back to schooldays – graham parker and the rumour

I mentioned losing my virginity to glam rock a week or so back. And I am, essentially, a glam-rock purist.

A guy called Craig Malone lent me ‘Ziggy Stardust’ in 1973 and that was me hooked. Bowie was the first popstar I remember who came with a reading list: so ‘Jean Genie’ is about Iggy Pop and Jean Genet? I better look into them, then. ‘Diamond dogs’ is based on George Orwell’s ‘1984’ and William Burroughs’ ‘wild boys’?

I’m just heading to the library, mum. Back in a bit. Can I take yours and dad’s tickets with me? Ta.

Where I grew up, I was less than five minutes from our local library and, once I had command of my ancestors’ library tickets, I was free to take out anything my sick little mind latched onto.

My original plan was to read all Ian Fleming’s James Bond series, which I’d completed before leaving primary in mid 1973.

Later that year, I discovered Bowie, and thankfully the library staff didn’t turn a hair at the fat kid called Mrs Hopkins showing up at the counter with ‘A clockwork orange’, ‘The wild boys’, ‘Brave new world’ and ‘Monkey planet’.

Of course, there were no music or movies in libraries back in the days of high-waisters, platforms and bisexuality, so I only got to absorb the printed word.

Which was fine by me.


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