Wednesday, October 16, 2002


Tubeway Army. There are several of these memories which relate to what I have, half-jokingly, referred to as 'rites of passage' - this is the only one which actally felt like one at the time. I have written about this incident elsewhere, but there's a little more flesh to go on the bones here.

The period after the Higher exams in my 5th year was a very strange one indeed; there were next to no classes to go to, and the majority of my time was taken up with putting on a play. Well, two plays. That story has already been told, but the striking things I remember about it were slightly downplayed. It was a time of great upheaval in musical tastes - we all changed opinions as often as we changed our socks, and there seemed to be so much stuff around that it was hard to keep track. Then I heard this synthesiser-driven thing on the radio: 'Are 'Friends' Electric?' It appealed to me instantly, and I had the feeling that this was the next thing for us all to move on to. And I was completely wrong. Everyone I knew hated it, it seemed. But I was unafraid - for the first time consciously in my life, I stood up for what I liked, and didn't go with the flow. Now it's not much to be proud of, really, but it felt like I was becoming my own person; and, what's more, I recognised it at the time. On the day it was released, I did what I had only dreamed about until then - I skipped out of school at lunchtime, got on a bus and went into town. I bought my treasured single, and hurried back to school. I seem to remember making it with only a few minutes to spare; but that may be over-egging the pudding somewhat; no-one was really paying attention at the time. In any event, on it went to the record player in the Drama Theatre - the 'Buzzcocks' one - and I felt for the first time in my life like a proper grown-up. I'd like to tell you there was a certain satisfaction in having everyone come round to my way of thinking, but in truth part of me actually wanted this record to be my little secret passion. Of course, it turned out to be the biggest-selling record of the year; but that just proves how ahead of the game I was...

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