I LIKE to tell people that the first record I ever bought was Skweeze Me Please Me by Slade. OK, so it’s not a seminal recording and clearly not up there with American Pie, Bohemian Rhapsody or Imagine in the annals of pop history but it’s a solid, respectable 1970s hit by a rather ugly looking Black Country band who were big in their day.
The fact that they couldn’t spell properly meant they had to be at least a little bit subversive and the lead singer was called Noddy Holder, which begged lots of questions. Like what was a Noddy and why did it need holding?
So when we were invited to take a record each into school for the end of term disco I took my pocket money into Woolworths and spent 45p on a 45 (which seemed pretty apt) and took Slade into school.
Other kids’ records were discussed and discarded, ridiculed by the mass ranks of discerning pop pickers at William Shrewsbury School, Stretton, Class of 73, but Skweeze Me Please Me was played so many times it got scratched and so we started playing the B side (remember them?) – the little known classic Kill ‘Em in the Hot Club Tonight.
I went home very happy and since then have always been proud of my ‘first record’.
But it’s not true.
I was horrified to learn that Skweeze Me Please Me came out in June 1973 but when we moved house in January I spotted another single from that same year that was a rash holiday purchase and which will now forever haunt me.
All I can do is apologise profusely for my nine-year-old self and confess that I was one of the undiscerning mob who propelled the sickly sweet pop disaster zone that was Tie a Yellow Ribbon Round the Old Oak Tree to the top spot in April 1973.
Yes, only four years before I bought God Save the Queen by The Sex Pistols on the day it came out, I kicked off a life time’s devotion to pop music by purchasing the ‘classic’ sounds of Tony Orlando and Dawn. Surely a crime worthy of juvenile detention but one which I was oblivious to at the time.
I was reminded of this aberration by a picture of Kimberley Walsh, one-time member of high-heeled pop goddesses Girls Aloud on the front of The Sun yesterday. Kimberley, it seems has written a tell-all book about the group. Judging by the Sun’s pictures, she also wrote it in her underwear!
But it reminded me of the day I took my youngest daughter to the NIA to see her favourite band. Her very first gig was Girls Aloud, poor thing.
She’s 14 now and already has much better taste. I better tell her that I won’t ever mention it again if she doesn’t.