It was Thatcher’s Britain and I hated it. I was coming to the end of education and hated it. I entered the world of work and hated it. I had no idea what I really wanted to do, who I wanted to be.
But I loved my music, mainly heavy rock but would happily turn to other styles. I discovered soul, flirted with disco, was seduced by reggae but fell in love with musicality in the form of Frank Zappa and the Mother’s of Invention. I started to mix with “muso’s” and my immersion continued with me helping out on hospital radio and eventually joining some mates to jam and write music.
There are so many memories especially around the emergence of punk, where bands would play anywhere just to get a chance. And live music is proper music, you feel it, you are part of it just by being there. And wow, there have were some shows – AC/DC, The Stiff tour, The Jam, Steve Hillage, Eddie & The Hot Rods, The Members, Radio Stars, The Stones at St.James. But nothing, and I mean NOTHING, topped The Tubes at the City Hall – not just a gig, but an event, a show and gobsmacking happening.
Brilliant musicians, excellent riffs, (rude) lyrics and the outrageous stage antics of lead singer Fee Waybill only partially distracting me and my mate Tony, from the prime views of the dancing girls getting changed between numbers! Luckily we lived in Newcastle and not Brighton (where they got banned) and even luckier to meet the band after the show for a chat and a snifter. I will never forget that night, especially as Waybill fell off stage in his platform shoes during their next tour and the Newcastle show was cancelled – gutted.