Years ago, my local TV station up in Aberdeen, Grampian TV used to show videos between their programs in the afternoon. Quite radical for the time so it was, particularly from a regional broadcaster. I’d never even heard of MTV at this stage (even though it had been around since 1981), so to hear music, let alone see an actual video was something else.

You’d tune in every afternoon after school (before Grange Hill) to see what they’d play. It’s been a while, but I remember being introduced to Madness (“House of Fun”) and impossible dreams of romance on Caribbean beaches by Eddie Grant (“I Don’t Want To Dance”).

They’d have played hundreds of songs I’m sure, but one in particular caught my attention. This one.

I don’t recall when I first heard it. It must have been somewhere around July 1983. Thatcher had just gotten re-elected, the first episode of Blackadder had just been shown and I was about to go into my second year at Hazlehead Academy. But I do recall that when I heard it I stopped whatever it was I was doing and I listened.

I listened and I watched. So entranced was I with the song that I never quite caught the name of the song or the artist.

In the days before YouTube and Soundhound on your smartphone there was no alternative other than to sit in front of the telly every afternoon waiting for the commercial breaks between episodes of Country Doctor and re-runs of Columbo hoping that “The First Picture of You” would come on so I could get my fix of not only the song, but also the rather delightful young lady in the video.

Having finally remembered to keep a pencil and a piece of paper to hand to write down the name of the song and the artist, I rushed out to our local record shop - One Up which was then still on Union Street in Aberdeen - to get hold of a copy. I ended up buying the picture disc version which I cherished and looked after, the disc itself being a work of art, in a sort of easily-impressed-13-year-old kind of way.

This was pretty much their only hit, everything else that followed not even coming close to repeating the highs of this song. Their final single “Hurt” reached number 5 in the Italian charts, by which time the band had been dropped by their label Arista before eventually splitting somewhere around 1985.

Of course, they didn’t know any of this back then. Back then, Peter Coyle, Jem Kelly, Ged Quinn, John Hendry and Phil Lucking believed this song would lead them to bigger and better, fame and fortune beyond their wildest dreams.

I still have the single somewhere, in a drawer, in a box. I can’t play it anymore, the record player long having disappeared into the nearest charity shop. But now we have the internet I can play this song whenever I want. Time may dull the memory, but the song remains the same. A fabulous slice of summer pop.

Subbuteo

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The demise of Shoot! magazine marks the end of another piece of football paraphernalia with which I grew up, and which helped me keep up-to-date with the game in an era before the Internet, satellite television and YouTube. It´s hard to believe, but once upon a time, people like me had to rely on Saint & Greavesy for all our football news.

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