Regular visitors will recall that a few weeks ago, I took
ownership of on the responsibility of looking after my brother’s vinyl.
In case you missed it, a brief recap: my brother has been living overseas for the past few years, the majority of his belonging in storage whilst he was away.
Now he’s back, all of his worldy belongings have been retrieved, and since he hasn’t owned a turntable since sometime in the 1990s, he decided he had no use of his vinyl anymore, and that it could go to an appreciative, caring home (i.e. mine.)
He’s quite techy, my brother, so I don’t really envisage him investing in a turn-table anytime soon. I’m not saying his vinyl is now my vinyl but….
The other week, he arrived at my gaff in North London, having driven from our folks house in Northamptonshire, dropped off his vinyl and, to my surprise, his CD collection (which I haven’t even ventured into yet; there’s three crates worth for me to investigate, although a cursory glance picked out a mix CD I’d made him, obviously much appreciated), before we headed off to Staffordshire to his new place, where we dropped off the rest of the stuff he had collected from our parents’, and then it was off to Nottinghamshire to one of those Big Yellow places to collect his tropical fish tanks and an absolute fuck load of gravel.
At the first stop at his new home, one of his new neighbours approached us, proffering a parcel of his which she had signed for. The three of us chatted for a few moments, during which time it came out that he had got rid of his vinyl as part of the move. The neighbour seemed shocked he could let the vinyl go, and we reassured her by telling her I was looking after them.
“Well, at least they’re local if you want them, then,” she said.
“Not really,” I replied, “I live in London.”
Anyway, as no doubt those of you who were aware of my recent receipt of this cache of vinyl loveliness had been expecting, I figured I’d write about some of them. But where to start?
Thumbing through them, I was reminded of both our early obsession with rock music; there’s a lot more Deep Purple than I expected, quite a bit of Led Zeppelin too. Ah,we were all young once.
And then I began to notice the records I remembered him owning but which weren’t there: where were his copies of AC/DC’s Back in Black and For Those About to Rock that I distinctly remember him owning. And his copy of Quo’s 12 Gold Bars? And, considerably less rocky, an album that we’d inexplicably both owned copies of, like (brace yourself) Billy Joel’s An Innocent Man?
And there’s my “in”, I thought. Let’s start off my by looking at the records we had in common.
For there are some, and not just ones which I’ve subsequently bought, which we have in common, and a couple of albums, by the same band, which I don’t remember him owning, but which I definitely did.
That should not be misconstrued as an allegation of theft, by the way.
But very very long term readers may remember that I wrote here about my youthful obsession with the God that is Shakin’ Stevens, and how I grew out of it and into The Police just at the wrong time in terms of Christmas presents being bought.
Weirdly, as we drove north from London to Staffs, our conversation turned to the band in question, as this got played on the radio:
It’s a running joke between my brother and I that I’m “in charge of remembering things”. We’re not just talking birthdays and anniversaries, but also people we’ve both known in the past and, on this occasion, that The Police was the first proper gig that he went to. I think he was a little taken aback by the fact that I remembered this.
I remember this not because of The Police, but because of their support band that night (The Alarm), who my brother and his mates came away feeling more excited about than the main act. Shortly afterwards, they all started spiking their hair up, and from there it was but a short step to the World of Goth they all inhabited for the next couple of years (and which he wrote about here), much to the chagrin of the local knuckle-draggers who, when faced with three spikey haired, tight black jeans, flowery shirts and winkle-picker wearing youths, decided that the only thing to do to something new that they didn’t understand was to kick the living shit out of them at every opportunity.
But more of this another time.
A few weeks ago, I featured an album I’d purchased on vinyl shortly before learning I’d be taking ownership of my brother’s stash, and which I suspected would be amongst his collection (it wasn’t). Since I didn’t remember him owning a copy of today’s record, which I’d also recently re-purchased, here’s some other tunes from the same album:
Look, I know Sting is a twat. But that, my friends, is a fecking great pop song.
(Yes, we have Sting to blame for a terrible Stallone/Snipes movie!)
And to round things off, a cover of that last tune; I’d like to say this is the one redeeming feature from the worthy but ghastly Peace Together project from the early 1990s, but I’m not sure that even that platitude is accurate:
More soon. Maybe something interesting, who can tell?