For several months now I've been touched by nostalgia or is it really strong pangs of melancholy? Either way, my mind has been filled with happy memories of my childhood, school days and especially how records have pretty much shaped the way I've lived since I was a teenager.

You've got to understand that I'm not a musician and can barely shake a tambourine in time. I've never tried but you get my gist. I've never wanted to learn how to play a guitar, I've never wanted to write songs. All I've ever wanted to do since about 15 years old is to collect records. Yeah, CDs came around in the late 80s but I've always preferred vinyl.

The fact that I'm not a musician has probably heightened my desire to collect these vinyl artifacts. I consider the vinyl 45 to be an art form. I'm an artistic kind of guy and with a record not only do you get some music (which is aural art) but you get a graphically designed sleeve. Good or bad, it's still art and someone has designed it. I also dig record labels, especially those labels from indie garage band releases during 1965-67.....No one can ever beat some of those, so it's pointless trying.

I suppose my nostalia has gathered pace because I've recently turned 48 years old, and that is middle aged by anyone's standards. 1977 was a huge year for me. During October of '77 I became a teenager. Not only that but I'd discovered The Jam via a Marc Bolan TV Show simply called "Marc"....The Jam, dressed in their black suits, skinny ties and displaying short haircuts (everyone seemed to be a fuckin' bearded hippie those days) were on the first show broadcast in August 1977...they played their new single "All Around The World".....WOW, this sound is what I wanted more of.

I was still only 12 years old but I thought they were the coolest thing I'd ever seen. Even better than the Banana Splits, and they were good. The Jam definately got me interested in music. I started listening to Radio One virtually every day, most of the stuff they played during this period didn't appeal to me, only the odd snotty punk rock record stood out. Mike Reid was probably my favourite DJ, he seemed to play more punk and new wave that the others.

Sadly, as I was too young, I didn't have enough money to buy records yet. I had to be content with listening to the radio. What little pocket money I got was spent on subbuteo teams and panini football stickers. I collected the full set of World Cup

I bought my first records in 1979 with some birthday money. They were The Jam 'Setting Sons' and Blondie 'Parallel Lines.' But I was mostly buying singles because they were much cheaper than albums for a kid on a couple of pounds pocket money per week.



  1. Oh yes, it was SO exciting, wasn't it?! Being of similar vintage, I relate to that whole thing of saving up pocket money to buy singles and the absolute thrill of seeing the early punk bands on TV. The radio had a big influence on me - John Peel of course and Radio Luxemburg gave me my first real exposure to it all. Also just seeing your copy of the Cost of Living EP in that photo - blimey, that brought back some memories, haven't seen that in ages... I'm sure you probably know already that I agree about the artwork on records too. A massive part of the whole feel about a vinyl purchase was the sleeve.

  2. It was a marvelous time to grow up as a teenager...I started listening to John Peel in 1980 and would tape his Festive Top 50s. Kid Jenson's show from 8.00pm until 10.00pm was always interesting too.

    I've touched on this period in my life a few times on my blog but I'm gonna focus on my teenage years and the records that shaped me until about 1983 when I discovered 60s garage and psychedelia...I took off in a different direction then.

    I'm looking forward to playing and scanning these records. Then mastering the vinyl to a wav file then uploading songs to YouTube...

    1. That'll be great.
      Interestingly I took a similar path - it was around 1983 too that I started tuning into more obscure 60s stuff and when I first heard bands like The Eyes on the UK comps like Perfumed Garden, and then the US rarities on Choc Soup For Diabetics etc... before digging into the back catalogue of Pebbles, Nuggets, etc. All that sounded so fresh and not quite like anything I'd heard before, in just the same way that punk had. (It helped that I worked in a record shop from '83 to '87 too, which enabled me to check out a lot of stuff I might not otherwise have been able to!)

  3. and of course you have the japane edit
    respect !
    stef france

  4. Good spot, Stef.
    I will write about The Jam 'Saturday's Kids' soon.

    Back in the day I got another Japanese release.....'Eton Rifles'/'See-Saw'


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