documenting the optical sounds of '60s pop, Acid Punk & Psychedelia

I Was A Teenage Record Collector

Part One – the early years

Money was tight but I still managed to buy singles and albums

I kept a diary throughout the 1980s and I still have them in my possession, stored away in a box. Every so often I peek inside the pages of these small books and read the contents.

As you can imagine, I’m swept back in time to my teenage years and early twenties when life was without responsibilities and complications. However, things quickly changed at the age of 17 when I left school and got a full-time job, during the Summer of 1982.

I started buying records with my £3 per week pocket-money sometime in 1979 but before that I had to make do with unwanted singles from the sixties and early seventies from my Uncle Chris and Uncle Alan.

Those cast-off singles included The Beatles, The Searchers, The Kinks and Simon Dupree & the Big Sound. I’ve got no doubt that it was those ’60s records that lit the fuse with my infatuation with ‘old’ music.

I was an avid Radio 1 listener during my youth and would tune into the breakfast show while getting ready and having my breakfast before school.

I’d also never miss ‘Top of The Pops’ on Thursday evenings. Even though the majority of the acts and groups I saw were abysmal I watched it anyway hoping that one day something would get me engrossed.

The turning point which tweaked my interest in contemporary sounds was after watching an episode of “Marc“, a short-lived music TV programme presented by Marc Bolan.

One of the guest bands were a three-piece called The Jam and I thought they were magnificent. They were fast, loud and seemed arrogant with songs about youth culture and resisting authority. I could definitely identify with these older lads.

But I was still only 12-years-old and my woeful amount of pocket money was spent every week on Panini football stickers, Subbuteo teams and accessories, midget gems and bags of crisps. Buying records would have to wait.

Part Two – a brand new music centre

Money was tight but I still managed to buy singles and albums

A big change to my life occurred on the 19th December 1981. It was the year that we got a fancy new music centre for our bedroom. Our council house was so small with only two bedrooms. This meant I had to share a room with my two younger brothers. However, the brand new out-of-the-box HI-FI unit meant that we could start buying records.

I can’t remember the brand of the music centre but I can still vividly remember that it had all mod cons. A direct drive turntable, built in amplifier, a cassette recording section featuring Dolby noise reduction and FM radio. A couple of speakers completed this absolute beast for our music listening pleasure.

Previously we had to make do with a second hand 1960s Dansette record player. I have no idea how this particular piece of kit turned up but I believe it was given to us free from a house clearance. Half the time it didn’t work though and eventually it got chucked out.

The music centre meant that not only could we play records but also record them onto blank cassettes and swap music with our mates. We could also become kiddie criminals and tape music from radio shows, in particular the evening and late night broadcasts from Kid Jensen, Richard Skinner and John Peel.

From the late ’70s I bought records when I could afford them. Albums cost about a fiver back then so they would take several weeks savings to afford those. I was only receiving £3 per week pocket money and well, kids have to buy Panini football stickers and Subbuteo teams first don’t they?

From memory I believe the first album I ever bought was “Setting Sons” by The Jam, from a local Woolworths of all places. Actually they had a very decent record and tape department. I bought and stole several records from them in my teens.

Another early album I bought was “Parallel Lines” by Blondie. I recall obtaining this from my mother’s Great Universal catalogue with repayments spread over twenty weeks.

I mostly bought singles though. They were cheaper at around a pound each. But if you played your cards right and waited for the records to fall down the charts, Woolworths would sell them half-price as ‘ex-chart’ records.

Most of my singles were secured this way but because I was biding my time and waiting for cheapies, records in their picture sleeves had already been snapped up. Sometimes being a cheapskate doesn’t work. Most of my Jam singles came housed in their Polydor company sleeves.

In Part Three I’ll pick up my story at the start of 1982. From here onwards I kept a diary and can accurately pin-point every record I owned and the date / shop / mail order I bought them from or secured them with my light-fingers.

Part Three – 1982

from schoolboy to working adult

1982 started as the previous year ended. I was still at Houghton Comprehensive, disillusioned and a non-conformist truant child. I would regularly either go to school, get my attendance mark then split, or not turn up for school at all.

My mates were seemingly all leaving education, getting jobs and earning money. I was being dragged down because of lack of funds, I was still only receiving £3 per week pocket money.

