The World According To Damien
in a World gone mad – one sane voice emerges…

Damien on… War Babies – And Children

I was born in September, 1952 – which makes me a “Baby Boomer”.

The post-WW2 baby-boom started (obviously) in 1946. However, when it ended is harder to say. Since the eventual decline in births was gradual, some estimates put it as late as the early Sixties.

Either way, during the Fifties, I was only a child – and by the time I was sexually active, the late Sixties had arrived.

But the generation BEFORE mine were not so lucky…

First, their pets were put down (despite the RSPCA’s protestations, about 750,000 pet dogs and cats were euthanized at the outbreak of war, following a War Office directive – in those days, people obeyed their government, the fools) then they were posted to Norfolk where, separated from their parents for most of their formative years, they were routinely buggered.

And when the war was over, they were returned to society – and entered the Fifties. Far from being Fabulous, the decade was a GRIM time. There was no money. Everything was in black and white. And while today we imagine Rock ‘N’ Roll ruled, the truth was – the charts were dominated by M.O.R. music.

As for sex, after the go-for-it Forties – where people did not know if they would SEE tomorrow – REPRESSION had set in. You could wank to “Health And Efficiency” (in America, “National Geographic”) but that was it. And women who got pregnant out-of-wedlock could end up incarcerated in mental institutions, classed as a “moral danger to themselves and others”.

Even the early Sixties was not much better. The Birth Pill was only available to married women over 25, who had had at least one child.

Only when I left school, in 1969, did the pendulum swing – along with everything else.

And today, the results of that swinging – preceded by two decades of repression – are finally being uncovered.

Jimmy Savile – born 1926.

Rolf Harris – born 1930.

William Roache – born 1932.

Jimmy Tarbuck – born 1940.

Freddie Starr – born 1943.

Max Clifford – born 1943.

Gary Glitter – born 1944.

Dave Lee Travis – born 1945.

Paul Gambaccini – born 1949.


8 Responses to “Damien on… War Babies – And Children”

  1. Yes MOR, including, you could say comic/gimmick plus happy-snappy. (my invented terms I think).

    But WHEN YOU COULD HEAR IT Doo-Wop on Luxy depending on the record company that had paid for the segment. AFN was Top Pop ONLY on the US Top Twenty (on Saturday 22h00 CET 23h00 GMT I think). The Stateside Scene of Sound was more unpredictable but mostly Pop (on Sunday same hour slot).

    Why Do Fools Fall In Love was a stand-alone sensation as far as I felt. It did herald a more cool MOR you might say. The Platters were by far the leading sound, and made Rosemary Clooney and Guy Mitchell look mechanical.

    Then, BAM, Rock Around The Clock (1954 but got no place) hit us in 1957 (if I get it right) and ewe were underway. That was the year that jobs were at last many enough to employ everyone.

    Rock and Roll stopped dead when Elvis put on uniform, brought out Wooden Heart and all the movie mush, and Cliff brought out Living Doll (wide appeal Pop but a clear announcement that Rock and Roll was history).

    I left school in 1958, straight into a job, and no dole-days until 1982.

    During the 1960s, we went thru Beatles-inspired working-class home-made oik-mush.

    Then Rolling Stones (excellent musically, but boringly raucous vocally, by design we are told) cover-version Chicago-Electric-Guitar-Blues.

    You came on the music consumer scene as we enjoyed Psychedelia, Folk-Rock, and Classic-Rock.

    Finally (in parallel with each other) Teeny-Bopper (as I call it) and Glam Rock.

    But Punk garbage ruined everything. Disco had been irritating at first but crossed-over into mainstream chart and influenced everything.

    Power Ballad was the excellent evolved style of Ballad but its lyrics were more cool, rather than formal suit-and-tie pre-sex-revolution.

    The Big Band was before my time, and the Sinatra-style evolved lounge ballad mixed with Movie Musical ballad seemed old fashioned for a long time to me, until I moved into the scene from Ella Fitzgerald with such songs as Every Time We Say Goodbye, and Sinatra with Brazil, and To Love And Be Loved, for examples..

  2. Although “my” era did not begin until the late Sixties, I was VERY aware of the Pop scene, from ’63 onwards – and thanks to my parents 78s-only record player, soon became acquainted with the earlier genres too (including Doo-Wop – although I only really began to appreciate THAT when it was used in “American Graffiti”). But thanks to the afore-mentioned MOR imposition, my appreciation of Fifties R’N’R only really happened in RETROSPECT, during its 15-years-after naustalgia boom.

  3. I didn’t say Fifties sexual repression was the SOLE cause of paedophilia – just that it promoted it. Historically, it has ALWAYS been around – and sadly always WILL be. No matter HOW sexually open a society is, personal issues will inevitably rise to the surface. The point of this piece was that because of the Fifties’ repression – it became ENDEMIC.

  4. Well, at the risk of being called “repressed”, I dare to suggest that the lad is probably addicted to porn.
    BTW, be careful what you write. William Roache has been tried and aquitted while Jimmy Tarbuck and Freddie Starr haven’t been charged with anything.

  5. Huh? Which “lad”? I don’t GET that bit.

    But regarding the list of people who lived through that particularly repressed era: I have merely quoted them as a “result” – simply referring to their current plight – I was careful not to ACCUSE them of anything. Some may very well be INNOCENT.

    However, some may NOT – either way, it is “instructive” (as Holmes used to say) that all of the FUSS is being made about people FROM THAT ERA.

  6. Did you not read the article I linked to? I was referring to the 15 year old boy who raped a 10 year old girl. And while we’re on the subject what excuse do you make for ex-Lost Prophet, Ian Watkins, born 1977? Hardly the Victorian period!
    And which ‘era’ in particular are you referring to? There are 23 years between Savile and Gambaccini, a whole generation.
    It appears to me that you are clutching at straws in an attempt to defend the sex- obsessed, porn-drenched zeitgeist.

  7. This is getting SILLY. My article defended NO-ONE. It merely pointed out the LINK between sexual repression – which was at its height in the Fifties – and the resultant RISE in paedophilia among those who lived through that era.

    I could have written a similar article about a certain organised religion. However, I LIVED through the Fifties (albeit as a small boy) – and know nothing about that church. And one writes about what one knows.

    YES – I read the article you provided the link for. But it was irrelevent. As I have already stated, OF COURSE monstrous acts are/were committed all the time – I never suggested the Fifties generation was UNIQUE.

    This began as a SMALL piece noting the link between repression and its backlash. And it ends HERE.

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