As they get older, those of a glass half-empty persuasion probably look back at their teenage years and early twenties as the best of their life with everything after being a downward slope. I’m not one of those people. Yet neither am I one of those who rather too eagerly proclaim that their current age is their finest time. I’m more of a ‘pretty content at whatever age I am’ sort of person. Of course in your teens and early twenties there can be many potentially life changing moments and decisions, but there are also moments where life is pretty average, even monotonous.
A lot of my monotonous moments as a teenager were spent playing computer games with friends (something which thankfully I quickly grew out of once work, girls and being able to afford to do things that cost money took over) and listening to music (which I never grew out of). School holidays were often spent crashed out on the sofa round friend’s houses tackling the latest Commodore 64, ZX Spectrum or Atari 2600 game and watching Aztec Camera, Frankie Goes To Hollywood or Dexy’s Midnight Runners on Newcastle based Channel 4 music show The Tube, making laddish ‘phwoar’ noises at Madonna’s Like A Virgin Video on MTV (like pretty much every impressionable young man in the country at the time) and in later years laughing at the stuttering electronically sampled Max Headroom show. Every household now had a video recorder (we were always a VHS and never a Betamax family – my dad got it right first time round) which meant that I could record my favourite pop music videos and watch them over and over, analysing and dissecting them.
This was how I spent much of my wasted youth. It wasn’t incredibly exciting, but I was happy doing this. It’s those times of doing all the average, normal, pretty mundane things that we tend to forget, in the same way that sometimes high charting pop songs that seemed dear to us then are also lost in the memory without constant media reminders of what a ‘classic’ song it was. Love and Pride by King is one of those songs. I first heard it through one of those TV sofa moments, which in hindsight was a little ironic given that frontman Paul King went on to be a ‘VJ’ presenter on MTV after the bands short two album lifespan closed. The group, who originally were called The Raw Screens and described themselves as ‘multi-tone’ were probably as well known at the time for Paul King’s cockatoo haircut and, more importantly for me, his Doctor Marten boots as they were their tunes.
If Love & Pride influenced my musical taste in a anyway I’m not so sure, although when I hear King yelp “That’s what my heart yearns for now,” and that funky slap bass and goofy 80’s synth sound kick in it still does something to me insside. However its bigger influence has been the fashion, because 26 years on I’m still sporting DM boots. In fact you’ll very rarely see me out of them. That was at least partly down to this song and this video.