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Thursday, 18 November 2010

Free Electric Band


At about the same time that we in the UK were going gaga over the Bay City Roller, Mud and the Sweet thoughtful songwriters were doing their thing in the US of A. Mr Chapin, Don McLean and Billy Joel  were dishing out music that was awesome. Mr Bowie was spinning us an androgynous concoction - except I didn't know what that meant.

And as I was sunning myself on Hampstead Heath, by the pool, Lynsey de Paul  would stop and watch me plunge into the cool, cold water. We would ease our way into the Belsize Tavern, our hair flowing, shoulder length, golden and so full of angst- it shattered. Ziggy played guitar...the special man...

In Belsize Avenue, my landlord had appropriated the huge, white, living room, with windows that let in the universe. And he painted...while his wife prepared curries and tea in a galley and their daughter revised her latin in the hallway. And I cooked on a small gas ring in my bedroom and the mixture of beans and cheap scent alerted my landlady to illicit sex not covered by the weekly rent.

And we hung out in Belsize Avenue, leaning over the balcony, shouting obscenities at the passing pigs, with imported Foster cans and Mateus Rose  to hand  - we were so cool.

We'd tumble down Haverstock Hill gathering no moss on the way to the Roundhouse and nights lost in space. Waiting for the good old boys drinking rye... Blood was on the tracks and I didn't know my luck.

And we'd rock to Pick Up the Pieces thinking the Average White Band were so special, and in a tip of a flat, the bean bags would hold a promise of new love and forgetfulness. The Summer Bank holiday rushed by as we spent our lives at Battersea Park on the big dipper, before it broke its back and a few lives.

And tomorrow, day of work and reckoning, was a sleep away.

And Elton fired us with Rocket Man and the world was just passing by. Bombs, war and pay constraint, recession and the Generation Game were the concerns of the others.

And we all foregathered at the Tavern, and we all smiled and we all wondered how long this heaven would last. And then we grew up.

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