My inspiration for writing this story really came from the music of 1978. I've been watching the BBC repeats of the original episodes of Top of the Pops from 1977 and 1978 and have been absolutely loving them. The clothes! The music! The “effects”! The set design! The fabulousness of Legs & Co... Here they are strutting their stuff to Toska's favourite song, the awesome Uptown Top Ranking
Interestingly, despite the fact 1978 had incredible diversity in the charts: reggae, punk, new wave, disco, soul, prog rock… the Grease soundtrack was the biggest selling album of the year, and Summer Nights and You’re The One That I Want were number one for 16 weeks in total, proving that cheesy pop wins every time.
My other inspiration for this fic was rugby! I love rugby, but I could never fully get into a proper rugby J2 AU, so this is about as good as it gets. Jensen's (and my) inspiration for his rugby training and penalty taking was stolen entirely from Jonny Wilkinson, England's former record-breaking fly-half. He has said in interviews that he visualises "the old lady in the stand" whenever he takes a penalty to help his aim. He also always used to insist on hitting three perfect goals in a row after every training session before he allowed himself to leave the field. Here he is in an advert for Adidas alongside David Beckham from 2003, which I remember very fondly ;-)
For those who are interested in the historic background to this story, and all the strikes and power cuts Jensen starts noticing when he goes home... the winter of 1978 was commonly known as the Winter of Discontent due to the numerous trade union strikes, crazy levels of inflation, and particularly harsh weather. Most public trade unions went on strike, particularly the lorry drivers, morgue attendants, and famously the binmen, which led to Westminster council dumping rubbish in Leicester Square and a huge rat problem for the West End.
What happened during the Winter of Discontent ended up bringing down the Labour government and brought about the huge success of Margaret Thatcher in 1979. Depending on your point of view, she either smashed up the union fat-cats and “made Britain great again”, or completely destroyed entire industries and devastated working class communities, particularly in the north. Anyway, it was fascinating period in history and I've really loved the opportunity to research it for this story.