In those days my money was spent on Leeds United football programmes, cheap cans of lager and records. I had also started going to gigs and I’d never stopped attending the odd football match supporting Leeds,  especially when they played Sunderland at Roker Park.

To make my money go further I started to sneak on the bus to school without paying, even though I had a student bus pass which enabled me to enjoy half-price travel.

There were so many kids getting on the bus at the same time it was kind of easy to hide behind those in front paying their fare to the driver, and creep on the bus like a cat burglar without paying anything. Thus saving money.

Of course, I would eventually get caught numerous times without a ticket and consequently have my student bus pass confiscated. My first taste of low-level offending but it would lead me to a lifetime of loathing authority figures and harbouring an anarchistic mindset.

According to my 1982 diary I was caught without a ticket by the same bus conductor on the 11th, 12th and 16th of January. I was warned that any more breaking of the rules would result in a complaint letter being sent to my parents and I’d have my student bus pass confiscated.

On the 1st of March, I was caught once again without a ticket and was booted off the bus but not before I had my student bus pass seized from me by Herr Adolf Hitler Conductor Man.

So here I am, aged 17, still at school in the sixth form studying English Literature, History and Geography A-Levels and hating every day.

I no longer had a bus pass and was forced to pay full fare for any journey, even to school and back. I really had to get myself a job so I started to apply for them.

I had no idea what I wanted to do and without direction I drifted into my first full time job, working as an Audit Clerk for a Chartered Accountant in Sunderland. I started on the 4th May and got paid £160 per month.

I left school a week earlier and handed in my books which was a huge relief. I said my farewell to many of the lads I’d probably never see again.

Some friends who I noted in my diary entries over the year included mates I’d still go under-age drinking in pubs with, lads who I’d bump into now and again in Houghton, or on the bus to Sunderland or played football with.

Here’s a roll of honour. Nicknames only though where appropriate:

Wob, Taylor, Lowa, Lockie, Backa, Brownie, Walla, Kenny, Lukey, Kirtley, Vardy, Bailer, Coaka, Moffy, Farty, Pun, Hoody, Carol, Barka, Rodda, Rice, Fife, Lobban, Westy, Goody, Ally, Norman, Carney, Jonty, Bamba, Youngy, Robinson, Rowntree, Ormston, Susan, Ron.

Gigs attended:

Stiff Little Fingers at Newcastle City Hall 23/01/82
The Jam at Newcastle City Hall 03/04/82
The Straw Mats at Newbottle Church Hall 10/07/82
The Police / U2 / Lords Of The New Church / The Beat / The Gang Of Four at Gateshead Stadium 31/07/82
The Jam at Whitley Bay Ice Rink 29/09/82
Stiff Little Fingers at Newcastle City Hall 11/10/82

The Church – “The Unguarded Moment”

According to my 1982 diary I watched in sheer amazement at The Church promo video for “The Unguarded Moment”, broadcast on 25/02/82 by the BBC on their rock show ‘The Old Grey Whistle Test’.

This was my catalyst for wanting to grow my hair long, wear paisley shirts, Chelsea boots and investigate more sounds like this.

Forty years later I’m still uncovering beautiful jangle sounds on record. The Church soon led me to The Byrds and I’ll be eternally grateful for that!

Part Four – 1982

Arrested and charged with shoplifting

A week before I left school for good and got a job working for a Chartered Accountant I was arrested on the 24th April and charged with shoplifting an LP from HMV, Sunderland.

And because I was over the age of 16 and no longer considered a child, I couldn’t be ‘let-off’ with a caution, or so I was told.

Times were different forty years ago of course, nowadays seventeen year-old’s probably receive a ‘ticking-off’ and advised to be a good boy/girl in the future, with elders cajoling them into remaining on the right side of the Law.

The album I got nabbed nicking from HMV by the female store detective was “Faith” by The Cure, their album on the Fiction label from 1981.

Just over a week later I started my first full-time job. I supposed that I was anxious about the possibility of being sacked if the Boss found out. But at least I was earning and could pay the fine I’d no doubt receive for my teenage misdemeanour.

My parents were worried that my name and address would be printed in the Sunderland Echo’s “Court Round-Up” section of the paper. What would the neighbours think?

