Tuesday, January 08, 2008

Nostalgia Revisited

In June last year I wrote a post about nostalgia and the UK music charts and mentioned the very first single I ever bought............"Mirror, Mirror" by Pinkerton's Assorted Colours.

Back in those sepia days, before colour was invented by Dulux, I had just become a teenager and bodily things were dropping at an alarming rate. It started with my voice and went south from there. I was a 3rd year in boarding school and life was great.

Oh who the hell am I kidding ??? Life sucked like a big sucky thing. I'd been introduced to bullying a couple of years earlier and by my 3rd year, I was a career victim. By late 1965, I'd taken it to a new level as I found myself being bullied by other victims ! Now THAT sucks.

Music was my comfort. It was my escape from a world of hurt. In those pre MP3 days, I strapped sheet music to my ears and sang the songs myself. And then I wonder why I was bullied !

I remember most of my tormentors, I mean my classmates, were split between those who were fans of The Beatles or The Rolling Stones. Of course going to a Catholic boarding school, The Stones were evil incarnate and Mick Jagger was the spawn of Beelzebub - which made them very popular with those of a rebellious disposition. I wasn't popular enough to be rebellious but I didn't like The Beatles much either and so I nailed my colours, ironically enough, to a little known, 5 piece combo called Pinkerton's Assorted Colours.

It was that bloody autoharp. It's unique sound got to me and I've never heard anything like it since then. Back then we were isolated in the school, part way up a mountain and many miles from the nearest town. If we boarders wanted anything, we had to ask a 'day boy' friend to buy it for us in the outside world and bring it to school whenever they happened to remember.

As it was my virgin record purchase (not my Virgin record purchase as Mr. Branson was only 2 years older than me at 15), I was all a twitter until Kevin O'Neil, a day boy from Ballymena, finally got off the bus with my single in his hands. He'd not had a chance to get to the shops himself for a few days and every morning that he stepped off the bus without it, my little heart would break again.

I vividly remember getting it in my sweaty fingers, the bright orange Decca cover looking a bit crumpled from being in Kevin's school bag for some time. I didn't care. The vinyl disc inside was all I cared about and I couldn't wait to get it onto my super low-fi mono record player at lunch time.

When I wrote about this song back in June, I'd not managed to find a version of it on YouTube or anywhere else for that matter. A couple of months later, some kind soul did put it up on YouTube and I was going to provide a link to it here when I found an even better video on some Myspace site. Typical......wait for years and you get 2 at once. The YouTube audio quality is much better but the Myspace site is my winner for the sole reason that it shows the actual vinyl record in all it's Decca glory.....cover and all. The pictures of the group are just a bonus.

Actually I'm not sure if the image of the record on the video IS "Mirror, Mirror" as the blurred words don't seem to match the title, or the group for that matter. Maybe someone with better eyesight than me can leave a comment. If you don't know what the 45 in the top right corner of the Decca cover means, ask gramps.

In any case I'm as happy as a spotty teenager to have found this link and once again I can drift back to 1965/66 (I think it was released in late '65 but reached it's highest chart position in Jan '66). It's odd to think I can sit here and listen to it wearing shorts as in those days, even though I was 13, my parents insisted I wore short pants then too.

I'm beginning to think the bullies had little option but to make me a victim !!

1 comment:

Daphne said...

The song has all the elements of great sixties music: someone somewhere has probably done a Phd on that song alone!
And it has that indefinable quality of many songs of the period: listening to it lifts your heart. Well, it does mine, anyway.

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