I had better things to do than to listen to another song identified by my music-obsessed brother as worthy of listening to. Yet, I was polite, I was always polite. You see, I’d been through this process before.
By the time of the opening strains of Shipping Up To Boston (best known in these parts as the soundtrack to an Australian Rules football advertisement), the crowd is in raptures. It is the cue for my son John to enter the mosh-pit, and at his urging, I bravely follow.
The Scottish lads had all lost their front teeth [fighting, falling over drunk] and at some point they loved to flip out their plates so we could appreciate what proper hard men they were. This may or may not have been some form of Celtic foreplay.
I remember Sundays in the cold redbrick church, the smell of Mum's leather gloves and lipstick. During readings and sermons I would run imaginary horse races between the red, blue and green ribbons in my missal.
I’d smuggled in a small cassette player and bootlegged the show. The resulting tape (now long lost) was rarely played. It sounded like a Chuck Berry cover band rehearsing in an aircraft hangar. Which I guess it was.
As a teenage boy in a dark suburban room, I was a long way from the turnpikes of New Jersey. I didn't have a job, a car or a girl, just an Apollo 10-speed bicycle and a dungeon I called my own. What on earth was I connecting with here?
Nathan Johnson Edinburgh, Scotland; September 1997 Chumbawamba was in my face. Far from being a pop band that sang only about pissing the night away, they were, above all else, anarchists with a deep suspicion of government, politicians, the Church, landlords, bosses, union leaders and other forms and figures of authority. While I didn’t share all of their extreme views, their music and lyrics awakened something inside of me.
A medley of romantic stories to mark Valentine's Day: The Eels, Vince Jones, Bon Iver, The Church, The Beatles.
Jesse Maskell Montana, June 2015 A race across the country skipping everything I want to see, farmland from a car window always hungry to go into them, down those roads, further in, fleetingly small towns not even, I'm strapped in with Chris a rideshare stranger on this wild ride...
Vin Maskell Wellington St, St Kilda, 1982 Five songs in and I was wrung out. No light, no shade on this album. Black rivers. Serial killers.