I suppose my low-level offending of truancy and not paying bus fares were now kicked into an authoritarian hat. I now had a Police record!

I was released from the prison cell after spending around six hours locked up, and given bail and a release letter which I had to give to my parents. I can still picture their horrified glances when I slapped it on the coffee table in the living room at home.

I was forced to attend my hearing at Sunderland Magistrates Court on the morning of the 11th of June where I pleaded guilty to theft and was find £120 with costs.

That afternoon I was back at school to sit my Art O-Level exam, which had been allocated to me just weeks before I started my job.

Considering my monthly wage was £160, the fine took the bulk of my first ever pay cheque. Board and lodging took up the rest. It was a costly mistake and a life lesson so early on.

I decided to knuckle down because I had a job to learn and didn’t want to get sacked or let anyone else down. I never got on with my Boss though, he was a complete bastard and made my life miserable.

According to my 1982 diary, I received two verbal warnings within the first month of employment. More disobedience allegations followed in August. Apparently I was guilty of not following orders a couple of times.

Those orders were to get my hair cut shorter, which I refused. I had a ‘trim’ but that was never enough. He was obviously trying to manipulate and mould me into one of the square types who usually operate inside Accountancy firms, but not necessarily his. Unfortunately I was dogmatic and opinionated.

What he hated about me the most was the fact that I was sharp and witty and he could barely get one over on me despite the forty odd years age gap. I really found it difficult to respect the bloke. Yet again, my loathing of authority figures was going to be my downfall.

Here’s a roll of honour of lads I worked with. Nicknames only though where appropriate:

Baz, Joe, Nig, Tony, Col, Bob, Kev, Mark, Keith, Harry, Dick, Rob, Mel, Willy.

My highlight of 1982 – Discovering The Byrds

Looking through my diary I’ve noted the date and place that I bought various records. It’s something I did at the beginning of my record collecting days when I could only afford to buy selected items due to my financial situation.

Having a lack of disposable income meant that records really were a luxury item and anything I did buy was deeply considered first and enjoyed thereafter.

Some of the groups highlighted during ’82 were The Church, The Cure, The Jam, Stiff Little Fingers and The Stranglers.

On the 28th August I bought my first ever Byrds album and my world was transformed. I have since spent the subsequent forty years with a ’60s music / fashion/ art obsession that will never die.

More about the records I bought will be cascaded next time, but things would never be the same that’s for sure.

Part Five – 1982

Recreating my box of records from 1982: How many records do you need?

As I’ve already explained in previous ‘Confessions Of A Teenage Record Collector’ articles I kept a diary throughout the 1980s. Things tapered off towards the end of the decade but before that I meticulously entered a brief but detailed summary of my day.

Better still, I noted most records that I bought and the place that I bought the item from. I usually added the town or City, such as Sunderland or Newcastle, but rarely entered record shop details. In hindsight I wished that I’d done this. Oh well, never mind!

From my 1982 diary I can therefore accurately recreate my record collection from the day I started collecting in 1979 right up to the end of ’82.

During that period in time I amassed a rather small but compact box of Punk, New Wave and Mod singles. I mainly focussed on The Jam and Stiff Little Fingers but was becoming increasingly interested in more obscure releases on independent labels.

By the end of the year I had just over fifty records in the box with two dozen albums sitting neatly, in alphabetical order, on a book shelf.

Nowadays my archive of records and CDs is around 10,000 items. But I’ll never forget the thrill of buying records during my teenage years. The less you have the more cherished they become.

Here’s the full list of my teenage record collector archive.

The date after the item indicates the date the record was bought and location. If there is no date, the record hasn’t been listed within the contents of my daily updates. Anything not released in 1982 and without a date, was secured during 1979 to 1981.


