Wednesday, August 24, 2011
1977: Her mind is Tiffany-twisted
I used to tell people Hotel California was the first record I ever bought. It wasn't of course, as documented way back when in this blog. For some reason I thought it was cooler.
What it was, however, is the first record I sought out the words too.
When you hear an oldie on the radio these days it's all so clear and fresh that sometimes you hear a lyric that finally makes sense. Back in 1977, when radio wasn't on FM and muddily came through AM, you had to listen hard. I remember a Radio 1 FM trial day in about 1983. They played 17 by The Regents and it all sounded so utterly different. So thank God for Disco 45 magazine.
Remember it? It printed songwords long before Smash Hits was a twinkle in anyone's eye. Here, you'd find all your favourites written out, sometimes I would imagine by someone listening to the radio rather than getting them from the horses mouth, but it was the only way you could find them. I can still do you a flawless Up Town Top Ranking if you were to ask me.
So on the day we set off for holiday in Cornwall, I was armed with Disco 45 waiting for Hotel California to come on the radio. And when it did it was a revelation: 'warm smell of colitas, rising up through the air'. I wouldn't have guessed that in a million years. Songwords in print - I was hooked.
Cornwall was miserable though. A nasty little terrace backing onto a bleak disused tinmine with ancient neighbours meaning we had to keep quiet at all times. We went to Mousehole and Penzance, stayed in St Ives on the way down, and I had my 12th birthday. Oh, and it pissed down so hard we only stayed half the week. Hotels in California were but a dream to me then. I've not been to Cornwall since.