Willy: Small Faces- Itchycoo Park
“I went to Seaham Northlea Grammar Technical School and left in the early 1970’s. This song reminds me of that era. It was a time that you could leave school and go happily into the big wide world. There were loads of jobs. You could hitch around the county. Life was good.
By the early 1980’s me and my mates from school had a band – Catch 22. We would play in the clubs and pubs of the North East. I was the drummer.
But something funny happened. I would be playing a gig and someone at the club would ask if I wanted to buy bits and pieces of kit that had been left behind. I soon had a whole load of drums and kit and was buying and selling from a flat I shared with four mates on the Cloisters.
After a while, I thought I can’t have people coming to the door day and night so thirty-two years ago I opened a drum shop. We used to stay open until nine at night- we were a drum store, coffee shop, social services. I’m the only drum shop left in Sunderland now. It’ll never make me rich but if it keeps me fed and watered with a roof over my head, I’m a happy man.
The band got back together a couple of months ago. We’ve got a new singer though- the original one is a vicar in Kent now. I’m still waiting for the punch line.”
Photo: Sunderland City Centre