There are some nights when finding myself alone I end up walking the pages of Youtube. Its a veritable memory lane really and it brings back such powerful and emotional memories.
There is the video of Sandie Shaw that reminds me of our black and white TV with curtains in the small living room of the two up two down that was home in Westlands Road, Hull. I would sneek down to watch Top of the Pops and I do remember how I hated the Rolling Stones but adored Ms. Shaw. Cuddled in beside my Mum on the sofa watching the black and white box in the corner. How innocent I was… we all seemed to be back in the 1960s.
Later we moved to Willerby…. it was a ‘posh’ neighbourhood on the outskirts of Hull. We had a huge backyard with veggie patch and a lawn we could play football on. I actually had my own room – you could barely swing a cat in it but it was mine…..
I grew up in the 70’s and what a time that was…. TRextasy swept me up and I can still remember buying used singles for 50p in the market and then playing them in the front room over and over and over again until my poor parents were ready to scream. I really liked Jeepster among the singles but it was usually the B-sides that captivated me – Jitterbug Love, Sunken Rags, Thunderwing and more…. My first LP was Ride A White Swan, a compilation of T.Rex. When others moved on to Slade and The Sweet, I stayed loyal…. T. Rex all the way. I was gutted when Marc Bolan died in 1978 just a few months after I decided not to go to Hornsea to see him because I would have plenty of time…..
Of course, my tastes did change…. I was in awe of David Bowie and The Spiders From Mars (who were actually, like me, from Hull…. though to some folk, that is more or less Mars). The Jean Genie – what a song! I listen to that and I am instantly transported to that era when singles sold by the thousands a day and dreams were real.
Back then, I was in a band. We met every thursday night and strummed acoustic guitars and dreamed while playing records….. when we got a little older my Dad would furnish his home brew and lemonade and make sure his ear plugs were in because we had gone electric… Our name was NEMO – not like the fish but like Captain Nemo. We thought it was funny that Nemo was no one in latin…. No one in concert! I wrote our biggest song – Norma Jean – and we recorded it in the local studio. I will never forget my Dad and how impressed he was and how he got us on Radio Humberside.
Of course, the local tarot lady told me back then I had a choice…. books or guitar. If I chose guitar I would enjoy only mediocre success on the other hand books would get me my dreams… I listened. I wonder why. Guitar would have been so much more fun.
But its impossible to capture the magic of the 70’s. Next I got urned on to the Quo. It was a Frenchman that did it but thats another story.
Of course, our generation lucked out again with punk. I mean I was right there when the Pistols, Clash, Cure, Blondie, the list is endless, exploded on the scene. As stage manager at Aston University I actually got to meet many of them including the Police, Wreckless Eric, Lene Lovitch and I snogged Rachel Sweet…Can’t be bad now can it. The Police asked me to join them. That story appears elsewhere on this blog and I said NO…. why?
Back in those days I hitched everywhere. I recall my Dad dropping me off on the M1 so I could hitch back to Aston on a Sunday night! Back in Birmingham, a young lady by the name of Paula waited for me in a warm place….. she knitted me gloves for Xmas complete with fingers. My Mum said she must love me…LOL!
In time Paula went by the wayside but the first true love always has a place….
By this time, I was getting cocky along with the music… I recall meeting an absolute doll the night I graduated. She asked me how I did, I told her I got a first and the next thing I know … well probably best not said…. Life was dangerous and edgy just like the music.
Leaving Aston I was lucky enough to get a PhD topic that involved flying to North America for fieldwork -Nova Scotia. I arrived in the summer of 1978 looking like a copy of Sting. White T-Shirt with safety pins, black leather trousers, sneakers, spikey blonde hair and not an inch of fat anywhere… It took me all of two days to hook up with the town belle who thought she had found a pop star…. what fun! Of course, by then I was listening to Bryan Adams….
Memories. What a life.
I took my eldest son to Wembley to see Mr. Adams when he was what 4? Wonder if he remembers….
Me, I’m off to bed recalling what a lucky sod I have been….with a tear in my eye.