This is when I began to realise that it’s not always just about the music, it’s sometimes about the whole package – the album cover, the photography, the concept. The second album I bought. Obviously the anthemic “School’s Out” drew me in, along with a wild and rebellious performance on Top of the Pops, but the art work for the album was inspired. The whole thing opening out into a classroom desk was genius, and I spent hours studying the “look” portrayed by the band on the black and white photo apparently sellotaped to the inside of the desk lid. Every time I played it I had to hide the pair of paper panties wrapped around the actual record!
As for the music, the highlight for me was the clear, twang of the bass guitar, particularly on “Gutter Cat Vs. the Jets” and “Blue Turk”. Instruments always work best for me when you can hear them actually being played.
Alice Cooper was one of the few artists both my brother and I liked. He later bought “Billion Dollar Babies” and in 1975 mum and dad took us to the Liverpool Empire to see the “Welcome to my Nightmare” tour – totally over the top and totally brilliant!
Sometimes, in the school holidays Neil and I spent the day at the Sinclair’s house on Bellhouse Road. We usually spent the time either playing football in Concord Park or just watching television. Mark was just getting into music (he was more sporty than musical) and once asked me if I thought Slade were any good. They were a bit too “teeny-bop” looking for me but actually, they had some great rock and roll tunes and I loved the cover of the Slade Alive album.