We have a mysterious guest writer…
The Lost Page of 2023 shares his Dark, Ages Experience…
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NEITHER ODD, NOR EVEN
Where does that urge to kill someone come from?
And I don’t mean someone in particular, it could be anyone.
We all have that urge, or at least I assume we do.
If I have it and I am not particularly abnormal, my guess is we all have it.
And when did it begin?
As a boy, me and all my friends played all sorts of war games – in the playground, in the park, round that back of the garages. We were always killing each other. Then there were all the Atari games. I loved them. And then there was metal. I got into thrash metal in the mid 80s when I was about 15. My favourites were Anthrax and Megadeth. I thought Metallica and Slayer were s**t, they didn’t mean it in the same way. Metallica and Slayer were just in it for the pose.
I used to get that music paper Sounds.
Sounds always covered the type of music I was into. Even when I couldn’t afford to buy the albums or even hear the actual music by certain bands I would get into them, just because of the interviews or reviews I read in Sounds. That was definitely the case with some of the German thrash bands. You know like Kreator or Sodom. I never heard anything by either of those bands but I was totally into them. Obviously there was no You Tube back then to check them out. And even Tommy Vance didn’t play that sort of stuff.
I lived in Grantham back then, we moved there when I was four. I had been born in Wallasey on the Wirral side of the Mersey. Although it is not technically Liverpool, I have to tell people that don’t know these things that I was born in Liverpool.
Anyway in Grantham as teenager, there was no way to hear the sort of music I was into anywhere. One of my mates had a rich dad, he had a haulage company. This mate used to nick money from his dad’s wallet and buy all sorts of records, but most of them were s**t. He would buy things like A-ha, in the hope it would impress the girls. Then he bought one by that German thrash band called Destruction. I think he just bought it, so he could have it and I couldn’t, cause he knew I could not afford it. I used to do a paper round, I would spend all the money I made on records, but then the paper shop closed down.
This mate that bought the record by Destruction, was the first person that I knew I really wanted to kill. I used to lie in bed at night thinking and planning ways that I could do it. Of course I never did. I used to think it was just part of growing up and that by the time I got to 19 or something, I would be more interested in owning a car, than killing someone who had got an album by Destruction. I didn’t even like Destruction that much. They were my least favourite of the Kraut thrash metal bands. Even Tankard were better.
What I really hated back then was those, what they now call, ‘coming of age films’. You know, films like The Breakfast Club or Ferris Bueller’s Day Off. But the one I hated most was Pretty In Pink. The trouble is, I went and paid good money to go and watch Pretty In Pink at the local cinema. I went on my own just so that I could hate it and hate all of those that were watching it.
And that wanker so called mate of mine, who had bought the Destruction album was there watching it with ****** ****** from the year below. She lived in the next street to me. I had fancied her like mad since the junior school.
I could see him enjoying it with her, laughing at all the supposedly funny bits. And I just wanted to go over and smash his face in. Of course I didn’t. I just went home, played Spreading The Disease by Anthrax, at full volume. At the time I considered it to be the greatest album ever made. And I could play it as loud as I wanted ‘cause it was Friday night and my mum was out.
That night I made the perfect plan for killing C**t Features. I know I should not use the ‘C’ word, but that is what I called him back then to myself. That is when I was not calling him Head T**t, because he so much wanted to be the head boy of the school – he never was.
The next morning my mum got a phone call from the school secretary telling her that Head T**t and ****** ****** had been killed in a hit and run accident.
That was when I decided to never listen to another thrash metal album again.
I still got Sounds and I would still listen to music, but it was all the weird s**t that I got into. Stuff like Test Department and Psychic TV.
Then sometime in 1987 I read this interview with a band in Sounds. I had not heard of them before, so had no idea what they sounded like, but for some reason I decided they were going to be my all time favourite band. They were going to be the band that I was into and everyone else in my year at school would hate. The band that would never be heard on the soundtrack of a film like The Breakfast Club. Never get played on the lower sixth form common room record player.
I was seventeen and The Justified Ancients of Mu Mu were going to be the only band for me. They were mine.
That was thirty years ago. The maths is easy. I am now 47 years old. The hair has gone and I got fat.
As for coming of age, I don’t think it ever happened.
And as for mid-life crisis, it might be a bit overdue but I guess better late than never.
And here I am back in Liverpool. I am one of the 400 suckers that bought tickets to see whatever it is The Justified Ancients of Mu Mu are going to do, after they have been away for 23 years.
And in case you don’t know The Justified Ancients of Mu Mu are also called The JAMs for short and they made all those other records under different names. But basically they are always The JAMs. There is just two of them Jimmy Cauty and Bill Drummond.
