Unfortunately a handful of pop stars of that era were, in reality, nonces.
You can type the search query – 70s pop peados into Google and you’ll see the likes of Gary Glitter, Jonathan King, and Rolf Harris.
But this post isn’t about real sex offenders (well, not directly) it’s about looking like one.
You might be wondering how anyone can look like a nonce – well, with my in-depth, detailed analysis, all will be revealed.
It’s plain to see
Looking like that creepy uncle your family doesn’t mention or the neighbour your mum told you to steer clear of, was the universal aesthetic for the 1970s British male pop singer.
(There were exceptions: David Essex, Mark Bolan, and Bowie… swoon.)
Alvin Stardust was popular and a sex symbol:
Yes. You read that right.
He looks like a glam rock child catcher.
His singing style is just as creepy especially when you hear the line, “C’mon let’s go to my flat, lay down and groove on the mat.” It’s terrifying. Take a look:
(And what’s with the weird way he holds the mic?)
There’s something about having the word “flat” in a lyric that makes it sound more grubby to me. I have a very clear image of what his flat looks like and it isn’t a Manhattan loft apartment.
And would he tempt you to his flat? I’m guessing you’d run as fast as your legs could carry you.
(I actually like this song, despite it sounding like a Spirit in the Sky rip-off.)
I’m being a little mean. And there’s a small part of me that enjoys his sinister vibe. He certainly was different but I’m so confused about the audience he was appealing to.
And we can’t let this next act slide, the glorious – Mud.
(Mudslide? glorious mud? No? Fair enough.)
Imagine that music exec meeting:
“What we need is a man band. Proper blokes. They should look past their best, you know, jaded, like you would after a life spent drinking pints of Double Diamond.”
And they MUST look old
70s man band members should, on average, look about 50. It’s also imperative they possess the sex appeal of a week-old Wetherspoons’ breakfast.
Bands like Slade and Wizard, all decent fellas I’m sure, just looked like they’d had the hardest of paper rounds.
Please, don’t get me wrong, I dig an older man but I don’t want him to look – dug up, nor look like he’s been trying to lure children into a car on the promise of seeing kittens.
The 70s were fucked up
The idea that these blokes were a young girl’s fantasy is a bit mad.
Especially by today’s standards.
And some girls did, in reality, like them. They had posters of these popsters on their bedroom walls. But when pickings are slim, what’s a teenager to do?
The Americans had the right idea.
They knew what those girls wanted: David Soul, David Cassidy, and the lovely Donny Osmond. (Ha! The three Ds!) Personally, David Soul get’s my heart racing. No, not now. Now he looks like a dead body that’s spent a month in water.
They were different times
Men getting with teenage girls was very 1970s.
And although it wasn’t exclusive to that decade, there was something about 70s popular culture that made it seem acceptable.
The inappropriate sexual attitudes towards girls were pervasive.
Girls were viewed as ‘fair game’.
Particularly those ‘fast girls’ who were actively courting inappropriate behaviour. What these men were doing was the responsibility of those ‘promiscuous girls’, right?
A girl was suddenly granted autonomy when she sought to ‘lead a man astray’. An imbalance of power doesn’t factor into it. Nor the idea that some men should know how to behave with children. They should, at the very least, try not to fuck them.
These piss-poor attitudes only helped the real sex offenders to carry on getting away with their crimes.
All this despite some within certain establishments knowing what they were doing – the same establishments who were often the so-called purveyors of decency (yes BBC, I’m looking at you).
Creepy men will always exist
At 14 (in 1994) I experienced what now would be described as grooming by a man in his thirties. Luckily for me nothing physical happened but when I look back I do wonder how this guy got away with his bullshit.
So, there’s no getting away from this depressing fact: horrible people will forever walk this earth (well, until our sun burns out).
We know these types of men shouldn’t have any sexual interest in teenage girls, regardless of them being ‘nearly 16’. But back in the 70s, it wasn’t a concern.
You only have to listen to the song lyrics of that era, indeed prior to that era, women and girls were the same thing. There’s no difference between them and we still readily describe grown-ass women as girls.
Just a little side note: girls are vulnerable. They haven’t developed a clear sense of self. They lack confidence, and they’re easily manipulated. Girls have little or no autonomy and that’s catnip to predatory men. Describing women as girls seeks to remove their agency and infantilise them.
Thankfully, our current British pop stars look much better.
(With the exception of Ed Sheeran.)
They look more like the sort of chaps, young gals should fantasise about. And we can also rest easy (well, easier) that our attitudes are not (entirely) stuck in the 70s.
REMINDER: none of the examples I have used in the post are convicted sex offenders.