Monday, October 15, 2012

Don't blame the decade for sexual abuse

"All they wanted me to do was abuse them, sexually, which, of course, I was only too happy to do."
"Girls used to queue up outside oral sex they were particularly keen on, I remember one of my regular customers, as it were, turned out to be 13, though she looked older."
Those two quotations (and they are from John Peel not Jimmy Savile) both describe life in the 1960s. Both are taken from a Julie Burchill article on Peel. She attributes the first to a Guardian interview from 1975 and the second to one he gave the long-forgotten Sunday Correspondent in 1989.

"Well, it was the Sixties," some will say. But people knew better than that in the 1960s - as I once argued in a book chapter, child abuse has been regularly discovered and forgotten over the years.

And I instantly recalled an example of very different behaviour from that decade.

Traffic, who embraced the counterculture with more enthusiasm than most, famously rented a cottage near Aston Tirrold in Berkshire to "get it together in the country".

Q Magazine once published a feature by Johnny Black about this episode - it is reproduced on the Steve Winwood and Traffic Fans site, but they do not have the date.

In it they interviewed some of the people who had been around at the time - both band members and locals. One of them was a girl from the village called Rosie Roper. Here are some of her memories:
"I was 15 when Traffic arrived in the village. Everybody was very worried about it at first. I worked in the village shop where they came every day to collect their letters. They were very strange-looking. Chris Wood had these high-heeled boots painted purple. We'd never seen anything like it. My dad reckoned they were a sweaty, smelly lot, but I got such a crush on Chris. Whenever I saw them coming, I'd take off my glasses and hide them under the counter. My dad warned me to keep away from them because of the sex and drugs and that." 
"One day, Chris came into the shop and said how he really missed home-made apple pie. So me and my sister Marion made two apple pies and took them up to the cottage that Sunday. The next day they came back with the plates and said it had been delicious. I went all red in the face." 
"If there was any drugs around, I never saw it. One day I was offered a cigarette and, quick as a flash, James Capaldi dives into his pocket and insists I have one of his. I always wondered why that was ..." 
"James took care of us girls, always making sure we didn't get into mischief. He would send us away before it got dark, and always got me to phone my dad and tell him where I was."
Perhaps that is why they called him Gentleman Jim Capaldi. And he could sing too.


Anonymous said...

I refer you to this article which debunks Burchill's poisonous lies about Peel;

Mr Right Wing said...

During this period Traffic released two brilliant albums - Mr Fantasy and the simply titled follow up, Traffic.

These were relatively easy going times, unlike the police state we are creating for ourselves today.