My Life In Music

Hello…I hope that this will be the first of many posts about one of the most important things in my life – music.

I do not remember anything about the first record I wanted – family legend is that about 1970 I was very taken by “Lily The Pink” by the scaffold, that my mum searched numerous records shops across Liverpool to find it.

I do however remember the first piece of “popular” music to make an impression on my beyond Hymn’s at school and church and nursery rhymes. That was “Magic Moments” sung by Matt Monroe which I probably heard on Radio 2, which mum always had most days. It still has a special memory for me and I think what made it special was the syncopated way he hit the words that stuck with me.

Fast forward to 1977 and I was buying my first seven inch singles in HMV, Penny Lane Records and Probe ( though it took me a couple of weeks to nerve myself up to go into the last of them. The punk rockers who hung around outside were very intimidating if you were not 12 years old and had a sheltered life.

So my first purchase was “Hurry Up Harry” by Sham 69 and many more followed.

The biggest revelation of my life came on a trip to Scotland in 1980 when I heard “Revolver” by The Beatles for the first time. That was it, I was hooked and from that first exposure grew an obsession which shows no signs of abating almost forty years later.

Where everything took a left turn was hearing stories about “bootlegs”. Mythical recordings by artists which had not been released or quickly withdrawn. A black market only available to a select few, who could almost find “the lost chord”. Something which the squares could not dig.

Rumours, whispers, half truths were passed on about music which could be obtained for a few pounds under the counter. The version of “Let It Be” which the Beatles were going to release before it was overdubbed with strings, horns and girl backing vocalists. Dylan’s legendary “1966 Albert Hall Concert” ( actually Manchester Free Trade Hall). The “Spunk” demos by the Sex Pistols. The list was endless.

So my first Beatles bootleg arrived “I Had A Dream” in a great cover ( see the photos ) which promised such wonders as the unreleased “Madman” or a twenty minute “She Came In Through The Bathroom Window”. It was a disappointment, the former is a half finished throw away which should have stayed in the bin, while the latter did last twenty minutes – painful minutes – listening to a group which I later learned was in crisis in January 1969 try to learn a song which a couple of them obviously disliked.

I was bitten by the bug and bootlegs became just as important as commercial releases and in time they did yield the diamonds in the rough that were promised.

I hope to share with you in the furure records I love, packaging, memorabilia and a few stories.

Please let me know what you think.