The Soundtrack to Your Life – New York Johnny
The first of our contributor submissions puts New York Johnny under the FnS spotlight. I bet ol’ Madge is pleased
First Record You Can Remember - Please Release Me – Englebert Humperdink
Coincidentally, it’s the first thing I remember seeing on Top Of The Pops on telly as well. I was VERY affected by it and horrified at this guy’s love predicament. I was also very young and impressionable at the time! It’s a terrible record.
First Record You Bought - Na Na Na – Cozy Powell
The first record I “owned” myself was a K-Tel compilation album called 20 Number Ones or similar which I got as a Christmas present one year. I loved it to bits cos it had the Marcells’ Blue Moon on it. Class!
As for the first thing I actually “bought” myself, I remember getting a record token as a present for Yules in Peterhead and going in looking for My Coocachoo by Alvin Stardust not realising that record shops only carried recent chart stocks (Alvin having topped the chart a year or so previously). In my attempt to save face, I quickly scanned the chart and blurted out this. I’d been reasonably impressed by his previous hit Dance With The Devil. Ah yes, the folly of youth! There’s one thing though, I bet he’s more embarrassed about making this record than I am at buying it!!
Record That Reminds You Of School – Rainbow Rising – Richie Blackmore’s Rainbow
There are lots (Slade, Bowie, Alice, 10cc, Showaddywaddy) but when you say school, this is what I remember most of all but not for the music. The design of the fist clutching the rainbow was painted on soooo many of the “cool” kids’ Adidas bags. I was in awe of them a bit as this seemed so much more “grown up” stuff than the pop I was listening to. I wouldn’t give you tuppence ha’penny for it now though – self indulgent twaddle!
Record You Fell In Love To - I’m Not In Love – 10cc
First school disco I ever attended – blanked by the girl I fancied at the time when I asked for a dance. (Much later I found out she farted a lot and concluded that maybe love WAS blind after all!) The Jam’s Eton Rifles was the first record I danced to with Mrs NYJ so it’s in there somewhere too, as is English Rose by The Jam and maybe a couple of others. I was quite into the Jam at the time which give a clue as to how long we’ve been together.
Heartbreak Tune - Fairytale Of New York – The Pogues
When your heart is broken, EVERY song is a heartbreak tune. Mrs NYJ and I briefly split up a long, long time ago and I couldn’t listen to any music at all for this very reason. You twist the lyrics around to suit your miserable mood and wallow in abject self-pity. There’s different kinds of heartbreak though and I find it very hard to listen to this Pogues track without a lump in my throat. It will always remind me of my mate Barney who was murdered.
Record That Evokes The Greatest Summer Of Your Life - Go Buddy Go – The Stranglers
Maybe not the coolest answer I could give. Not the coolest band of the time either but this song was on the radio all the time that first ‘punk’ summer because the A-side “Peaches” had rude words in it. That summer it really felt like you’d woken up one day and the world was different somehow. Being old and cynical now, it was probably just being a teenager……but I sure wish I could feel like that again!!
Record That Inspired You To Form A Band – White Riot – The Clash
Although it would be 3 – 4 years later before I’d sing on stage with the Battery Brides, this was the record that inspired me to do EVERYTHING I’ve ever done really. For a few months prior to this, I’d been reading in the tabloids and music press with a morbid curiosity about punk rock but I’d never actually heard any of the music. Then one night in March 1977, listening to and recording the Radio Luxemburg charts on a Sunday night in my mates bedroom as we always did. When BANG!! Straight in like a bullet at number 32 or whatever. When the chart was done, we rewound the tape and played the song over and over. I knew instantly that this was for me and within a week I’d cut off my hair, dumped my bellbottoms and got politicised……oh, and bought the record!
Record For A Night On The Tiles - Adventures Beyond The Ultraworld – The Orb
These days, when I’m out and not at a gig, I prefer a good blether with mates to clubbing as such so that’s why my choice is mostly ambient and instrumental. It’s a sign of middle age setting in for sure but hey, what can you do? I have to say though that it wasn’t that the other weekend when I was pished in the 12 Bar Club in London, dancing around singing along at the top of my voice to the likes of The Cramps, Dexy’s Midnight Runners and Gogol Bordello.
Record Guaranteed To Get You Dancing – Express Yourself – Madonna
I get slagged off for this by my more, erm, “discerning” friends but I love Madonna. Almost all her singles are great and this choice could quite easily have been Vogue or Ray Of Light. I stuck with Express Yourself though because it appeals on so many levels. From the shitty sounding syn-drums to the Tamla backing vocals to the lyrics to the cheesy “C’mon girls!” intro but mostly just the whole stomping handbag feel to the whole thing. Irresistable. I guess I’m just an old Disco Queen at heart!!
