Spin The Black Circle

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The soundtrack to my childhood is on vinyl – somewhere.

A few years ago, having been seduced by the digital form of the CD, I decided to flog almost every record that I owned in a car boot sale – fifty pence for an album or a pound for a double. A moment of insanity that would come to haunt me.

You see, I’ve grown up with music. Dad was a ‘Hi-Fi buff’ who spent hours sat in front of his mammoth speakers in search of the ultimate ‘stereo experience’ which I found hilarious because he was deaf in one ear. Music was his passion and one of the last records he listened to was my Queen album – one of a few which I kept back from the blasted car boot sale.

The album contained The Show Must Go On. Written primarily by Brian May it’s a song about Freddie’s determination to carry on performing despite the fact that he was dying.

Inside my heart is breaking
My make-up may be flaking
But my smile still stays on

Apt lyrics for my Dad – a man who knew he was losing his battle with cancer.

My love of music starts way back in the decade of grim decor and fashion aka the 70’s. In 1978 I got my first record player along with the soundtrack to Saturday Night Fever – a film that I wasn’t old enough to see. It would be a few more years before I got to see JT in his undies!

In 1979 I bought I Don’t Like Mondays by the Boomtown Rats with my pocket money and had no idea that the song was about a 16 year old girl who went on a shooting spree because she didn’t like Mondays!

Equipment itself has come a long way. Edison’s phonograph kicked it all off and has evolved into the tiniest of devices not much bigger than a stamp. (iPod). I wonder what Smack my Bitch Up would sound like on a phonograph? Edison would spin in his grave faster than Pete Burns… right round baby!


One of Judge Jules’ early gigs ha ha – not really. Don’t sue me.

Music is much more than an art form. It connects people, or it used to.

Records were vitally important to the development of music and of all music cultures. With that being pushed by the wayside, I can’t see an iPod uniting us. In fact it separates us, the streets are full of people bumping into lamp posts, listening to their own little universe, and there’s no sharing in that. ~ John Lydon

It wasn’t always this way..

Music played a big part in boosting morale during world war two. It captured the spirit of a nation that refused to be broken by Hitler. Hearing Glenn Miller’s Moonlight Serenade evokes feelings of nostalgia and gratitude. Nostalgia because despite the hardship of the war, my parents had fond memories of that time and gratitude because I owe my life to those who died for our freedom.

My taste is eclectic which means there is a genre to suit my every mood and there are a lot of em. Rock gets my heart pumping whereas classical relaxes me. I love Punk with it’s angst and nihilistic attitude that reflected a time of teenage rebellion with the Sex Pistols summing up the attitude of a generation with “No future”. Listening to the likes of the Sex Pistols and The Clash was part of my own teenage rebellion. The day I skimmed Never Mind the Bollocks, Here’s the Sex Pistols across the kitchen worktop was a memorable one to say the least. my mother miss-lit her fag in shock at the word ‘bollocks‘.

I’ll give you bollocks, Madam!~ Mum circa 1984

Despite embracing the digital form, I’ve felt disenchanted with music for a while. Then one day I had an epiphany when I realised that what music was missing was soul. And I don’t mean the genre.

CD’s are almost clinical. They have a ‘clean’ sound and while that may suit the techno sound, I think it robs other genres of it’s soul. I also missed the tactile experience of placing a record on the deck and trying to keep a steady hand (a difficult task when pissed) as I placed the needle on the record waiting for the inevitable crackle and hiss. But that’s just me. Music and sound is subjective. Millions of people have never looked back and think of vinyl only in a historical or value sense. As technology surges forward, I find myself hankering for a time of simplicity.

I deeply regret flogging my collection but am in the process of creating another one and it’s not lost on me that I’m often paying double or treble what I paid for them originally. Lesson learned. No more boot sales. Unless it’s to buy. 😉

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Music evokes powerful emotions and listening to Ella Fitzgerald transports me to days of childhood watching my mother doing her thing in the kitchen and Frank Sinatra instantly makes me think of my dad crooning along to That’s Life, Jack Daniels in one hand, Marlboro in the other. Despite the secondary smoke inhalation, those were happy times with memories that have become so important to me now that they are both gone. Music takes me to a happy place and back to a time when life was simple and happiness was a book or a new record. Simple pleasures…

My parents may be gone but they live on in the music. A record is made of up of grooves and within those grooves are memories and a memory is something that can’t be taken from you.

End Note :

Dear Boys, please don’t flog my records in a car boot sale after I’ve gone.

I will haunt you.

Love, Mum.

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The song is ended but the melody lingers on.


