Friday, September 21, 2007

The Kinks

The first ever album I bought with my own money was by the Kinks. I don't have many early childhood memories but I do remember this distinctly. I had a battered old tape player radio thingy and we went on one of our regular trips Mold market.

Anyway I was looking for something or other and my dad took me to a stall that sold cassettes. Now the next memory has probably been rose tinted somewhat.

What my brain tells me happened:

I was poking through the rack of tapes and I picked up the Kinks tape (I think it was a singles compilation of some kind), my dad made some approving noises and I bought the cassette. I left with a feeling of a job well done and I listened to the tape relentlessly - I'm not sure what happened to it but I think it broke.

What probably happened:

Similar to above but I was probably whining about having to go to Mold market - it smelled, was usually raining and my parents used to split up. This always presented a dilemma - do I use my devious child cunning to wander around with my mum, thus receive snack foods and sweets but suffer her trying to buy me shoes that were made with asbestos, acid and nails just because they are 3 pairs for a fiver - or do I go with my dad, forgo the sweets and snacks but have the possible hope of looking at power tools. On this occasion I went with my dad and I almost certainly started with cassettes more suited to a boy of my tender years but was 'encouraged' towards the Kinks. Most probably because the older artists were much cheaper. The approving sound was almost certainly an accurate memory and undoubtedly along the lines of 'Thank Christ you're not your mother's son!'. The feeling of satisfaction and the ultimate fate of the cassette remain the same.

The whole thing about not being my mother's son is understandable. She likes Neil Diamond. Couple that with the fact that she is a singer and it's a recipe for mental scarring. I don't mean that she is a singer really, more someone who sings. Badly. It's a quirk of my family that we compensate for the entirety of the Welsh nation by being utterly without musical talent or ability in any guise - especially singing. I usually have the good grace and consideration to remember this - my mother on the other hand feels no such obligations.

Everyone thinks my mum is lovely, she is a spherical whirlwind of a woman who is ace. However, it must be remembered that we were always made to choose between two evils as children. Example. Baking day (Saturday to the rest of you). Do we stay in the kitchen negotiating who gets to lick the bowl, who the spoon and who the whisk whilst enduring the ocular assault of her singing, or do we bid a retreat and spend the morning leaping off the shed roof? Which in itself brought a different kind of vocal abuse from her if she caught us. (What is it with mothers and their inability to watch their children diving headlong off garden structures/trees/bedroom windows?).

Anyway. The Kinks, i think they are awesome. The Beatles never appealed to me, I don't think their music is particularly good. This statement appears to have become against the law over the last 10 years, the very idea that someone thinks Paul McCartney is a cock and can take or leave the music of the Beatles seems to be some kind of perverse criminal act. I'm not saying they were crap, there are some tunes I quite like but I don't generally care for them. The Kinks I really like and for a lot of reasons but mainly the irreverence I think.

So The Kinks Rool, the Beatles Drool. Or something. (All this because Plastic Man played on random on my PMP on my way in this morning)

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