For this week’s mixtape, we welcome Balearic and Acid House pioneer, DJ and Remixer Steven Proctor to the Dusk Dubs family....
"When I was first invited to contribute to this excellent series I was both humbled and somewhat daunted. Humbled to be asked to share my musical history with others, and daunted at the task of trying to fit 46 years of that history into 2 hours.
Throughout this I have been guided by something the Dusk Dubs guys had told me the first time they asked me. They told me that they wanted me to share the music which had contributed to my ‘Music DNA’. The music which had excited me and had been significant to me through the years.
I could easily have picked out two hours of super cool tracks from the past 46 years (and before), and written twee little paragraphs about each one to make myself look cool but, that’s not me. So I had to decide a couple of things.
1) On the basis that I couldn’t cram everything in, I decided to follow Dusk Dubs words, and so I have limited my selection to the first 6 years of my musical evolution (1971-76), as those years really were the beginning of who I am now.
2) Also, following their guidance, I have selected some tracks by certain artists which aren’t necessarily my favourites, but which were the start of my being ‘into’ those artists. I do this because it’s those tracks which changed my Musical DNA, which then led me into becoming fully immersed in their music over a long period of time.
To be honest, as I’ve been going through everything I realise that I could very easily do a number of these, focusing on specific styles and genres. In fact, doing this has inspired me to look into ways in which I can share all of my musical influences as time goes on.
So, before I get into the tracks themselves, I would just like to thank the Dusk Dubs crew for their patience and kindness for me over this past year or more. I am very grateful to be invited to share some of my history and passion with other folk whom I know to be open minded and passionate about music. I have to say in advance, that some of the tracks have great stories, and some of the tracks are just great to me.
I sincerely hope that you all enjoy my contribution."
You can find him HERE:
1) Creedence Clearwater Revival - ‘Heard It Through The
This track appears on an album called ‘Cosmo’s Factory’ which was released in 1970, and the album is the VERY first record I ever bought. Without going into detail, it is safe to say that I had a very mixed up childhood, which involved me being moved between Liverpool and Canada 4 times by the time I was 11 years old, and which saw me back in Liverpool in 1971.
The album, and this track in particular, was my Dad’s favourite at the time, and to be honest it was many years later that I discovered that Marvin Gaye had written and originally recorded it. I can say with absolute certainty that I get ALL of my musical passion and ‘feel’ from my Dad, and I am eternally grateful to him for that. Sadly, when I left Canada for the last time in 1971, I didn’t realise that I would never see him again. But I did know that I missed him terribly, which is why I bought the album to remind me of him. And this track has stayed with me as the first time that I ever associated emotions with music.
2) Chicory Tip - ‘Son Of My Father’
This was the VERY first single I ever bought. I can’t tell you where I first heard it as it has just ‘been’ in my musical memory forever. What I CAN tell you is that it was the sound of THAT Moog which totally changed my Musical Psyche forever. At the age of 13 in 1972 I had NEVER heard the word ‘Synthesiser’ before, but I knew that I LOVED that sound. It was many years later when I realised that it was written and originally released by the master himself, Giorgio Moroder. What is even more incredible is that the Moog sound on this version is even better than his original (well I think so anyway). Although I didn’t realise it at the time, this was also the beginning of my liking of a good ‘Pop’ tune. I bought the follow up ‘Good Grief Christina’ but to be honest, I’d already moved on.
3) John Kongos - ‘Tokoloshe Man’
The copy I own of this was released on a label called ‘FLY’ which I had come to know as the label for Tyrannosaurus Rex, and T-Rex (more of them later). Once again, I have no idea how I first heard this but I have always loved it. I also bought the follow up ‘He’s Gonna Step On You Again’ which some of you might know from the cover version by The Happy Mondays. John Kongos was from South Africa, which is why I imagine he wasn’t as successful as he should have been.
