In 1979 aged 15, which made it both a bit late and at the same time, a bit early to start living out the Punk dream, but I was finally in my first band and we were all keen to start making some noise. We had nothing to actually make this terrifying life changing noise on; no instruments, no songs, and little if any talent. In typical punk rock “make do and mend” style we had phoned a number in the local paper’s under £10 free ads section and were now the proud owners of a clapped out snare drum with its rickety, thread shredded stand, and a hi-hat whose cymbals were oxidized to the colour of pewter, along with 2 pairs of chewed up sticks which the man just kind of threw in there as a special favour. We then managed to borrow the school bass drum and pedal for the holidays, and myself and the drummer walked back to my house with it balanced on a bicycle. We were teenage drum roadies on bikes. There’s probably a specially themed cafe for that exact thing over in Hoxton somewhere today, but back in small town seventies it all felt very subversive. For now, we had planned to put the tape recorder microphone inside my nylon strung classical guitar, because if you turned the record and volume controls up to 10, then you could make a fuzzy approximation of the sort noise we were looking for. We didn’t have an electric guitar or an amp, and we had no mics, so we would just shout for now. We were set. We were ready to go. We’d already been out and taken a photo of ourselves pretending to kick the tyre of a Police car….now all we needed was the inspiration to write our first song.
As we were setting our rickety drum stand up and fixing the hi-hats, my Mother opened the bedroom door, she was frightened about the inevitable and terrible noise we were about to make, she had concerns about the elderly neighbours, she wanted to know how long it would go on for, she asked us to keep the window closed, and suddenly feeling completely oppressed and totally unfairly treated, we could feel a lyric coming on….