I often stop and think that maybe i don't take all of this seriously enough. I mean there must be some more profound reason why I love this music in the way I do. Isn't it enough to have it in my head all day every day? Football, food, film, literature and design all play a supporting role, but music is indisputably the star. It hasn't always been that way though. Football got things going, and I drifted into music as most do, in my early teens. I remember buying my first record well before that though. A cover of 'Those Magnificent Men In Their Flying Machines' by those puppet porcine overlords Pinky and Perky. It was from Safeway in Liscard. It had a picture sleeve, predating the fad with the illustrated seven inch that punk was later to put into overdrive.
Things started to get a little bit more serious quite soon after. I dabbled with my father's collection. He had a Sanyo music centre which took pride of place in our front room, and he loved musicals. 'Hair', 'Jesus Christ Superstar' and 'Joseph And The Amazing Technicolour Dreamcoat' were the three I remember rinsing the most, but also a recording of one of Mickey Mouse's finest hours 'Mickey And The Beanstalk' in which the titular rodent of the role of Jack, used to get played to death. Holst's 'The Planets' was also present, but 'Mars' The Bringer Of War was by a long way the best bit on that. I don't remember anything else.
My first "real" purchase was later-to-be-disgraced geriatric wide boy Gary Glitter. I bought 'Do You Wanna Touch Me' for twenty pence from the shopping hall, Liscard. I think it was called Phoenix Records and it was run by an old hippy called Jean. They had tons of ex-jukebox singles that they'd sell cheap, and as the sevens didn't have any centres, (having been removed for jukebox use), they'd give you a plastic one. There followed a load of similar purchases: The Sweet, Mud, Suzi Quatro, Slade and sundry other early-to-mid-seventies glam rock fakers all found their way to my house and the Sanyo. It wouldn't be too long though before a paradigm shift in taste and lifestyle took place.
Like most of the UK I first heard about the Sex Pistols via their infamous tete-a-tete with Bill Grundy. Although the programme they appeared on was only broadcast in the London area, it was all over the front pages of the tabloid press nationally the following day. Of course few had heard their music at that point, the swearing on TV was what captured the public's imagination. It's difficult to imagine how relatively dour the seventies were. Looking back I only remember the sunshine, and the power cuts . . . but the Sex Pistols really did feel like they'd beamed in from another world. I remember going to school the day after their debut Top of The Pops Appearance for 'Pretty Vacant' and one friend, (David Foster, with your strange Stevie Wonder & Billy Cobham obsession, where are you now?), insisting that the refrain of "We're so pretty, . . . vacant" was in fact "We're vain cunts!"
It didn't take me long to get into the spirt of things and in July 1977, my record buying began with 'Baby,Baby' by The Vibrators, shortly followed by 'All Around The World' by The Jam. I remember buying the Vibrator's single from a record shop in Chester, and The Jam release from Bargain Box in Liscard, but after that things get hazy. The next five or so years saw me accumulate vinyl exponentially, but punk was just a starting point. The next quantum leap into the unknown was jazz, funnily enough I actually got into it by coming across contemporary Miles Davis, not Birth of The Cool era stuff. That all followed of course, but my first jazz record, well Miles record, was 'Man With The Horn'.
. . . to be continued soon