It’s okay, I’m not about to launch into a Jimmy Savile impression.
Yesterday at work, I was chatting to a fellow music buff, who was relating how he had found out very recently that his sister-in-law had seen the Sex Pistols play down The 100 Club.
As he uttered those words to me, he paused and looked at me to see what reaction I would give. I’m not sure if he expected me to be in awe or not, but the tables turned slightly when I said: “Yeh, we all did.”
A quizzical look.
“Have we ever talked about I, Ludicrous?” he asked.
We hadn’t. We have now.
I was referencing a record which I could have sworn I’d posted before (but apparently haven’t), and a moment in my life which I’m not proud of, but I’ll bet there are loads of you have done something similar, if not the same.
In my mid-to-late teens, I would often sit listening to the radio with fingers poised above the Play and Record buttons on my tape-deck, ready and waiting in case a record I liked but did not (yet) own came on.
There was no greater source of hearing great records than the John Peel show, even better when he did the Festive Fifty, from which I would tape every song, listen to it religiously for weeks afterwards, rewinding so I could hear the ones I liked again, fast forwarding past the ones with which I was less enamoured.
1987’s Festive Fifty was a particularly fine year, with the upper reaches dominated by The Wedding Present, The Fall, The Smiths, and topped by Sugarcubes’ mesmerising Birthday.
But back at #11 was a tune which had made it into the Festive Fifty, if I recall correctly, despite only having been released on a fanzine flexi-disc.
Fast-forward a few years, and my then-girlfriend heard me playing it, and told me that she really liked it.
Fast-forward a few months, and I am careering around Cardiff’s shops, trying to find something to buy her for Christmas.
Devoid of inspiration, I wandered into my safe place in Cardiff: Spillers Records. Flicking idly through the racks, I chanced upon the song in question, re-recorded and released on 10″ vinyl.
A lightbulb above my head. She likes this. What better gift than a record which I introduced her to, and which would remind her of me whenever she played it? Okay, not a romantic record in any way whatsoever, but an unmistakenly romantic gesture, right? Right?? It ticked enough boxes, I convinced myself, and bought it.
Fast-forward to Christmas Day. You know how when you receive a present that you’re spectacularly non-plussed by, you have to at least try to look pleased? Well, by this time we’d been together long enough that she decided she really didn’t need to bother. I think her words as she ripped the last of the wrapping paper away to reveal the record sleeve were along the lines of: “Why have you bought me this?”
I searched for an appropriate answer, but all I could muster was “….erm…you said you liked it….?”
I don’t think she ever played it. I definitely know that I played it an awful lot more than she did.
Fast-forward a few years, and we separated. I don’t think it had anything to do with my poor present purchasing, but I wouldn’t want to rule it out.
Fast-forward to now, and that 10″ vinyl single still sits proudly in my record collection. Yes, when the inevitable divvying up of belongings happened at the end of our relationship, I made sure it found its way into my pile. Not, I should add, that she put up any kind of struggle to keep it.
I, Ludicrous – Preposterous Tales
PS – I’m having a few issues with my usual file sharer, so I’ve had a quick look round at what my fellow bloggers use, and the majority use Google Drive, so I’m giving that a go for a while. Feel free to let me know if it’s better, worse or about the same as usual. Or don’t. Up to you, really.