Sunday, January 25, 2009


The Rok label released a lot of rather ordinary knee-deep in mod/pub rock style singles. This is of interest to me as I used to work with one of the Debutantes backing singers in Readings record shop in Clapham Junction in the early 1980's. Her name was Valerie Shatwell (I'm not making this up) and I had a crush on her. My affection for her was never revealed though I imagine she was aware of it as I took her to see the Teardrop Explodes at Hammersmith Apollo (it wasn't called that then). Not long after being caught up in the Brixton riots, she lived in Railton Road and had her flat window smashed, she returned to her homeland, Scotland. I pined for her for a few weeks and then the resilience of youth returned me to my senses. She was 23 and I was 18 and it would never have worked. But whenever I play her single, an unremarkable effort, I think back to my hopeless crush and a sliver of nostalgia pierces my hardened heart.

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