Podcast 001 : 6 mins
Saturday, 9 January 2009

I started buying records in 1975 aged 7. From that time on I would visit Woolworths in the Arndale Centre in Leeds on a Saturday to buy a single from the Top 40. Over the years I accumulated an eclectic collection, often songs were chosen as much for their cover artwork as the music itself. I coveted these small object as they spun around over and over on my record player. When I left home aged 18 I didn’t take much with me. I imagined my parents would leave my room like it was, like in the movies: a shrine to my youth. I was wrong. They immediately papered the walls and redecorated in pale pink and magnolia, it was like I’d never been there. All my stuff went into boxes and was stored in the garden shed. On trips back home I would sleep in this strange pastel room that no longer held any memories or mementos to my teenage years. On one of the trips home I asked if I could collect my books and records to take back to London. My mother looked puzzled at my request and said “Oh we don’t have that stuff anymore, we had a big bonfire in the garden and burnt all that rubbish, it was going moldy in the shed.” They looked shocked when I broke down in tears and screamed and shouted. I could picture the blaze with my mum and dad casually flicking my treasured records like Frisbees one by one into the flames and watching them crack and melt in the heat. I could also imagine the sound. The music and voices of my pop heroes and heroines all singing and playing in unison as the flames rose around them. Rising up above the fire the noise they made must have been heard for miles around. After 2 days I was still mourning my loss, my dad said. “Jesus George don’t be so dramatic, grow up you’re almost 20 years old, and it was just a lot of noise anyhow”

40 records from my collection (1975-1982) played together:

I Only Wanna be With You by Tourists (2:25)
This Charming Man by The Smiths (2:44)
Brass in Pocket by The Pretenders (3:06)
Lorraine by Bad Manners (3:12)
I Was Made For Dancing by Leif Garrett (3:13)
Sunday Girl by Blondie (3:16)
9 to 5 by Sheena Easton (3:18)
Remember You're a Womble by The Wombles (3:18)
Jeans On by David Dundas (3:19)
It Must be Love by Madness (3:23)
Geno by Dexys Midnight Runners (3:27)
Hungry Like the Wolf by Duran Duran (3:28)
A Little More Love by Olivia Newton John (3:30)
Kids in America by Kim Wilde (3:30)
What A Waste by Ian Dury and the Blockheads (3:31)
Space Oddity by David Bowie (3:34)
Billy Don't be A Hero by Paper Lace (3:36)
Too Shy by Kajagoogoo (3:39)
Antmusic by Adam and the Ants (3:39)
Fascination by Human League (3:43)
Silver Lady by David Soul (3:43)
Hit Me With Your Rhythm Stick by Ian Dury & the Blockheads (3:44)
No.1 Song in Heaven by Sparks (3:45)
New Life by Depeche Mode (3:46)
I Second That Emotion by Japan (3:46)
What is Love? by Howard Jones (3:38)
Rip It Up by Orange Juice (3:42)
Just Can't Get Enough by Depeche Mode (3:44)
Mirror Man by Human League (3:53)
See You by Depeche Mode (3:58)
Cars by Gary Numan (3:59)
Is There Something I Should Know? by Duran Duran (4:11)
Come on Eileen by Dexys Midnight Runners (4:13)
Video Killed the Radio Star by Buggles (4:14)
Ghosts by Japan (4:32)
Wuthering Heights by Kate Bush (4:55)
Love Action by Human League (4:57)
Mary's Boy Child by Boney M (5:10)
Rio by Duran Duran (5:33)
Ghost Town by The Specials (5:52)


# Top 40 on Fire live performance, 2010