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MUSIC

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The same things mean different things as time passes.

Terence Trent D’Arby was, to me, a daunting man when he released is first album ‘Hardline’ on the 13th of July 1987.

It was two weeks before my 19th birthday and whilst I was managing skinniness, a mullet and an awkwardness that left me dumb, wide eyed, dry-mouthed and tomato-red when a girl asked me the time (no mobiles back then) – he had it made.

Terence Trent D’Arby was tall, statuesque, dark skinned, beautiful, didn’t give a shit, had an amazing voice, wrote music, played instruments, danced, had brave hair and (this was just too much) was a former boxer.

He was clearly just out to steal everyone’s girlfriend. He was so impressive that I was determined not to be impressed by him. So I didn’t buy his album. (Although 1 million other people did. In 3 days).

I hoped that he’d just go away. And eventually, as happens with almost all of these people, he did.

Hello again

Terence Trent D’Arby came back into my life four years ago when the great George Michael covered one of his songs on his Symphonica tour. I went to see George Michael. He was amazing and I really didn’t want him to ‘just go away’.

But a year later, he did.

“Let Her Down Easy” was written by Terence Trent D’Arby for his 1993 album, Symphony or Damn. It reached 18 in the UK charts. It pretty much passed me by in 1993.

Terence Trent D’Arby was an awful threat when I was 18 and I knew very little. Now I am 50 (and still know very little) I do know what it feels like to have a daughter and I do appreciate Terence Trent D’Arby as the obvious talent he is.

As this 1993 song is a song that Terence Trent D’Arby wrote as a message to his daughter’s first boyfriend, it has – now that I am older – not passed me by. If you have daughters, you’ll know what I mean.

The same things mean different things as time passes.

Let Her Down Easy. Terence Trent D’Arby. 1993.

Let Her Down Easy. George Michael. 2014.

Apparently, no music ever impacts us as much as that which we listen to at age 14.

For me, that was 1982. Dexy’s Midnight Runners. Culture Club. The Jam. Adam Ant.

I seem to remember that Tears For Fears were a big thing for me. I painted pictures of Roland Orzabal and Curt Smith in art A-level. And I thought the tunes were OK.

But My Music came later.

My Music

My Music happened when I was about 18 and in the years that followed. The music that feels like an old friend. Like an old coat sliding on and fitting perfectly, every time. The music that makes me smile.

Happy Mondays (1980). The Charlatans (1982). Primal Scream (1982). The Smiths (1982). Stone Roses (1983). The La’s (1983). Oasis (1991). And The Jam/Paul Weller, even though The Jam kicked off earlier in 1972.

Northern

I was born in Manchester. I left in my early teens. But the ‘Madchester’ stuff of the late 1980’s and 1990’s (with a sprinkling of Britpop) really matters to me. Now more than then I think. It’s a big influence on who I am and what I am doing now, actually.

Confidence

Ironically, I didn’t have the confidence to stick my neck out when I was younger. To say openly that this most confident of music was what I loved. Music, like creating clothing at Always Wear Red, divides people.

Now older I see that our differences are actually what make us the same. We are all different. I love that now.

I was worried about standing out back then. For being seen as swimming against anyone’s personal tide.

These days, I worry about exactly the opposite.