Thursday, September 17, 2009

early days

i distinctly remember buying my first record. i was 7 years old, and it was a gary glitter album, gatefold sleeve, with the gazzer lying a la playmate, leaning on his elbow in a silver glitter suit. michael jackson used the same pose for his thriller album, but he had his hand down his pants (no lie, check t out!). it was from a record stall in cookstown, northern ireland where my mum is from. how i loved that suit! it was at the time of bowie, mud, t-rex, and roxy music. out of those, mud were the only other band i knew.
and from then until i was 11, that was it, those glam rockers, along with a bit of my dad's rock 'n' roll- chuck berry, bill hayley and the like. in fact my parents took me to my first gig- dolly parton and neil diamond ( maybe charlie pride/ rich too?) when i was 7... i hated it! now i think neil diamond is very cool. funny how perceptions change over time.
as i was saying, until i was 11.

that was when my world exploded. again i remember exactly when and where. it was a village party for the queens silver jubilee in 1977. one of the older boys in the village drove by with his stereo blasting, in defiance of the happy mood.
he was playing "god save the queen" by the sex pistols. my head just about exploded! i'd never heard anything like it, and had to find out what it was. the next day at school one of my best friends, pete neil, brought that same record to school ( his mum was very liberal!). the newspapers that day were full of the sex pistols, as they'd played "god save the queen" on a boat on the thames the day before. they'd been arrested, and the press loathed them, but still loved to write about them!
i just saw this mad group of youths wearing clothes that were ripped, put back together with safety pins, leather jackets, (only bikers wore leathers as far as i knew then) and great printed shirts and tops. they were the coolest thing i'd ever seen. i wanted to be them.
from that day forward i was obsessed with image. for me music and style have always gone hand in hand, with music being the one thats pulling the other along the pavement. i was like a sponge for the pistols back then, soaking up every bit of info i could. to this day, they are still my major source of inspiration, as punk was not really about image, but a way of being individual, and daring to be so proudly. i still try and get a safety pin in every shoot i do. you may not see it, but it's there!

heres the sex pistols video:

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