The thing I like best about all this radio malarkey is the chance to play some things on air that I never hear otherwise. Needless to say this has involved getting in about the CD cupboard in a major way. When I’m there I start to find the most amazing things that I’ve not played myself for years, never mind heard on the radio.
Last night we played Rachel Yamagata’s Jesus was a Crossmaker (written by the late Judee Sill), Freda Payne’s Band of Gold and Oh Patti by Scritti Politti.
The good news is if you like any of these songs you can, almost certainly, find them legally and download them for a very small price. In the old days I used to hear a song on the radio and know that the only certain way to hear it again was to go to Bruce’s record shop in Reform St (Dundee) and ask the boy behind the counter to put it on. Most of you know that this task is beyond the emotional development of a teenager so the track would not be heard until a few months later when I’d saved up enough money to buy the album. Going to the boy behind the counter and asking him to put on the record led to the “minter” – a full blown red-face full of embarrassment.
There was one other option to this: you just hung around the record shop in the hope that it might come on. We spent days in record shops – not that there were many. In Dundee, until Bruce’s arrived we used to to go to Boots! (I ask you!) In Bruce’s one day in November 1975 I heard an entire album from beginning to end. It was Born to Run by Bruce Springsteen. I have owned that album on vinyl, CD and now the remastered version sits pride of place on my shelf. That afternoon probably changed my musical life for good. Sometimes it’s worth just hanging around.