Tuesday, June 26, 2012

1983: I can't believe you want to turn the page

Teenage romance: A merry-go-round of make-ups, break-ups, angst and drama usually ending badly but with something possibly salvageable through music. Or not.

Music played a vitally important part in relationships back then. You perhaps bonded over it in the first place, then it may be that your shared love of a certain song would bring you together. And once you're an item you'll have your favourites, records you'll buy for each other, songs you couldn't wait to hear on the radio, crap songs that would make you laugh together. You only have to read this blog to see that memories are formed this way.

And then of course, there's the break-up song. In those days, there was no song more important than the one you'd put on a compilation tape asterisked, to point out that you wanted to remember your time together this way or indicating the way you were feeling now you'd been dumped, or perhaps explaining why you were the dumper this time. It had to be chosen carefully.

Nobody's Diary was one I recall. I'd been dumped, I was kind of devastated as it came out of the blue. What I was trying to say here was don't forget me. What I was really saying was why did you bin me off and are you sure you don't want to take me back? But it didn't happen. The girl in question didn't get it at all. On the tape she did for me she chose You Took by The Church. You took a piece of my heart, went the chorus. I was pleased by this. That's the effect these things are meant to have. She's still single to this day, by the way.

My favourite, however, was suggesting songs for others. My roomate, who fancied himself as a love 'em and leave 'em type, but who I now realise had lots of underlying abandonment issues, dumped a girl who was totally mad about him. My song suggestion? Paul Young's Wherever I Lay My Hat.

Tittering up my sleeve, I popped it on the turntable and we gave it a listen. He thought it was perfect, just the sort of image he wanted to project. The fact that his paramour hurtled into a nervous breakdown was beside the point. And this song soundtracked most every relationship he ever had. Fool.

1 comment:

  1. Hah - that Paul Young song appealed a lot to a certain type of lad who saw themselves as romantically damaged, wistful drifters, doomed forever to shag loads of different women. They're same ones I tend to meet professionally, now in their late forties with three broken marriages and two kids they never see, and who tell me they 'really identify with Tony Soprano' despite being graphic designers.

    Sorry - I digress. I can't hear David Bowie's 'Modern Love' without re-living getting dumped by a bloke called Nigel who looked exactly like Kurt from Tears for Fears. I think I put it on as he walked out, to show my defiance (and to drown out the sound of my own sobbing.). The beast.