My Rats – 7th August 2022

My rats, my rats, my little gutter rats
We ran together, we released the bats
Our bondage brigade marched ever on
We instinctively knew who was the clever one
With cider right beside her bag of glue
Hellzapoppin as all the young savages dü
On mattress castles, the princess and the pee
And stinking dogs shit wherever they be
No glamour in this clamour drenched in sweat
We know we grow to be the best ones yet
D. cried about courage, and soon he was dead
If the man doesn’t get you, he’s always in your head
Nuclear ghosts haunted all our youth
Marching in millions seeking some truth
The sham in 69 was still in 79 too
We loved in vain but knew that love was true
And so those glories now dare not be repeated
Angry eyes glared, “ever feel like you’ve been cheated?”
That revolution sparked is now a faded glory
Who now to stop the world with their own story?

People’s opinions are mainly designed to make them feel comfortable; truth, for most people is a secondary consideration.

Bertrand Russell

It’s getting so hot people are dripping with sweat – 2nd August 1994

Sheila turned up first (Broni’s cousin) after a six hour train trip down from Newcastle Under Lyme. Then Lisa and Mykala (how do you spell that name!?), Simon (pictured), Rich, Barry, Garry and Mark , followed by Mick and Ray, all the Southampton gang and Murray and Jasper.

Tony took on the record decks but Barry offered us a couple of hours of 3 string guitar entertainment outside. The dance floor rocked, alcohol drunk, and people dropped, then more came (and more) and people we didn’t know took over and mingled and mixed and left again til about 3am some neighbour asked to be quiet outside so we took everyone in ‘cepting the record fair boys who elected to sleep under the stars.

And at about 4am me and Broni headed for bed, where most already were, to be showered with confetti by John and Rob! And the next thing I know, an almighty thunderstorm, in and around my dreams and then I wake up real zombie-like, wishing those left farewell as they slowly sauntered off home to nurse their hangovers and headaches.

I took John, Kerry (another Kerry), Shiela and Broni down to Bournemouth to see the guys at the record fair. Barry was crashed out in the back of his van and Garry and I couldn’t get a word out of him (he did groan some). Everyone looked fucked but said they enjoyed themselves. They’d just woken up as the rain began this morning too.

Then off to the Russell Cotes museum for an hour of zombied interest. Lots of beautiful Japanese things in there but as you can imagine, we saw everything through blurred eyes and double vision.

Back home (sort of), I helped John move his stuff to my mum’s, where he’s staying for 7 days before his trip to Europe, while Broni and Shiela slept back at Kerry’s. Thankfully the rest of the day passed by without too much incident and sleep crept over us around 10pm.

Monday morning woke us happy and giggling and wow, I feel like I’ve never been so much in love with my beautiful girlfriend, best friend, Broni. Her beautiful soft skin turns me on and our bodies compliment each other as they fit together (I don’t just mean sexually) in embrace. Snug fit baby!

More later – this wrist is on it’s way out I’m sure! The chiropractic helped but I just can’t help abusing my body in one form or another!

*The Week That Was – 26th January 1981

Single of the week: The Freshies- I’m in Love With the Girl on a Certain Manchester Checkout Desk

26th January 1981
not very good day

27th January 1981
Ipswich 3 – Shrewsbury 0

28th January 1981
16UP about drugs and Malcolm Owen

29th January 1981
Quite a good day
More home-taping

30th January 1981
Record of the month
Damned – There Ain’t No Sanity Clause

31st January 1981
Ipswich 4 – Stoke 0
Fitt is shit

1st February 1981
Born yesterday
If you see what I mean

This week’s chart-topper is John Lennon – Imagine
Highest new entry: Blondie – Rapture

The Week That Was – 9th September 1979

Record of the week: Charlie Daniels – The Devil Went Down To Georgia
Highest entry: Ruts – Something That I Said

23rd Jun 2022 – Never heard the Charlie Daniels tune on the radio much beyond this time but it’s a classic story-type song that holds up well I think. The Ruts as the highest entry? These were the days.

9th September 1979
2p 2p

23rd Jun 2022 – Keeping a diary was getting more taxing….

10th September 1979
New member to group

11th September 1979
Chuck a member from the group

23rd Jun 2022 – Now were the formative thoughts of being in a band. I’m guessing this would have been me, Graeme and Chris, and as the Sex Pistols were a four-piece we must be too. I don’t think we (and by we, I mostly mean ‘I’) ever got to a four-piece and these entries were probably about Chris as I couldn’t decide if he was punk enough to be part of the group. His still going to church with his parents on Sunday didn’t quite gel with my ideas of a punk identity! But ultimately it looks like there was no one else to be a part of it.

