Friday, 12 July 2013

Shake your Bootie Baby.


My friend posted a video clip on face book of Ottawans  "Hands Up" and it MADE MY DAY.

Memories of Mabelreign Girls High School Disco's came flooding back. Click  the video clips ( or links if you are using a mobile device) and be cheered up.

YouTube - Hands Up
Ottawan - Hands Up
My poor father had the unenviable task of acting as a "bouncer" at the infamous MGHS fund raising Discos. It served him right. There is nothing more uncool than having a parent on the PTA.  I would go, dragging my heels to the School Hall doors because I had to get a lift with him. I was torn because I knew that it was only because he was acting as a bouncer and all round herder of teenagers that I was allowed to go at all. It did not help that of my friends a handful had an almighty crush on him. I would be mortified by their sing song "Hello Mr Panas"  accompanied by hair tossing and a flurry of giggles. My father did not understand girls. He had no sisters. Girls did  not play rugby and were not  interested in shooting. He went to all-boys boarding schools  pretty much from kindergarten. He totally understood boys. Totally. And nothing shocked or surprised him about them. And in relation to his daughters he kept a beady mistrustful eye out. Which of course is a total waste of time. He would have known this if he had had sisters and knew anything about the cunning of a teenage girl.... But I am being side tracked.

Yes Sir I can Boogie

Baccara - Yes sir I can boogie

Once at the Hall I would tear off to the bathrooms to plaster my face with too much make up and sexy up my disco outfit from "appropriate for parents" to frankly, and in retrospect, just plain bloody awful. Of course I thought I was just the bee's knees with my headband and strawberry flavoured lip gloss and just been punched eye make up. I would then spend the better part of the night trying to avoid my father. Skulking in dark, damp corners of the school property with boys of disrepute or disco dancing with friends. If I was not doing that I was commiserating with some hysterical girlfriend about how cruel her now ex-best friend was or being commiserated on the same. A fair amount of time was also spent leaning against the wall of the hall looking unapproachable.

Call Me
Blondie - Call me

All that teenage hysteria , testosterone, and angst. God we must have been a bloody nightmare to supervise.

I would have to stay until the bitter end of the discos to get my parental lift home. PTA members counted up the door taking "That cash can be added to the squash court fund" and cleared the property of unruly youth and the discarded remnants of prohibited alcohol. Older teens would sneak in what they could - and what they could afford. I do remember on one occasion finding a loaf of bread that had been used to filter methylated spirits. My father went ballistic. I had no idea what it was all about or how stupid is was to do. Needless to say the discos did not last forever. MGHS and Ellis Robins had a bunch of reprobates attending their schools. Polite ones mind you but reprobates none the less. I may have caught a whiff or two of dagga but at that age had not a clue.

Those discos were a great experience. A thrilling introduction to music and mayhem  for a young teen hell-bent on destruction - in a reasonably safe environment. I don't think, at the end of the day, there were the wisest fund raising exercises the PTA ever organised but I am so glad they did.

The Bee's Knees half in school uniform


Anonymous said...

Loved this! At least you got to go. I missed that whole era somehow....nicola

Anonymous said...

Loved this post. Memories of discos at Salisbury Sports Club - I was persuaded to go to one, the police raided it(!), I was detained and I was too scared ever to go to another!