Easter Saturday and I have eaten chocolate when I shouldn’t have but I don’t even care because its allowed. Apart from chocolate and the hymns on the TV it doesn’t seem different to any other day, as we cannot be with our family which feels very odd. One thing that keeps me going at any time but even more so at present is music. I am fortunate to have a very eclectic musical taste, apart from jazz which really doesn’t float my boat. A playlist on my Spotify will take you anywhere from Andrea Bocelli to Paul Young and everywhere in-between. As a kid I remember Tony Blackburn’s show Junior Choice, then the chart shows, trying to record the top 10 without the DJ speaking over the top of the tracks and never quite managing it on my cassette radio recorder. My Mum made a star appearance on one chart show telling me to “turn that racket off” on the recording, probably drowning out Nena and her 99 red balloons.
I have already talked about the old radiogram and my Auntie Elsie’s old vinyl collection but my stepdad had an interesting collection too and I soon got introduced to Barclay James Harvest, Led Zeppelin and The Mac as a teenager. The times that I buried my head in music to forget the madness of my surroundings back then, it kept me sane during my Mums breakdowns, controlling personality and both her and my stepdads angry outbursts. Funny to think that I only ever listened to radio 1 back then, radio 2 was for the old people and Steve Wright was king. The joys of looking for vinyls in the local record stores in Halifax on a Saturday, finding the latest 12 inch or special edition, the smell of the wrapper and the special inserts and lyrics or posters. The first cassette tape I bought was Adam and the Ants “Prince Charming” which I still have today, the first vinyl album was Bryan Adams “Reckless” which jumped and I kept taking it back to the shop until the 3rd time I realised it was my rubbish box record player that was the problem.
Bruce Springsteen and his “Born in the USA” was a complete game changer, I soon fell for the older guy in his white T-shirt and jeans. My Mum never saw what I saw in that “old man” but to this day he is one of the best poets and deep thinkers of our time producing absolute classics. Leather jackets and jeans smothered in patchouli oil (I miss that smell) followed along with a lifetime love of Def Leppard and other rock bands and I could probably still head-bang in the corner with the gang. I never did make it onto a motorbike as one of my boyfriends Darren dumped me after promising to take me to Donington. Probably a lucky escape as I doubt that his 250cc hairdryer would have made it that far.
My love of pop was a whole bunch of 80s gems such as Prince, Cyndi Lauper, Simple Minds and U2. What a revelation U2 were – I still adore their music and an absolute favourite was on the radio earlier today – “With or without you”. The Joshua Tree the album that this track was from is superb with belters such as “Where the streets have no name” and “I still haven’t found what I’m looking for” Its funny how music captures a time, a place, sometimes a person, a moment in time. I love the way it does that, preserves its memory so clearly that you are transported to that zone.
Thanks music for keeping me company,
Through the storm we will finally reach the shore
You give it all but I will always want more
I can’t ever live without you …