published: 9 /
In his 'Vinyl Stories' column, Dave Goodwin speaks to magician Roy Bond about his favourite vinyl records
This month's 'Vinyl Stories' comes from a chap whose client base is such that it has enabled him to perform in New Zealand, Hong Kong, Germany, Egypt, Ireland, France and, of course, Great Britain. He regularly performs at Centre Parcs, Jongleurs Comedy Club, bars and restaurants in the Midlands area and countless private parties, weddings, trade shows and corporate events. His client list is impressive with Rolls Royce, Mercedes Benz, the London Palladium, Greene King, Champions UK, Off Limits and many more all falling under his spell as word spreads about this award-winning performer. He has been awarded Close-up Magician of the Year twice and recently beat strong competition to win Card Magician of the Year. Combine all this with a polite, courteous demeanour, impeccable dress sense and a cheeky sense of humour ,and you have a world class entertainer. Not only is this chap all of the above, but he is also an old school friend of mine. This month we visit the vinyl passions of Roy Bond, magician extraordinaire.
Music for me is and has been the one true constant in my life. I was born in the rough streets of Hyson Green, Nottingham in 1966 and throughout my “less than idyllic “ upbringing, formative years, adulthood and now into middle age I have always found music has the power to change my mood, to motivate and inspire me, make me reflect, look to the future, bring about feelings of sadness and also euphoria. There is no drug I know of that can hit me like music and I guess that makes me a music addict...and I don’t want curing, thanks.
My choices are mostly tied in to events that are important to me, and I can say without exception that when I hear them I am instantly “there, in that place, at that time“ once again. I have an eclectic taste and an open mind, and if I like it I like it! I love the music of the likes of Tori Amos, Bjork, AC/DC, Hue and Cry, the Toy Dolls, U2, the Saw Doctors, America, Joe Walsh, the Beat, Billy Bragg, Yellowman, the Who, Tears for Fears, Squeeze, Shake Shake Go, Rage Against The Machine, the Police, Paul McCartney, the Beatles, the Eagles, Neil Young, Men at Work, Madness, Little Richard, Judie Tzuke, John Mellencamp, Jackson Browne, Ian Dury, Gentlemen of Few, Echo & The Bunnymen, David Gray, Creedence Clearwater Revival, Bruce Hornsby and the Range and even Chas 'n' Dave and the Grimethorpe Colliery Band.
But here are my most important musical pieces and why -
1. The Beatles - 'Golden Slumbers/Carry That Weight'
This is instant melancholy and longing for a time and a place I know I can never return to. The lyrics speak for themselves but this particular line does it for me - “Once there was a way to get back homeward/Once there was a way to get back home...Sleep pretty darling/Do not cry...And I will sing a lullaby ….“ Home (for me) is a council house in Aspley, Nottingham, and it is one of my earliest memories as a child when all my family were together.
The Beatles were always on the turntable, and I had my parents and aunts and uncles around me. The girls of the family were all into the Beatles and the blokes were all into the Stones. How weird is that? This catches me off guard sometimes.
2. John Lennon/Plastic Ono Band - 'Mother'
As an adult I came across this track when I was going through some old albums. I have to say that for me, again, the lyrics bring about a realisation of certain aspects of my childhood that, as a father myself, I could never put my son through. Again, it has the power to stop me in my tracks, and reflect about how I wish things could have been.
3.Sparks - 'Beat the Clock'
This was the first record I ever bought, and it was a 12". It was massively expensive for a 12". I played it back to back. It really stopped me in my tracks, this one. The less he did the more I found it fascinating. I remember watching Ron Mael on 'Top of The Pops'and thinking, “Jeez, this guy is weird!“ It turns out that I’ve become quite weird myself. Let's call it an early influence! I tend to buck trends quite readily. I think strange is good. Not when I was younger, but I do think that now. I do need to get a stranger beard though. I should go to Scandinavia because their beards are really weird.
4. The Police - 'Walking on the Moon'
I came a little bit late to the punk era that I would have loved to be part of, but at this time this came out in 1980 I was living in St Anne's and my influences were punk, ska and reggae. This was another 12" I bought. The Police were there at the right time, and seem to consolidate a lot of those beats into one place. I particularly remember the percussive talents of Stewart Copeland, and to this day I think he is one of the best drummers in the world. I remember you Dave bringing your copy to a school disco once, and I think you sold it for four and a half pence!
