Saturday, 15 December 2012

ThE ghoSt of chRiStMaS pAst


It was Christmas 1977 - I was fourteen and there was only one thing I really wanted for my present that year (apart from being asked out by a gorgeous boy): Never Mind The Bollocks...  And, sweetly, my parents bought it for me – well, I think they probably persuaded my twenty-year-old sister to go into the little local record shop, Startime, to actually get it, but it makes me smile to think of my mum looking at it later while she wrapped it up in sparkly snowman paper.

I loved that album and it had seemed a long wait since its release that October so I was incredibly excited to have it at last.  I listened to it on Christmas morning as I lounged about in my pyjamas playing with the cats and poring over a Cadbury’s Selection Box. And then I put it on again on Boxing Day, when the cousins were over, but after a soporfic lunch and everybody was too drowsy and tipsy to notice the lyrics to ‘Bodies’.  Or if they did, they never said anything…   

Shocking stuff ;-)


25 comments:

  1. Meanwhile, while you were still in your jim-jams, the Pistols were playing 'oop North. What album are you waiting for this Crimbo?

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    1. Thanks John - good on 'em for that too. This Crimbo... hmm... something a million miles away from the Pistols as it goes, though definitely not MOR! That isn't to say I don't still dig out NMTB now and then...

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  2. Mr Medd has a good point, do you still listen to music as avidly? I feel it's all drifting away from me a little.

    You're parents were pretty laid back to buy you a Sex Pistol's album back then. I remember a girl at school who I detested, the closest thing to a bully I ever attracted, having that album and she basically copied it for an Art project and got a A Grade and I hated her even more... and was seriously underwhelmed by our Art Teacher for not even knowing it was copied! So I used to sneer along with all the other kids when I heard the opening to Pretty Vacant, but for all the wrong reasons!

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    1. She sounds horrible, Yve. I hope she's listening to something really awful and uncool now so that I can feel suitably disassociated.

      And, whilst I still listen to a lot of music, I so rarely get as excited about hearing something new. I suppose it was everything back then though, not just the fact that there were limited ways of hearing stuff, but also that since then I've experienced 35 more years' worth of it, let alone the delving back into music from before my time as well. So very little can ever sound as quite as fresh or original again, really :-(

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    2. yes, it's so hard to find a new sound that isn't sampled or "influenced by" or just plain old ripped off from the Old Timers. The actual music of Punk wasn't exactly ground breaking, to be honest, just good old Rock 'n' Roll, but the whole package was: the energy, the nihilism, the look, the attitude. It became a whole thing that WAS totally new... has it happened since Rap?

      Someone here will probably enlighten me but has there been a truly new sound since the late 80's... maybe Grunge? We still have to go back 20 years for that!

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  3. I remember John Peel playing the whole album and I managed to tape it. One of the most aticipated albums I can remember and it did not dissapoint. The Clash or the Pistols?...got to be the Clash!!!

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    1. Good old Peely :-) I agree - I had so very much hoped it wouldn't disappoint, and it didn't. Clash or Pistols? Yep, it would have to be the Clash here too.

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    2. For me The Clash, I can still listen to their stuff over and over but they no longer sound "dangerous", you can still hear the venom in Lydon's voice... but I am older now and don't enjoy the high velocity saliva in my ear-holes so much any more!

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  4. I'm am squarely in the Pistols' camp (obviously for me it's hindsight)...something I've actually been meaning to explain.

    I can't get the image of the album hiding under Snowman wrapping paper out of my mind. HA.

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    1. Oh, you're so young, ef! I'm quite curious to know how it must all seem in hindsight and look forward to hearing more views on the Pistols some time...

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  5. 'Bodies' is still quite shocking, don't you think? No song was ever so genuinely merciless and brutal, before or since.

    But I can still handle the odd rotation of NMTB, whereas somewhere along the line the sound of the Clash wore thinner and thinner for me, until these days I find a lot of the songs actively unlistenable. Now I never thought THAT would happen...

