Thursday, May 19, 2011

1977: That horn belongs to Little Boy Blue...

A new blog. The other one is dead, having run out of steam, so here's a new one, inspired largely by this excellent blog

It's a trawl through my life, a song a day (hopefully) and all the memories it evokes, but this is going to be slightly different - that is, it won't be in any chronological order.. So without further ado, let's begin.

As a starting point, let's go back to the first record I ever bought for myself, in February 1977, aged 11 (and a half). And that record is Jack In The Box by The Moments.

For years I told people my first record was Hotel California, as I thought it sounded less nerdy. But not believing in guilty pleasures or anything silly like that, it's time to 'fess up. Thing is, when I did buy it, I didn't really want it.

We were staying with my aunt in Dudley for half term. My dad was on business up there so dropped me and brother off to stay with her.

She had a major house in the middle of nowhere - but it had a swimming pool. Sadly it was February so that was one avenue of pleasure already closed to us. But she did her best, taking us to Warwick Castle (the setting for the opening passage of the novel I'll never write), Stratford-upon-Avon (the buffet at the Hilton was lovely, but she didn't take her Edwardian-style motoring helmet off once) and no trip to the Midlands would be complete with a trip to the very scary Bullring in Birmingham.

This record however was bought in Beatties which I think was in Dudley, but I've never had this confirmed. I was getting into music thanks to friends and neighbours and started having Noel Edmonds' Radio 1 breakfast show on in the mornings and was gearing myself up to becoming a member of the record-buying public.

I'm not quite sure what tipped me over the edge, but I found myself in the record department. In those days, more often than not, you had to ask at the counter and - feel my pain - I was rather embarrassed to ask for a record called Daddy Cool by Boney M.

So instead I asked for Jack In The Box. I supposed I quite liked in a kiddie way, but it's totally unmemorable. I asked for it by chart position. All the singles were displayed this way - and that's always the way it should be. So after buying it and realising I really, really wanted the Boney M one I found a hitherto untapped well of courage and went back and asked for it. By chart position. So I can actually remember what the first two records I ever bought were.

That night back at my aunt's, we played the records with our older cousins. They raved about the Boney M one. But they didn't much care for Jack In The Box.

And to think, punk was already around the corner.


  1. Hurray, you're back - and I'm the first to comment!

  2. Welcome!

    And why can't I change the bloody design. It's driving me mad!

  3. Well, here you are. And complaining about the bloody design already. At least we know it's you.

  4. Marvellous. I love Jack In The Box too. I think this blog and I are going to get along well...

  5. Hoorah! Like a nice fresh coat of paint, a new blog should perk you up a treat.

    I'd managed to forget that song. Though they do manage to retain a surprising amount of dignity while delivering those lyrics, don't they?

  6. Which is more than can be said for Girls...