Saturday, 21 November 2009
When Two Tribes Kind Of Co-exist
This post is inspired by a comment DVD made last night on The Ghost of Electricity and a review I read yesterday in the Guardian.
When I was a youngster I was quite a confused individual, I initially didn't realise this until I moved to the town in which I still reside, as where I originally came from they had a more open minded approach to the things that mattered in life, ie music, for inconsiquential matters such as religion they were positively archaic but as a ten year old I was not aware of this . Nobody batted an eyelid if you replied, when asked about your musical preferences that you liked say the Clash and AC/DC for example. This, I found was not the case when I moved to Lanark, a conservative town in lots of ways including musical preferences, no blurring of the boundaries here.
My first day of Primary 7 would have been daunting enough, being at a new school but combined with a headbut from a boy who even then had "wee man syndrome" and a lack of knowledge of books of the bible it was nearly insufferable. The only think that made me want to go back was finding 2 at least slightly like minded individuals
I was sat behind 2 boys who were as thick as thieves and at play time it was these two that started the interrogation of my musical tastes. Stiff asked me who my favourite band was to which I replied Motorhead and the two of them looked at me as if I had some horrible contagious disease. Span then asked me who else I liked and I said SLF which certainly got a better response but neither of them could understand how I could like both heavy metal and punk. With them it was either one or the other and the preference certainly wasn't heavy metal. During the subsequent questions it turned out that both Stiff and myself originated from the same town and all threeof us supported the same, not so local football team, Airdrie, which helped secure a lasting bond.
The reason for my schizophrenic taste in music was due to the fact that I had 2 older cousins who influenced me, one into punk and one into NWOBHM (New Wave Of British Heavy Metal) as it was called at the time in Sounds. Kevin, his real name, but not a real cousin was into punk and had got me listening to the Skids, SLF, The Clash etc, never did like 999 though and the fact that he was an Aberdeen supporter was always a mute point. Then there was Stuart, real cousin, long hair, half length Cuban army jacket and into all things metal from Zeppelin on. My main problem was that I liked some of what I heard from both but not all of either which meant that I never really felt like I could be partisan about things.
Over the next couple of years Stiff's older brothers replaced Kevin in my education of what is now termed as post punk but to us was just punk or if you wanted to be wanky, new wave. Stuart however remained a constant and took me to my first half dozen concerts for which I am eternally grateful and taught me about Hendrix and all that late 60's stuff , however I never could get his adoration for The Doors and Jim Morrison in particular, I always thought that he was a bit of a cock.
Anyway to the point of the post, Stuart took me to see Motorhead at the Glasgow Apollo on the Ace of Spades tour, which was my first ever concert and my abiding memory is of going to school the next day and not being able to hear as my ears were still ringing. We were on the second row of the balcony and I remember being a little scared when you could feel the whole thing moving up and down under you.
For the next 2 years every birthday and Christmas I got a concert ticket from my aunt Lily and Stuart took me to the Apollo to see Whitesnake, UFO etc.
I really loved Motorhead and had every single, album and the two 12 inch singles (much under used format in heavy metal) which were released until Iron Fist the last album to feature Fast Eddie Clarke after which I stopped buying their records.
When I read the review in the Guardian, I smiled to myself and I do think it is great to see Lemmy still at it at the age of 63, although the misogyny and the collection of Nazi memorabilia cannot be condoned. Not sure, from the comment, if DVD saw the band in Leeds but I think that if I got the chance I would go and see them again.
A couple of years after L and I got together we were at a gig and we were discussing the worst support bands we had ever seen and both of us named the same band, Girl. It turns out both of us were at the Glasgow Apollo to see UFO the same night many years before, which probably explains L's love of guitars although she would probably like me to mention the fact that she saw the Smiths 3 times, first in 1984 to keep the record straight as she really is an indie chick.
As for the 2 friends from primary, we stayed mates and we disagreed about music lots over the years, Span's ventures into New Romantacism being something neither me nor Stiff could get our heads around. Later on, it was probably easier for Stiff to understand Motorhead than when I came to him in 1986 with Marshall Jefferson's House Music Anthem and told him "this is the future" but that as they say is another story.
Motorhead - Motorhead
and a song written by Holland/Dozier/Holland and originally recorded by Eddie Holland
Motorhead - Leaving Here