New Model Army: Great Expectations (BBC session 1983). Perfect!
It was time to get a proper job. I'd left the illustration course early, many months before, as I knew I'd never be able to do it for a living (!) and now I needed to earn some real money. True, I'd managed to bring in a few quid here and there in other ways* but they weren't going to keep me in pickled onion Monster Munch and Star Bars, never mind the very real threat of homelessness hanging over me. Having failed to get the job I didn't want but went for anyway at the supermarket, I was getting seriously worried about my future. Then I saw the ad for a sales assistant at a new record shop opening in a nearby town and it sounded perfect; right up my music-loving street.
Some weeks later and I'd been invited for an interview, which turned out to be a very pleasant, enthusiastic chat - mostly about music, naturally - with the friendly, easy-to-talk-to young man who'd be managing the branch. I don't think I could have been happier or more excited when he rang the following month to offer me the position. Yes. YES! YESSS! I doubt that my delighted acceptance was at all unexpected, although he was perhaps surprised when I told him I had a different surname now since I'd casually married in the interim...
Anyway, just before that Christmas I started my first official, full-time, permanent job in an independent record shop, staffed – quite unusually for the time – by three young women (each with different musical tastes) under the guidance of our lovely and very knowledgeable manager. I've written a little about it before on here so I won't add more now, except to say that this month is a significant anniversary since that record shop opened its shutters and I served my very first customer (a skinhead, I seem to remember).
Thirty years just go by in a flash, don't they?!
40 hours a week for £3640 a year? Nothing much has changed!
* Such as....
- Taping my voice reciting pages from a legal textbook at the request of a man studying for a law degree
- Modelling at my old art school, seated on a table, fully clothed, having to keep dead still while the students portrayed me in clay
- Photocopying my macabre ink drawings and selling them as 'gothic stationery' through an advert in the NME