29 thoughts on “Spin The Black Circle

  1. We must have been born around the same time. I remember sneaking my Sex Pistols LP in and hiding it smongst my Clash/Siouxsie/Ultravix collection. Playing it only when parents were out.
    Music still is a huge part of my life too. Love reading your posts 😊

  2. This is wonderful. I still have all my records, can’t bring myself to get rid of them, even though I don’t have anything to play them on! I do love the ease with which I can get hold of music now though, a quick online search and that song that’s been playing in my head all day is within my grasp. Another wonderful post, you are a true story teller Tracy. Thank you so much for sharing with #ThePrompt x

  3. The first record I remember listening to of my dads was Floral Dance by Terry Wogan!? I used the play it constantly and pretend to play it on the sewing machine?

    Such a weird childhood.

  4. Tracy I can’t believe you of all people would have sold your *records*…..yes I still see music & songs as records much to my kids ridicule! Right, I’m really not into music much, I would put tv on before I put music on BUT even I haven’t sold my vinyls!!! Both mine & hubby’s singles & LP’s are in boxes up in the eves somewhere! Mum & Dad weren’t music people so maybe that’s come through the bloodline to me. Yes, certain songs evokes memories, 1st being in love with hubby & certain songs from my youth that bring a lump to my throat if I think about them now! Yes, I’m innocent to the wording of some songs but boy am I shocked at the videos that go with today’s music. When did it become something that you had to censor for shock factor! You are very in touch with sensory things and I can see the depth of that within you, the crackle of the needle on the record, it skidding across on the scratch on the vinyl…..
    Bet I have made you feel so much better……ok, off to watch tv!!!
    Love you gorgeous lady! Xxxxxx

    • Songs were being censored in our day (and long before) it’s just that it was rare and the shock factor was a lot tamer compared to today’s standards. I remember going out and buying Relax on 12″ because it had been banned by the BBC and that was in 83 or 84. 😉
      You should get those records down from the loft because a lot of them are worth a bit of coin these days or better still, play them and you and Kev have a night reminiscing which may or may not lead to ‘sexy times’ wink wink. 😉
      Once again, thank you for taking the time to comment. I love reading them and so does my Aunty Marg. Love you dear lady 🙂 xXxXx

  5. We could reminisce over them Tracy, after the argument it would cause about why we are keeping so much junk packed away……
    Anyway, I will set the scene
    Home alone, doors locked
    Lights on low
    Each having a glass of wine in our hands
    Me wearing seductive clothing after tidying legs & *lady bits*
    Vinyls picked and ready
    No friggin record player
    Love you Tracy and a big wave over there to Aunty Marg. 😘❤️❤️❤️❤️Xxxxx

    • No record player? There’s always a snag lol
      Mine is the one in the photograph…retro style but with a CD player. One day I hope to get a little suitcase one like I had as a girl. 🙂

    • It’s not a bad player tbh and it definitely looks the part in my sunroom, come utilty room, come music room, come playroom opposite an old 1950’s Bush radio. Seriously though, the lost vinyl still haunts me 😦 *weep*

  6. This is a wonderful take on The Prompt, and I love that it’s music as a genre that can also travel with you, it has no boundaries, rather than a physical place which finds you happy and full of memories. Your memories of buying records is similar to mine – my cousin had the most amazing record collection and like you I remember vividly listening to Saturday Night Fever without knowing the context of the film!
    Lovely post & made my quite nostalgic for a bit of Boomtown Rats (we must be about the same age!)
    I do hope you managed to rebuild your record collection although it sounds like that rash decision to sell is going to cost you a fortune!!

  7. My son has discovered vinyl whilst he’s been at Uni…and has been rifling through the vinyl we still have in our stash! He’s sure my original Beatles records are worth a bob or two now…There really is nothing like the round sound of vinyl.

  8. Tracy, I adore this post! Unlike you, I have been far too collector-y to get rid of even one of my vinyl records, to the extent that I have some total horrors lurking amongst the gems. My biggest regret is that for reasons best known to her good self my mum decided to get rid of her little mono record player in a box that I had spent hours using as a teen, instead of asking me if I would like it. I could cry!
    Laughing at the Bollocks reference. I put Adolescent Sex by Japan on my birthday list once, and mum (again) was too embarrassed to ask in the shop, so she sent my poor 14 year old brother 😀

  9. Love this post! So wonderfully written and a brilliant take on the prompt. I found myself smiling all the way through. Records were on the way out when I was a child but my dad has an amazing collection in his loft he refuses to sell. I’m sure there’s an old record player up there too! Great memories!

    • Thank you! 🙂
      Your dad has more sense than I did then lol. One day you’ll find the record player and the records and it will give you some great memories of him. Music keeps them with us long after they’ve gone. X

  10. My ex sold all my records many years ago. It still pains me now.

    On a positive note I have nominated you in my blogger recognition posthttp://wp.me/p6qaxF-jL

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