Here’s the story. It’s the story of a boy growing up in the wilds of West Yorkshire who finds love in music. In fact he finds his life in music. Not just in melodies and chord changes but in skinny black trousers and lines of speed. It’s the story of a boy having to recite lyrics to X-Ray Spex singles against the science lab at school to stop getting beaten up. The story of a boy who thought he was David Bowie for 6 months in the late 1970’s and later wrote ‘children we love you’ on Scottish pound notes before the KLF handed them out to E’d up partygoers in a field somewhere off the M25 in 1989. It’s the story of a boy who wanted to be a stand up comedian and ended up telling The Jesus and Mary Chain he didn’t want to join their band, who A&Rd the Strokes and broke down in tears after dropping Pete Doherty off at rehab with a tracksuit he’d just bought him from Primark.
It’s also the story of a man who is now almost 50 and still gets excited by David Bowie records coming out, who still loves telling anyone who’ll listen about the time he was kissed on the hand by Ornette Coleman and how he once shook hands with Johnny Cash. From Halifax to Catford via rock and roll.
The Libertines had a great lyric that will hopefully be on my gravestone if I ever have one – IF YOU’VE LOST YOUR FAITH IN LOVE AND MUSIC THEN THE END WON’T BE LONG.
If you’ve lost your faith in love and music then support this book before it’s too late. If you know someone who’s lost their faith then buy them this support before it’s too late. What I can promise you is tale after tale…record after record….a beating heart, a head full of passion and a belly full of music.
I AM THE FAT WHITE DUKE AND I THROW DARTS IN LOVERS EYES.
It was October 1978. I was a stuttering, 13 year old skinny punk with a shock of orange hair. I spent every waking hour listening to X Ray Spex, Sex Pistols, The Clash, XTC, The Beatles, Queen and Simon & Garfunkel. I meant it. There was a problem though. I couldn't get to gigs. Either bands didn't come to Halifax, I was too young or I just didn't know when they were happening. It was a confusing time.
I don’t really remember being a fan of the Boomtown Rats. I guess the fact they weren't on the soundtrack to Grease or Saturday Night Fever meant they were punks too. One of them wore pyjamas all day long which I always thought was a bit silly to be fair - even as a 13 year old. I did have a copy of their single on Ensign records called Mary of The 4th Form though. I had bought it a few weeks before from my favourite stall on the market – Groove records. I was a little annoyed because the single had no picture sleeve. It was just a green bag with the name of the label on. I did what I always did with singles that had no picture sleeve – I created my own. I took my trusty black felt tip and wrote the name of the band on it in ‘weird’ writing. I probably also wrote something like ‘punk is cool’ and ‘disco is rubbish’ – important statements in my mind. The Boomtown Rats were playing at the civic theatre - a large, dark imposing Victorian theatre that was very common around northern towns back then. Most of them survive to this day - beautiful relics of a better time some would say - back then they were cold, old and depressing.Read more...
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