Write a post inspired by your sixteenth birthday
I turned sixteen in December 1974. Back then, in Ireland, the only milestone birthday was the twenty-first, so I don’t recall doing anything particularly different or unusual. What I can remember are the things that interested me around that time – the proper version of The Great Gatsby, with Robert Redford and Mia Farrow, was released that year, which triggered one of the hairstyles I discussed in my Daily Prompt: Style Icon post. It also encouraged me to read more of Mr Fitzgerald’s work. I do remember getting a copy of Zen and the Art of Motorcyle Maintenance for my birthday, and I was also quite a fan of Ursula le Guin, although the gender issues in The Left Hand of Darkness soared right over my Holy Catholic Ireland convent-educated teenage head. I struggled through “Zen”, and was devastated for the son when I learned that Phaedrus was his father. To this day I haven’t seen one review or critique of this book that acknowledged the effect the parent’s mental struggles must have had on the boy. I wish I could find my notebooks from those days, it would be interesting to read those books again and compare my inexperienced sixteen-year old take with what I might get out of them now.
I wasn’t always a book-nerd at that time. Like every teenager, I had my share of pop-star crushes. The Glam Rock thing was well under way, and the pop charts were an eclectic mix – Lena Zavaroni, the Wombles, Slade, Barry White, David Bowie, The New Seekers and Elvis Presley all jostled for our attention. Ringo Starr released “You’re Sixteen” that year and Cozy Powell had a hit with Na, Na, Na. I wonder whether two songs by rock drummers have featured in the charts in any other years? While I can’t remember exactly what I might have done for that particular birthday, just a quick glance at the UK Top 100 for 1974 sends me right back to moments, moods, snatches of memory. You know how it is, that old familiar song is played on the radio and just for a moment, you are right back to where you first heard it.
On that note, here is the song that was No 1 in the Irish charts on the week of my sixteenth birthday – also the No 1 from that Top 100 listing, and one of my birthday presents. One thing hasn’t changed – David, you are still my star