The past has haunted me a little this past week. Furthest back was when I walked to the place that the Blood Donation bus on Wednesday. I was just sending an e-mail to Amy Allison about the “Glasgow overspill” and remembered that I walked past the area where my parents got their first house, a flat, where I lived with them. We moved when I was 9 or 10 maybe.
This is significant because it was here that I got my first real taste of pop culture. A rumour went out to the effect that Davy Jones of The Monkees was to visit his “aunt” in the next building. Of course it was bollocks but the crowd that showed up is something that I’ll never forget. It got a little ugly too as I recall when it was obvious that it wasn’t happening. I was only wee but recall that I could read the situation and got the hell out of there. The flats are still there but “the pipes” a play area where the youngsters used to gather are gone. That’s where we started to hang out with girls as teenagers. Listening to T. Rex on “cassette” a new format of the time.
Anyway, I was dropping off a Wild Horses photo on my way to the community centre and did so. As it turns out, when the lady opened the door – her son works but doesn’t live in the town – I recognised her immediately. She worked at the same stalag for years. Small world. From there to the blood letting and it was the place where we kids eventually ended up attending a Sunday night disco. That’s if your parents would let you go. And if they didn’t, you snuck there anyway. Of the many memories I have of that time, hearing “Please Stay” by The Cryin Shames is the most pertinent. I also recall partaking in an early form of “headbanging” to Deep Purple’s “Black Night” there. I walked around a lot of old parts of the town both coming from and going to the garage to pick up the car. It was in for a radiator replacement and somehow I was compelled to wander past and through areas of onetime significance for one reason and another.
Getting back to The Monkees thing, I often use the wind-up tactic to the effect of likening the Pistols to them. And sometimes Take That but I consider the former to be half true. The news of Malcolm McLaren was a surprise and obviously his work impacted greatly on all of us having changed the landscape of what would become possible. He was at the amazing Punk Kongress that took place in Kassel, Germany – late September 2004 and trotted out his manifesto like the entertainer he’d become. Even Johnny Lydon has used that description today in his soundbite. 64 though, blimey – and Alx was 59. This is all within my ballpark and it’s screaming at me to get things figured out. Of course, I’m pretending not to hear. Oblivious to the spectre of oblivion.
However, I am aware that I need to connect important factors of past and present and intoning “La la la” loudly isn’t going to fly for much longer. This I know. However, doing something about it is a whole ‘nother entchilada altogether. At this point, I’m more preoccupied with having to go back to work on Monday. Three days away. You don't have to tell me that's pathetic. i am patently aware. I hear pish about never looking back, that you should just look forward. As ever, irrespective of geography, status or social pecking order, I am generally drawn toward limbo.
And I ain’t talking about shimmying below an ever-lowering pole here. Or am I?