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Thursday, 24 March 2011

Apple and the tree

Bit incidental this post, but I had a fairly good day up in Glasgow with my kids yesterday and thought I'd share it.
Mainly because it revolved around our mutual love of music.
Well my son and me anyway.
To our shame my daughter came home with a Justin Beiber CD. The less said about that the better I suppose. Anyway, there's time yet for her to develop a keener sense of taste.......we hope.

We were actually all there to renew my 16 year old sons passport before he shoots off to Amsterdam in a couple of weeks to see Roger Waters perform The Wall with my brother.
Not that Roger Waters is performing his master-work with my brother. I mean my brother and son are going to see him perform it.
Very poor grammar that.

Anyway that comes later though as the first port of call for any music lover exiting the train station in Glasgow is of course FOPP.
There's boxes of t-shirts there for three quid. Not the usual end of line stock either. Madness, Jefferson Aeroplane, Santana and The Beatles are all there next to the obligatory Nirvana and Machinehead ones that you always seem to find.
My son bought a "Hello, Goodbye" Beatles one.
A nice bargain and an indicator of how they day was going to go.
Next I introduced him to the basement of Missing Records and their treasure trove of vinyl.
He's always had a little vinyl.
Cast off's from myself, doubles of stuff, but more recently he came into a little money and bought his own turntable, and now the real addiction has kicked in.
It seems like on a daily basis he's on ebay.
Hovering like a vulture over the keys waiting to swoop down and tear a bargain from the grasp of someone else who has been watching a limited first edition for over a week.
Just waiting for them to foolishly glance away for a minute in the closing seconds of a bloodless bidding war so that he can nail it.
This is what he has become. A no quarter given, zero compassion automaton locked into securing what he wants with a complete and utter disregard for anyone else.
In other words a typical sixteen year old.
I'm pleased to say that this is only when he is on ebay and not an attitude he carries into the real world.
Missing records was like an Alladins cave for him. I don't think he was aware that there are still a few of these places tucked away in the big cities.
He's been in upstairs where the CDs are, but was never aware of the little door that leads you downstairs and opens up to some greater wonders.
There was a strange sense of deja vu for me as I watched him finger picking his way through the racks.
It was as if the telescope of time had been spun around and I was looking down it into the past.
There I was thirty years ago, concentration etched into my face as I feverishly trawled the rows and rows of music, taking one album and tucking it under my arm before putting it back because money was limited and I had to get the most value for money I could. Rejoicing at the finding of a classic, mourning the finding of another and being a quid short of buying it.
While I kept glanced at him from the corner of my eye I found myself an original copy of the original London cast of The Rocky Horror Show on First Night records and then Live Stiffs. Not the original on Stiff records, but the quick to follow reissue on MFP.
Not bad for a few pounds all in I thought.
Meanwhile he had tucked a Byrds and Small Faces compilation away, A Rolling Stones 12", and the original Band On The Run by Wings including the poster that came with it. While John and Yokos Double Fantasy was also jumped on.
Although I reckon that like myself he will find it a bit hit and miss like everything Lennon did that featured Yoko Ono.
I could tell that if I left him there he would have quite happily just handed his bank card over to the guy behind the counter and kept ploughing into the racks.
I've done it myself. Well not really because we didn't have bank cards when I was his age, but I do remember going to Glasgow when I was about seventeen to buy a much needed pair of shoes and coming home instead with three albums and then having to cut cardboard insoles out for my decrepit trainers in an attempt to keep a barrier between my foot and the pavement.
Ahhhhh. Good times.
The passport office was next. A quick and painless trip.
In and out in ten minutes and that's him ready for the 'Dam and loosening up his throat to belt out "is there anybody out there".

We split up for a little while after that. He headed to HMV. Maybe to imprint it on his memory before it slips off to the record store graveyard for good. While I took my daughter for a walk around the stores that she wanted to see.
Nothing much going on in Build A Bear, but we did see a nice little fake kitten that rolled around the floor in a rather freakishly real life way in a Bazaar.
If I had the cash I would have bought it if only to provide our own cat with some issues, and maybe to let it serve as a reminder that she can be replaced easily with a fake one that doesn't need fed or a litter tray to be cleaned out.
When we met up with my son again he has bought a couple of Primal Scream CDs including Screamadelica and the dreaded Justin Beiber CD for his sister.
We walked around to Avalanche Records from there.
Another little mine of treasures that he was unaware of.
This was where he made his biggest score of the day. An original Beggars Banquet for a tenner that he has since found out goes for over a hundred quid.
The value isn't of that much importance to him as the music, but the getting a bargain is the icing on the cake.
To know that he has managed to get something that should normally be well out of his price range gives him a real self satisfied glow.
We revisited Fopp after that and I got Kelly an MCR t-shirt and he bought the Hard Days Night DVD
I think that in total he spent about forty quid, but managed to bag himself quite a haul.
His sister and myself are happy with what we got, but he's over the moon.
It's nice to see the genuine excitement and enthusiasm he has for this. Not because it carbon copies my outlook on music, but more so because of the real sense of enjoyment he gets from it.
A good day. Definitely a good day.


  1. Brilliant stuff Mainy, and something I can completely relate to.

  2. Thanks NYJ.
    It's just a shame that for kids this will be something that will slowly no longer be available to them.

  3. Beggars Banquet fair do's but Double Fantasy is complete and utter tosh!, i am sure that if Lennon farted into a bottle it would still sell

  4. Extract the yoko and Lennon was still good, but yeah. I concur.