I remember waking up on Christmas morning when I was 6 years old. I ran down the stairs like any child would and burst through the living room door to find all the presents that Santa could bring. I tore them open like a wolf. I opened up toys and clothes and games but for some reason I felt a little sad, something was missing. I didn’t feel like Santa brought me exactly what I wanted, or what I thought I wanted. I played with the toys and the games, I tried on the new clothes. We ate food, we watch the telly and my parents got slightly drunk, it turned into a typical Christmas day in my house. But I still wanted something else.
A few hours later we are sitting around the t.v, we had just finished watching one of the last episodes of Only Fools and Horses and my dad gets up and goes up stairs. I could hear him rummage and search through his cupboard, and I listen at the doos wondering what’s happening. “Don’t go upstairs, stay down here” my mum says while sipping on her tea and farting.
I go sit back down on the floor and then my dad comes walking down the stairs and back into the living room. He’s got something new in his hands, it’s another present. “It’s something Santa didn’t bring, so I had to get it for you” my dad says and he hands me the gift. I tore open the gift like nothing else, ripping and shredding it open like a dog with a newspaper or a letter. I just want to see what’s inside the wrapping paper. When I get it all off I see what it is, and it’s something that was missing, two VHS tapes of Status Quo greatest video hits and Roxy Music live. This is what I wanted, this is what was missing.
I don’t even look at my dad to say thanks I just run out of the living room and upstairs, almost falling over the step as I reach the top. I burst into my mum and dads bedroom and put the Status Quo tape into the player and press play and I jump on the bed and cross my legs with a huge smile on my face.
Then it starts, the first video being their hit Paper Plane and my eyes are now glued and my eyebrows sticking up. I can’t believe what i’m seeing, 4 long haired blokes playing guitars and drums, it’s like watching aliens land on stage in their space ship after traveling millions of miles through outer space and this is the way they speak to me when I meet them for the first time, this is their language. It’s rock and roll and blues and everything else that music can bring. I tap away on my knees drumming along to it as the next song comes on and it shows a huge stage covered in pink lights and flashing cameras from the from the huge crowd down bellow.
I watch all the way to the end, almost forgetting the Roxy Music tape. But I’m worn out now, the experience of this has knocked me virtually unconscious and all I want to do is lay back and fall sleep, these aliens from far away have taken me somewhere I never knew i would go to at the age of 6.
I go over to the player and press stop and take the tape out and putting it back into it’s case I glance over at the Roxy Music tape and I think i’ll watch it tomorrow instead. So I go bed and I fall straight sleep. I must have dreamt something wild that night, my mind was all over the place, it was tired but my mind loud at the same time. It couldn’t settle because of what I had gone through that night.
The next morning all I could think about was watching that video again. I didn’t care about the Roxy Music live video I just wanted to watch the Status Quo video. So I pick it up and I just look at the cover of the box and I just can’t stop thinking how amazing it is, how great they are. I run downstairs and nobody is awake, I kick all my new toys out the way and put the tape into the video player and press play. I run into the kitchen and grab two spoons from the draw and run back into the living room, my plan is to play drums on the arm chair. And the first video starts playing and I join in. I whack my spoons on the chair and I move my legs. I try so hard to keep in time and to keep with the rhythm of the song, but I cant, I cant keep up. The band is from out of space after all and the drummer does look like a long haired Octopus. But I manage to make it through the whole tape, i’m tired but It felt great to be able to play the drums on the arm chair.
My dad walks into the room, eyes a little glazed from the drinking he did the night before and I can hear my mum snoring still. “You watched the other one yet, the Roxy one” he says
“No, not yet, I like these”
“Well, watch it, you’ll like it”.
So I take the Status Quo tape out of the player and put the Roxy music one in. And It starts, the stage is lit with dark blue lights and the crowd bellow the stage are still and looking up and waiting for the band to take the stage and then Bryan Ferry walks onto the stage and starts to sing, but I don’t want to watch it, I just don’t think I can drum to this. “I’m gonna put the other one back on, I can drum to that one” I say to my dad. So I take it out and put Quo back in and I rewind it all the way to the start and watch and drum along to it all over again as my dad sits down and watches me play along with a cigarette in his mouth and a cup of tea on the floor next to him.
“Don’t forget we got the club disco today” he says.
“I don’t want to go, I want to stay here and play along to these instead”
“Well alright then, I’ll leave you here then to play with Quo”.