This column first appeared in last week’s Isle of Man Examiner

My favourite decade for music is the 1970s. I have a theory that when you reach your mid-teenage years equates to your personal favourite decade, but no science to prove it.

On Easter Monday I co-hosted a ‘Seventies Spectacular’ on Manx Radio with Andy Wint between 5pm and 7pm and got some great feedback at the time and since.

I’ve long felt that the 70s justifies a radio show in its own merits because not only was there so much great music to choose from but the variation of different types is more than any other decade.

We have glam rock, singer-songwriters, pop, disco, reggae, rock, soul, punk rock and more. Hopefully we can do it all again sometime soon.

One topic that kept coming up and is associated with many decades was the Palace Lido.

Those who contacted the show remembered various gigs and personalities Jimmy Gillespie, Paul Gaskell, Stu Lowe, Malcolm Crellin, Freddy Bell and Pam Caple amongst others.

Pam’s Bar was always very busy and I think I remember the ‘party five’ large containers of beer.

Freddy was one of the bouncers at the Lido and other venues and I can recall being bounced out of the place by him for getting a bit carried away (no pun intended) but completely true.

Jimmy was associated with the venue as manager for a long time and I think it was after a visit to Scotland that he proposed one of the very successful reinvention’s.

It became the HiTec laser disco opening on May 26, 1984, it went on to win the regional heat and national title of Royal Gold Discotheque of the year 1986 and featured on the TV show ‘The Hit Man and Her’ in 1989.

It had nine bars and held 6,000 people and Stu suggests even more attended for the Rolling Stones.

I think we were very fortunate in the 1970s that with all the visitors on top of the local music lovers we were able to see all the top bands of the day on a Sunday night at the Lido.

A big music fan and friend of many, Brian Callow, suggested to all of us who enjoyed the bands in the 1970s: ‘What was your favourite gig in the island?’

Let’s have some feedback!

Email [email protected], phone/text 333974 or write to 12 Manor Drive, Douglas.

Here’s a few to get your memories going.

At the Lido… Rolling Stones 1964, Kinks 1965/66, Small Faces 1966, The Who 1966/67, Jeff Beck Group 1967, Pink Floyd 1967, Cream 1967 into the seventies Judas Priest 1972, The Sweet 1972/73/74/75, Slade 1972/73 (twice!), Hawkwind 1973, 10cc 1973/74, Queen 1974, Mott the Hoople 1974, Edgar Broughton Band 1974, Thin Lizzy 1975, T Rex 1975, Curved Air 1975, Chuck Berry 1976 (pictured above),AC/DC 1976, Procul Harem 1976, Kursaal Flyers 1977, Gillan 1979, Generation X 1979 and into the 1980s Uriah Heep 1982/92, Girlschool 1983, Motorhead 1984,Dr Feelgood 1987/90, Rory Gallagher 1990 and I’m sure I will have missed some so please let me know!

Predictable conversations amuse me. I don’t often get a taxi but when I do I will inevitably ask the driver ‘are you busy tonight?’, ‘What time are you working till?’

I’m sure they must be asked the same thing by others every night.

I recently got a taxi home with a very friendly driver and was trying to work out where he came from and guessed Italy.

I was wrong he’s been resident for several years and comes from Greece. A bit like Shirley Valentine (great film) in reverse.

When I go out and meet friends of a similar age it’s about ‘how are you?’

Notes are often compared about each other’s health.

I’m often asked whether I’m ‘enjoying’ retirement and my stock answer is as long as I can get out for a walk with the dogs most days somewhere around the island, I’m fine.


I would hate to be stuck in the house just watching daytime TV, much as I enjoy ‘Homes Under The Hammer’ or ‘American Pickers’.

Finally when I was a Tynwald member (and even now to a limited extent) I would often be stopped with ‘I don’t want to bother you whilst you’re out but...’

It never bothered me as I’m a people person. I once did the same thing in reverse to a doctor friend.

We were at a sports dinner and I went up to him and said ‘I don’t want to bother you whilst your out but could you look at this spot on my neck?’

I’m sure they must expect similar conversations during their ‘leisure’ time.

I guess it’s because I’m a bit reluctant to accept my own mortality but am I alone in thinking we are bombarded by all sectors of the media in relation to funerals, wills, life insurance and so on?

For those people who are house-bound and whose pleasure is watching TV they must get a bit fed up with the repeated ‘special offers’ in this area.

Of course it’s sensible to plan ahead for the inevitable but I guess it’s an easy link for the providers of such services.

My dad became aware a few weeks before his death that the time was imminent.

He had not updated his will in many years and by that time his health prevented alteration so it caused him some distress.

I had been told by the specialist a little while before of his prognosis but had chosen not to tell my dad so as not to cause him unnecessary concern but in the end the reverse applied.

We all should have a will completed just for certainty when the time comes, but I haven’t despite the fact that when my dad died and I bought a plot for his burial I bought the adjacent one for the future.

I also had a concern about organ donation but after hearing first hand from the mum of a young boy who lost his life in an accident and who went on to help others I changed my mind.

The law has since been amended in as much as if you are not prepared to donate you must opt out.

The same applies in relation to choosing the right to die.

At least twice when I was in the House of Keys a vote was carried to not even discuss the matter in committee.

I have always voted for such discussion and, with adequate protection in law to avoid any abuse, have always supported the right to choose.

A private members bill from Dr Alex Allinson MHK is currently being consulted on to bring laws on our island to provide for a properly structured provision for those who wish it with all the protections needed to prevent abuse.

It is vital that no one would feel bullied or under an obligation to participate because they were made to feel a burden on those closest to them.

Surely those of sound mind who wish to make such a personal choice for future circumstances affecting them are entitled to compassion and proper consideration and approval of appropriate legislation.

David’s next column appears in tomorrow’s Isle of Man Examiner