My latest poetry video, Note to my teenage self about my first stereo, is up on my YouTube channel.
I got my first stereo as a Christmas present when I was fifteen. Although it was a supposed to be a surprise, I actually knew about it in November. I’d spent the week on a geography field course trip at a place called Bockleton in Worcestershire and my parents bought it while I was away. As soon as I got back home, my dad couldn’t wait to show it to me. The excitement was clearly too much for him. He was always rubbish at surprises.
Hard to imagine, with music being so easy to get hold of these days, but that stereo opened up new worlds for me. It was probably the best Christmas present I’ve ever had. Who new such treasures could be found in Woolworths?
I was a huge Roxy Music fan at the time. This was back when they were weird and arty. So, the first albums I bought were by them. My best friend and I spent hours dissecting the lyrics, trying to understand the meaning. For us, it was as much about the words as the music. Once we spent weeks trying to find out who Zarathustra was because his name appeared in one of their songs – Mother of Pearl, in case you’re interested. There was no internet then so, when the school library drew a blank, we had to resort to the most knowledgeable person we knew. Our Religious Education teacher. He told us he had no idea. All I can say is, our opinion of him went down several notches.
I’m still gripped by those early Roxy albums even though my tastes have become more eclectic over time. And I still get the same thrill when words and music collide into a perfect, heart-stopping combination.