“How do you feel?…sick!” Ian Hunter’s words during the fade out of this, the first 7″ single I ever bought. It made the whole thing sound live and exciting – the band interacting with the audience – if you went to see them, a real life Pop star might talk to you! How great would that be?
As usual, it was the lyrics that attracted me with it’s talk of “speed-jive” and “racing some cat to bed” but the opening lead guitar line was magic too. After having had four years of tortuous piano lessons, I first picked up a guitar when I was nine years old. My dad had a second-hand one that he left propped against the sideboard in the back room and when I asked, would try to show me the few basic chords he knew. At the time, Mrs. Wright, a teacher at Lindsay Road Junior School, started giving guitar lessons during lunch times and I was desperate to go. The first song she taught us was Bobby Shafto and it all just came to me quite easily – a few chords, some words and a tune I vaguely knew and there I was, playing the guitar! But then football took over and the guitar was forgotten about for a while.
However, with my rapidly developing obsession about music, I’d recently taken it up again and often tried to pick out and play the lead guitar parts on records I heard. I never tried to play this one. Actually it was pretty easy but I think I just knew I’d never recreate the ‘feel’ of the song. I did learn to play the lead guitar part from “Whiskey in the Jar” by Thin Lizzy, but was never satisfied with the sound I could get on that one either. I only had a classical guitar. I soon started experimenting with the sound though, trying to make it louder by pressing the headstock against the wardrobe door whilst playing. Very awkward but surprisingly effective!