Welcome to the second offering of Song Book of My Teenage Years. This time around we get to see the choices of Ewan Eadie, by day a Joiner and by night the drummer for Parliament of Owls, a fantastic band in their own right. Ewan is also heavily involved with the charity Teenage Cancer Trust (March of the Mods). His love for music is unquestionable and his choices will, I am sure, tickle your musical memories.
1 – The Damned – New Rose
I was sitting in the Kames Café , Millport , October holidays of 1976. I had just put some money in the jukebox and picked Boney M, Ma Baker. I can vividly remember my old mum telling me to be quiet as I was singing at the top of my voice. An older, funny looking guy, maybe 18/19 came in and fed a coin into the jukebox, then the immortal words sprang from the speakers ‘IS SHE REALLY GOING OUT WITH HIM’ well, that was that. My head had been turned by a song. A punk song, the first released punk song. That day will live with me until I die. That day was the day that set me on the musical path I have walked to this day, away from the mainstream. A day I will never forget.
2 – The Specials – Too Much Too Young
It was 1979 , In our house we only had one record player and it was usually taken over by my two older brothers who were into Status Quo and ELO. It was always a fight to see who got to use it. I had a small vinyl collection of punk stuff, mainly The Clash, Sex Pistols etc. (15 singles , 5 albums).
I remember sitting watching Top of The Pops (Which we didn’t get to do a lot because our mum was always watching Take the High Road) and ‘Too Much Too Young’ came on. My introduction to 2tone/SKA. Although they were suited and booted I thought this still had a very punk sound/attitude to it and I was bouncing around the living room like an idiot. It was the talk of the school playground the following day (Friday). By dinner time on the Saturday I had had a crew cut (arse leathered for that one), a Harrington and my own copy of TMTY. It was on the turntable nonstop.
The following week I had my own record player, courtesy of my aunt Jean and uncle Bob. The rest they say is history.
3 – The Clash – (White Man) In Hammersmith Palais
Thursday 8th October, 1981. Sitting in the house after school, in comes my big brother David with his mate Hamish Mitchell. Hamish lived in Kilmalcolm and it was unusual for him to come for his dinner on a thursday night. Mum fed us all and then the other two disappeared up the stairs, coming down 10 minutes later changed into civvies. Mum asks, “Where are you two going?”, “Going to see The Clash” was the reply, “No you’re not, you’ve got your Boys Brigade display dress rehearsal tonight”.
A few cross words were exchanged but as always, mum won. So Hamish is standing there with 2 tickets for The Clash in his pocket, it took a lot of begging and pleading but she relented and let me go. It was my first ever gig, 12 years old and surrounded by hundreds of mad punks in the stalls of the iconic Glasgow Apollo. They opened up with Broadway but about 6 songs in Joe Strummer shouts, “a 1, a 2, a 1, 2, 3, 4,” and then they belted out White Man. The hairs on the back of my neck were standing on end, I just stood there in awe at everything that was going on around me, a moment I will never forget. Since then I have played in many bands and have covered this with at least 6 of them. An anthem for my youth and adult years, an anthem for life
4 – Echo & The Bunnymen – The Cutter
This song reminds me of my high school friend, Simon Richardson, who was cruely taken from us three years ago. I had never really listened to the Bunnymen before but Simon had a couple of tickets to see them at the Barrowlands (the Barras) and invited me along.
It was a cold Monday night, 12th November, 1984. We set off for the east end of Glasgow and by 5.30pm found ourselves in the infamous Saracens Head, opposite the world famous Barraland ballroom. This is when we discovered the delicacy of the pint of ‘shammy’. A mix of cider and fortified wine, real rocket fuel. What a night we had, 15 and 16 year old, up the Barras on a school night steaming. We wandered across the road and caught the end of support band. The waterboys, I think it was. I remember hearing the opening chord sequence of The Cutter and Simon turns to me and says “that’s why we’re here”.
Brilliant gig and very sore heads at scool the following day. Whenever I hear the opening of The Cutter it reminds me of happy times with Simon and sometimes gets me down because he is no longer with us, RIP Simon.
5 – Defiant Pose – Someone Else’s war
Defiant Pose were a Paisley punk band formed in 1979. A bass driven band similar to the the Jam/ The Chords, hovering on the fine line between punk and mod revival. I first heard this song around 1983 courtesy of my pal, Neil ‘orange peel’ Mcinness. We were still at school and kicking about with mates trying to form various bands, looking up to and wanting to be Defiant Pose.
By 1984/85 we were regularly going to see them in and around Paisley but sadly they broke up with Joe, the guitarist, forming a new band called The Uprising. Only playing a handful of gigs before calling it a day. There were rumours of Defiant Pose reforming. Well guess what, they did and even better they had recruited myself and Orange Peel into the new line up. We gigged solidly for a few years but it fell apart in the late 80’s.
Move on 20 years and guess what, we were back together again playing various gigs around the West of Scotland ending in Fanny by Gaslights in Kilmarnock on boxing day 2009. We have never officially split so who knows what lies around the corner. This song reminds me of my teenage years through to present day and life long friendships.
I think we can all agree that apart from the reference to Boney M, (there shall be plenty of stick for that), Ewan’s choices summed up the era of an anti-establishment musical uprising that we all felt part of no matter our age. I cant comment on choice number 5 too much as I had never heard of the band. However to include The Cutter brought a smile to my face. Both myself and Ewan still enjoy the subculture scene to this day and we are glad to report that in the West of Scotland its thriving.
Its very therapeutic to relive old memories, visit the ghosts of our past so to speak. These were simpler times. No social media, no internet, if you wanted to speak to your mate you had to cycle round to their house and chap the door. No selfies, just getting a photo taken in those days took hours of preparation. Buying a record was an adventure and you had choose wisely for you had to save up for it yourself.
Just writing this column has me reminiscing, I think I will go and pop on The Cutter and transport myself back.