I wanna rock and roll all night…

Today’s Monday Caffeine-and-Thunderbolt blast of happy energy comes to you via Kiss with Rock and Roll All Night

The first time I really got into Kiss was about 1990 – I was a late arrival.

I was seeing a boy named Si from Crewe who gave me a mix tape with a whole load of songs on it.

I miss mix tapes and I think this is why I like playlists. I’ve got an MTV generation attention span. I listened to that mix tape until the tape was thin and worn. It had lots of great songs on it – a few Kiss classics, some Motorhead, some Rolling Stones.

Admittedly, Si was also something of a catch. It wasn’t just about the mix tapes! I’d met him at a Michael Monroe gig – I’m convinced it was February 15th 1990 but I could be wrong. It was at the International II which was a tiny little dive of a venue on Plymouth Grove in Manchester. I saw all kinds of great bands there before they got too big to be good. Motley Crue, Guns and Roses, Ratt, Love/Hate, Faith No More… I guess it could hold about 500 people – maybe a thousand at a push. It was about as cosy as you can get before you take a step up into arena-sized venues. There were no seats. I’m pretty sure there wasn’t very much there at all, apart from a room. If you wanted to get on the stage, very little stopped you.We used to walk back up Plymouth Grove to Piccadilly Gardens to get our bus afterwards – let’s just say Longsight isn’t the most glamorous of places.

I can even remember what I was wearing that night. I’d gone for a neon-pink lace tights ensemble that probably made me look like my legs had succumbed to some circulatory disease. I was also wearing a t-shirt I’d torn up and sewed back together with ribbon. I was classy like that. I’d also bought this skirt with D shaped eyes up the sides which was threaded with laces. It had a zip up the back. Just as all teenagers do, I thought I was fat, but that skirt is a size 8 (yes, I still have it) and I obviously wasn’t as big a pudding as I thought I was! That’s a US size 4, I think. Not super-skinny, but skinny enough!

I’d gone with my friend Pam, I think. I don’t really know why. I don’t think she liked Michael Monroe over much. In those days, I used to buy two tickets and take whoever wanted to come along. Si and I had the ‘eyes across a crowded room’ moment, spent the night either kissing or singing and he came up to see me at the weekend.

He was the first guy I’d gone out with who had a car of his own – and what a car. It was a 2.0 Litre blue C reg Ford Capri and we’d go out for drives on Sundays. He worked on the design team for Rolls Royce. At the time, that didn’t impress me, but I should have been a bit impressed in retrospect. In the days before texts and emails, we wrote to each other twice a week in between, despite spending hours on the phone as well.  In fact, when I went on an exchange to Le Mans for three weeks, he wrote to me there too. I’ve still got those letters. There’s something about a letter that an email and a string of texts will never have, and there’s nothing like teenage love. Mind you, I was 17 by then and I’m pretty sure he was in his early twenties.

By June, he decided he wasn’t going to come up any more. I interfered with his Sunday fishing trips. That’s not the first time I’ve been dumped for a fishing trip and Steve owes me a boyfriend too because he was also responsible for encouraging a boy to go fishing rather than go out with me. Anyway, I cried all night and only Henny made me feel better. He’s always been a great shoulder to cry on.

This is me and Henny back in the days of yore.

I don’t know why I’m doing big starey eyes here. I hated having my photo taken though. Why have I no lips, and when on earth did I bleach my hair?

I don’t remember these things.

It’s a shame I had so few pictures taken because I remember so little at times it’s always good to have photos to prompt it. I’m wearing a Cannes Film Festival 1990 t-shirt. 22 years ago. Wow. How did I get so old?! I’ve more life between me and that time than I had in me in those days!

So, here’s Much Love to: ♥ Ford Capris ♥ Boyfriends with cars ♥ Michael Monroe ♥ Kiss ♥ Spending Sunday afternoons kissing ♥ The fact that my teenage years didn’t end up on Facebook before I got home quick enough to edit out any pictures of me with a) alcohol or b) cigarettes or c) kissing boys at gigs before my family saw them ♥ Cigarette bans in public places. Those old pubs smelled evil. ♥ Mix tapes ♥ Henny, who always looked after everyone and still does. No matter how much time passes, I know I could rely on him. And I’m not the only one. He has a heart of gold. ♥ Andy Mundy – the hairball next to me. He didn’t like pictures either. I have lots of pictures of his glorious hair. ♥ The summer of 1990, when everything was uncomplicated and my biggest worry was how I was going to get to Donington Monsters of Rock. The answer was in an old ambulance taxi thing that broke down after about 20 miles. We were towed there by the RAC and towed back by the AA.

Happy days.

I think these days seem so far away now that they seem but a dream within a dream, so here’s Edgar Allan Poe with my Monday poem for you

A Dream Within A Dream

Take this kiss upon the brow!
And, in parting from you now,
Thus much let me avow-
You are not wrong, who deem
That my days have been a dream;
Yet if hope has flown away
In a night, or in a day,
In a vision, or in none,
Is it therefore the less gone?
All that we see or seem
Is but a dream within a dream.
I stand amid the roar
Of a surf-tormented shore,
And I hold within my hand
Grains of the golden sand-
How few! yet how they creep
Through my fingers to the deep,
While I weep- while I weep!
O God! can I not grasp
Them with a tighter clasp?
O God! can I not save
One from the pitiless wave?
Is all that we see or seem
But a dream within a dream?
Edgar Allan Poe

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