under the circumstances you describe, Alyson. People need to get a grip. I remember that my former blog got quite popular at one point (when I could be bothered playing promotional games) and I had a few offers to buy the domain name, not because it was appropriate to anyone’s business but because a domain that has lots of visitors can be used as an advertising platform. Similarly, because I didn’t renew the rights to my old writing website (which was just my name, for a couple of years after that it was used to advertise running shoes by whoever bought the name after me. God knows why – I’ve never run anywhere in my life.

    Every time John mentions The Sweet, I say I will dig deeper into their back catalogue…

    Liked by 2 people

    1. I’m probably being super cautious but a couple in the US have patented the name, and would obviously liked the domain too. I’m nearly 5 years in now though so just took down the offending post that might have confused their followers if it came up on a search engine. Wish I’d had sight of your old blog but before my time around here. Think I would have liked it.

      Not sure if Sweet would be your thing. Like with the Bay City Rollers, before your time but for people of my age, they were massively popular. The songwriting partnership of Nicky Chinn/Mike Chapman were to the Sweet what Bill Martin/Phil Coulter were to the Rollers. Gene Simmons has said without the Sweet, there would have been no Kiss.

      Liked by 1 person

  5. Thanks for the memories Alyson! I’ve been quietly lurking here for a while and thoroughly enjoy your posts. We must be very similar ages as I have carbon copy recollections to all of yours. The Sweet, and that other Glam rock band that transport me back in time Slade, always take me immediately to my junior school Xmas disco(dreadful flares and floppy hair with ‘wet look’ crinkly white boots…remember them?) when I thought I was the bees knees. Also, to my shame I wanted to marry Donny Osmond, at that time, and spent ages researching Mormons so I’d be prepared *cringe* for the forthcoming nuptials! Jackie and Look-in were vital reading before the Internet for fashion advice, makeup and bands…..Happy, simpler times!

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Thanks – No need to quietly lurk though, feel free to join in the discussion!

      Yes if you were born at the start of the ’60s, it was a fine time to reach the teenage years and I have such great memories of watching those bands on telly. Looking back life was probably not as ‘sweet’ for our parents as there were a whole load of worries out there for families in the early 1970s, but as a kid, such things were not yet part of our world. I heard Dave Hill on the radio yesterday afternoon as the new Slade album Cum On Feel the Hitz (see what they did there) is in the Top 10. He was the same old Dave, with that great accent and never taking himself too seriously. He did remind us of course that their heyday (and that of Sweet) was when colour telly came to the UK so all of a sudden, bands embraced colourful stage clothes and outrageous costumes. The ’60s on telly was in black and white but then the ’70s were in colour. We forget that I think.

      As for the clothes, oh yes, I coveted my friend’s pair of white wet-look boots but living in the North of Scotland my mum made sure I had sensible fur lined leather ones. Oh the shame. I’ve written about Jackie magazine around here before and I still have a folder of pin-ups from inside that I often share (in Alyson’s Archive). Happy memories as you say of simpler times and yes, I had my Donny pillowcase and also probably wanted to marry him at one point. Here are a couple of links to some earlier posts.

      Liked by 1 person

I'd Love To Hear From You And I Always Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: