I still remember that magical moment. Top of the Pops 1971 and a little corkscrew-haired fellow with a star of glitter on each cheek, singing about a hubcap diamond star halo and a cloak full of eagles.
This was Marc Bolan and T.Rex who sold an incredible 100,000 singles a day.
And suddenly the floodgates were smashed open. Music changed, with bands like Mott the Hoople, David Bowie and Alice Cooper charging the charts. Roxy Music and Slade were in there too, along with Bruce Springsteen and Queen.
Make no mistake; these were exciting times that produced a storm of original and innovative music that washed across the whole country.
I know it’s popular to bash the X-factor these days. But let’s face it, the little karaoke trolls who clamber onto the stage to show they have a talent can hardly compete with the real bands of yesteryear.
They don’t have much time to impress, either. In a recent hour long episode of the X-Factor there was a total of eight minutes of actual music!
Where the bands of yesteryear missed out was that if they had a sad story about their dead grandfather / mother / cat they kept it to themselves.
Back then, everybody thought they could front a band. But you didn’t need a panel of judges to put up four big “X”s to tell you that you were rubbish. Your mates had their own unique way of telling you.
I know, because they told me.
So, let’s not bash The Britain’s Got X Factor Idol Talent Extravaganza. After all, if the likes of Iggy Pop, David Bowie, the Rolling Stones or The Beatles stepped onto that clinically produced TV stage they would get the big red “X”s above their heads within seconds.
More recent bands such as U2, The Stone Roses and the Sex Pistols wouldn’t stand a chance. Why? Because they would be delivering songs they had penned themselves rather than just ripping off the work of previous performers. Their delivery would be energetic, original and vibrant. And we certainly don’t want that, do we?
We don’t want to see another Marc Bolan creating mass hysteria and fresh, new, exciting music. Actual entertainment rather than just another “good singer”.
No, thank you. We want a brown sludge of musical mediocrity. And thankfully we have the TV talent shows to give us exactly that.