70s

Sony’s Betamax Blunder

VHS won the so-called ‘format wars’ of the 1980s – but before JVC unveiled their VCR system, Sony created the market, with their innovative Japanese launch of Betamax on 7th June, 1975.  For the first time, consumers could tape shows at home, rewind and fast-forward the best bits, and share cassettes with friends. But Betamax […]

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RETRO

VHS won the so-called ‘format wars’ of the 1980s – but before JVC unveiled their VCR system, Sony created the market, with their innovative Japanese launch of Betamax on 7th June, 1975.  For the first time, consumers could tape shows at home, rewind and fast-forward the best bits, and share cassettes with friends. But Betamax

The Band of Gold Mystery

Freda Payne’s banger ‘Band Of Gold’ sounds like a Motown record, but actually isn’t. Although written by Berry Gordy’s hit-making trio Holland-Dozier-Holland, it was released on their breakaway label, Invictus, on 25th April, 1970. Ever since, fans have speculated as to the meaning of its lyrics and the nature of the crumbled relationship within. “That

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RETRO

Freda Payne’s banger ‘Band Of Gold’ sounds like a Motown record, but actually isn’t. Although written by Berry Gordy’s hit-making trio Holland-Dozier-Holland, it was released on their breakaway label, Invictus, on 25th April, 1970. Ever since, fans have speculated as to the meaning of its lyrics and the nature of the crumbled relationship within. “That

Barry Bremen, The Great Imposter

Disguised variously as a baseball umpire, NFL referee, pro golfer, and even Dallas Cowboys cheerleader, Barry Bremen earned his reputation as America’s greatest pitch invader – a career that kicked off on 4th February, 1979. Dressed as a player for the Kansas City Kings, the 32 year-old insurance salesman crashed the court of an NBA

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RETRO

Disguised variously as a baseball umpire, NFL referee, pro golfer, and even Dallas Cowboys cheerleader, Barry Bremen earned his reputation as America’s greatest pitch invader – a career that kicked off on 4th February, 1979. Dressed as a player for the Kansas City Kings, the 32 year-old insurance salesman crashed the court of an NBA

Welcome To Wetherspoons

Now a 900 strong pub chain, with an annual turnover of £1.6 billion, J.D. Wetherspoon is a big name on the British high street. But when entrepreneur Tim Martin flung open the doors of the first branch in London’s Muswell Hill on 9th December, 1979, it was known as ‘Tim’s Free House’ – and closed

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RETRO

Now a 900 strong pub chain, with an annual turnover of £1.6 billion, J.D. Wetherspoon is a big name on the British high street. But when entrepreneur Tim Martin flung open the doors of the first branch in London’s Muswell Hill on 9th December, 1979, it was known as ‘Tim’s Free House’ – and closed

Morecambe, Wise & Mr Preview

Oscar-winning conductor André Previn was an unlikely choice of celebrity guest for the Christmas special of ‘The Morcambe and Wise Show’ recorded on 7th December, 1971 – but the 13-minute sketch they taped together remains one of Britain’s all-time favourites. The music hall-style caper – which revolves around a comically catastrophic interpretation of Grieg’s Piano

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RETRO

Oscar-winning conductor André Previn was an unlikely choice of celebrity guest for the Christmas special of ‘The Morcambe and Wise Show’ recorded on 7th December, 1971 – but the 13-minute sketch they taped together remains one of Britain’s all-time favourites. The music hall-style caper – which revolves around a comically catastrophic interpretation of Grieg’s Piano

Signal-Jamming Aliens

Your TV signal wobbles. An alien voice (albeit one with a Southern English accent…) seizes control of your set. And, instead of newsreader Andrew Gardner reporting on the Zimbabwe African National Liberation Army, you hear a voice claiming to be ‘Vrillon’, of Ashtar Galactic Command, with a message for humanity. Such was the experience for

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RETRO

Your TV signal wobbles. An alien voice (albeit one with a Southern English accent…) seizes control of your set. And, instead of newsreader Andrew Gardner reporting on the Zimbabwe African National Liberation Army, you hear a voice claiming to be ‘Vrillon’, of Ashtar Galactic Command, with a message for humanity. Such was the experience for

The Lucy Fossil – No Homo

It took over three million years to find her. But palaeontologists Donald Johanson and Tom Gray uncovered the remains of ‘the Lucy Fossil’ – a previously undiscovered species of pre-human – in Hadar, Ethiopia on 24th November, 1974. Despite the find’s massive significance, the event was not greeted with untrammelled joy by all their rival

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RETRO

It took over three million years to find her. But palaeontologists Donald Johanson and Tom Gray uncovered the remains of ‘the Lucy Fossil’ – a previously undiscovered species of pre-human – in Hadar, Ethiopia on 24th November, 1974. Despite the find’s massive significance, the event was not greeted with untrammelled joy by all their rival