Shocking Blue

Shocking Blue was a Dutch quartet which emerged from The Hague, in 1967. Its initial membership was that of vocalist, Fred de Wilde; guitarist and backing vocalist, Robbie van Leeuwen; bass guitarist, Klaasje van der Wal; and drummer, Cor van der Beek.

Nevertheless, by the time its universally acclaimed single, “Venus”, entered the American Billboard Hot 100 chart, in December of 1969, Mariska Veres was the group’s vocalist. “Venus” became the Netherlands’ first No.1 hit in America, where it topped the chart for three weeks. Global sales of the recording were to exceed five million copies.

Shocking Blue disbanded in 1974, but not before it had released some eleven albums and twenty-five singles.

Today, “Venus”, with the passing of time, is more associated with the British female vocal duo, Bananarama, which also took it to No.1 internationally, in 1986.

Shocking Blue’s song, “Love Buzz”, was chosen by Nirvana to be its debut single, in 1988. “Love Buzz” is a psychedelic track on the album, ‘At Home’, which was first released in 1969.

Mariska Veres died from cancer, in December of 2006, at the age of fifty-nine.

Carpet Lier: Wednesday, 21st December, 1977

At eight o’clock, I tuned the radio to 2KY’s breakfast show. Phil Haldeman, who was formerly one of 2SM’s ‘Good Guys’, had as his guest the singer and pianist, Jade Hurley. Phil stated that he was “on 2WG (in Wagga Wagga) late 1958 and all 1959”.

I hung out the load of washing for Tiki and washed last night’s dishes. At Miranda Post Office I purchased a stamp for fifteen cents. It depicts Father Christmas riding on a surfboard. It was shortly after that that I made the mistake of paying five dollars and fifty cents for a packet of twenty Christmas cards in Grace Bros and knew after I’d bought them that I’d spent more than Tiki would have wanted me to.

When Tiki rang, at twenty past one, I was called a “dummy” numerous times before she finally began to calm down. She hadn’t been in the best of moods to begin with and stated that she wanted to leave work and come home.

This afternoon’s offering from the series, ‘Ripcord’, focuses upon a group of old men who have formed a pact to suicide and as a result one of eight numbered parachutes is sabotaged. The men bet on which of the parachutes will fail to operate. Upon its conclusion, at half past two, I turned to Channel Two to watch the last day’s play in the Second Test which is being played in Perth.

Australia lost the wicket of Craig Serjeant when he was on twelve, having already had John Dyson dismissed yesterday prior to stumps, after he had scored but four. ‘The Mod Squad’, at three o’clock, is about stolen pigeons that carry encephalitis and end up in the keeping of a young boy. Australia, at lunch, is two wickets down for ninety-nine. Tony Mann, who was sent in as a nightwatchman, is not out on fifty-seven.

‘Right On’, Channel Ten’s pop programme, screens from four o’clock and, as per usual, is hosted by Kobe Steele. A thunderstorm is quite near and it is beginning to rain as I write. It contains a little hail, which concerns me because Tiki doubtless has the ‘Galant’ parked in the open at Cronulla where she is having her hair cut.

The rain has ceased after twenty minutes.

Tiki arrived home at twenty past five and we shared a bottle of ‘KB’ and a few pieces of her delicious birthday cake. Tony Mann was dismissed for one hundred and five, in this only his second Test. David Ogilvie compiled a slow, yet valuable forty-seven and, at tea, Australia is four for two hundred and twenty-two, still requiring a further one hundred and seventeen runs to win.

We departed at a quarter to seven on a brisk walk through Miranda and Gymea. As we were approaching the Miranda Telephone Exchange, a Scot crossed the road to ask if we knew how to direct him to Kiora Road.

“You’re in it!” I retorted.

Tiki and I couldn’t help but have a smile over the incident.

We arrived home at twenty-nine minutes to eight and Tiki watched another episode of ‘The Restless Years’ while I, too, sat in front of it holding my ‘trannie’ and the broadcast of the Test from Perth to my left ear. At half past the hour and in spite of protestations from Tiki, who wanted to watch the ‘Bing Crosby Christmas Special’, which had been recorded just five weeks before his death, I turned the dial to the live coverage of the Test.

Peter Toohey was caught on the fence — not literally — at deep mid-on when his score was on eighty-three and just nine runs were required for victory. With his score on twenty-three, Steve Rixon was adjudged to be leg before wicket to a delivery from Bedi without further advancement to Australia’s score. Nevertheless, it was the four that was struck over cover by Jeff Thomson that was to bring Australia victory and a lead of two Tests to nil in the series.