BEATLES – “The Beatles 1967-1970” – Houghton – 10/07/82
BEATLES – “Revolver” – Sunderland – 27/10/82
BEATLES – “Rarities” – Houghton
BEATLES – “Rock ‘N’ Roll Music Vol 2” – Houghton
BLONDIE – “Parallel Lines”
BLONDIE – “Eat To The Beat”
BYRDS – “Mr Tambourine Man” – Sunderland 04/12/82
BYRDS – “Best Of 1965-67” – Sunderland – 28/10/82
BYRDS – “Best Of 1967-69” – Sunderland – 28/08/82
CHURCH – “Church” – Sunderland – 31/03/82
CHURCH – “Blurred Crusade” – Sunderland – 15/07/82
CURE – “Boys Don’t Cry” – Sunderland – 17/04/82
DOORS – “The Doors”
GEORGE HARRISON – “Best Of” – Houghton – 27/07/82
JAM – “In The City”
JAM – “This Is The Modern World”
JAM – “All Mod Cons”
JAM – “Setting Sons” – Houghton – 11/10/80
JAM – “Sound Affects”
JAM – “Dig The New Breed” – Sunderland – 10/12/82
SOUXSIE & the BANSHEES – “Once Upon A Time” – Houghton – 28/12/81
STIFF LITTLE FINGERS – “Hanx!” – Sunderland – 21/03/81
STIFF LITTLE FINGERS – “Go For It” – Sunderland – 25/04/81
U2 – “October” – Sunderland – 28/08/82
VAPORS – “New Clear Days” – Sunderland – 04/09/81
VAPORS – “Magnets” – Sunderland – 03/10/81
XTC – “Black Sea” – Sunderland – 27/06/81

  • taped The Police – “Reggatta de Blanc” – 08/12/81 (Wob)
  • taped OMD – “Architecture & Morality” (Lowa)
  • taped Stiff Little Fingers – “Nobody’s Heroes” (Wob)


B MOVIE – “Nowhere Girl” – Newcastle – 26/03/82
BLONDIE – “The Tide is High”
BLUEBELLS – “Forever More” – Newcastle – 30/10/82
CHURCH – “Unguarded Moment” – Sunderland – 20/11/82
CLASH – “Bank Robber”
CURE – “A Forest” – Sunderland – 20/03/82
CURE – “Primary” – Sunderland – 20/03/82
CURE – “Charlotte Sometimes” – Sunderland – 15/01/82
CURE – “Hanging Garden” – Newcastle – 17/07/82
CURE – “Lament” (flexi) – Sunderland – 26/08/82
DEAD KENNEDYS – “Holiday In Cambodia” – Sunderland – 15/01/82
HURRAH! – “Sun Shines Here” – Newcastle – 17/07/82
JAM – “In The City” – Sunderland – 11/08/81
JAM – “The Modern World” – Sunderland – 19/09/81
JAM – “All Around The World” – Sunderland – 24/01/81
JAM – “News Of The World” – Sunderland – 25/04/81
JAM – “A Bomb In Wardour Street”
JAM – “Down In The Tube Station At Midnight” – Sunderland – 24/01/81
JAM – “Strange Town”
JAM – “When You’re Young”
JAM – “Eton Rifles” – Sunderland – 03/08/81
JAM – Going Underground”
JAM – “Start”
JAM – “That’s Entertainment” – Houghton – 13/02/81
JAM – “Funeral Pyre” – Houghton – 05/06/81
JAM – “Town Called Malice” – Houghton – 11/02/82
JAM – “Absolute Beginners” – Sunderland – 17/10/81
JAM – “Just Who Is The 5 O’ Clock Hero” – Sunderland – 24/06/82
JAM – “The Bitterest Pill” – Sunderland – 08/09/82
JAM – “Pop Art Poem” (flexi) – mail order – 15/09/82
KINKS – “Waterloo Sunset” – Sunderland – 06/11/82
MODERN ENGLISH – “I Melt With You” – Sunderland – 09/10/82
NINE BELOW ZERO – “Sugar Beat” – Sunderland – 20/11/82
OMD – “Joan Of Arc” – Houghton – 29/01/82
POLICE – “Every Little Thing She Does Is Magic” – Houghton – 01/02/82
PSYCHEDELIC FURS – “Love My Way” – Newcastle – 17/07/82
SECRET AFFAIR – “Do You Know” – Sunderland – 07/11/81
SIOUXSIE & the BANSHEES – “Fireworks” – Sunderland – 05/06/82
STIFF LITTLE FINGERS – “Nobody’s Heroes” – Sunderland – 05/06/82
STIFF LITTLE FINGERS – “Just Fade Away” – Sunderland – 01/04/81
STIFF LITTLE FINGERS – “Listen” EP – Houghton – 25/01/82
STIFF LITTLE FINGERS – “Bits Of Kids” – Sunderland – 09/10/82
STRANGLERS – “Strange Little Girl” – Sunderland – 23/10/82
TALK TALK – “Today” – Newcastle – 17/07/82
THE THE – “Uncertain Smile”– Sunderland – 06/11/82
TV21 – “All Join Hands”
UNDERTONES – “You’ve Got My Number”
U2 – “Gloria” – Sunderland – 07/11/81
VAPORS – “Jimmie Jones” – Sunderland – 15/07/81
XTC – “Senses Working Overtime” – Houghton – 08/02/82
XTC – “Looking For Footprints” (flexi)
XTC – “Ball And Chain” – Houghton – 14/04/82

