1983. I missed that year out, didn’t I? How could I skip over a year that gave us such amazing records as: Blue Monday, Double Dutch and Total Eclipse to name but a few? (I didn’t buy any of these, you’ll be utterly unsurprised to learn)
So what was I buying? Well, apart from the entire Quo back catalogue (you’ll thank me for sparing you the detail), there was this: Cyndi, another in the “Oh, I also bought…” category
Yes, that is quite at odds with my other-wise completely Quo-centric purchases, isn’t it? I still love this record, despite the occasional no-hoper murdering it on the X-Factor (I’m one of those people who hates that show, but, until about 3 years ago, watched the auditions, just so I could laugh at people even less talented than I). I think it’s a wonderful record, sad, poignant, evocative and a gorgeous 80s ballad, a genre of which I’m not overly fond.
There is, of course, a darker, more erotically charged reason for buying this record: Girls.
I’d had crushes before, had fumbled my way through my first kiss, and really quite liked how that went (marginally better than badly, since you asked. That’s been my marker in later life). Little did I know that it would be…well, shall we just say, quite some time before my admiration of the lady form was reciprocated? But in the meantime, I had a master plan: buy records that girls might like, or if they didn’t, records which would show my sensitive side, and they would undoubtedly fall into my arms, or, failing that pants. (the guy from this week’s First Dates owes Rik some royalties for nicking his joke. I wish I could find a clip of it. I’ll come back to this. Needless to say, if you saw it (or Gogglebox transmitted on 13/03/15) you’ll know what I mean)).
How could such a genius plan fail?
In the first couple of years at “big school”, my post bus-home hours were spent sitting round the back of the local church with a mate and two girls (I’ll spare them the blushes of naming them, not that they’re ever likely to read this), all pretending we knew how to smoke properly and inhale and everything, whilst ignoring the extended game of kiss chase which was going on in the adjacent woods, played by younger kids, of whom we were of course utterly contemptuous. We would sit, chat, smoke cigarettes, all trying to look cool, whilst me and my mate tried to score sneaky looks down the girls’ tops, and then discuss how successful we’d been in the latter endeavour after they’d gone home for their tea. (Answer: not at all)
“Time After Time” was a record we discussed on one such afternoon. I professed my admiration for it, only to be met with “Yeh, it’s okay I suppose” and “I don’t think I know it”s.
Well, that didn’t exactly go to plan, then.
How I wish I grew up in today’s modern age! When all you have to do is send a picture of your genitals (copy right Ashley Cole) to the lucky lady in question and jack’s your proverbial uncle
Actually no, I can see a fatal flaw in that too.
Give me old fashioned unrequited any day. (If you only click one link on here today, make sure it’s that one)
Weirdly, given that we were both busy rock posturing, leather-clad leg and foot resting on pretend monitor (predominantly to this: Maiden!), Cyndi Lauper proved to be one of the points where mine and my brother’s pop sensbilities crossed, as he bought the album, “She’s So Unusual”. This wouldn’t be the last time this would happen, and I liked to think this was a sign that I was catching him up. Occasionally, I would sneak a listen to the album, skipping past the godawful theme tune to a million hen parties “Girls Just Wanna Have Fun”, a record so bad I can feel myself coming out in ulcers just at the mention of it, so you’ll forgive me for not posting a link to it.
There was, however, one other song on it which caught my attention: She Bop
If you know the song, or if you just took the time to listen to it, then you’ll know why a 14 year old boy, obsessed with girls but finding himself utterly ignored by them, found the song appealing.. For some reason, and I can find nothing to support this theory, I always thought it was meant to be a response to, or at least a referential homage to, this record by a certain purple pantalooned professional purveyor of sauce: Nikki (“Sauce” really lets down the alliteration of that bit, doesn’t it, Dear Reader? Any suggestions? After much chin-stroking, it was either that or Piccalilli, which didn’t seem quite right…)
The movie Purple Rain, the soundtrack from which that last one is taken (and which, to his eternal credit, I seem to remember my brother owning a copy of), is a formative memory for me. But, has there ever been a more contrived scene than the one where when Prince persuades Apollonia to take her top off and jump in a lake? Not that I was complaining, mind. Nor do I have any clue how that scene progresses the plot along. There was more of the film after that, you say?? Really??
And on that bombshell, as a certain disgraced BBC presenter used to say (not that one…), Spot The Difference (8 out of 11 right here), I’ll leave you with this. An ex-flatmate of mine (Hi, Hel!) and I used to play “Name the American” along to this, featuring Cyndi who is easy to spot, cos of the: Whoa! Whoa! Whoa! Whoa! Whoa!
And I still say Dylan sounds like Cartman on it.
And, since I promised you the kitchen sink in the title which I don’t have, and I’d quite like to avoid a Trades Description Act lawsuit, here’s the next best thing: Kitchens of Distinction