Okay, I got a bit carried away a couple of paragraphs ago, I allowed a long held fantasy of mine to find its way onto the page. D**k Brain and ****** ****** never got killed in a hit and run accident. What happened was that there was a hit and run accident, and ****** ****** had her leg broken in three different places, where as B*****k Features was left totally unscathed.
What happened was that A**e Wipe dumped ****** ****** for her best friend. And at the end of term Christmas school disco, I got off with ****** ******. Her leg was still in plaster. She was still on crutches when I lost my virginity to her.
As for coming of age films, that is the story that John Hughes should have put up on the screen. But I don’t think Grantham was on his radar as a possible location for teenage angst and romance.
And anyway, after ****** ****** and I had been going out for about six weeks, she dumped me and started going out with Soft C**k again.
By the time we were in the second year of the sixth form, S**t Breath was into those crappy indie bands. The ones that did not know how to play and had floppy fringes. I loved the fact he hated The Justified Ancients of Mu Mu.
The thing is, if truth be told, I wasn’t bothered with actually listening to the records by The Justified Ancients of Mu Mu. For me it wasn’t the music, it was their vibe. The fact you could never guess what they were going to do next to piss people off, like that Doctor Who one they did with Gary Glitter – genius. And everybody in my year hated it. And back then we didn’t even know officially that Gary Glitter was a peado. In fact back home I was still listening the Anthrax and Megadeath.
Then they burnt the money. Or that is what they wanted all the suckers to think. I loved the way it pissed everybody off. I bet they stashed millions away in the Bahamas or somewhere. Fair play to them.
And I got a job and got married and had two kids and got divorced and moved back to Grantham to look after my mum. She died last year. And I bought a dog.
Then last month I heard via a FaceBook group that I pretend to be not in, that The JAMs were going to make a comeback. I had, a few drinks and I was online and before I knew it I had bought a ticket. It was going to be a three-day happening or something in Liverpool. I then booked an AirB&B.
And here I am in Liverpool.
Yesterday I got the ferry over to Wallasey to have a look at the house where I spent the first four years of my life. It had been knocked down and there were some flats there now.
Last night I went to the first main ‘happening’ called Why Did The K Foundation Burn A Million Quid? It was pretentious c**p. The whole money burning thing was not even pissing people off anymore. And it seemed like most of them believed they had done it. And when Jimmy and Bill from The JAMs actually turned up, the suckers just cheered them. I was hoping Jimmy and Bill would burn down the building or something. As for ageing, they have aged a lot worse than I have. But there is still something about them I like. Don’t know what it is.
Then afterwards I went to this place called Static that we were all invited to hang out at. It was there that I saw him. S**t Stains was there giving it the big ‘I am’. He didn’t recognise me. I guess the loss of hair and the gaining of weight has some advantages.
He was propping up the bar, telling a load of the others about how he had been into The JAMs since he bought their first single. I felt like going over and telling them all that he had never been into them, in fact he went straight from buying albums by A-ha to getting into Ride and The House of Love and those others in the floppy fringe brigade.
This morning we, the 400 suckers, all had to turn up at this bombed out church near the centre of Liverpool. It wasn’t the IRA but the Luftwaffe that had done it back in the war. Anyway Jimmy and Bill were ripping out pages from their book and handing them out to us all. We were told that they wanted us to be the Keepers of the page and they wanted us to all interpret ‘our’ page in some way. You know, creatively. Like we were still at junior school.
We were all supposed to find the other people who had pages in the same chapter and work together. I was lucky enough to get a blank page, there was not even a page number on it. It turns out my blank page was not part of any chapter. Thus I did not have to join in with any of the others and get ‘creative’.
I took myself off to a café down in Bold Street, which is not far from the Bombed Out Church. I started writing on my blank page. This is what I wrote:
The Lost Page
The Page with no number
Neither odd, nor even.
Crumpled up and thrown away.
Deformed, smashed, sent after my time.
And yes, I did crumple it up and throw it away. My next idea was that I was going to toss a coin. Heads, I would kill Jimmy. Tails, I would kill Bill. That would be my creative interpretation of the blank page that I had been handed to by The JAMs. But then I thought, that is probably what they would want, were hoping for, wondering why it had not happened yet. But what was the point? Mark Chapman had already done it with The Beatles.
It is now twelve hours later. As in twelve hours after I was contemplating tossing that coin. I am back in my AirB’n’B in a s**thole of area of Liverpool called Kensington. Yeah, nothing like the Kensington in London. I’ve had a few beers. Even got chatting with S**w Guts and he still didn’t clock who I was. It seems he became a graphic designer. Got his own business in Leicester. And lo and behold, he has a room in the same AirB’n’B that I am in. He has the room above me. I can hear him now. He has just got back. Pissed, no doubt.
Tonight I will fulfill my life long ambition. It will be the perfect crime. You, whoever you are reading this will never find me or track me down.
I will be gone crumpled up and thrown away.
The Lost Page – October 2017