Back in 74 I went with one of my mates (Dave Baker) to buy what I thought was going to be 'Band on the Run'. Once in HMV Dave picked up Psychomodo and despite my protests he insisted on buying it, instead of the aforementioned Wings Album.
I had never heard of Cockney Rebel, despite Dave trying to convince me otherwise by humming the tune to Mr Soft all the way home. I wasn't impressed, since 'Band on the Run' had to be better than this Cockney whatever.
However, once home and the album on my record deck, it was quickly apparent that Dave Baker had taste. The LP was played repeatedly for about 5 hours (especially Ritz, which was just mesmerizing). As a 13 year this was the best music I had ever heard. I was totally hooked and have been eversince.
It seems like yesterday, that I can still remember the screams of dismay from my mum when I felt tipped the word 'Psychomodo' on the back of my brand new Wrangler jacket. Oh to be 13 again!
I quickly brought my own copy of Psychomodo and then Human Menagerie, which if possible, was even better. Even today, HM remains my favourite LP of all time and although my wife says it is inappropriate, I long for 'deathtrip' to be played at my funeral. Not that I'm dying but can you think of a more majestic song to go out to.
Mind you the wife will no doubt have the final say, as she did when vetoing my wish to call one of our kids 'Sebastian' as and when they were born. Calling them Emma and Lucy instead!
Cockney Rebel songs have seemingly become integrated with my life. I even once finished with a girlfriend by putting the receiver of the phone to the speaker, as the words 'I said get lost, disappear, get out of my life' (mad mad moonlight live) blasted out.
Sadly Dave Baker died a few years ago. The day after his death, I saw SH and Cockney Rebel in Leamington Spa, which in itself was poignant enough. However when they played Ritz (the first time I can ever remember them doing so in the many concerts I've seen), I can honestly say it brought a tear or two to my eyes.
Having had the music of SH & Cockney Rebel in my life for so long, it seems that every song evokes some sort of memory of days long gone.
Am I just a little obsessive or maybe a little sad or have Cockney Rebel actually gotten under the skin of anyone else?
Please let me know your memories or just add a comment or two.
Anyway, well done on the site.
As a postscript to this posting I was contacted by BBC Coventry and Warwickshire radio with a view to doing an interview on their 'your song' slot. I duly agreed. You can listen on the iplayer (BBC Coventry & warks - TV and Radio - listen Again - Annie Othen - 11th Nov - starts around 1:07) It was good to give Cockney Rebel a mention, although I was a bit disappointed that they only played snippets of the song. Still, I bet its the first time that Ritz, in any part, as been played on the BBC - unless of course you know otherwise!
That's a fine post Dave. I'm sure you're not alone when it comes to Steve's music being an integral part of your life's experience.
You mention 'Ritz' . . . I sat in a reception area awaiting a doctor's appointment a few weeks ago. It was a while before I was called - so I looped 'Ritz' for almost an hour through my ipod. I was feeling a wee bit 'detached' to begin with, but that song in that setting put me into a very odd place indeed! Surreal, and worth being ill for!
I'd hide if I could, but I'm red in a yellow sea . . .
I too-so many memories, back in my bedroom as a mere child Death Trip was a must as I fell to sleep ( no TV's in the bedroom back then!) it's still up there as one my most listened too tracks. I've seen Steve perform it once live - and yes a tear was brought to my eye.
I have dragged many friends along to concerts, many saying who, why? but always coming away impressed.
I've travelled the country to see Steve live, most memorable nights -
Ronnie Scott's in Birmingham,
the "evening with" charity event in London ( my late husband bidding for back stage passes & a meal with the band) &
the Robin 2 in Bilston with a real sceptic for company (needless to say a convert!)with Steve downing a Guinness at the end of the night.
I think of my favourite track, only to argue with myself as there are so many. But
I too want "Death Trip" at my passing, along with "Compared with you".
I look foward to 2010 concerts & new memories.
Seen them in Warwick, Leamington, Birmingham, Nottingham. Leicester, Southampton to name but a few. likewise I usually have to take sceptics first timers, but also likewise they usually end up converts. I've lost count of the number of complations CD's i've done for friends - even today I've gave someone at work a 'best of' CD Needless to say it has Deathtrip and Love compared to you on it.
memories from very long ago. moved to London from Chicago in 1972 to put a band together (quick aside-hired tom doherty on bass from opal butterfly-simon king, lemmie, ray major) and went to drum city for parts for my kit. met lindsay elliot who worked there, we became friends and he said his brother was in a band called cockney rebel and they were practicing for their 2nd or 3rd gig, did we want to tag along? we did, they were great and we saw them later at a midnight show at kings cross cinema, I think, it was very long ago. of course i bought the lps and later cds of all the various steve projects and have always marveled he can keep coming up with such great material.
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Re: Hi - Rebel Memories
10 years 10 months ago #21
Face To Face
Totally relate to everything you said. I am 50 so I guess I purchased those albums about the same time you did.
Steve Harley is to me what the Beatles were to those before me.