4) Cher - ‘Gypsies, Tramps and Thieves’
Once again, no great story about this track. As I mentioned above, I am a sucker for a great Pop song and what I’ve come to realise, especially if it has a great story or sentiment about it. This just grabbed me from the first time I heard it (probably at a youth club disco). But listening to it again for this, I am struck by the incredible arrangement and production. Even though I wasn’t aware of it, I was already beginning to absorb those values and techniques. And on top of all that - How F**king good is her Vocal ?!!
5) Atomic Rooster - ‘Devil’s Answer’
Sorry folks, but no sexy story about this either. However, what is of interest to you ‘Geeks’ is that this band was formed by members of ‘The Crazy World Of Arthur Brown’ - you might remember his track ‘Fire’ ? Anyway, the drummer is Carl Palmer, who later went on to be in that well known Prog Rock power trio Emerson, Lake and Palmer. I didn’t know any of that at the time, but I bought this because I LOVE the organ (Vince Crane) and the overall Rock/Funk feel of it. Just brilliant in every way.
6) Slade - ‘Coz I Luv You’
Apart from being the Pioneers of ‘Text’ speak, this band is simply AWESOME ! It was quite hard for me to choose one track because I was already ‘into’ them before this was released. But I chose this for reasons which, once again, I have only become aware of on reflection. Considering that they had a strong Skinhead following at the time, this was both a brave and genius release. This is a magnificent Love Song, brilliantly written and delivered. Showing off Noddy’s incredible ‘Blues’ voice, and the finely crafted musicianship of the band. How can I say that you ask? Because I saw them live at Liverpool University in 1974, and they ROCKED. What was lovely, is that 10 years later I often had a drink with Noddy in the bar of The Columbia Hotel in Bayswater, London. A thoroughly lovely guy who had a lot of time for the young and up and coming bands of the day (especially Frankie Goes To Hollywood).
7) T. Rex - ‘Get It On’
As with Slade, it was difficult to choose a track from this GENIUS. I can’t remember the first time I saw Marc Bolan, but he has simply always been in my Music Psyche. I can’t recommend enough how much you should ALL go out and listen to his work. I have chosen this for two reasons. Firstly it’s an AMAZING song with such RAW energy. And secondly because, that guitar sound in the intro is SO SEXY !
8) David Bowie - ‘Starman’
Where do I start ? I could do a lifetime on him alone. By this time (1972) I was living with my paternal grandparents, and I had inherited an old Grundig Mono Reel to Reel tape recorder which had belonged to my dad. Rather frustratingly it only had one reel of tape, and at 13 years old I had NO idea of how to acquire more. And so a pattern emerged whereby EVERY Sunday I would prop the mic in front of a transistor radio and try to record as much of the Top Twenty (presented by Alan Freeman) as possible. I would then play that recording over and over again until Thursday Night, when I would sit in front of the TV with the tape machine, holding the Mic up to the speaker of the Television for TOP OF THE POPS. I would then listen to that until Sunday when the new Top Twenty was on.
So it comes to one Thursday night in 1972 and I’m there ready to record. And all of a sudden, the man who was going to change my life both musically and stylistically, APPEARED ! It was all I could do to hold the Mic to the TV as I was mesmerised by Ziggy Stardust !
So even though there are other Bowie tracks which mean more to me, THIS was the one which ‘Turned Me On’. What stays with me is that line “Hey far out, so you heard him too” because the next day in school, all the ‘cool’ kids were talking about the fact that they had “heard AND seen him too”.
9) Roxy Music - ‘Virginia Plain’
Please see above until you get to the point where I talk about the track. As if Bowie wasn’t enough, only four months later, the same music and style, mind blowing occurred. Oh the JOY of seeing Roxy Music in all their Art School Avant Garde trendsetting pre Glam MAJESTY. From the very first shot I was hooked, and went on to be as avid a fan and collector as I was of Bowie. As with Bowie, there are other tracks by Roxy which I like more (In Every Dream Home A Heartache) but THIS was the one which started it all.
