Life, Living, Becoming...
Gerry Coughlan

  If Music be the Food of Love...

My earliest memory of music was Petula Clark's "Downtown" playing on the radio. My mom says I danced around like a lunatic to "Bits & Pieces" by the Dave Clark Five and others.

I remember a discussion between my ma and da on the popularity of The Beatles when "Yeah, Yeah, Yeah!" was played every half-hour on the radio.
The music's OK, but their hair's ridiculous!
We had a small record player that you could stack up a pile of records to play one after the other. Myself and Val had quite a collection of singles. My mom had a few Tom Jones L.P.'s and my dad, a couple of Nat King Cole's and a Peggy Lee single.

The first single I ever had was Gilbert O'Sullivan's "Clair". It wasn't long before I discovered Gary Glitter and got most of his singles. My Auntie Grace actually took me to see him LIVE at the National Stadium. It was brilliant. He arrived onstage on a motorbike and did "Leader of the Gang". During a costume change a skinhead jumped onto the stage and lashed out a boot at the guitarist. He put his hands up in horror... an

He came back on dressed in silver and did "Hello, Hello, I'm back again" and threw some roses into the crowd. It was definitely him. It didn't matter about the miming. He really was LIVE in Dublin. I was hoarse by the end of the concert and nearly deaf. I lip-read my auntie telling me she was going off somewhere with her friends and she put me on the bus home. My first concert!

There were a gang of skinheads called the Glitter Gang that went around our area with their Doc Martens sprayed silver. They all lived up the road in Coolock. They'd strut around singing "Wanna be in my gang?" at the tops of their voices, late on a summer's evening when it was hard enough to get to sleep, with it still being so light.

I used to jump around my bedroom, in front of the mirror doing my best Gary Glitter impersonation with his latest record blaring.

When my step-dad arrived he had a real hi-fi and the Beatles "Rubber Soul" which I listened to at every opportunity.

My mom bought me "The Best of the Stylistics" when I got me Inter - Intermediate Certificate (Grade 10 exam). Myself and Val would be glued to "Top of the Pops" on BBC every week hoping one of our favourite artists like Sweet, Mud, or Roy Wood and Wizzard would be on.

When we emigrated to South Africa in 1976, the singles were one of the things that went "missing in action".

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