Even the £2.95 price tag screams 1980, right? That would be somewhere about $3.99 in USD and that’s about right for an LP at the time. Granted, minimum wage was still about $2.45/hour, maybe a little more or less, so you still had to work for your music. You could get a new record and a six-pack of shitty beer for about $5.00 so a couple hours of work would get you an okay Friday night with some new tunes to accompany you for a good unwinding. Maybe Wonder Woman and Dallas on TV. That was 1980 or thereabouts. Life was okay.
I remember a few of these singles. There were a few friends who knew the good record shops with cool imports, and a couple that traveled back and forth to England to visit family, and they’d come back with suitcases full of records not readily available here. I was still easing into a lot of the new sounds and new vibes. It wasn’t an easy transition to be honest. A lot of the new sounds were angular and dissonant and weren’t about escaping into some rock and roll fantasy. It more resembled the dissonance in my thoughts and feelings… the stuff that you didn’t really want to look at and didn’t even want to feel but it was there anyway… stuff that would come in fits and starts. Do I have to explain? Nah, there’s music to do that.
It hasn’t grown old, this vibe. It has, if anything, a currency that says 2021 and a warm, cozy, nostalgic feel as well. It’s looking back on finding my way in art and music that reflected the world that I actually lived in and not the glamorous rock fantasies of how I thought it might be. No more hippie pretensions. No more hard rock posing. They were sounds made by people like me. I found my place. I was just me.
That’s about as best as I can explain it. I’ve watched countless documentaries of the times then, and read hundreds of interviews and they all say the same thing. A door to a new space opened up and it offered a place to a generation. My generation. That’s the message then, my message. Find what speaks to you and run with it. You’ll rarely be disappointed being yourself, even if nobody else around you gets it.
That all sounds very lofty, if not a little bloated and trite. My own words are rife with cliche, or sound so. It’s all real though. You had to be there to understand what made the oddities palatable. More than palatable. They were comfortable. I do wear other uniforms and costumes to navigate the world. It’s just a question of easing the flow. Once you know that it’s real life cosplay though it takes the pressure off when you know who you are beneath the get-up.
A bit of a tangent: I am signed up with a site called Word Genius and they e-mail a Word of the Day each morning. Today’s word is NUMISMATIC, of or relating to coins or currency. It strikes me that it would make an excellent band name.
The Numismatics! We are here to make money! OKAY TOKYO! ARE YOU READY FOR THE NUMISMATICS?
Kind of an honest statement. We are in it for the coins. We don’t care about you. A refreshing approach in a world of pop stars who upon achieving fame go off to live in cloud cities where they release occasional statements about how grateful they are and how humbled they are by their fans.
The old punks who survived, and survived as musicians, are often as guilty of that as anyone else, but why not? There is no joy in struggle. There is no happiness in poverty, despite what you may be told about the relationship between the two. Let’s be real about that. Nobody busts their ass to stay poor. Not on purpose. That’s not my cynicism speaking. It’s real.
Speaking of the numismatic, I need to get my shit together here and prepare to do the voodoo that I do do to make the coin.
Cheers. Enjoy the music.