5. U2 - 'Bad'
U2 were the first band that I watched from their early days, signing for Island and onwards. This song is just beautiful. Bono’s voice has a power and purity to it and the track builds into an anthem that, if you're not careful, you’ll end up singing out loud in the middle of town on a Saturday with your headphones on!
6. Status Quo - 'Caroline'
When I was going through a bad time and had no real place to call home, my Uncle Brian took me in. No questions asked, He just opened his door and said, “Well, come and live here!” While I lived there, I got to know a lot of things about family life and how it should be. I also got to know that he liked Status Quo...A LOT ! and so I saved up what money I had, and bought him a discography of them in a metal case for Christmas back in 1982/83.
As I got older and had my own family, I realised just what he had done when he rescued his sister's son and so I bought 2 tickets to see “ The Quo” when they played at The Nottingham Concert Hall. It was a surprise for him and a thank you from me. His face was a picture when they came on to ‘Caroline’.
7. Squeeze - 'Tempted'.
Picture this...Late 80’s. Stale relationship. Imminent marriage (Six months and counting). I would go to my fiancée’s family gatherings and parties and more often than not my future wife’s sister-in-law’s sister would be there. If you're still with me, over time it was obvious to me that I was becoming fascinated by her. I’ll call her Sylvia because actually that’s her name!
It was also obvious to me that I wasn’t ready for marriage yet, and so I finished my relationship and within a few weeks I started seeing Sylvia. I had no doubts that I had to do it and that Sylvia was ‘The One’. They all said it wouldn’t last. They said that 25 years ago, and I still love her madly and I still find myself staring at her, and I still smack her arse when I walk in the door! That’s love, right?.
We would listen to this laying in bed and when the line “Tempted by the fruit of another...tempted but the truth is discovered“ played, we would just look at each other and smile...We still do...
8. Saw Doctors - 'Share the Darkness'
I first saw the Saw Doctors on 'Top of the Pops' in the 90’s singing ‘N17’ and loved them instantly. So much so that I bought tickets to see them in Wolverhampton at the Wolfrun Centre within a week. I had never heard of them before but they were, to me, like a logical progression of the Pogues. It's what I call drinking music. I’ve seen them numerous times (supporting the Pogues once at the Nottingham Ice Arena), and it's always bouncy, lively and always good craic! I went across to Ireland on a pilgrimage to the town they come from near the west coast called Tuam (pronounced Choom)to see all the places they sing about in their songs.
But in ‘Share the Darkness’ there is a verse that invokes a powerful memory and paints a very vivid picture of Tuam in my mind.“ When the world belongs to distant dogs and the air is dark and still/Drunken conversations pass beneath the windowsill/And there’s someone singing Elvis songs as they make their way back home/And all your fears and worries attack when your alone.“ I can see those dark streets if I close my eyes, and I remember hearing voices going home in the early hours when I stopped there that weekend. Magical.
9. The Eagles -'The Long Run'
I always said I would like to have seen two bands before I pop off this mortal coil - The Eagles and the Beatles, and until the early 90’s it looked like I wouldn’t see either. I have just been to see the Eagles at The LG Arena in Birmingham, and I have to say that they were worth the wait.
Despite my unfortunate childhood and all the pitfalls that were thrown in my way I took the good path (I could have gone down the bad path and quite easily blamed my upbringing like some people do, but that’s not my style). I never went on any holidays abroad growing up, and I always thought that Disneyland, Florida was the place to take your kids, so I took my wife and kids twice. On the second time, driving up International Drive on the last day, I had ten minutes left on my camcorder so I pressed record, put the camera on the dashboard facing the window and turned the radio on. Guess what was playing? It was the perfect end to a fantastic holiday.
10. AC/DC - 'Thunderstuck'
I didn’t ‘get’ AC/DC until the early 2000’s. I never really embraced rock music as I thought they were all ‘pretty boys’ with more lipstick than a girlie and tighter trousers than a very tight thing. So, I turned off my rock music receiver and carried on regardless.
I don’t know exactly how and when this track did what it did, but I found that it tuned me in to this dirty, gritty, steam train of a group and slowly but surely I found myself ‘Angus-ing‘ at every opportunity (in private of course!). I even went to see them on their last tour when they played the NEC in Birmingham and they left me speechless. So, if you want to smash your car up, shoot guns, shoot your car, drive your car really fast while shooting a gun at your car then look no further! Just don’t shoot your stereo!
708 Posted By: Roy Bond, Nottingham on 19 Jul 2014
Great article Mr G. Feeling very 'spesh' !.x