gary numan & david bowie
her name was melanie, but that's not important.
what is important is that she had a brother (in fact she had two, but one was away in the army).
her brother's name was mark and i thought he was super cool.
he had an ear ring and rode a very large motorcycle.
a cool one.
he also had a bit of a numan haircut going on.
in fact, thinking back, he looked a lot like this:
he was a really big fan of gary numan and david bowie.
but mainly gary numan.
the result of this?
i spent quite a lot of evenings tinkering with motorbikes with gary numan playing on a little cassette recorder.
i learned to ride that year - it's something i keep coming back to - i love the idea of bikes.
i've had three.
one at sixteen, one at 22 and one at 34.
unfortunately as soon as it gets a bit chilly the idea of riding a bike suddenly becomes a big turn off.
(i have no idea why i'm telling you this. this is, after all, meant to be a music blog).
one weekend i went on a trip to hay-on-wye with my dad - he'd got some work to do over there.
in the back of one of the many many bookshops i found a box of records.
and in that box i found a copy of tubeway army's 1st album.
dad bought it for me.
my girlfriend's brother tried everything he could to talk me into giving it to him.
i still have the exact same copy and it's still one of my favourite records.
i listen to it at least once a week.
through all the jokes that used to be made about gary numan's politics/failed flying adventures/marrying fans/fake hair/etc i continued to love his records.
over the last few years it's become cool(ish) to like gary numan.
the other day my daughter was watching an episode of "top of the pops 2" and numan came on doing cars.
"that's the sugababes music dad!", she cried.
so i gently explained the facts.
after all, she's 13 and she likes bogshed.
as for bowie, i heard plenty of his records that year too but he was more of a slow burner for me.
i really liked the singles that were out around then - "ashes to ashes", "fashion", even "modern love" - but i couldn't get into the whole ziggy/spiders stuff much at all.
then, for the girlfriend's brother's birthday i bought him a copy of "low" on cassette and boy did that change things.
"low" seemed otherworldly and sexy and dangerous and i dug it to pieces. mainly "sound and vision", but "always crashing" was just super too.
what am i trying to say?
maybe that even those early fumblings behind the bike sheds can be more educational than you thought at first.