10) Argent - ‘Hold Your Head Up’
By this time TOTP was a big influence for me, as was The Old Grey Whistle Test (more of that soon). I can’t remember exactly when I first heard this, but I do know that it resonated with me immediately. As I have said earlier, I am a sucker for a great Pop song, especially if it has a great message, and even better if it’s got killer keyboards. THIS has all of the above.
As I’ve also mentioned earlier, I had a very troubled life as a child and teenager, and the lyrics to this song got me through some hard times. In fact they still do occasionally. I dedicate this to all who are struggling, with LOVE.
11) Cockney Rebel - ‘Judy Teen’
As with Bowie and Roxy, there are other tracks by Cockney Rebel which ‘speak’ to me more. However, once again I have to admit that it was THIS track which got me into them. As was my way at that time, once I ‘discovered’ a band, like a true ‘Trainspotter’ I would seek out EVERYTHING !
I would really encourage you all to check out three albums by them. ‘Human Menagerie’ ‘The Psychomodo’ and ‘The Best Years Of Our Lives’.
This wasn’t their first single (that was called ‘Sebastien’) but it was the one which brought them to my attention. So much so that I went to see them at the Liverpool Stadium in 1974, where the support band was none other than ‘BeBop Deluxe’ - Bill Nelson’s band, who’s single ‘Ships In The Night’ almost made it into this selection - You’re welcome.
12) David Essex - ‘Rock On’
I bought this single the day after I saw him on TOTP. And in fact I still play it out occasionally (at the right gig of course). What is AMAZING about this track is that he wrote it, Co produced it (with Jeff Wayne of War of The Worlds Fame), and he is responsible for the sound. In fact the only other musician of note is Herbie Flowers, who was a session musician at that time. And remember, David Essex was a teenager at the time. In 1973 this was UNIQUE, which is why it excited me then, and still does now.
13) Alice Cooper - ‘Hello Hooray’
I’m breaking my own rule with this selection, but for very good reason. I had already bought ‘School’s Out’ and ‘Elected’ - but it’s the Lyrics in this which make it one of my ALL time favourites. I still find inspiration from it now. If you’re struggling, I encourage you to listen closely, and I hope that it moves you as it does me.
14) Area Code 615 - ‘Stone Fox Chase’
I mentioned earlier that these early years were very much informed by two music programs, both on the BBC but so diametrically opposed. But THAT fact totally encapsulates my widely varied and expansive musical evolution. This track also explains my ‘Trainspotting’ - One of the programs was ‘The Old Grey Whistle Test’ which aired on BBC2 late at night and was originally presented by ‘Whispering’ Bob Harris. It championed the ‘New’ and ‘Out There’ music and Bands. It’s no surprise that the OGWT had better appearances by Bowie and Roxy (amongst so many others) than TOTP. But it was THAT theme tune which really got me. I wasn’t a new release, it was NEVER going to be on TOTP or in the Top Twenty, and therefore - I HAD to hunt for it. This was LONG before Google or anything like that, so I put in some REAL Trainspotting effort and went around asking for it. By sheer good fortune, I happened to live near Penny Lane in Liverpool, and a new ‘Second Hand’ record shop had just opened run by a couple of hippies (it WAS the early Seventies). I had become friendly with them quite quickly, and one day asked about the theme tune to the OGWT. And as luck would have it, one of the guys knew what it was. I asked if he could get it for me, and three weeks later the single arrived. As a side note - that’s why I knew what it was when it became popular on the ‘Balearic’ scene in 1987. I immediately dug out my single on Polydor and proceeded to give it the exposure and appreciation I had always known it deserved.
