Saturday, January 11, 2014

Bizarre Gift Flashback: The Goth Years

Everybody gives or receives bizarre presents at least once in their life.

I should know, because one desperate Christmas, with no funds to call my own, I bought my mother a hairnet, and wrapped up three walnuts in a piece of old newspaper for my sister.

However, I don't think I'll ever get my head round the present my father gave me in my late teenage years.

First, you have to understand that my father's musical tastes aren't just merely traditional, they would have been a bit left-field in the early seventeenth century. He's a confirmed Radio 3 man, and listening might range from early monastic chants to the Pipes and Drums of the Argyll and Sutherland Highlanders.

He's a professor of serious medical noodling, and just does not do popular music. At all. Not even Abba.

So, one evening, he came home from work, found me up to some technical gubbins in my bedroom, and handed me a small bag.

"I got you this, son. I thought you might like it."

It was a record by Northampton-based miserablists Bauhaus.

To say my gob was smacked would be an understatement.

He had somehow dug into my psyche, burrowed past the light tinkly-pop acts such as early Depeche Mode and OMD, and found my brooding, dark heart, yearning for jangly guitars, sweeping synths and doom-laden vocals.

I would like to say I've still got the disc, but I believe my sister took it off my hands after she went to university, turned weird and started to listen to bands who dressed in black and had big hair (or, in the case of Bauhaus, the Gothic businessman from Hell look).

Der Alte has never bought me another record. But for his one attempt, I dare say it was a 100% success rate.


Anonymous said...

".....Pipes and Drums of the Argyll and Sutherland Highlanders....."

On the 25th October, 1854 in Balaklava, the 93rd Sutherland Highlanders won immortal fame when, under the command of Sir Colin Campbell, it formed a line in two ranks and repelled a charge of Russian cavalry. This, you may have guessed, was the original and eponymous, "Thin Red Line".

Don't you be making light of Der Alte's taste in music. Yer dad has right patriotic tastes it would seem. Then again, how could you not like ABBA?

Anonymous said...

Ask yer Pa how he feels about the Pipe & Drums covering the Bay City Rollers, "Saturday Night" and The Proclaimers, "I'm Gonna Be (500 Miles)" on their next public performance?
I, personally, cannot wait to hear the 'pedal of the drone' applied to those Scots classics!

simon said...

You're lucky - the only record my old man bought me was Two Little Boys by Rolf Harris. I heavily into Black Sabbath at the time...