Australia finished on eight for three hundred and forty-two with Thomson on six and Wayne Clark also unbeaten on five. Captain, Bob Simpson, was named ‘Man of the Match’, having scored one hundred and seventy-six and thirty-nine.

We retired to bed at twenty-two minutes past nine, however, Tiki, who’s obviously going through an even more demandingly profound time at work than even I had realised, ordered me to lie on the carpet between the bed and the window until seventeen minutes to ten because I had deprived her of watching Bing Crosby.

Brotherly Love: Thursday, 22nd December, 1977

Tiki prepared for her last day at her job for this year. Following the “2KY News” at eight o’clock, Phil Haldeman’s guest was the recording artist, Col Joye. His first three releases, “Bye, Bye Baby”, “(Rockin’, Rollin’) Clementine” and “Oh Yeah Uh Huh” all reached number one in Australia in 1959. His last entry, a cover of Tommy Overstreet’s “Heaven Is My Woman’s Love”, peaked at number three four years ago. Both Phil and Col live in the desirable suburb of Woolwich, in Sydney. By the time I’d washed the dishes, George Gibson’s programme, “Music Machine”, which is also on 2KY, had commenced.

Between twenty-five minutes to ten and five minutes to the hour, I cleared the back lawn of leaves from the rubber tree and moved Tiki’s potted plants from the sunroom to the garage where her elder sister will water them for us in our absence.

Having done that, I carried the seeds of four mangoes into the backyard where I planted each in its own separate pot prior to watering them. We know nothing about growing mangoes, but decided to try our luck, anyway.

I left at twenty-five past the hour to go in search of a diary for next year. Finally, in Myer, I selected another Collins at a cost of seven dollars and fifty-five cents. Today’s edition of “The Sun” newspaper is only comprised of thirty-two pages. Nevertheless, I still bought a copy. By the time I arrived home at ten minutes to one I’d increased my tally of miles walked to seven hundred and fifty-six.

It was then time to mow the lawns. As we are embarking on a holiday tomorrow, I lowered the cutting height to its absolute extreme.

Tiki rang at two o’clock, just as today’s edition of the series, “Ripcord”, was about to commence. She’s still fed up with the goings-on at work as, I believe, she has every right to be!

Actor, Ron Hayes, whom I remember used to speed around in an air boat in the series, “The Everglades”, is a guest star in this offering of “Ripcord” from circa 1963. His character plots with his sister to blow up a large dam. The series has Larry Pennell and Ken Curtis cast as the skydiving daredevils, Ted McKeever and Jim Buckley.

After shaving for the first time in two days, I settled down to watch “The Mod Squad” from three o’clock only to realise that I’d witnessed it previously. A boy bumps a man as he picks up a loaded gun and Julie, played by Peggy Lipton, receives a resultant wound to the side of the head. At four o’clock, Channel Ten’s “Right On” began with some loud Australian rubbish, hence I turned it off after just five minutes. I have nothing against loud music, but I refuse to listen to that which I consider to be of a discernibly lesser quality.

Tiki rang again, at twenty-five to five, to say that she’d just had a few drinks and some delicious prawns and, therefore, wouldn’t be home until after five. She was somewhat irritable when she did arrive because her boss, who just so happens to be her brother, had denied her of the holiday loading of seventeen and a half per cent due to the fact that she’d worked there for ten months and not the full year. What has irked her even more is that he’s given his secretary, of just a month or two, the day off tomorrow on full pay.

The three hundred and ninety dollars in Tiki’s pay packet means that we can allocate four hundred dollars towards our trip. She packed belongings in readiness for our early departure tomorrow. I placed the bottle green suitcase on the back seat of the ‘Galant’ and our golf clubs in the boot; prior to hosing the front lawn by hand.

The brother of the reigning Miss Australia, Gloria Krope, has been arrested for allegedly killing their father in Melbourne. Bill Hayden is interviewed on “Willesee”, this evening, after he was today elected to the leadership of the Federal Labor Party. John Newcombe and Sue Barker also appear on the programme and talk about the pros and cons of being a professional tennis player. “Bob Hope’s Christmas Special” of last year screens from half past seven and includes among its guests Neil Sedaka, Dyan Cannon and John Wayne.

Due to the heat, our brown zip-up suitcase had become stuck to the top of the wardrobe in the spare bedroom. I prised it free and Tiki packed it with some cutlery and sheets. We retired to bed at half past nine, having watched the continuation of “Cop Shop”.