15) Golden Earring - ‘Radar Love’
It should be becoming apparent by now, that within a very short space of time I had developed a very wide and eclectic taste in music. Looking back I can see that the common denominator was a well crafted Pop song or tune, coupled with great playing and production. Every track ‘spoke’ to me on some or many levels, and this is no exception. What I need to add to the fact that I watched TOTP and the OGWT religiously EVERY week, is that I also used to lie in bed late into the night listening to a radio station called ‘Radio Luxembourg’. I had a tiny transistor radio with an earpiece and would listen in wonderment to all sorts of wild and wonderful music. The signal was so weak that sometimes when it was very windy, the transmission would fade in and out, which was very frustrating when I was trying to find out what certain tracks were called. This was DEFINITELY a Radio Luxembourg discovery, although it went on to a big hit in Britain as well.
It’s rumoured to be a song about taking Amphetamines and driving a truck - All I can say is that it is constructed PERFECTLY ! As a little aside - I was booked to play at an Alldayer in Berkshire one Bank Holiday Sunday in 1988 (can’t say which one), and I was led to believe that the local chapter of the Hell’s Angels provided ‘Security’. I also knew that Andy Weatherall was playing, so I took this along and opened my set with it. Pretty much cleared the room, but I got a few thumbs up from some pretty ‘Heavy’ looking bearded security guys. And Andy also expressed his appreciation, which was good enough for me.
16) Brian Eno - ‘Baby’s On Fire’
From the very first time I saw Roxy Music and proceeded to get into them in my usual ‘Trainspotter’ way, Eno was ALWAYS a major source of fascination for me. I ‘got’ immediately how important he was to the overall sound, and it was him that first really made me aware of what a Synthesiser could REALLY do. And again, it was only decades later that I became aware of how much his style and production technique had permeated my own ‘Producers’ technique.
So when Eno announced that he was leaving Roxy in 1973, I was one of the thousands both shocked and dismayed. However, when he announced that he was producing a Solo LP, I just couldn’t wait.
The whole of ‘Here Come The Warm Jets’ was and still is, a tour de force of Electronic, Experimental, Avant Garde, Sonic GENIUS. And on top of that - he wrote one of the most twisted Pop songs I have ever heard. What makes this extra special is that it sees the beginning of the relationship between himself and Robert Fripp, which would contribute so beautifully to the LP ‘Heroes’ by David Bowie. Whilst I’m here - I recommend that you find a track called ‘Kings Lead Hat’ which Eno recorded whilst producing Talking Heads. In fact - the song’s title is an anagram of the band’s name, and you can hear them on his track.
17) Sparks - ‘This Town Ain’t Big Enough For The Both Of Us’
By the time these guys appeared on TOTP, I was already aware of them but hadn’t heard any of their stuff. Suffice to say that as soon as I saw them I wanted to hear EVERYTHING. I rushed out to buy this single and the album it was from called ‘Kimono My House’ (I STRONGLY recommend you all have listen). In truth my favourite tracks are ‘Amateur Hour’ and ‘Talent Is An Asset’, but being true to my brief - I am sharing with you all the track which was the incredible ‘Force’ which turned me on to Sparks.
And YES, I have ALL the 12 inch coloured vinyl records of ‘Beat The Clock’, Tryouts For The Human Race’ and ‘Number One Song In Heaven’. #Trainspotter !
18) The Glitter Band - ‘Angel Face’
I KNOW ! but before you all get your knickers in a twist - this has NOTHING to do with ‘that guy’. I didn’t even have to check because I ALWAYS knew that it wasn’t. In fact it was never him that I was into, but rather the songs and the production. I was always aware that the main creative force behind it all was a guy called Mike Leander, so when it was announced that the Glitter Band were releasing a record co written and produced by Leander, I was very interested. This track encapsulates EVERYTHING about the ‘Glam Pop’ scene at the time. You will all probably know their other great track ‘Makes you Blind’ which of course is a Balearic Classic.
Decades later, I had the pleasure of working with John Springate from the band at his studio in Deptford, when I was remixing a track called ‘Keep It Up’ by Boyswonder. He was amazed that I knew the Glitter Band and that I had bought all their records. Another thoroughly lovely Seventies Pop Star.
