Like all the hippest music lovers, the first record I owned was by The Beatles.
No Reply, I’ll Be Back, Drive My Car, Do You Want to Know a Secret, We Can Work It Out, I Should Have Known Better, Nowhere Man, You’re Going to Lose That Girl – all timeless tunes that instantly impress when first records are discussed amongst friends.
Less cool, perhaps is the fact that I won it at an after-school disco, aged 11.
Worse still, I won it by winning a dancing contest. I distinctly remember keenly throwing some Saturday Night Fever-esque shapes as the rest of the boys in my year shuffled embarrassedly, with the presumably baffled teacher picking me as the winner out of pure sympathy.
And the nail in the coffin for my credibility is that technically it wasn’t really a Beatles record. As any Beatles aficionado will know, those tunes didn’t appear on the same record (not even in the US). No. Whilst admitting this does nothing for my street-cred now, I must confess the first record I owned was a Stars on 45 record, that dreadful disco version of Beatles classics mashed together to an appalling disco beat – a sort of early (..shudders..) Jive Bunny effort.
I can make excuses by saying I didn’t choose the record. And it’s not as though we expect amazing musical taste from pre-teens: is having “Revolver” as a first record really that impressive? Does it add gravitas and tell the world that even at the age of seven you had a finely tuned musical taste and that you could have added some much needed credibility to Live and Kicking’s “Hit Miss or Maybe”? Or does it just make you an insufferable music bore?
Either way, there’s not much I can do about it now (except lie): my first record was not by The Beatles but by Stars on 45, proof if any were needed that I am not, and never have been cool. To be fair, it’s difficult to have a truly eclectic and yet credible taste in music at the age of eleven when your parents listen to Terry Wogan on Radio 2 in the mornings, and their record collection focuses on James Last, Tijuana Brass, Church organ music and Cliff Richard.
But that’s a story for another day….
Record #1: Stars on 45