Monday, 23 November 2015

Strawberry Switchblade summer of 1982

When we were younger - issue 16

I was 20 and KB was on his way to his 20th birthday when we took a wee summer break. We planned issue 17 to include a Flexi disc (thanks to pop wallpaper and The Wild Indians) for our one year anniversary and so the timings meant we could have a 4 week issue and I could do some revision or even course work for my resits. In my late teens the band and Deadbeat had become my life and although St. Andrews hosted my mates and dealer I only had enough time for 'moggy' sleep.

In second year I added a crash course 1st & 2nd psychology and was delighted to find myself being asked to diagnose a speed freak in the exam. That was one subject I never needed to resit.

Enough of me, although curiously that is the point. I sit here in my 50's looking back a generation and I realise Deadbeat is my diary. I wrote a lot of pish and others wrote really well so for 10p it was a steal. Stealing is also what we felt we did well in issue 16! The charismatic duo that were Strawberry Switchblade put this issue up in the top 5. To this day the autism in me doesn't understand why a couple of artistic genuises should force a docile public to buy the copy. Pictures printed by Fat Al or Vinny Bee are unlikely to be flattering so why buy on a cover....I'm still working on Je'n'comprend pas, but I love the fact I knew not to question it. That would be for my philosophising later in life, just now I had to get these bands out on the streets....oh and the ads...The long period allowed us time to get adverts and make it a 24 page edition. Our ads ranged from Hendersons to the Hoochie Coochie club in Edinburgh and Salon 51 covered St. Andrews and Dundee along with Dance Factory, Record Shak APB and even Coppers in Cockburn st, one of my happier taverns. I had drunk there for 6 years when I celebrated my 21st, oops! The long and short of it was that these ads kept us at 10p and as the section below from the issue suggests as a society, some of us were very mindful about cost. The "young ones'esque show below being £3, or £2 ub40 etc. It was during 1982 that the worst of our oil revenue boom times were being pissed up against an unemployment wall which had grown staggeringly quicker than its Berlin counterpart.

In the UK we had begun a process of crippling the poor and enabling the rich for generations. The First seeds of the underclass had been scattered on the barren soil and the country's great north of Watford divide had commenced. I was writing pish songs like the penny Drops as the mushroom rises and we were all staring into the abyss. Within a year Michael Foot was to take a bath and Maggie would have the keys to every factory, mine, steel works and shipbuilders. All paid for by black gold, council house sell offs and bargain basement giveaways of BT etc. I got so incensed I starting going to economic tutorials to noise them up but I don't really think it helped. Why not subsidise the coal I would argue. If the income tax the miners pay is more than the level of subsidy, why not. If their tax and ni contributions were greater than the subsidy we are all net winners and so are all the shops in their communities. Even a wee stupid student like me could add up. (My other resit was maths). I would argue that the coal could be stock piled. It could be our fossil fuel deterrent only to be used in the event of the oil running out or the wind and water blowing dry. I talked of keeping the steelworks to produce the steel for our wind turbines, using the coal mines for theme parks with deep tunnelling fair ground attractions creating the scariest ghost rides. Alas I failed to convince my audience and I then watched as Rome burnt and our huge oil windfall was squandered. When she sold off the houses and never built a new one I was flabbergasted. Another opportunity to let us work was missed. If every house sold had been replaced there would've been employment for all those pummelled into the dirt - alas no.

My point of course was this, I hadn't even turned 21 and already I felt old.

How could I charge 20p for a Deadbeat?

One year later the summer holiday would prove fairly terminal. Issue 26 suggested we weren't churning them out as fast as year 1 and issue 30 would see our 3rd anniversary but Britain in 1985 was a different place, then 1986, cue the Stone Roses - the interview that never got published!

Friday, 13 November 2015

The queue for issue 13 in 1983

KB and I decided to flog them outside the playhouse and the main problem was the price. 10p "anyone got any change" clearly the deadbeat coffers never extended to a float or if it did it had been drunk on the way down the road. Issues 6, 13 and 24 were the only ones to sell out within a week and I was too pissed to print anymore. Needless to say after I'd sold 50 copies I had enough for 10 pints and Keith was left with the rest of the queue as I would slope away mumbling "let me introduce you to the rest of the db crew...."

Sunday, 8 November 2015

The story of indie was repeated recently

I was walking Spain but a few of you sent me this through - cheers, vinny

Another Girl Another Planet is back

Its like a big retro thing going down with the Only Ones getting more airplay now than they did in 1979. I've heard it 3 times this week in adverts and tv dramas - obviously everything comes to those who wait - and its superb - I sit down with my 'favourite songs of the 70's' bingo card, especially, when watching the Christmas when is Candy Skin gonna get its chance....surely we cant just jump straight to Oasis.....