My first memories include being traumatised by the eerie beauty of ‘Telstar’, buzzing its cosmic melody through our breezy two up two down in Hull. Lots of great things came out of that strange wooden box with its big round dials and scratchy needles and its bendy discs. It was an unfathomable magic trick.
I want to be a singer! Like John and Paul. Yeah Yeah Yeah! Mesmerised. Two mop-top birds tweeting their falsetto wobbles and sublime harmonies into my tiny little head.
I'm going to be a singer!
So, as soon as I left school, I was off! Straight into that fish factory! Six-to-two and two-to-ten. Snapping cod’s heads off. Haddock don’t have cheeks. I learned a lot from Haddock.
It was a punk band. ‘The Crack’. And it was led by the “gargantuan frame” of Steve ‘Larky’ Larkman. We could have been 'contenders’. Smash! And BOOM! We’re on. And we’re off. Electric songs racing like an atomic steam train greased by the sweat and the thrill and the promise and the youthful certainty of earlier-than-deserved redemption.
I left home the same month Margaret Thatcher took power in 1979. There was no official connection between the two events. Out! Out! Out!
Austerity. More fish factories. Day jobs and singing in working men’s clubs. ‘Noon and Nighters’, Buddy Holly and bingo madness. Hard working men and women; beaten and shackled, with hand to mouth wages - like pocket money with puny muscles.
I was them. They were me.
Fight back! Educate, agitate and organise. Let's talk of a new world, and of a better way to live; where not one single human being need ever go hungry, or be homeless, or suffer discrimination, be undervalued, persecuted, condemned or rejected. Not one!
But one by one they tumbled; the mighty unions were being crushed. And with them went any sense of ‘us’. Batten down the hatches. The new world had been postponed.
But now it's back! Out there.; dancing on the horizon. Daring us to embrace it. "There's a whole world to win just over the ridge..." What better time to be a songwriter?
So here they are - my babies. Born and then baptised and blessed with the warmth and loyal affection of a great band of premier players.
So I ask, is there anybody alive out there?
This is my voice. A voice from The Humber...
I read the online papers
and if you jumble all the words
They say the same thing inside out,
though a little less absurd
There are white lies and smears
by faceless racist puppeteers
Headlines oozing like Niagara Falls
Into the gaping gullible mouths
of every living soul
Then the big sting begins;
find the lady no one wins
A million knuckles rapping at your door
but no one’s in
It’s another day.