19) Rupie Edwards - ‘Ire Feelings (Skanga)’
Whoa ! - ya didn’t see that one coming did you? By the time this came out I was really at a transitional point in my early musical evolution, which the rest of my selections will clearly demonstrate. I was ALWAYS listening and searching for new and exciting music irrespective of the Genre. I suppose it could be said that my ‘Balearic’ mindset was already being firmly set as my musical ‘Default’. I just LOVED music, and at that time it was all so NEW and COLOURFUL to me. At the age of 15 I was already well into the Youth Club and School Discos, as well as going to the midweek dances at the local Teacher Training College near where I lived. I had a fake Students Union card which made me 18 and I would go along with a couple of mates and get pissed on pints of Orangeboom at 15p a pint (never cost more than a quid to get drunk).
And it was between all those ‘Dances’ where I began to hear Reggae, Soul, Funk and early Disco. I had bought a few chart singles throughout the years in that style but, I began to hear ‘COOL’ stuff.
This is one such track - from the moment I heard it I HAD to have it. In those days a DJ was astonished that anyone would ask what he was playing, so they were always happy to share their Golden Knowledge with me. I still own my copy of this on the ‘Cactus’ label - and apparently that makes me quite cool. I would NEVER claim to be a Dub aficionado, but I DO know what I like.
20) 1968 That Song from ‘if’ - ‘Missa Luba’
I happened to be sitting up quite late one night in 1974 after my Grandparents had gone to bed, and I chanced upon a black and white film called ‘if’ starring Malcolm McDowell. I’m not going to bother reviewing it here other than to say “YOU MUST SEE THIS FILM!”
The film was typically weird and arty, but had some wild shit going on, including Malcolm romping naked in a cafe with a waitress. Now for a 15 year old boy you would have thought that it couldn’t get any better BUT - that wasn’t what I LOVED about the film. It was the use of this particular piece of music in several key scenes. I know ! typical trainspotter, listening to the music instead of watching the sex and violence.
Anyway, I just HAD to have that piece of Music. This was long before the days of the Interweb and Google, and I had to put some serious effort into finding it. It wasn’t like it was going to be on TOTP or OGWT any time soon, as the film originally came out in 1968. But as was my way, I was on first name terms with EVERY record shop person in the whole of the North of Liverpool (and a few others in town). Of course none of them had a clue what I was talking about, and I was resigned to never knowing what it was.
But one day as I was chatting with the guy in WH Smith on Allerton Rd. I randomly asked him if he would look through a catalogue of Classical and Soundtrack Releases for ‘if’ - it was a dull weekday afternoon, so he handed me one and we started to go through a couple of weighty tomes. And after half an hour I ONLY went and found it ! It was from a recording of ‘The African Sanctus’ and was released as a single on Phillips at the time the film came out.
Of course this was 1974 and it was uncertain if it was still available. But he duly ordered it, and bugger me if it didn’t arrive the week later. I then took it home and played it till it nearly wore out. I eventually found a copy of the album, but I also still have the single (somewhere in storage). I just LOVE the magnificent HUGE rawness of this track.
21) The Doors - ‘Hello I Love You’
I refer you to most of the section about Rupie Edwards in relation to this, but I will also add - By the end of 1975 I was nearly 17, and had already started going to my local pub ‘The Halfway House’ in Liverpool. I was already doing a ‘Paper Round’ 7 mornings a week, as well as occasionally working with my best friend washing and valeting his Uncle’s fleet of Wedding Cars. And that summer I got a job working in Stylo Shoes in London Road earning £19 a week (and fiddling another £20). This meant that I was a young man of independent means, and what wasn’t spent on Records and Clobber, went on a few pints a couple nights a week. Don’t forget I had my fake Students Union ID ! And this is where one of my weirdest music influences comes into it.