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    1. You know, what is weird is that I didn't think 'Bodies' was that shocking at the time. It was almost as if a combination of me being naive, and it being a given - an expectation - that the Pistols would be outrageous, just made it all seem par for the course somehow and I took it all very easily in my stride. Yet if I hadn't been exposed to that stuff back then and heard a contemporary group do something like that now, I probably would be shocked. It's hard to explain...and doesn't make sense really.. but is just the way it was, wasn't it?!

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  6. The Pistols for Christmas? Good for your folks! The last time I played the album was earlier this year, when I confirmed to myself that I didn't want to shell out for the megabuck boxset upgrade (good name for a band), even if it did contain the brilliant 'Did You No Wrong' & 'I Wanna Be Me'. Still sounds great.

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    1. Ah, 'Did You No Wrong' has to be one of my favourite Pistols tracks. Fab stuff.
      I think the Megabuck Boxset Upgrade are playing the O2 next year...?

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  7. That's a great memory. I don't think I would have pushed my parents hard enough to actually buy it for me - my mum used to go on at me about their singles being utterly vile let alone the album. I love the idea of you blasting it out on Christmas morn - very festive!

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    1. Well, I think my parents had been well-trained by my big sister who by then had bought Sabbath's Paranoid album and been to see Hawkwind (coming back with tales of Stacia's antics etc.) - I guess it sort of paved the way for my own 'utterly vile' musical forays!

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  8. There have not been many sounds to rival Johnny's snarl since. The anger and the do it yourself attitude was what set Punk apart. Much of the music was really a poor quality rehash of what went before but the attitude had a major affect on British Culture.

    Music was so tribal then. I think that outside of the pop idol /top 40 bubble, music has returned to being more about...music.The fluidity of modern music formats give no time for new movements to get traction.

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    1. Indeed, I can't imagine anyone snarling like he did - his whole persona was so perfect for it all - and we still love him now, don't we?! I'm glad to have been at a good age to embrace it and to feel that sense of excitement as that effect you mention took hold on British culture. It's really good to read these comments too - from people who all 'get it' - and proof that the Pistols obviously continue to provoke reaction!

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  9. Pistols or Clash ? Well fuck it I still like em both, who says there has to be a competition....but then again i always preferred the Jam (I'll get my coat...).

    But it is pretty good getting it for Christmas...I had to smuggle my copy in at the time, bought mail order from the NME back pages and turned out to be the dayglo pink Euro sleeve rather than the vivid yellow UK version, sold it quite soon after - cash from chaos ?

    But I do love the hair !

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    1. Pistols, Clash, Jam - an essential triumvirate (so no need to get your coat). Oh, and of course the Damned... who's counting?

      Thanks for that about the the hair...oops, it was a bit fluffy then, proof that it was very early days and before I'd experimented with egg-white, vaseline and hairspray (egg white won). It's shorter than that now!

      PS - Special mention to you for using the word 'fuck' for this post! I'm a sucker for a well-placed expletive...

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  10. Had a similar experience three years later on Xmas day when a slightly intoxicated Uncle had a look at the LP jackets with lyrics on my new copy of "London Calling" that my parents bought me and went red and began bellowing when he got to a certain line in "Death Or Glory" about nuns and the church etc. Ah drunk Catholics, holidays are never the same without them!

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    1. Ah, I can just picture that now...

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  11. I had NMTB was I was about twelve or thirteen but hid the sleeve from my parents. I'm sure "Bodies" has never been played anywhere as quietly as those years in my bedroom! Still one of my favourite albums (whatever the volume).

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    1. I wonder how many of those sleeves were hidden under mattresses and in the wardrobes of teenagers' bedrooms around the country...
      But yeah, it has endured, hasn't it?
      I'm also starting to realise that my parents must've seemed pretty liberal!

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  12. A La John's comment at the top... this year I'm hoping for Lau's latest... hardly punk in your face there is it!

    Actually my favourite rendition of Bodies is the live one off the first Velvet Revolver album - best thing they ever recorded!

    1977 - good grief. I was 15 in that October - my mate (drummer in the band) Dave got Never Mind and I taped it - there two fingers up at the record company... funny how now I'm so anti illegal downloading, you know what it is like as you grow old and become a bearded old folky! LOL!

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