The first record I ever owned, courtesy of my parents, was "Never Smile At A Crocodile". I know, I know, what were they thinking? I can't even remember anymore which children's film it is featured in but it was played on a loop in our house until even I grew sick of it, and turned my attention to the B side, which was no doubt something equally as hideous.
Anyway, I share that with you in the hope of making you feel better about your own record collections but I'm not counting it. No, because I didn't actually go to the shop myself and purchase it with my own money. My first actual record is quite possibly even more damning. You see my friend and I went to Woolworths together and while I selected "Black is Black" by La Belle Epoque, she went for Patti Smith's "Because The Night".
It's about now that I have a confession to make. Over the years, I have switched that story around so that it was I who bought the infinitely cooler Patti. In fact, I have told the lie so convincingly and so often, a part of me actually believes it. The bigger part of me knows though that I wasn't the one with the cool record collection. But here's the thing, if we are being honest and not simply offering up our best selections for inspection, do any of us have a cool record collection or are they just a random representation of different parts of ourselves, some cool and others definitlely less so?
My taste did get better with time but remained slightly schizophrenic. I morphed from disco to punk to ska to 80s indie, county and folk, taking in some truly mortifying choices along the way. "99 Red Balloons" would be in my all time top ten and I have a bit of a soft spot for Barry Manilow. My own tendency, however, to separate my records into fit for public perusal and absolutley hidden away in the back of the closet, makes me wonder how many other people are fibbing about those oh so cool first records they ever bought.