At some point, I named our band Punks Unlimited, borrowing words from the punk cultural zeitgeist. My mum’s boss Fred had brought some notepad/scrapbooks for me when they visited and I set about making designs for album and single covers, coming up with song titles etc. All of this without any of us owning an instrument or writing any songs and lyrics. But this is where it started.

I threw those books out a long time ago but I can still remember them well. They were rubbish, typical 11-year-old attempts at replicating a minimal understanding of the world that was interesting.

A fad during this time was small cards of stickers (similar to the main photo here) that took off quickly and spread like wildfire throughout the school and I got right into it, begging my mum to get as many as possible from the local shop. It became a fun game to put stickers around the school in odd places without getting caught by the teachers. After a while of this, the headmasters got jack of having to clean them all up all the time and banned them. My first fight with authority!

Tied in with this time was my first and only experience with student death. Phillip Brown was a sickly kid with albino hair and a slow brain. I never got friendly with him really but had nothing against him. He went MIA for a few days and eventually we were told he had died. I don’t recall being shocked or upset as such, perhaps just a weird feeling of never seeing someone again. The school installed a bench outside the main entrance with a plaque of remembrance for him. Soon, it was covered in our little stickers.

12th September 1979
Got him back
My mum’s a bloody barstard
2p 2p

23rd Jun 2022 – Not sure exactly what prompted this entry but I was starting to get frustrated with my life and what I must have considered injustices committed against me. It would get worse – for both of us.

13th September 1979
1. Cliffie
2. Cars
3. BA Robertson
4. ELO
5. Crusaders
6. Roxy Music
7. Bellamy Brothers
8. Vanwarmer
9. Dollar
10. Money

14th September 1979
2p 290p*

15th September 1979
Brighton 2-0 Ipswich
2p 288p*

The Week That Was – 8th July 1979

Record of the week: Generation X – Friday’s Angel
Highest entry: The Knack – My Sharona – 24

14th May 2022 – My Sharona is still in the cultural zeitgeist, though maybe only for another generation. Friday’s Angel I don’t even recall myself. Let me check it out again. Seeing the cover, I may have even owned this 7″ at some point. Looks familiar. A re-listen is not winning me over these days.

8th July 1979
Not meant for today but the Sex Pistols are great.
2p 12p^

14th May 2022 – Not meant for today? What does that even mean, 11-year-old me? Perhaps just filling up diary space when having no recollection of what I actually did on that day. I wish I could go back and tell myself to write down as much as possible, to tell Hayden to do the same. Tell your kids to keep a diary, even better, a journal. No need to get all Kerouac about it but your future self will be grateful to you.

9th July 1979
Had chalkie today
Great stuff
Chalkie = Hard and White = Arden White
2p 14p^

14th May 2022 – Well, I’ve searched but Arden White remains a mystery. Some kind of candy, chocolate or beverage, maybe? Already enjoying playing with language. It is something that I still admire as part of my Englishness. Not to say that language games don’t exist in other languages or that English is better, just that I enjoy the learning, practising and knowing of it.

10th July 1979
Graeme brought a Rubber Johnny to school and I’ve got the instructions
2p 16p^

14th May 2022 – Damn, this would’ve been a playground coup and kids would’ve gathered around to see this forbidden item. I was obviously proud to be the owner of the instructions! Even with them, I wouldn’t have known what to do with the thing! I feel sure Graeme would’ve given it a go though.

11th July 1979
called the

14th May 2022 – As if my writing wasn’t hard enough to read already, I obviously wanted this piece partially obscured

12th July 1979
1. Tubeway Army – Are Friends Electric?
2. Janet Kay – Silly Games
3. Sex Pistols – C’mon Everybody
4. Squeeze – Up The Junction
5. Amii Stewart – Light My Fire
6. Gerry Rafferty – Night Owl
7. Ruts – Babylon’s Burning
2p 2p 20p^

14th May 2022 – Extended to a top 7 so that I could include the Ruts. It’s amazing to remember a time when a song like this was in the charts.

13th July 1979
Gra Johnny’s number is 0425 42800

14th May 2022 – In the punk tradition Graeme and I changed our names though I forget what mine was. So Graeme was Johnny, implying that he was the Johnny Rotten of us two potential punks. I don’t believe I ever went by the name of Sid but it wouldn’t be long before that was the name older kids called me to make fun of me. And by this time I was the only punk in the school.

14th July 1979
No news to write about Ipswich this week
26p ^

14th May 2022 – That’s how to write about Ipswich every week, even when there was nothing to write. I could’ve been a journalist, I tells ya!