THE first time I properly listened to a vinyl record was when I was about 10. Until at a certain age, you’re a passive bystander to other people’s music. The first time I chose what to listen to, was with a friend.
It was a seven-inch single by The Sex Pistols. The chorus rhymed with ‘rigging’ and contained lots of swear words.
We both knew our Dads didn’t like The Sex Pistols.
Children of our age were expected to enjoy good old-fashioned wholesome family entertainment, like Blue Peter.
Outrageous punk rockers who insulted the Monarchy, were strictly off limits.
And so we were squirrelled away in the upstairs bedroom of a friend, who had pinched the record and turntable from his big brother, Phil.
Phil was an imposing lad even at 16.
Six foot-plus, wearing marble wash drainpipe jeans, 18-hole Doc Martens and a biker jacket.
Listening to that record at our age was bad enough. Listening to it on Phil’s record player without Phil’s permission, was punishable by certain death. Well, one of Phil’s ever-so-painful snakebites at least.
Fortunately, Big Phil never found out. And if he’s reading this as a fully-grown adult, I hope he understands that it wasn’t me, it was his little brother, honest!
I can’t remember the last time I bought vinyl and this is largely why record shops are closing.
We shed tears for HMV, but the high street needs our money, not nostalgia.
For a time in the late 80s, I bought music through the Britannia Music Club, which was a great way of getting into debt in your early teens.
You mail-ordered all the records you wanted, then paid them off at 50p a week for what seemed like the rest of your life.
Then the CD age arrived; hailed on Tomorrow’s World with all the wide-eyed wonderment reserved for space-age inventions.
“This product is unscratchable,” intoned a presenter. It wasn’t, as we found out later to our cost.