// // //

tales from an ordinary world


"There's a lot of young people here," he said. I hadn't noticed, but a little later I overheard some black-nail-polished kid telling a friend how he'd forgotten his ID at a bar one night, and got kicked out for it. Black and white TV sets scattered through the bar, playing piped old movies taped off the TV (I spotted an ad advertising their "1998 sale"), and black and white movie star photos on the wall. Old games on a bookshelf. Tightly packed but eminently comfortable. People are drinking cocktails, which perhaps explains the attraction to the younger ones, but Steve's having a beer, and I'm having a gin and lime. It's a nice enough place, and certainly helps to explain the attraction of the inner northern suburbs. He told me of his recent post-wisdom-teeth-pulling days spent recovering at his parents' house, reliving his youth by sitting in front of the stereo with all his sister's old 7 and 12-inch vinyl, from those golden days towards the end of the 80's, the days that aren't yet back in fashion.

The old stereo in the lounge room. He said didn't have to use the headphones, like I did. I'd pull an armchair to face the aging silvery metal components, waiting for the familiar thump from the speakers as you turned it all on, and the comforting light-green glow of the radio dial. I'd slide it down to 106.7 every Sunday evening to catch The Electronic Influence, tape at the ready, watching the tape deck's left and right-channel level meters bounce back and forth with the signal. This was all 1980-bought equipment - no auto-tuning for the radio, not even any bouncing LEDs for the recording levels. On a weekend afternoon, perhaps, I'd grab a record I'd just bought and tape it so I could listen to it in my walkman, tip-toeing out of the room so I didn't make the needle jump (a much-forgotten aspect of the whole vinyl thing, or maybe people aren't as paranoid as I am ?)

When I called my mother last night for a pre-holiday chat we spent a good 5 minutes or more talking about music, something I probably never thought I'd find myself doing if you'd asked me 10 years ago. I've been lending my parents music, now - I think I can claim to have put them onto Steve Earle, for instance (although it was David that lent me some of his stuff, so I can't claim victory on my own). She said how they'd bought the Emmylou Harris anthology, which they couldn't stop listening to despite having most of the content on vinyl since I was a kid. "...and we bought that Gram Parsons anthology," she said, so I told her about the time I saw Evan Dando (of Lemonheads fame) with Steve at the Tote, nearly 10 years ago now. He covered a heap of Lucinda Williams, Gram Parsons, Neil Young, and other people's songs. A magical night, the first time I'd heard any of that sort of stuff (at least when I was conscious of it) and when Steve gave me a copy of the tape he'd made (thanks to a recording Walkman he'd had sitting in his jacket pocket) I'd listen to it again and again despite the questionable sound quality, and I've bought a lot of stuff stemming from that one influential night.

When I put on the Townes van Zandt tribute CD I bought yesterday, a song called Pancho and Lefty came up, the words sounding inexplicably familiar. But it's come back to me now - on one of those old Emmylou Harris albums that my parents always had, she covers it. Funny how those old things come around again. Eventually, we all come to terms with our upbringing. Perhaps this is my way of coming to terms with mine ?

..end transmission...

other times

days : (<< 2002-06) 2002-07 : 02, 04, 05, 06, 07, 09, 11, 11b, 13, 14, 16, 16b, 17, 18, 21, 21b, 21c, 26 (2002-08 >>).

months : (<< ) all of 2002-07 ( >>).

other pages

the latest entry . tales from a random world . grime . elsewhere