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 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.
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.
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.