Friday, May 27, 2011
1989: Am I only dreaming?
Hear that? That lovely soft-focus keyboard intro to Eternal Flame is the sound of my tears mixed with the sound of the rain falling down outside.
Yes, it's March 1989, I'm 22, Eternal Flame is rocketing up the charts and I've woken up on my first Monday without having a job to go to. I was totally devastated. Not because I liked the job - it was actually okay - but I was going to miss being with all my mates.
I worked in a large central London bookshop and had done for the past year. Everyone else who worked there was in exactly the same boat. Just left university with not much of a clue what to do next except to be in London. It was enormous fun. We went out every single night. In retrospect it was exhausting, but I wouldn't have missed it. Everyone there was on a temporary week by week contract that could come to an end at any time, all depending on the mood of the legendary owner, who'd sweep in once a week more or less unnoticed and pick at random.
So my day had come. What was I going to do now? If I hadn't been made to leave I might still be there now, it must be said. I'd be one of those unhelpful and rather bitter middle aged men who've lost all social skills except to raise a superior eyebrow and tut.
March became April and I remember rainy visits to the Piccadilly Circus branch of Tower Records, looking out the little window of the soundtrack department onto the street below and thinking how much I liked London in the rain. So rather than get despondent, I bucked up.
I spent the summer varying between relaxing and lying-in, lying to my parents that I was working full-time, signing on, learning to touch type, doing wine deliveries around London for a friend of a friend who ran a shop in Holland Park where I also did a bit of work, and where Ruby Wax lived over the road, all the while not letting being skint get in the way of having a buoyant social life. And we had a great flat overlooking Battersea Park, £45 a week all-in, including bills.
All the while I was applying for jobs. And then something turned up. But that's another entry.
(Can't embed from YouTube at the moment). Vid coming soon.