I have not been into music all that much. I have never frequented discotheques, night-clubs, raves, and the like on a regular basis, so if you are looking for a cultural history on the music scene in the Midlands then this is definitely not for you. Likewise, I have been far too busy earning a living to indulge in a dissipating and hedonistic lifestyle. I started work at the age of eleven. I got a Sunday paper round. I don’t remember how much I got paid, but as I had built up quite an appetite walking the streets, I usually spent my earnings on snacks immediately on my return to the paper shop. There was an old man I delivered the Sunday Mirror to. He had angina. One freezing winter Sunday morning he took pity on me and gave me a glass of sherry, it made my head pleasantly spin and I finished my job with a smile on my face. This became a regular thing.
However, music was always in the background – literally - during my youth. When I did my paper round I listened to the radio on my Walkman, and during my spell at the petrol station the radio was always on. Later, I worked the night-shift on two different jobs, and there was the radio again blaring out tunes, serenading my work. So, all in all, my awareness of popular music, particularly of the 1980s and 90s, is quite good I reckon. At school, we were touched by punk rock. Platform wedges, anarchic attitude - ‘we don’t need no education’ (yeah we do though) (I even wrote my own punk lyrics: ‘fuck, fuck, fuckety fuck, fuck off you smarmy bastards’) - and spikey hair. I got my hair spiked and it stayed that way for two decades; yeah fuck brushes and hair straighteners, we got no need of that neither. I think I lost the plot, somewhere. But we don’t have a plot do we, we play it by ear. Fuck the plot!
I did go out of my way to buy a few LPs though: The Eurythmics, The Stranglers, and of course the incomparable and the utterly fantastic Kate Bush album Hounds of Love. My favourite track, the motivational fitness song Running up That Hill got me down the gym, pronto.
Life’s hard work. Hard work is what life is ... Fit for life. Fit for nothing. Fit for purpose.
To cut a long story short: