Wednesday, June 22, 2011

Juvenile Impulses Sway

The Queen Is Dead was released 25 years ago last week. Such statements are sure to make a person feel old.

For me, back then, our Finals were just done and an early summer not unlike this one was underway. I was looking for a job but couldn't find a job and I even think I asked in Walthamstow McDonalds at one point.

I know.

In the end I couldn't hold on in London, and fell back to Devon. It was a strange, sad time in limbo.

This isn't even from that album. And not from that year, but the one before.

Its insouciance suits my mood today, and the weather.

For me it's forever Sue Gilchrist ironing in the front room in Brixton, at the time of the later riots, and singing along.

The Smiths - 'Stretch Out And Wait' (1985)

(I've posted it before of course. Old people repeat themselves, you'll find)


  1. I was in the middle of a Smiths hating thing at that point. My best mate loved them, but I could never get into them. Still not sure whether I like them or simply admire them.

    It's also 25 years since The Final Countdown and Rock Me Amadeus. Hated them too.

    Word veri: ducks

    Do like the post though, love little glimpses of other people's pasts.

  2. Thank you.

    I think this might be a Smiths record even some Smiths haters like - Mr Marr's guitar work is lovely.

    How I despised Rock Me Amadeus and all that - I do not at all buy this revisionist notion that the 80s were universally wonderful pop years: the charts were full of horrors.

  3. I think 1980-83 were great, I've got a nice chunk of digital music from those years,I went through all the charts for that time to make sure I didn't miss anything I liked. 1984 was horrible chartwise, I hated it and the rest of the decade wasn't too good either. I'm a big 80s kid, but it really is for that 'golden' period for me, rather than the entire decade..

  4. Yes, I don't even think of 80-83 as 'The 80s' tbh: that was certainly a golden period for 'independent' music, yessir.

  5. I associate 80-83 with 77-79 to be honest. The later 80s where things went slick rather than shiny is mostly sick making.

    Obviously there were great records being made in the rest of that decade, but it's far away from the potential of the beginning of it.

  6. Bugger, The The's Infected is also 25 years old that means...

    That was my big album of that period.

  7. I don't hate the Smiths just dislike Steven an awful lot, their music I can take or leave.

    85 was the year for me. Saw me change from the nascent hippie I was in danger of becoming to wanting wrap around shades and leather trousers after Psychocandy's release and discovering The Velvet Underground.

    This weather better improve I'm on annual leave as of lunch time and heading down to Cornwall with the family on Friday!

  8. Nice post Sir. Think '86 was a more significant year for me for various reasons. No denying the brilliance of this song though.

  9. ** Warning. Old Boy Ramble alert**

    S'funny, I got to thinking about the early 80's today - as it's 30 years since Ghost Town was released.

    Given the dark oppressive malaise in 1981 Britain, I was very much a 'boy about town'. In the RAF, ironically with a few quid in my pocket (and subbing those mates still 'investing' in full time education), the 'Leeds side-streets I slipped down' in search of creamy hand-pulled Tetleys and effervescant women. The latter quest somewhat hampered by a certain Peter Sutcliffe and piss poor West Yorkshire detectives who were still famously hunting a serial killer with 'a Geordie accent'.

    *Cracks a can*
    Other memory snippets of 1981 ...


    Went skiing to Aviemore to the RAF Championships. Last night there I tried to enforce the follow-on with a chubby Julie (Receptionist from High Wycombe) on a bunk bed in a Caingorm Lodge as 'Making Your Mind Up' plays in the background.

    Came a game 17th in the Novices Giant Slalem race. I still have the woolly hat.

    Royal Wedding fever failed to reach Corfu where I went for 2 weeks with Dewsbury's finest moose - grumpy Janice Pickles - even paying her fare in the vein hope of a shag. ('Pickles' suited her as she drank like a fish). I recall once awaking in our hotel room at dawn only to find her on the Ouzo with 7 local fishermen as 'Stars on 45' played - the only cassette the bar owned.

    IRA violence was everywhere and a friend was shot and killed in Derby. Hunger strikers got a lot more inches in news columns.

    Assasinations were clearly de rigeur following on from Lennon in Dec 80 - with Reagan, Sadat and the Pope all in the gun sights.

    My chief love - The Jam were hugely popular and 'fashionable' by '81 - and consequently became more world wide, dour and serious -as after the sunny 'Bucket & Spade Tour' came the colder, wetter 'Funeral Pyre' Tour with an incendiary atmosphere at some larger gigs. Didn't stop me spending all my money and holidays following them. Fucking marvellous.

    Were Motorhead at their peak, Mick? Discuss.

    'Big hair' was all the rage. Disappointing for those of us with enforced crew cuts who stood out like social freaks. I bet you had it well below the collar Davy?

    Enjoyed/suffered many a scary 'New Romantic' night at the Warehouse Club in Leeds. (A heavily made up Marc Almond on Cloakroom duty).

    After hours drinking also led to dancing furiously alongside bambi-legged Pernod-smelling women to 'Kids In America' by Kim Wilde, before pulling out my imaginary drum kit on the dance floor - complete with buffet. (This became a feature of my drunkennes for some years. Some of the more benevolent revellers put me down as a 'Special Needs' boy).

    Swansea, Southampton and Ipswich rode high in the then 1st Division. With a heroic King Kevin Keegan, the red, white n blue Admiral'd-up England qualify for Spain '82 - which was to begin another 'new era' - following 1974 and 78's non-attendance at World Cups.

    A small hardy loyal bunch visited Elland Road on an irregular basis in 1981. The 10 minutes to 3 weather and the pub juke-box usually dictating the size of the crowd at a once great club now bumbling away ingloriously.

    Er, sorry. I lost mesen a bit there.

    Best I toddle off to bed with a cocoa, a smile and dream of riots and national decay.

  10. Dickie - brilliant ramble and in my opinion this was Motorhead at their peak but just about on the downwards slide, the following year I saw them for the second and final time (i think) at the Glasgow Apollo on the Iron Fist tour.

  11. My 1981 was pretty spectacular too, DVD. I won a bottle of Pomagne at the junior school fete and was part of the Larches FC team that strolled off with the Southend & District Under-11s league and cup double to boot.

    Actually my life's all been pretty much downhill since then. Ho hum.

  12. BTW I love The Queen Is Dead and Rock Me Amadeus. How d'ya like them apples?!


  13. I have blethered on about my 1981 previously. Suffice to say it was rather less picaresque than Dickie's.

    Kips, truly you are a renaissance man, innit.

  14. blimey that all went well didn't it. it's when a bit of bloggery brings such gems out to play with it. well done everybody.


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