Wednesday, 9 November 2011

Forty years on... are they sure?

I am deeply depressed, I mean it's bad enough to realise that Marvin Gaye's, Heard it through the Grapevine is 45 years old but to watch a programme last night that told me that Simon and Garfunkel's Bridge over Troubled Water is now 40 years old is just plain scary.
This was the very first LP that I ever bought, I was 12 going on 13 and used record tokens that I had been given for my birthday. I think it must have cost me over £2.00 as I know that I had a couple of 10/- tokens (50p to the youngsters reading this), topped up with half crowns from my piggy bank. It was bought from Boots in Southend High Street.  Before this major purchase was made, you could listen to selected tracks in the five booths at the back of the record department, open at the front, they had hardboard walls with tiny holes drilled into them allegedly to absorb the sound and you had to don archaic ear-phones to listen.  


You could then sit on the bus home taking the album out of the bag, reading the words written on the back of the sleeve, singing the songs in your head.  Walking quickly from the bus stop and then dashing up the stairs to the back bedroom where the Dansette record player sat.  Our Dansette was the aqua green version, no chance of the girly pink one that I longed for as my bother was its guardian.  


The LP was covered by the inner paper sleeve advertising other albums that were currently in the charts, then slipping the record out, being careful not to touch it, wiping it over with the anti-static cloth and placing it on the centre spoke and bringing the arm across.  Now the final check that it was on 33 rpm and then pulling the lever across which lifted the needle onto the LP and this is what you heard...
And now I am back in the 70s worrying about unfinished homework, how to decline mensa, whether my spots would ever clear up (they did!), when I would be allowed to wear makeup, if I had a pair of run free tights, was there any dry shampoo left?  Amazing what music, expecially great music can do for you.


Happy Birthday Bridge over Troubled Water!

6 comments:

Caroline Lovis (Redneedle) said...

Lovely post. There is nothing like a fave piece of music to bring it all back is there? 'How Can I be sure' - David Cassidy was the first 45 I bought from a brill little record shop in our local town that used to sell ex jukebox singles amongst other things. Enjoy the memories.

CarolC1 said...

Sigh.Now you have made me feel sooo old. I was in my 30's when you were worrying about your acne but we did have a danset, it was red and beige. And I did love Simon and Garfunkle as most of my comtempories did. Never dd manage to get their records as I had children then, another sigh.

The mum of all trades said...

What a fantastic first LP to buy. Love Simon and Garfunkel

The Seat Bottomer said...

You took me on a lovely trip down memory lane Ros! Acne, homework and yes, mensa too. I watched the tribute programme the other night and found myself singing, (badly!)...

"....when you're weary,...."

Still some of my favourite songs ever, fab lyrics. Thanks for the reminder, (even if it was 40 years ago)!

Helen said...

I still remember my first record player, it had a removable top and really the sound was terrible! I was about 10 i think, and felt very lucky to have it. But my first LP was on cassette as I had a cassette player long before i had a record player. It was Adam and the Ants! I cant remember now what my first proper vinyl LP was, i know i had singles first. I ised to buy them from Woolworths they cost me 2 weeks pocket money!
Thanks for the trip down memory lane!

Rosebark said...

The first record I ever bought was the single Lily the Pink (LOL!), but my friend had Simon and Garfunkel albums and a Dansette record player in her room. Those were the days - oh that's another song from that era isn't it? (Mary Hopkin I believe)