Every Friday night a guy would come into the pub after work, with his pockets full of wages and a week of frustration to drown. I used to love it when he came in because he would always go straight to the Juke Box and put the same 5 records on. He’d play more through the night, but those particular 5 were his ‘GO TO’ tracks. In no particular order it would be Springsteen ‘Born To Run’, War ‘Low Rider’, Joe Walsh ‘Rocky Mountain Way’, Family ‘Burlesque’ and The Doors ‘Hello I Love You’.
As you can imagine, within weeks I owned them all and they introduced me to so much more incredible music. In fact I almost included a Springsteen track called ‘Meeting Across The River’ in my selection as it is so beautiful. But I include The Doors for the simple reason that I had NEVER heard of them before, but I fell in love with them right away. I went on to own albums by ALL of the above five and can heartily recommend them to you all.
22) Stevie Wonder - ‘Boogie On Reggae Woman’
As with the above track (and a couple of others), I am aware that some of these tracks came out earlier than others but, I am listing them according to how they appeared on my Musical ‘Time Line’.
I have no idea of when I first heard this, but it’s almost certainly to have been at one of the ‘Discos’ I attended. I had learned quite quickly that the best way to get chatting to girls was to learn to dance. And so I very enthusiastically learned EVERY new dance that came around. In fact I had been doing that since late 1972, but it was only in 1975 that I started to hear really cool stuff.
As always I made a point of finding out what it was and immediately bought it. I’ve always loved the groove of the song and what I realise now is how FUNKY the Synths are in it. I was considering including ‘Living For The City’ by Stevie as I love that as well but, THIS is the track that really shows off how squelchy and groovy that MOOG is.
I still maintain that Stevie Wonder has NEVER been given the recognition he deserves for championing Synths in general, but especially in Funk/Soul/Boogie and Disco.
23) Hamilton Bohannon - ‘Foot Stompin’ Music’
It was a toss up between this and ‘Disco Stomp’ but I chose this for the simple reason that I REALLY love that growling Bass Organ riff at the beginning. And also it’s a bloody great track. I bought both of them, and of course a number of his earlier tracks (South African Man in particular) and a couple of albums. There is something raw and downright groovy in his beats and I still love his work to this day.
24) The Sharonettes - ‘Going To A Go Go’
This track and the following share the same story and origins. In the late summer of 1975, I went on holiday with my aunt and my baby cousin to Sunny Rhyll in North Wales, or ‘The Liverpool Riviera’ as I used to call it. The days were spent doing the usual ‘Seaside’ stuff, but as my cousin was only a couple of years old, every evening my aunt was stuck in the Guest House with him. Of course I’m a young man of 16 years old with ants in my pants, and I had spotted a place which I could only assume that with a name like ‘The Dixyland Showbar’ must be a Nightclub.
So two nights into our stay - I venture along with my trusty fake ID and a lot of bravado. The guy must have thought that I MUST be 18 to be coming in alone and in I strolled. Into the most amazing scene I had experienced up until that point. Full of pissed up Scousers on Holiday, with some local Welsh folk (looking quite angry and resentful I realise on reflection). The bar was heaving, the dance floor was heaving and the music was like NOTHING I had heard before. And to top it off - the BEST Roy Orbison tribute band ever (and he wasn’t even dead !).
I had a few pints, enjoyed the show and then applied myself to learning about the music and dancing. It was uptempo soul grooves with great songs and some amazing dancers. This was my introduction to NORTHERN SOUL ! I ended the night with a ‘Slowy’ with lovely Welsh girl of 22 to Bryan Hyland ‘Sealed With a Kiss’ (That’s another story!) and went off with a promise to meet her in a couple of nights time. Sure enough she was there and we had a laugh, but all the time in the back of my head, all I wanted to do was find out what the bloody tracks were !
BUT ! I was astute enough to recognise the ones which were most popular and made a point of finding out about them. To this day I can’t remember the girl’s name but - I can remember THIS TRACK. I bought the follow up ‘Pappa Ooh Mow Mow as well, but it wasn’t as good as this.
