Daily prompt: Keeping my teenage head down

Daily Prompt
Teen Age Idol
Who did you idolize as a teenager? Did you go crazy for the Beatles? Ga-ga over Duran Duran? In love with Justin Bieber? Did you think Elvis was the livin’ end?

None of that. I prided myself on being above such things, although even at the time I knew the truth was far more shameful.

For a start, I knew nothing of pop music, saw few movies except those shown at boarding school where swoon-worthy was strictly censored, and didn’t clap eyes on a telly until I was almost 20. (It was new invention, not available to us lesser mortals living outside a major metropolis.) Was I likely to admit any of that to my censorious peers?

And even more shamefully, I was a tall, fat and ungainly blob of teenager, and there was no way I was going to make a fool of myself by giggling and swooning, and even less way I was going to put myself up for rejection and mirth by trying to blend in with those who did it with such admirable aplomb and agility.

So that was that.

Almost.

Secretly, I was addicted to the War Poets.

Breakfast (W W Gibson)
We ate our breakfast lying on our backs,
Because the shells were screeching overhead.
I bet a rasher to a loaf of bread
That Hull United would beat Halifax
When Jimmy Strainthorpe played full-back instead
Of Billy Bradford. Ginger raised his head
And cursed, and took the bet; and dropped back dead.
We ate our breakfast lying on our backs,
Because the shells were screeching overhead.

It wasn’t until I got to drama school (by which time I was thin) that I came to appreciate – in fact revel in – the glories of pop, rock, folk, high drama and movies with or without subtitles. And by then, it was Admiration rather than idolatry, reserved for those who were Talented, rather than merely gorgeous. Or so we told ourselves. (Students can be so full of it!)

Do I regret this gap in my rites of passage? Not at all. If you’re flying under the radar, you regret the times you broke cover rather than the times you didn’t.

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9 Responses to Daily prompt: Keeping my teenage head down

  1. Pingback: Daily Prompt: Teen Age Idols of the Swinging Sixties | Chronicles of an Anglo Swiss

  2. bkpyett says:

    Love it, I too didn’t have a TV till I was 29! So much of that age passed over my head, though the movies on Saturday night at school I always looked forward to. I guess the Beetles did take my fancy as a band at a later stage, and Bob Dylan when I was at art school, but as far as swooning over Elvis, no, not me!

  3. So, so true! Love this!

  4. “If you’re flying under the radar, you regret the times you broke cover rather than the times you didn’t.” – loved this line!

  5. Martha Kennedy says:

    I was surrounded by teen culture but not in it because “We have a bigger problem now!” Sick dad, wacked out mom, etc. etc. brother nose-diving into the “counter-culture.” I was in my early 40’s at 19 and 19 in my early 40s. Confusing, but there it was. Now what I want to know is why, as I follow your blog, it NEVER shows up in my Reader???

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