Wednesday, November 20, 2013

Stretch Out And Wait

A funny thing happened on our way to school this morning. It’s not often I can write that. 
I'd found an old cassette tape in the garage with 'The Smiths at G-Mex' written on the case. My eldest took out the cassette and shook it - like a little maraca. She then threw it to one side and tried to put the case into the car’s cassette player. She didn't believe me when I told her that I was actually at the concert in question and that it was in an old railway station.
‘You can hear me in the background.’
‘No you can’t.’
She indulged me as I sang along to ‘Stretch Out And Wait’ – she even improvised a lovely backing vocal.
Then a voice interrupted the songs. It was a pithy Morrissey aside:
‘Thank you. I hope…. the pressure….. of actually having to stand on your own two feet isn’t… too painful.’
The way in which the last few words were emphasised gave the impression that he really wasn’t having the best of days.
‘He does sound a bit cross Dad. Maybe his train was late. Maybe that’s why he had to ‘stretch out and wait'…?’
I can remember watching the gig and looking up at the roof of the building with a glow of nostalgia. It had been the old central railway station and as a 12 year old I’d found my way to the apex and turned the hands on the clock for a dare before being chased away by a security man. I told Aurora this story.

‘No you didn’t’

I had taped the concert from the radio in 1986. I didn’t try and explain this concept to my daughter – expecting another confused or negative response. Then the adverts from 1986 came on. You could get a Mini Metro for under 3 thousand pounds at Borough Garage in Bury.
‘Can we get one Dad?’