Part Six – 1983

The Jam were no more

1983 began on a Saturday, the day before I had a shop around Sunderland and bought myself a Jam poster. They were my favourite boyhood band, although I didn’t care much for their last couple of singles, for instance, it was decades later that I decided to buy their final single “Beat Surrender.”

I still held them in high regard however, and according to my diary, I bought a huge Jam poster for my bedroom wall on New Year’s Eve 1982. Over time, this poster would often become defaced and eventually ripped up, as horrendous Style Council records more or less obliterated Paul Weller from my consciousness.

Looking back through my 1983 diary it’s clear that I was moving away from the punk and new wave records that I admired as an early teen and was making my moves towards psychedelia. I didn’t have much of a clue and in hindsight was a complete novice, but was an avid reader of Sounds music weekly and would take note of any interesting ’60s tidbits or record reviews. I was learning fast and adding to my knowledge base every day.

I would also scrutinize the sale adverts for ’60s groups or any pictures and articles on contemporary groups who were influenced by the sixties fashion style and used vintage instruments like Rickenbacker guitars, especially the 12 string, and Vox amplifiers.

I suppose this is how I discovered records by The Barracudas, Orange Juice, The Icicle Works, Felt, The Go Betweens and The Smiths. I started becoming obsessed with the jangle guitar sound, a beautiful noise that has been by my side for over forty years.

1983 was also the year that I bought my first albums by ’60s legends The Turtles, Kaleidoscope, Procol Harum and Simon & Garfunkel. I was becoming infatuated with music from the sixties but also wanting to explore frenetic sounds from garage punks. At the end of the year I took a chance on The Chesterfield Kings first LP and my fate was sealed for decades to come.


A SPLASH OF COLOUR – “Various” – Sunderland – 10/06/83
AZTEC CAMERA – “Soft Ground, Hard Rain” – Sunderland – 16/04/83
BARRACUDAS – “Mean Time” – Newcastle – 30/04/83
BYRDS – “Byrds Play Dylan” – London – 05/06/83
BYRDS – “Fifth Dimension” – London – 07/06/83
CHESTERFIELD KINGS – “Here Are The” – Newcastle – 28/12/83
CHURCH – “Seance” – Newcastle – 22/10/83
DOORS – “Waiting For The Sun” – Sunderland – 30/07/83
ECHO & the BUNNYMEN – “Crocodiles” – Newcastle – 26/02/83
KALEIDOSCOPE – “Bacon From Mars”
LOVE – “Da Capo” – Sunderland – 24/09/83
PRISONERS – “Thewisermiserdemelza” – Newcastle – 30/12/83
PSYCHEDELIC FURS – “Psychedelic Furs” – Newcastle – 14/05/83
PSYCHEDELIC FURS – “Talk Talk Talk” – Newcastle – 15/01/83
REM – “Murmer” – Newcastle – 12/11/83
SIMON & GARFUNKEL – “Sound Of Silence” – Sunderland – 05/02/83
TURTLES – “Best Of” – Newcastle – 13/08/83

* borrowed China Crisis LP (Kenny Wardhaugh)
* borrowed Velvet Underground LP (Bob Turner)

1983 turned out to be my last full year of employment until 1990 and with a decent salary for an eighteen year old boy, working full-time for a Chartered Accountant, I was able to buy a lot of records in a short space of time.

For the first time ever I could walk into a shop and buy a couple of albums at once. Having disposable income really was something to behold. I was on my way in life, or so I thought.

I would always abhor authority though and this anarchistic mindset would be my downfall so many times, right up until I quit full-time work and retired in 2021, aged 56. But that’s another story and not relevant during my teenage years.


