Nostalgia Ain’t What It Used To Be

Here’s some more fallout from me turning forty last week:

Spiderman in Bristol, 1977.

Yes, I was an early experimenter with Polaroids, long before it became trendy in London. Note the hand-painted Spiderman. That took me bloody hours. And I still remember building that Avro Lancaster.

Woodlands Badge
Woodlands badge, around 1977.

I think this is my second badge. The first got a bit frayed in a very, very pointless fight (well, two pushes to be honest) with a Ralph Sherwin lad at Park Farm. TEACHER HAD A BENNY!

DM 86
Not the first big gig I went to but I lost my Cure ticket from ’81 🙁

I wish I’d kept more of my gig tickets. But a ticket stub seems so unimportant a week after the gig. Whereas, two decades after the gig…

Militant Rally '86
One of two times I heard Ted Grant speak in person.

We packed out the Albert Hall. No wonder the ruling class were shitting themselves: the sight of a hardline Trot organisation throwing around this much power and building this large a party had never been seen before in Britain back then. Or since.

I think David Blunkett spoke at this, back when he was a socialist.

Lefty conferences are mostly immensely dull. Instead of talking about how to make the world better, they inevitably descend into exercises of pure, pettifogging pedantry. And let me tell you, there’s no-one quite as irritating as a socialist pedant. You can see the embryo of Stalin’s bureaucratic monster at any union or Labour Party meeting.

Fascinating but understandably grim conference.

Himmler and Goebbels would be entirely at home in the current Bush administration. If they moved a bit to the right, that is.

Next up we have the best week of gigs I’ve had in my life (so far):

Darling Buds
Of course I fancied Andrea Darling Bud – every straight lad did back then.

Wedding Present
Excellent gig. I was deaf for three days afterwards.

Bickers-era HoL were awesome live. And East Village supported!

Brilliant Corners
I think I got to see The Brilliant Corners three times before they split. A brilliant, brilliant pop band.

15th, 20th, 21st and the 28th October – I took it for granted at the time but what a glorious week-and-a-bit of gigs! I think it was September ’88 that I saw the Pixies gig that made me want to play guitar. After the gig, I got to speak to Kim Deal and suggested that if she ever wanted any fat, brown babies, she should give me a ring. I’ve often wondered if, when my single was high in the US charts, she ever made the connection…

Not a bad year for live music, all in all. 🙂

Followed by:

Forgotten now but they had wonderful songs.

As I always wore a suit and tie in the ’80s, people sometimes assumed I was an A&R man at indie gigs. Or the band’s accountant.

It’s a bit confusing but, yep, that’s £100 we got paid for playing The Dial!

That’s still a handsome sum now, let alone back then when it would have bought you a house, a car and left enough change for a week at Ayr Butlins.

I think this was in 1990 but I’m not sure.

And that’s enough wallowing in nostalgia for now. More soon, if I can be arsed to scan the crumbling documents of my life. 🙂