Saturday, 15 August 2009


Dundee features in this episode of The Big Yin cartoon strip from December 1976 - on the list of gig cancellations!
The Big Yin was of course, Billy Connolly, who in the mid 70's had started to hit the big time. As well as his stage shows, he also indulged in tv films, had records in the pop charts and had now become the star of his own cartoon strip in the Sunday Mail.
The character was created by Malky McCormick, who himself appears in the strip as The Wee Man, The Big Yins chum.
Every Sunday the strip would revolve around that weeks topics, and in this particular instalment, the main subject that hit the headlines was all the publicity the Sex Pistols received after their notorious ding-dong with Bill Grundy, followed by the commotion caused by their cancelled shows..!!


  1. Dundee councillors, ever on the ball, told the Courier 'they (the Pistols)dismember live animals on stage'.
    DC's finest added something like 'they dyed their hair green, skewered safety pins through their noses and charged the audience with guitars swinging'.
    As for the Big Yin cartoon, Connolly put a stop to it when McCormick did a strip with BC sporting a tattoo 'doon wi' the English' or a weegee-ism to that effect.
    Very few people in Dundee 'got' punk rock in 1977.
    It's that sort of place.

  2. Jock your comments sound so elitist, I was around in 1977 and many people in Dundee and the surrounding areas did switch on to punk.

  3. Yeah, you and forty others.
    I was one of that forty two, getting flung out of places for wearing safety pins, torn T-shirts etc.
    Laughed at in the street (probably still going on) and ridiculed by workmates for playing the stuff.
    Would I remember you from gigs like the Buzzcocks or Rezillos in The Ambassador?
    Not for me to say but I get tired of being right all the time.

  4. I think Dundee people 'did get' punk but maybe not in a big way in 1977, took a little more time to get here, say 1978? Lots of great, classic punk bands also played in Dundee, more than in Aberdeen so there must have been a punk scene to make this happen. I don't think you are right all the time Jock, but some of your opinions do carry weight and some don't. You sound very negative and bitter about Dundee which I can understand as its the type of place that can get you down if you don't move out / travel broaden your horizons and give something back. If at first you don't succeed...

  5. Well I did leave and if you'd had some of my experiences with various Dundee bodies, you'd probably have the same views as me.
    Dundee has been run by crooks and thugs for decades.
    Anybody think I'm wrong about that?
    Mention the 'D' word elsewhere and see what response it brings.
    A former councillor (one of the few decent ones) told me Dundee had taken decades to achieve its image of a corrupt city and that it would take as long to rid itself of that image.
    I'm still counting......
    Dundee has a cloud of gloom over it, even on the sunniest of days.
    Gadge City.
    Scotland's least Scottish place.
    Who's next for shaving?

  6. FFS Jock that's one hell of a chip on your shoulder !

    I was around when the gigs were being played at the Maryatt, Bowling Alley and was it the Old Palais in South Tay St ? .... At least I think it was there but I was very young and used to just hope like hell that some student would take pity on me and sign me in :-) I think I kinda remember you but I'm thinking you may be older. I was 16 in 1977.

  7. 'Chip on my sholulder'?
    I'm only stating what I've seen and heard.
    If people are stupid enough to believe PR campaigns then they deserve to stay fooled.
    This auld punk knows better.
    Which bands did you see?

  8. 4 be 2's were mingin by the way

  9. Did the 4 be 2's play Dundee?
    I'm only aware of a dub-style single and a bunch of lads wearing their T-shirts jumping in front of cameras on TOTP.
    Wasn't John Lydon's brother in them?
    I think Jock McDonald managed them.
    Surely no Dundee connection though?

  10. aye jockie, im sure jock mcdonald was in the 4b2's too. remember reading an interview in the sounds,, beh goad is " the sounds" still going. ? and ye canny accuse me o no being "there" as i met ya at that very gig in the ambassador, Eater were supposed to be supporting them that night.
    can someone no start up a " where are they now" thread. Im still biding up in Sam Marie and kerrying a kettle for a hangbag ;)
    p.s BUZZCOCKS !

