Spiral Scratch

I remember picking up the Buzzcocks’ Spiral Scratch EP back in 1979. The first self released punk record ever. You remember: Boredom/boredom/boredom. That one. It was a reissue and cost $4.99. That is $17 in today’s bread. $17 on a 7 inch record. That seems stupid to me now, but then made all the sense in the world.  I spent all my money on records then. I lived on top ramen and had an incredible punk rock record collection. It was all brand new, this crazy music, and buying the latest out of England was like buying be bop in the forties, obscure, expensive, essential and there went the rent money. I wore that Spiral Scratch out. Played it every day. Boredom, boredom, boredom. If you know it you’re hearing it now in your own skull. At some point in the early eighties, stoned, I lent my copy to my bass player. Sometime in the mid 80’s it wound up in his record collection in the trunk of his car when he was arrested at the Grand Canyon with no registration, several unpaid traffic tickets and a pocket full of blotter they never found. He said it was beautiful, the Grand Canyon, all the colors, the space, the presence, the being and unbeing, and he tripped his entire two week stay in a Clark County jail as well. He never went back for his car or belongings, and they were eventually auctioned off to someone who became the proud owner of an obscure Buzzcocks 7″. Not to mention a Some Chicken single. Some years later we can imagine a record geek, tired of the casinos and buffets and normal people, fleeing the casinos to haunt the thrift stores far from the Strip. Amidst the dreams and detritus he comes across my Spiral Scratch for a dollar, and something called Some Chicken. Oh boy. He shows them off to other record geeks. They’re green with envy. The years go by and he matures, takes a gig as a web developer, and bores of punk rock records and tattoos. Tattoo removal is expensive, so he puts the records up on Ebay and makes hundreds of dollars. Now he looks like a Republican and buys yacht rock and is screwing his secretary. He probably doesn’t even exist, but still, I hate the little fuck. And while the Some Chicken doesn’t bother me, I haven’t heard Spiral Scratch in thirty years.
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Never lend anything to a bass player.
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Spiral Scratch.

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