Tuesday 14 June 2011

Raiding Your Mate's Dad's Cupboard

When I was at school I had a mate who's dad was a journalist on a national daily newspaper. In his time he had been the music critic for a couple of papers and knew a hell of a lot about music, one of his close friends had been Alex Harvey. But by this time he reviewed films, TV and the wrote the funniest TV listings ever.

When I used to go and see C I would marvel at the amount of vinyl that there was in the house and the state of the art separates system that S had. The records contained most of the best of music from the early blues of Leadbelly, through the jazz of Coltrane and Billy Holiday, the obligatory Stones, Beatles and members solo efforts but stopped somewhere around 1978/79, no punk what so ever. I think that the dawning of punk was when S's musical development ended.

One afternoon when I was visiting I asked C what all of the cardboard packages which were piled up on the kitchen table were, to which he replied "just records my dad gets sent by the record companies, he doesn't review them anymore but still gets sent loads". Then he showed me the cupboard on the half landing which was full of promo items of all kinds from Iron Maiden to Bob Dylan, albums & singles both 7 and 12". I nearly pished myself. I asked C if I could have a dig through the cupboard to which he said matter of factly "sure and if you see anything you like I will sell you it" Now being a 14 year old kid confronted with a treasure trove of vinyl all morality about buying C's dad's records, even if they had just been chucked in a cupboard went out of the window and on that first visit I purchased a couple of records, one of which was a pristine copy of Little Red Rooster by The Rolling Stones and a Dylan album.

I used to visit this magic cupboard every couple of weeks when I had saved up some money. 

C had embraced Thatcherism with open arms and was always on the look out for ways to make money. One of his schemes involved educating young teenage boys in the ways of the world during lunch time. Due to his parents' house's close proximity to the school and his collection of pornographic films he came up with a winning formula and charged anyone who wished to attend 50p for the privilege of watching couples copulate on screen while they ate their chips purchased from The Great Wall down thee road.

On one such occasion, while C was attending to his paying customers downstairs and I was digging through the latest load of promos all hell broke loose. I heard a women's voice screaming and looked out of the window to see teenage boys scattering out the back door. My only course of action was to walk downstairs as calm as possible say hello to J (C's mother) and get out and hoping not to be associated with the shenanigans which had been going on in the living room, which I duly did but the look on her face made me realise that my visits would be curtailed for some time to come.

About twelve years later at one of my soon to be mother in laws infamous 2nd of January parties  I met J as she and S were friends of the family. As we were talking she decided to regale the whole party with the story of when she caught Drew in her house watching porn at lunch time. I had to set her straight about it and when I told her that I was actually looking at the records in the cupboard to which L said " yeah, that will be right" and J retorted " I always knew you were a bit weird Drew".

Anyway, here is another single I liberated from the cupboard while the attention of my school fellows was elsewhere.

Orange Juice - Lean Period.


Anonymous said...

Brilliant. Just brilliant. My lunchtime involved alternating cheese or ham sanwiches, an apple and a kit kat. And going in goal cos no-one else wanted to.

davyh said...

I'd have been on the rummage with you. Great story!

My best mate's Dad had only three records we liked in a cupboard full of classical stuff, but each of them in a way set me off on a little musical journey: Time Out by The Dave Brubeck Quartet, Please Please Me by The Beatles (which led me to some of the originals they'd covered) and Gershwin's Porgy & Bess. No Orange Juice promos, sadly.

Swiss Adam said...

Post of the week. A mate of mine used to host similar gatherings in summer 1986 after we'd done our O levels. The newsagent round the corner from his house had an adult video rental section who were unfussy about age restrictions. This was during the World Cup, which was of equal or greater interest to some of us.

dickvandyke said...

Yep - good tale and no mistake.
'C' doesn't stand for Cameron does it?
Anyone remember Mary Millington?

drew said...

She made an appearance in The Great Rock And Roll Swinddle, did she not?

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