1987, and I had monopolised the stereo in the 6th form common room, turning up every other day with a new mix-tape, just different enough from the last as to keep the listeners interested, and those rebellious enough to bring their own tapes in at arms length.
Having worked up a reputation at 6th form as “The Bloke Who Brings Mix-Tapes In” – I’ve mentioned this before, and it’s the foundations upon which my DJ’ing and Friday Night Music Club career is based – I would often be approached by my peers with suggestions.
“I think you might like…” they would say, before suggesting a band that had not featured on any previous mix-tapes, and with good reason. Generally, they were awful.
And then one day, a chap called Matthew approached me, and whispered those words in my ear. And after the words “…might like..” he added the words “…the Pixies.”
At the time, all that was available was the Come on Pilgrim EP and the Surfer Rosa album.
I listened to them both once, decided that Matthew was deluded, and ignored them.
Fast forward a few months, and the Pixies dropped their masterpiece Doolittle which I heard, made the connection and revisited what Matthew had urged me to listen to, and realised I had made a grave error.
“Ah, shit. This is that band Matthew was always banging on about…”
There can be no excuse that saves me from admitting that I just didn’t get any of these tunes when I first heard them:
Apologetically, more soon.