  11. Buzzcocks ye say?
    We both saw them again about 16 years later and there were lads there we hadn't seen since '77.
    Best 'B' moment we had was before curtain up in a Chekov piece, you in a sombre black dress and me in tweeds both whispering 'Buzzcocks' to show we hudnae forgotten oor roots.
    But at the Ambassador in '77, your opening gambit was to ask if I knew anywhere the Pistols might have been playing.
    Do you think I should give the audio of Even The Good Times Were Bad to this site?
    It's better than any of that pish Dundee Rep ever put on.
    The Billy McKenzie play, Balgay Hill was the last straw for me.
    But aye.

  12. Seem to remember it was The Prefects who supported The Buzzcocks that night

  13. I remember that the punks used to congregate outside Boots on a Saturday afternoon.

  14. That was probably 1979/80 3rd generation punks you saw, those of the Oi/Exploited/Mohawk variety. It is quite possible you would have saw some 1st generation punks further up the street hanging out in Bruce's, that would have been around 77' or 78'.

  15. I think thats a great idea actually, to put the soundtrack of "good times" .. do you know folks still stop me in the street to tell me they saw it. Ya should have made triple the tapes ya made.
    and no it wasnt the Prefects it was some duff Dundee band that got their wifes to take their wrangler flares in, stepped in at last min.
    I used to get buses from napper thomson and we would go see bands in Glasgow and edinburgh,, oh and falkirk for the adverts supported by Jonathon Richmond. happy daze maaan !

    /waves a blue cloot at jock.

  16. Oh yes, those buses ha ha ha, went on a few of them to some great punk gigs, kinema, clouds, sat city. Can you put the good times soundtrack up jock / retro dundee? would love to hear it x

  17. 'Even The Good Times Were Bad' was toured by The La' Hull Theatre Company sixteen years ago.
    We did a shorter version for audio and I'd be happy to donate it here.
    The play is centred on two Dundee cleaners on their last day of work reminiscing on, amongst other things, Churchill, jute-boiling, Wullie's Mince, steeping yer feet in boiling Marmite and the device called The Puss Punching Machine.
    Tanner a go that was.
    Anybody remember having a shottie on that?

  18. sheest I was in Glasgow just the other week, and was reminiscing about satellite city. was telling a pal who is only 27, she looked suitably bored. :) was that the sham 69 and rich kids gig? smd the kinema.. oh braw until someone stole my bikers leather that i only got out the clubbie book the week before !
    and sir jock, some mornings i feel i have had a half a dozen shotties on the puss punching machine ! Union street has never been the same since they removed it ower a health and safety issue. Political correctness gone mad ! L x

  19. Does anyone know what happened to the puss-punching machine?
    Champion the Wonder Horse has surfaced but what about the iron fist and boxing glove on the extending arm?

  20. hhhhmm seemingly hultoon folks were up in arms over its removal..I was only wee at the time but i aye mind katie bairdie telling me they decided to punch their OWN pusses and " save a tanner". There must be a picture of it someplace ! Now the star and garters closed too. many a night folks would stagger out of there for a go.
    Im old enough to remember ( serious) going into the star n garter and asking for a drink for me and female pals and getting refused, i was fed up getting knock back for being a punk, so i questioned the auld barman. He said he didnt care what I was just that they didnt serve lone females !! how quaint !

    widna get awa wi that noo like .

  21. What the heck is a Puss Punching Machine ?

  22. I think he was one of the doormen on Teazers or was it Tiffs?

  23. The puss-punching machine was the precursor of the wii.
    It was a simple amusement for simple folk and it used to be in the arcade.
    A sixpenny piece was the requirement for participation.
    Its removal in the sixties brought anger and shame in equal amounts.
    Dundee never recovered from its disappearance and until it is re-instated, it is said Dundee will forever cower under a canopy of gloom.