AZTEC CAMERA – “Just Like Gold”
BARRACUDAS – “Inside Mind” – Adrian’s mail-order – 23/05/83
BARRACUDAS – “House Of Kicks” 12” EP
BLUEBELLS – “Cath” – Sunderland – 16/04/83
CHINA CRISIS – “Christian” – Sunderland – 05/02/83
CHURCH – “Sing Songs” 12” EP
CHURCH – “Almost With You” – Newcastle – 09/04/83
CHURCH – “It’s No Reason” – mail order – 19/07/83
CHURCH – “Electric Lash”
CROSBY, STILLS & NASH – “Woodstock”
CURE – “Let’s Go To Bed” 12” EP – Sunderland – 12/03/83
CURE – “The Walk” 12” EP – Newcastle – 13/07/83
DOORS – “Riders On The Storm”
FELT – “My Face Is On Fire”
FELT – “Penelope Tree”
FRESHIES – “Wrap Up The Rockets”
GO BETWEENS – “Cattle And Cane”
HURRAH! – “Hip Hip” – Newcastle – 03/09/83
ICICLE WORKS – “Whisper To A Scream”
JOHN LENNON – “Love” – Sunderland – 29/12/82
MAGAZINE – “Shot By Both Sides” – Newcastle – 14/05/83
MONKEES – “Pleasant Valley Sunday”
ORANGE JUICE – “Felicity” – Adrian’s mail-order – 23/05/83
ORANGE JUICE – “Poor Old Soul” – Adrian’s mail-order – 23/05/83
LOU REED – “Walk On The Wild Side” – Adrian’s mail-order – 11/07/83
ROLLING STONES – “19th Nervous Breakdown”
SCARLET PARTY – “101 Damnations” – Sunderland – 29/12/82
SKIDS – “Into The Valley” – Adrian’s mail-order – 23/05/83
SIOUXSIE & the BANSHEES – “Dear Prudence” – Sunderland – 24/09/83
SISTERS OF MERCY – “Alice” – Sunderland – 08/10/83
SMITHS – “This Charming Man” – Newcastle – 12/11/83
SMITHS – “Hand In Glove” – Sunderland – 10/12/83
TRAFFIC – “Paper Sun”
U2 – “A Celebration”
YARDBIRDS – “For Your Love”
ZOMBIES – “She’s Not There”

Gigs attended:

Stiff Little Fingers – Newcastle City Hall – 05/02/83
U2 – Newcastle City Hall – 01/03/83
Alarm – Newcastle City Hall – 23/05/83
Aztec Camera – Newcastle Dingwalls – 01/07/83
Hurrah! – Sunderland, Genevieve’s Club – Mayfair – 03/11/83
Prefab Sprout – Sunderland, Genevieve’s Club – Mayfair – 15/12/83

Some friends who I noted in my diary entries over the year included mates I’d still go under-age drinking in pubs with, lads who I’d bump into now and again in Houghton, or on the bus to Sunderland or played football with.

Here’s a roll of honour. Nicknames only though where appropriate:

Lockie, Hoody, Backa, Taylor, Lowa, Bob, Rob, Kev, Dob, Tony, Keith, Kenny, Vardy, Kirtley, Bisk, Cummings, Barka, Collier, Rice, Gary, Joe, Lanky, Wob, Dick, Bill, Lurch, Brown, Carol, Claire, Ormston, Willy, Keating, Rowntree, Denise, Coby,

Part Seven – 1984

Pushing against authority

1984 was a turning point in my life for two things. By the end of the year I was no longer a teenager but more importantly I no longer had a job after being sacked from the Chartered Accountants. I made the mistake of slagging-off my Boss to his face, not one of the best decisions I’ve ever done in my life. Talk about biting the hand that feeds.

We basically never got on and he could never understand why I had no intention of getting my hair cut short into a proper square style, suitable for an Office and meeting his clients.

I had my principles and he had his, but he held the trump card. It was his Business and he paid my wages. He also had his name carved onto a fancy metal plate outside his Office – T.H. Douglas & Co, Chartered Accountants.

So that was that. I was out of a job and on the dole in Thatcher’s Britain. After paying £10 a week board and buying an off-peak bus pass to get around, I only had a few quid left over to live on. It was just enough to go to the pub or hang out in the local punk / goth club twice a week.

