The Stars My Destination, part 1

I’ve spent the past couple of days mulling over what subject my first blog will centre on. I toyed with penning a rambling overview of the 13th Floor Elevators discography, and I tippy-toed around the idea of a slightly pretentious piece on morality in CRPGs. However, sense grabbed a hold of me and I decided that baby steps were in order, and that my maiden blog should be something light and disposable – thus sparing anyone who might read this the horrors of my off-kilter grasp of grammar and terrible knack of long-winded tangents.

So, yeah, the subject of this blog…

I’ve seen a few food based journey blogs about. Indeed Tim has posted one on this very site. I liked the idea but decided I would only be semi-lazy and write, in two parts, about my musical journey rather than my food one. Here goes…

1)     Money For Nothing – Dire Straits: I think I first heard this when I was five or six at the house of family friends who lived on our road. The guitar at the beginning blew my tiny mind Рthe result being a good three/four years of prancing about in front of my mirror like a prepubescent berk, dressing-gown chord wrapped around forehead and tennis racket in hand.

2)     Blackberry Way – The Move: We were a caravan family in the 1980s. Indeed, I have fond memories of my Dad, clad in t-shirt, cut-down denims, white socks and [drumroll] open-toe sandals, passing on the sacred knowledge of correct weight distribution when loading a caravan. Journeys to continental destinations when towing a caravan are long, arduous affairs for wee ones. My parents kept my Sister and I quiet with a combination of Morris & Dorris story tapes (remember them?) and my Dad’s collection of pirated music tapes he’d acquired when working in Abu Dhabi. One of the iffy tapes was a sounds of the sixties affair and Blackberry Way was mine and my Sister’s favourite track. Without a doubt it kick-started my passion for sixties music.

3)     Rubber Soul – The Beatles: At around the age of fourteen music replaced football as my main passion. Without the funds to quench my thirst for new music I turned to my parents LP collection. Hidden amongst the Gilbert & Sullivan, Godley & Crème and 10cc – I DON’T LIKE CRICKET! Рwere my Mum’s Beatles records. Now I’d always liked the Beatles but it wasn’t until I listened to Rubber Soul in full for the first time that they really clicked. From that moment on I was a Beatles nut and I don’t mind admitting that I’m secretly suspicious of anyone who doesn’t like them. I mean, it’s a bit like not liking Rolf Harris or chocolate. Isn’t it?!

4)     Parklife – Blur: One day my Sister surprised me. Up until that point I perceived my Sister’s head to consist entirely of horses, more horses and Tony Mortimer from East 17. Then one day I walked past her room and heard Blur’s Parklife blaring out. I sheepishly asked to borrow the album and fell in love with it immediately. It seemed so exciting at the time to hear a contemporary British band I actually liked and could go and see do their thing live. In fact Blur at Wembley Arena was my first ever gig. A gig at which I almost got mugged by the world’s most apologetic muggers and at which my Sister almost swallowed a dreadlock. But that’s another story for another time…

5)     The Piper At The Gates Of Dawn – The Pink Floyd: As a teenager my friends and I were crap pretend hippies from the arse-end of Bedfordshire. This involved growing our hair, wearing iffy flares and smoking pot in the back of my friend Dan’s camper van. The latter being a lot easier than, you know, trying to get girls to like you and stuff. As pretend hippies we were hungry for “weird” and “psychedelic” sounds and by chance we all discovered Syd Barrett’s Pink Floyd at the same time. The track that really grabbed our imagination was the epic instrumental, Interstellar Overdrive; a spacey effect laden opus seemingly based on a speeded up version of the Steptoe and Son theme tune. If anything the track showed me that pop/rock music didn’t have to be three minute verse/chorus/verse/chorus affairs. Looking back, hearing this album for the first time was my musical epiphany. Everything I thought about music changed after that.

As I mentioned I’ve decided to split this self-indulgent twaddle into two parts. Hopefully, this will dilute the tedium somewhat. So. Until we meet again…

Update: Part 2 can be found here.

6 thoughts on “The Stars My Destination, part 1

  1. I enjoyed that, although must confess to wanting to hear more about your run-in with muggers at Wembley and your sisters near miss with a dreadlock…

    Whilst we’re looking back, my first ever gig was, drum roll please…Ned’s Atomic Dustbin!

  2. Nice post Si. Money For Nothing has great memories for me as well, as does Rubber Soul – which was my mums LP.

    Can’t beat caravanning holidays as a kid!

  3. There’s a kind of confessional quality to your list here, Mole. While the name of Blur causes my skin to crawl with that special horror reserved for the crushing irrelevancies of such Trend*****, I can understand the purgative qualities of such a blog.

    So, with a nod to Jeremy Kyle, Trisha and the like, I wish to confess that my musical journey began aged 4, when I witnessed Adam Ant prancing about in the ‘Prince Charming’ video. I still have the vinyl single, and oddly enough, the B-side sounds rather like Blur if, memory serves.

    I also rather enjoyed the work of Technotronic for a short while, before smoking and attempting to look like one’s grunge heroes replaced football as my most important pass time.

    There, that felt good! Like taking a dump.

    Roll on part two…

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