I also bought ‘Under My Thumb’ by Wayne Gibson and the track which comes next in my election #KPF
25) Al Wilson - ‘The Snake’ See above
26) Genesis - ‘A Trick Of The Tail’
It’s important at this time to point out that throughout the journey I have laid out for you here, I was ALSO very much into a LOT more music. I had bought EVERY Genesis album up to this point (1976), I had bought a number of early Status Quo albums, at least 4 queen albums, and records by The Velvet Underground, Hall and Oats (Abandoned Luncheonette), The Rolling Stones, The Ozark Mountain Daredevils (Car over The Lake), Tod Rundgren, Kraftwerk, The Who, EVERY Bowie and Roxy/Ferry album and much more.
So when Peter Gabriel left Genesis, we all assumed that was the end of the band. But every now and then I would enquire in my local ‘Hippy’ record shop ‘Penny Lane Records’ (which I ended up managing in 1979/80) about any news on a new Genesis album. Always the same answer “not yet, they’re still looking for a singer”.
I had pretty much forgotten about it until one day Chris announces as I walk in “It’s HERE!” and produces ‘A Trick Of The Tail’. Now I’ll be honest and admit I was pretty much ‘over’ the band by that time (as you can tell from the past few selections) but I felt morally obliged to buy it.
I took it home and upon playing it I was struck by how much like Peter Gabriel, Phil Collins sounded. It turns out that there had been a delay because Collins had never wanted to be the singer, but they had auditioned hundreds and eventually he HAD to do it because they were contracted to release an album.
The other thing which struck me was HOW BLOODY GOOD IT WAS! But there is a reason why I’ve chosen this track in particular from the whole of the Genesis catalogue, and that is within the lyrics.
It’s only over the years that I became aware that it’s a song about intolerance and the hate and distrust of ‘Difference’. And what blows me away is that it is even more relevant today than it was in 1976. It’s a beautiful morality tale and the production and nuances are incredibly moving to me even now.
27) Lou Reed - ‘Coney Island Baby’
Once again I’m breaking my rule about selecting the track which first created an impression, but in this case it is fully justified.
Like most Seventies teenagers, I discovered Lou Reed and then The Velvet Underground through his work with David Bowie. Of course I bought ‘Transformer’ but unlike a lot of others, I didn’t stop there. I have to admit that I found ‘Berlin’ quite hard going, but I absolutely LOVED and still do, Sally Can’t Dance and especially ‘Coney Island Baby’.
Originally I had intended to included a long track from ‘Rock n Roll Animal’ which is the live album from his tour after ‘Transformer’. I went to his gig at The Liverpool Empire on that tour and was BLOWN AWAY. One of my all time favourite gigs (of the many hundreds I’ve been to). The track is the Intro and then into Sweet Jane, which features the incredible talents of two great guitarists ‘Dick Wagner and Stevie Hunter, and it is simply electrifying. I accept that perhaps I feel it more because I saw it live, which is why I have chosen this track instead.
For me it totally encapsulates Lou Reed - his timing and vocal nuances in this are simply divine, and the subject matter is something which resonates with me, as I know it does for a lot of us who were always ‘Different’ and often ‘Lost’ for a time. I dedicate this to EVERYONE who has been abused, or oppressed for being different, or who has felt ‘Alone’.
I dedicate this to Jayne Casey (my first style inspiration)
Always believe in the Glory of Love x x
28) Steely Dan - ‘The Fez’
WOW ! this was a really hard one to choose. I could have gone with so many different quality tracks from the first five albums, and it took more than an hour of sifting before I chose this (and I changed my mind at least 5 times).
But what made me choose this is that it reminds me of another significant period of transition. In 1975 a wine bar called ‘Kirlklands’ opened in Liverpool, and very quickly ALL the cool people were going. And when they opened ‘The Baltimore Rooms’ upstairs it was ONLY for the ‘In People’. And who do you think was going regularly ?
