Monday, February 18, 2008

how pop made my thighs ache

was it the siddeleys who had a single out with a photo of some 50's kids riding bicycles on the front?
i don't own any siddeleys records anymore so i can't check.
but i'm sure it was them.

there was a whole spate of record covers with this kind of warm-hearted-england-is-innocent-swallows-and-amazons cover art.
having said that i'll probably not be able to find any.
oh, hang on, here we go:

various artists | take the subway to your suburb

brilliant corners | delilah sands

television personalities | smashing time
(all right - before you say anything - i KNOW this single predates the others by at least 5 years, but then in terms of indie pop the TVP's were way ahead of their time).

it was a hot and sunny summer as i remember.
i had newly started work as a screen printer.
my job was a 20 minute bus-ride from home.

one afternoon i spotted a bicycle in a second hand shop.
not just any old bicycle either.
it was one of these:

(thanks to the stones & bikes of wales for the image)

i thought it was beautiful.
and it fitted in with my indie lifestyle and image.
old jumpers that were my grandfather's, shirts from oxfam, desert boots and a satchel.
my stephen pastel haircut.

i handed the shopkeeper £50 and took the bike home.
the following monday i rode the bike to work.

it took for-f*cking-ever.
i finally arrived at work late, sweaty and aching.
of course i had to ride the damned thing home again too.

the following saturday, with every inch of my body in spasm, i took the bike back to the shop and sold it for £20.

the warm-hearted-england-is-innocent-swallows-and-amazons-1950's./early 60's myth is a painful untruth.