Part 3: Away From The Numbers
So the last time we spoke, my sister had just had the behemoth of a sideboard with the internal record player added to her bedroom and she was in full on Bay City rollers Mode. She quickly progressed to better things. She’d got her hands on Bat Out Of Hell (probably where my hatred of Meatloaf comes from) and more importantly from somewhere some Jam LP's appeared.
THAT NOISE! THAT ABSOLUTE SHOCK TO THE SYSTEM OF A NOISE!
How could that be made by only three people? Who were they? What was this thing? My life was about to be turned upside down. At every possible opportunity I sat outside her bedroom door listening, and when she WASN’T there I’d sneak in and play them myself. But not just play them, there were the covers to look at also. In the City with it’s harsh black and white photos. The spray painted logo on tiles. The suits. This Is The Modern World with THAT jumper (had one, god bless Melanddi, Carnaby Street and mail order, more of that another day).
All Mod cons. The inner sleeve was much more intriguing than anything seen so far. And Mod…. MOD? What is this thing called Mod?i bought Smash Hits. They told me his favourite colour and printed The Jam’s lyrics. I then ditched that for Sounds, NME & Melody Maker. I was engulfed. They spoke about his peers… Nine Below Zero, Secret Affair, The Chords, I saw Him talk about the Small faces, The Who, the Kinks, his love of Soul… who? what? Quadrophenia? What on earth? THAT film had not long been released. THAT soundtrack LP was out. My sister got it. And I couldn’t stay away from it!
THE COVER! THE INNER SLEEVE! THE MUSIC! SCOOTERS!
Step this way young man. A pure Alice Through The Looking glass moment. “Come down this rabbit hole, see how deep it goes”.
And here I am at 47 and still under it’s spell. I owe that LP my life. I dread to think what it would be like without it. And THAT is why it is currently MY choice and donation to the “Best Art Vinyl: 12 Years On 12 Inches” exhibition currently on at The Civic here in Barnsley. Read more about it at the Barnsley Civic site and then go visit.