Bobs 40th birthday bash
I reached the ripe old age of 40 in November 2004. Nothing clever about that I thought so rather than celebrate not dying before my 4th decade started, I thought Id like to celebrate something a bit more personal, a REAL achievement!
The first gig I ever went to was to see the Stranglers at Manchester Apollo in 1979. I loved that band! From the first day my brother Ste brought Rattus Norvegicus into the house and I heard that first burst of synth twiddle from Dave Greenfield and JJ Burnels driving bassI was hooked.
I used to wait for a bus to school with a bunch of others on the steps of the Windmill night club in Swinton & one day, just before my 15th birthday, one of the lads says Do you know anyone who wants a Stranglers ticket for next week?. Oh My God! A Sign!! My folks were enlightened enough to allow me to go (and drive me the 20 mile round trip from Little Hulton to Ardwick.thanks folks xx).
Without doubt THE most exciting/pivotal night of my life. I may have been on my own and in row T in the rear circle (only one row from the very back of the place) BUT the thrill when then walked on. They were there. Hugh, JJ, Dave and Jet this band that meant so much to me..it seemed to last five minutes before they were off and I was shouting myself hoarse for an encore (which WAS 5 minutes if I remember correctly). I saw JJ on a rerun TV Documentary about Concorde this morning hes still cool as fuck but back then wow!
Anyhow, realising that it was the 25th anniversary of my first ever gig, I decided to celebrate that instead, by putting a gig on of my own. I asked people to submit a photo of themselves with their favourite LP and made a powerpoint presentation of them that ran throughout the evening (thanks to the baby hippo). I also asked for peoples top tens and got about 30 CDs worth great fun to listen to in the car.
I invited some famous people thinking If you dont ask.. and of course none of them came, but two did reply. David Gedge sent me this postcard
The other one, who phoned me up to say he couldnt make it, was John Peel. Im going to be in Peru, on holiday and doing a bit of work. It was in Peru the week before the party that he died which gave the whole event a tinge of sadness.
Various friends played live music – Thank you Martin and Gail, Carlos, Simon and Andy and Ramon, North South Divide and Lee sang me a Bic Runga tune with Carl accompanying. There was a disco by yours truly in-between and the Blondie tribute band Atomic from Leeds played a blistering set to a very receptive crowd. A great night was had by all.
There are some photos of the evening here