The one and only time I’ve ever eaten Wiener Schnitzel was in 1972, on my second ever holiday abroad when we went to Switzerland. We had the meal out on the last night before the long drive home and I was violently sick pretty soon afterwards. I continued to feel ill all through the night. The next morning we packed the last few bits into the Bailey caravan, mum, my brother and my sister took their doses of Benadryl travel sickness medicine (mixed with orange juice) and we climbed into the old, blue Ford Zephyr and set off.
Because I was feeling so poorly, I was allowed to hold the tiny Phillips Cassette player in the car and play the only cassette I had. It wasn’t a pre-recorded one, just a copy that one of the older lads at Boy’s Brigade had done for me, after I’d said how much I liked the “Jeepster” single. It was on that journey that Electric Warrior and T.Rex became deeply embedded in the family psyche. The conga-heavy percussion and mix of electric and acoustic guitars started on “Mambo Sun” and set the tone, with lyrics that managed to be sexy, space-aged and earth-bound all at the same time. The guitar squeak at the beginning of “Monolith” made me want a Wah-Wah pedal. I eventually got a CryBaby one a couple of years later from the swap shop down on Orchard Lane.
I never let the cassette run past the first couple of verses of last track “Rip Off” though. It was visceral and even at 13 years old, I knew it was rude enough to not be for family listening.
“Bleached on the beach
I want to tickle your peach,
It’s a rip off…”
It was years later that I finally bought the record.
Marc Bolan – an electric warrior with an acoustic guitar.