Sunday, 3 August 2008


And what a scorcher it was. the year of the endless summer, months of temperatures in the 90`s but as the sun shone the economy was crumbling along with the dried-up riverbeds, not that i noticed that much cause in my world there was only music, football and of course my final school exams..I was 15, sitting in those large Victorian halls sweating balls of, not over the difficulty of the tests but the heat was the end, with about three papers to finish i could take it no longer, during geography i upped sticks and just walked out, never to set foot in the place ever again. At first there was trepidation, what have i done, what`s my parents going to say...but as i was slowly walking passed Lord`s cricket ground, in St. John`s Wood where my school was situated, another feeling came over me.....A feeling of Freedom!!.


It was about the same time I was outliving the 3 C`s youth club and it was time to venture out...The two good friends i met there were also in the same frame of mind...Timmy, born of a Swedish mother and Jamaican father and Michael Darko of Nigerian decent and me born of parents who were themselves born in London, but having Irish/Sephardim Jew on my fathers side and Scottish/French on my mothers side....A right old cocktail of ethnicity, but to these unlikely 3 amigos...we were just London inn't!! 

In those days as you can image there wasn`t much dosh around, the average wage was around £72 a week then....both Timmy and i had P/T jobs on weekends, he at Wimpeys the burger bar of choice before the American invasion and me on my uncle Peggy`s stall in Piccadilly Circus, that sold dolls & postcards to tourists, It`s still there today right outside Tower records.

Coming from Central London, the boys from Cleveland Street, right under the GPO tower as it was known then and me from across the Euston Rd on the Regent`s Park Estate, we were well positioned to take advantage of all that was on offer and there was plenty.

The soundtrack that was waffling across the airwaves that summer that had any interest for us was "
Tear The Roof Off The Sucker" by Parliament, "Young Hearts Run Free" - Candi Staton, "Getaway" - Earth, Wind and Fire, "Wake Up Everybody "- Harold Melvin and The Bluenotes, Brass Construction - "Movin" and a gem from Johnnie Taylor called "Disco Lady". But i was digging a sound from 3 years earlier.. 

Bobbi Humphrey - Harlem River Drive

There was, "I Love Music" by O'Jays, "Play That Funky Music" - Wild Cherry and the Seminal and sexy vocal of Donna Summer and "Love To Love You Baby", Boz Scaggs, "Lowdown" and the wonderful "Love Hangover" by Diana Ross, later to be remixed into a stomper of a chugging house number remixed by Frankie Knuckles. But the tune that was rocking my world was this classic by;  
Crown Heights Affair - "Far Out"

Disco was in full swing but we was looking for that elusive Groove and we knew where to find it!

2 comments: said...

Mate, you were doing well to earn £72 a week in 1976.... I moved down in Easter 77 for the princely sum of £30 per week before tax (£21.88 after tax). Mind you, it was only £11 for a flat in them days!

KB said...

I was only 15, i wasn`t earning that, although family in the print were on good money in those days.