I was also going steady with a girl and that meant commitments of which I wasn’t experienced with at that time. Reading my diary I’ve got no idea how we were together for almost two years of constant bickering and falling out.

Having a steady girlfriend also meant that my disposable income for buying records was severely hindered as can be seen from the pitiful list below.


ACID VISIONS – “Various” – mail order
ATTACK OF THE JERSEY TEENS – “Various” – mail order
BACK FROM THE GRAVE – “Volume 1” – mail order
BACK FROM THE GRAVE – “Volume 2” – mail order
THREE O’CLOCK – “Baroque Hoedown”- Newcastle – 04/02/84
THREE O’CLOCK – Sixteen Tambourines” – mail order
RAIN PARADE – “Emergency Third Rail power Trip” – mail order
SMITHS – “The Smiths” – Newcastle – 05/05/84
PSYCHEDELIC SNARL – “Various” – Newcastle – 03/08/84
THE 49 MINUTE TECHNICOLOUR DREAM – “Various” – Newcastle – 03/08/84
JASMINE MINKS – “All Good Preachers To To Heaven” – Sunderland – 23/11/84
SIMON & GARFUNKEL – “Parsley, Sage, Rosemary and Thyme – Sunderland – 29/11/84
CHOCOLATE WATCH BAND – “Forty Four” – Sunderland – 08/12/84
PLAN 9 – “Plan 9” – Newcastle – 27/12/84

* borrowed DAMNED – “Strawberries” LP – 22/02/84 (Wur)
* borrowed ECHO & the BUNNYMEN – “Porcupine” – 23/03/84 (Lowa)
* borrowed ALARM – “Declaration” 23/04/84 (Lowa)
* borrowed DOORS – “Strange Days” – 28/04/84 (Backa)


SMITHS – “What Difference Does It Make” – Sunderland – 21/01/84
REVOLVING PAINT DREAM – “Flowers In The Sky” – Sunderland – 30/03/84
NAZ NOMAD & the NIGHTMARES – “I Had Too Much To Dream (Last Night)” – Sunderland – 31/03/84
PSYCHEDELIC FURS – “Heaven” – Sunderland – 07/04/84
CHURCH – “Remote Luxury” – Newcastle – 02/06/84
CULT – “Spiritwalker” – gift from Tim

Gigs attended:

Smiths – Newcastle Mayfair – 07/03/84
Cure – Newcastle City Hall – 25/04/84
Echo & the Bunnymen – Newcastle City Hall – 11/10/84
REM – Newcastle Tiffany’s – 15/11/84

Some friends who I noted in my diary entries over the year included mates I’d still go under-age drinking in pubs with, lads who I’d bump into now and again in Houghton, or on the bus to Sunderland or played football with.

Here’s a roll of honour. Nicknames only though where appropriate:

Walla, Lowa, Denise Rippon, Cummings, Laura, Ray, Keith, Ormston, Gary, Wur, Mark, Baz, Bob, Bill, Cath, Joe, Dave, Backa, Kev, Rob, Julie, Carol, Guy, Mol, Joan, Joanne, Lockie, Col, Tim, Owen, Mike

Misc notes:

LSD, speed, more hassles and demands at work mostly hair too long, constantly late for work, Hero’s closed but all of Sunderland’s freaks had some new places in which to disappear, get drunk, get high at The Drum Club, Planet Suite, Gollums, On 19/07/84 – glandular fever struck – three weeks sick leave. On 16/08/84 Slagged-off Boss and and was eventually sacked from job, 27/09/84 last day at THD Accountancy, Hanoi Rocks signing autographs, records and meeting fans at Virgin Records 02/10/84. On the 09/11/84 I bought a 13th Floor Elevators poster which I have cherished for decades and it still adorns my bedroom wall to this day!

Rascals was behind the multi storey car park park which was across the road from the Mowbray Park Hotel. It was next to, or in the same building as the Snooker Club. The punk/alternative night on a Monday was called the Planet Suite but changed it’s name to Rascals in 1985.

“This Is Not A Love Song” by PiL, “Human Fly” by The Cramps, “Walk On By” by The Stranglers and “She Sells Sanctuary” by The Cult all remind me of those Monday nights at Planet Suite / Rascals.

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