I used to marvel at the kids getting school dinners. How do they do it? Are they on free school meals? Don’t they have any records? Don’t they go to football matches? Do they get tons of pocket money? Do they have jobs? Monday to Friday I’d starve, sometimes I’d cave and get a fish cake from the chippy, cheapest thing on the menu but most of the time I’d just try block out the empty feeling in my stomach, the dull ache in my forehead. To me it was worth it.
Every Thursday evening I’d head across town straight after school with my mental list of records I’d heard on John Peel or Dave ‘Kid’ Jenson’s show, or read about in the NME, or had recommended to me by a mate. I loved music and I still do. A pocket full of change rattling away as I wandered through the Merrion Center and on up to Jumbo Records. Hungry but happy. Somehow all the emptiness just disappeared the minute I got my hands on the latest Wah! Single. Seven Minutes To Midnight v some lumpy old spuds and a bit of flavourless meat? No competition.
Never heard of them.
You think I’ll like ‘em?
They’re on Postcard, you like Orange Juice and what about that Aztec Camera one I told you about last week?
You’re right, yep, I’ll take it. Thanks.
From the age of twelve to sixteen I don’t think I put on more than 10lbs, most of that going on during the summer holidays. I had, what I considered a decent record collection, I managed to get to most Leeds home games, it was only 25p in the Boys Pen or sometimes we'd just hang around outside until they opened the gates for the last 30 minutes, and I got to aways when you could get a platform ticket for 6p and bunk on the train. I don't imagine that there’s too many people in the 40s look back on theschool dinners they ate too fondly do you?