I was well into my final phase as teenager, which would see me totally embrace the Art School New Wave scene which quickly led into Punk. But just at that crossover - there was The Baltimore Rooms. It was very ornate, and was the first club which ever had a FULL Bose sound system. The DJ I particularly enjoyed was a guy called John Henry, who was also a Radio City DJ. On any given night he would play everything from Bowie to Roxy to Reggae to Jazz and Funk and all sorts in-between including Steely Dan. Not just this, but many other tracks as well.
There are so many tracks I could have included at this point, but I have already included Bowie/Roxy/Lou and others and I REALLY wanted to include a Steely Dan track. And this is exactly right for this point in time. And it’s just so FUNKY !!
What’s interesting is that not many years later (1982) I was working for the owners of Kirklands when they opened a club called ‘The State’ in Liverpool, where my Thursday nights became ‘THE’ in place to be.
29) Eddie and the Hot Rods - ‘Teenage Depression’
So you know all those ‘COOL’ people I mentioned above ? Well, by the middle of 1976, we were all becoming ‘Punks’ and were going to a cool new place which was the antithesis of Kirklands, called ERIC’S
We’d heard about a place where you could wear jeans and ripped up shirts and leather jackets, and there was brilliant bands most nights. It was owned by a guy called Roger Eagle, who had run a venue called The Stadium in Liverpool, where only a few years earlier I had seen bands like Cockney Rebel and Mott The Hoople, but he had started as a Northern Soul DJ at a club called The Twisted Wheel in Manchester.
How incredible that my formative musical years should come full circle with that club. EVERYTHING that I have included somehow or other was also connected to Roger.
We used to talk about it a lot and even though I was under age, he gave me a membership personally. At that time there was a condition whereby when bands played, the venue had to supply what were known as ‘Humpers’. These were big strong lads who helped load the PA and Band’s gear into the venue and at the end of the night, load it out again. So I quickly did a deal with Roger to work as a humper in exchange for free entry into all the gigs.
I will be honest and admit that I can’t remember everyone I saw, but it does include most of the up and coming Punk bands of that time including The Jam and The Stranglers, as well as crazy gigs like Talking Heads, Stanley Clarke, early OMD, and Local Bands like Big In Japan featuring Holly Johnson, Ian Broudie, Bill Drummond and Jayne Casey. Also Deaf School, The Spitfire Boys and many many more.
But the OTHER great thing about the club was the MUSIC from the DJ. Norman Killon was his name, and he was chosen by Roger because Norman had exactly the same wide and extensive musical knowledge and taste as himself. So I would often have time in the club, during some empty nights just listening to Norman. I heard SO much great music which changed me again, and has stayed with me but, I have to choose just one.
I chose this because it was one of the first ‘Punk’ singles I bought. In fact Joe Strummer was quoted as saying that ‘Eddie and the Hot Rods’ was the first band he had ever heard described as ‘Punk’.
They had a hit with a track called ‘Do Anything You Wanna Do’ but this is the ONE for me. It also reminds me of myself at times at that age. If I could include one more it would be ‘Cocaine’ by Dillinger - I still have my White Vinyl (of Course) 12 inch.
30) Talking Heads - Psycho Killer
And so I end my selection with this from 1977. All of what I wrote above applies to this as well. But on top of that, to me - Talking Heads encapsulated EVERYTHING which I felt about music. They were groovy, they were arty, they were New Wave, they were Cool, they were Punk, they were stylish, they could play and they didn’t care what anyone thought. It’s no mistake that once again I was turned on to a weird and wonderful creative genius who’s music I would follow for many many years to come.
That all said - I have to remind you that this has been a snapshot into only six of my 46 years long love of music. I could start writing lists of bands and albums that I have been into and would recommend, but it would run into several more pages and cover so many genres and time scales.
I hope that you’ve enjoyed this journey with me - and I hope that we can do it again some time soon. In the meantime - I encourage you all to follow your heart and soul when it comes to music - ENJOY.