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Everyone remembers the first record they ever bought and the first gig they ever attended.
But who can recall the first record they binned?. Or flogged? Or swapped?
Believe me, a hell of a lot of that went on during my schooldays in the late 70s. And for very different reasons too.
One or two I binned out of embarrassment. What would my mates have thought had they discovered I owned a cassette of the Wombles and, even worse, an Alvin Stardust cassette too.
And then there was The Spinners At Christmas, quite possibly the worst present I ever received (with apologies to a much-loved Auntie and Uncle). One spin, if you pardon the pun, was quite enough for me.
If they were examples of music I simply grew out of or never liked in the first place, I remember a few records I sold for beer-money.
Back then, a pint may have been about 36 pence but even so, saving a week’s dinner money plus two quid pocket money was never enough to fund my social life.
I remember selling The Story Of The Who and Genesis’s Seconds Out, both double LPs, not because I didn’t like the two bands but because I knew they were records I could earn some much-needed cash for.
But there was another reason for dispensing with music in the late 70s which, I would argue, was unique to that particular era. It was all to do with the compartmentalising of bands into genres.
Or put in another way, for a young, impressionable teenager, it was regarded as heresy to own music from a genre other than your nominated choice.
By 1980 I had musically cleansed by collection with some unfortunate casualties. A couple of years earlier, I’d bought The Stranglers’ excellent second album No More Heroes and enjoyed it so much, I followed up by snapping up their debut, Rattus Norvegicus.
But The Stranglers were punk rock and sat uncomfortably alongside music by Led Zeppelin, Rush, UFO, Deep Purple, Led Zeppelin and The Scorpions. It sounds stupid now but back then, boasting an eclectic taste in music wasn’t something to shout about.
It smacked of lack of commitment, lack of identify or, even worse, beytrayal. For rock music was under siege following punk’s explosion and the advent of new wave.
To own any new wave record was to compromise your love of rock, hence my decision to sell those two Stranglers’ record.
Mind you, I was a net beneficiary of this strange, ridiculous obsession with musical purity. My first three Pink Floyd LPs – Meddle, Dark Side Of The Moon and Wish You Were Here, were second hand, given to me free by a lad who had “turned”.
He’d cut his hair, changed from flares to drainpipes and was now a disciple of punk, which meant ditching the records which had honed his love of music.
I was fortunate to get those albums for he revealed a few months later that his Yes and Emerson, Lake and Palmer LPs had ended up on a skip, probably as part of some revolutionary ritual to demonstrate his punk credentials. Pink Floyd had only been saved because they were out on loan on the night of the cull.
Thankfully, we are all a lot less insular these days and I’ve no doubt that even the maddest metalhead or most pompous proggie owns music from different genres.
Looking at my own iTunes library, I’m proud to boast music from 22 different genres, from classical to country, from indie to metal, from blues to world music.
And not one Alvin Stardust tune amongst the 11,059 songs!