Episode 3 of The People's History Of Pop is on BBC Four tonight and I think it's going to be a good one. Covering the years 1976 - 1985, it includes Ray Lowry's son sharing some of his father's sketches from the time he joined the Clash on their 1979 tour of America and a handwritten notebook of thoughts and lyrics by Joe Strummer. Fans of the Smiths and Duran Duran share their mementos and memories, and original posters, set-lists and diaries that have been kept by fans for decades will all be on show.
If you saw the first two episodes of this series, you'll know the approach it takes is heartwarming and very unpretentious, and the whole notion of being a fan of any kind of music, group or artist is celebrated as being something most viewers are going to be able to identify with, something that has shaped people's lives. There's no judgement or elitism, no suggestion that any band or genre is cooler than any other and, best of all, the memories and keepsakes come from source.
I have a particular soft spot for this series too, thanks to this blog, as last year one of their researchers found my post about my first gig and got in touch. They have set up a vast archiving website which anyone can contribute to, and asked if I'd like to upload my photos and accompanying words on there. One thing led to another and I was invited to do a proper interview! I've never had any desire at all to be on TV - in fact, quite the opposite, I'd normally run a mile, maybe ten - so I ummed and ahhed about it but then I thought: oh what the hell, it's a new experience. And it's not Come Dine With Me. Around that time one of my dear friends was very ill, and it was such a distressing period in my life that my sense of needing to make the most of everything was highlighted. So I did it. I didn't have a lot to show, just those few old photos (which are on this blog anyway), but I had such a lovely time chatting away to the producers; they were great. We focused on my early teenage forays into punk, about being female and fourteen and wearing DIY clothes, about getting into trouble at school for spiking up my hair, about how punk was there just when I needed it, how it seemed arty and rebellious, just when I felt I didn't and couldn't fit into the mainstream, it allowed me an identity, a voice and a social scene. So I jabbered on for two and a half hours and probably made no sense at all but I have to say it really was great fun, and if I had the chance to do the same thing again, I would.
Well, perhaps the best outcome of all is that it didn't make the final cut! Since doing that back in December the programme makers have found so many far more interesting people and their fascinating mementos and anecdotes, so I can relax tonight and not worry about all the times I repeated myself and said "you know"....and god knows what else. I'm so looking forward to watching the programme tonight without any self-conscious sense of dread and enjoying all the memories shared by others.
The People's History of Pop is on BBCFour tonight at 9pm.