Tuesday, May 02, 2006

 

Do You Remember The First Time ?

Yes I do, though the memory is somewhat vague and may have been slightly distorted through the nostalgic mist. I was maybe 14 or 15 at the most, and was a hormone over charged spotty lad as were my friends, and in the middle of my own personal crisis of adolescence, rebellion was what it was all about. True for such an important event in ones life I am almost ashamed that I cannot remember exactly when it took place, though I can recall where and with whom. At the time I lived in Forest Gate in London's exotic East End, and the event took place at the other side of London, to be more precise Hammersmith. At that tender age and I have still no idea how I managed to persuade my parents to let me go, but they did and so the evening in question I made my way to the local British Rail station and then changed at Stratford to take the underground, I'm sure I was excited at the prospect of what lay ahead. When I finally surfaced from the tube, beneath the all imposing Hammersmith Flyover, I looked around and there it was in front of me lights blazing out in the night air announcing "Nazareth on stage tonight". Yes my very first gig. It has been a little while now that I have been toying with the idea of this post, fully realizing that Nazareth are hardly trendy or even well known and are certainly not representative of this blog. True I could rewrite history, much the same way that I our politicians and media are always trying to do, and tell you about the first time I saw the Clash, the Buzzcocks or the Jam (opening for the Stranglers!). From what I can remember it was a pleasurable experience that I was only too keen to repeat despite thinking that I had gone half deaf as my ears were ringing as I left the hall, they still were the next day! To help set the picture a little bit the London of the early 70's was nothing like what it is today, in many ways the town had still not got over WWII still bearing certain scars bomb shelters and temporary housing were everywhere, and in terms of radio and musical exposure we were very limited, I can remember buying records such as 'Band on the Run' and a Deep Purple compilation when in the spring of '75 I heard a single by the Scottish band Nazareth and to the ears of this 14 year old their cover version of the Tomorrow song 'My White Bicycle' was the dogs balls (an expression that was common when I was young, don't ask me to explain but it means very good!). So it was only natural that when I saw in the music press, at the time I read Sounds, that they were touring that I pestered my parents until they agreed to let me go. Regrets, no as I have already said I rather enjoyed it and it put me firmly on the road to what I have become. By the end of the following year I had read about this new band, Sex Pistols, and no I never got round to seeing them despite almost going along to a gig the Brunell University but we never thought they would disappear so soon, and I had also discovered the delights of the NME and cool DJ John Peel whose programe went out late in the evening where you could hear great records no one else was playing.

And this is what they looked like back then, still brings a little smile to my face but I must say thank heavens for Punk and all that followed it.

In case any one is interested this is the original version of 'My White Bicycle' by Tomorrow.

A big thanks to Jarvis for the title and if you feel I mislead you don't worry I'm sure a Pulp post will come arround some day.


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