Tuesday, 28 April 2009

Start Me Up

Skittling through the early years, I was born August 1960, eldest of four children, brought up in a home of limited musical content – my father liked James Last, Acker Bilk and, his saving grace, Nat King Cole. http://www.nat-king-cole.org Funnily enough it was my grandmother on Mum's side who was largely responsible for what was to become, at times, an all consuming love of music. She worked in the record department of Warwick electrical store Bonel & Curtis, and passed on to me the occasional 7” single, most memorably “Chirpy Chirpy Cheep Cheep” by Middle Of The Road, and “Mouldy Old Dough” by Lieutenant Pigeon http://www.lieutenantpigeon.co.uk/

This latter platter featuring on piano Mrs Hilda Woodward, great aunt of one of my class mates at Leamington College For Boys and the choice of Jarvis Cocker as one of his Desert Island Discs back in 2005. http://www.bbc.co.uk/radio4/factual/desertislanddiscs_20050424.shtml
At the age of 13 I was introduced by a school friend, alas name long since forgotten, to the delights of Buddy Holly http://www.buddyhollyonline.com/ and, much as his music had influenced Lennon & McCartney some 15 years earlier (...hey, if you're going to make a specious comparison, make it a big one.....) so I too never looked back.

A year later, and possibly my most shameful admission, a visit to Boots record department, acting as the stooge on look out and diversion for a thieving school friend, saw me own my first album, his slightly scratched copy of Lou Reed's “Berlin”, our (well, mostly his, m'lud) illegal actions providing him with a replacement mint copy. http://www.ew.com/ew/article/0,,20213002,00.html How cool it is to be able to report that as the first album I owned? I'll confess though that I failed to love it much then, appreciating none of its references to depression and drug addiction, though it went on to become an important part of a significant collection of albums by junkies and dope-fiends alike.

My first real passion was 10CC's “Sheet Music” http://www.minestrone.org/zigzag44.htm which I was given on pre-recorded cassette for my 14th birthday in August 1974, and which I listened to on permanent repeat for the best part of a year. I remember every word to at least half a dozen of the tracks, and will never tire of listening to this innately clever pop masterpiece.

Otherwise, odd songs stand out as being ever present throughout my mid to late teens - “School's Out”, “My Sweet Lord” and “Telegram Sam” spring to mind, but truth be told, from 15 to 17, music took a back seat to the “study” of UFO's , (fear not friends, as passionate a believer as I then was I am now as sceptical) http://www.conspiracyarchive.com/UFOs/UFOs_Aliens_Contactees.htm On recovering my senses, my love of music and all the ensuing consequences returned with alarming vengeance when I left school and started earning a living, the princely sum of £15 a week in my pocket, most of which I'd spend on records. Which I continued to do for the next 22 years....

Following the time frame, you'll have worked out that it was the glorious year of 1977 when life took a moderately interesting turn, setting in motion a series of events, experiences and encounters, some of which I'll deign to share through this blog. I'll apologise in avance for what might seem like a bunch of (wholly essential) name dropping, as I ofttimes lead my life vicariously through the action and adventures of others - it might just be fun.

Coming Soon - My First Fanzine

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