Karaoke Classic – Viva Las Vegas – Elvis Presley
The King’s stuff is the absolute best for karaoke. You can ham it up as much as you like and it distracts people from noticing how badly you actually sing. I think the key to successful karaoke though is to KNOW the song you’re attempting and I’m pretty much OK with this. If the pub has it, this is what I’ll do every time…….although, depending on how many beers I’ve had, I’ve been known to have a stab at Love Shack (male part only) and even Madonna’s Like A Virgin!!
Most Prized Record In Your Collection – The Avengers – The Avengers
All the records in my collection are for using so I’m not a “collector” in that sense. I object to paying through the nose for something the seller doesn’t give a shit about other than the price tag……but…….I searched long and hard for months to locate and buy a copy of this very rare US only release. I paid 50 dollars plus postage for a red vinyl, autographed copy (like I care!). I love it to death even though it’s only a collection of demos and 45s. Of course, shortly after I’d tracked it down, some Italian gadgies bootlegged it and flooded the market with copies at standard price. But I’m not bitter.
Most Embarrassing Record In Your Collection - Duffo – Duffo
Thankfully there aren’t too many that fall into this category. The Carpenters & John Denver stuff belongs to Mrs NYJ exclusively – FACT!! However, I must come clean about Duffo. Duffo was an Australian eccentric who I saw on the Old Grey Whistle Test singing to a skull. The song was called Give Me Back Me Brain and I bought this piece of turgid comedy-punk shit on the back of it. I was probably drunk at the time. This is so bad it even beats The Bucket Of Water Song by the Tiswas team to win this category!!
Most Reviled Song Ever – Alright Now – Free / American Pie – Don Maclean
I can’t separate these two as I hate them equally for the same reason. These are the sort of “standards” I remember being done by pub bands when I first started drinking. EVERY pub band played them and EVERYONE used to sing along like it was hot shit instead of 10 year old decidedly average hippie shite. The saddest thing is that twenty years further on, there’s still loads of pub bands play them and loads of people sing along!! (Thanks a lot Madonna!!)
Record Guaranteed To Clear The Party – Uncle Vernon’ – Tom Waits
I love Tom Waits, especially the Rain Dogs album, but I find that even the biggest Roots Rock Rebel tends to require a bit more conventional approach than Tom offers most of the time. Hearing this at a bleary 5 a.m. would definitely prompt most people running for cover. I defy anyone to make out the lyrics to this song.
Last Record You Bought – You Can’t Put Your Arms Around A Memory – Johnny Thunders
Buying Johnny T (my namesake) is a bit of a hit & miss game. When he’s good, he’s very good but, as with most junkies I suppose, when he’s bad he’s turgid. I really love all the stuff he did with the Dolls and the Heartbreakers and some of the solo stuff is top notch too. But there’s some real clunkers of live sets out there so you need to be careful. Anyway, all the stuff I have by him is on vinyl so, when looking for something digital to put on my pod, I found this 3 x CD Box Set for a bargain price and took a gamble. Pretty cool collection as it turns out.
Most Surprising Discovery – 3 Feet High And Rising – De La Soul
Although a punk rock upbringing tends to give you an open mind towards most music, I’m still a sucker for tunes. So when rap came along, I didn’t really like it much at all. All shouty black dudes with their trainers open, air raid sirens, synth bleeps and NO TUNES. Then a mate played me Eye Know by this mob and all my generalisations and pre-conceptions were shot down in three minutes flat! Of course, I subsequently went on to explore and love the likes of NWA, Public Enemy etc – all the stuff that had put me off to begin with!!
Favourite Record Cover - Damned Damned Damned – The Damned
It’s the one where they’re all covered in cake or something. What an entrance on an unsuspecting public back in 1977, nestling in the record shop racks next to all the Hipgnosis covers of the likes of Yes and ELP - hooo hooo!! I remember the poster campaign featured shots from the session of the individual members and bore the legend : “The debut album from The Damned – Play it at your sister.” Pure magic!!
Record You Would Like Played At Your Funeral – Straight To Hell – The Clash
Self explanatory really, but it’ll hopefully get a laugh. I been to a load of funerals this past year or two and it’s sooo important to have a laugh. Maybe Going Underground by The Jam as well.
What’s On The Hifi Right Now?
CAR : Iggy and The Stooges – Raw Power
HIFI : The Cure – Galore (singles comp)