In 1986, I was lent a cassette by my friend Laura. She in turn had borrowed it from her brother. That cassette was Black Celebration by Depeche Mode, and although it had a very profound effect on the teenage me, it’s not very jolly, therefore I can’t use it to pick out a Much Love Monday song for fear I’ll send you into an epic depression. Instead, I’m going for the much more lively New Life to get you in the mood for the week.
Firstly, Much Love to Laura. I lost touch with her when we left university and I am very, very sad about that. We wrote epic letters and I’m pretty sure we invented smileys. I had lots of other friends, but she was THE coolest and THE most confident in her skin, I’m sure of it. Plus, she had fierce curly hair. The last time I saw her was when she was back from Oxford for the summer and we met up in the Salisbury pub. That’s the problem with changing addresses so frequently. I never thought I would be grateful for Facebook for bringing my friends all back to me. Before that, it was Friends Reunited, which returned a good few my way. But, when you have a friend that you know would eschew the whole social media thing, it means they’re a lot harder to find. Still, Much Love to those friends in life who’ve brought me something that is still with me 27 years later.
Second, Much Love to bands you get to grow up with. I saw Depeche Mode on Letterman and they’ve still got it. Sure, they’ve not done anything epic since Personal Jesus, but such is life. I had the most intense love for Dave Gahan and it’s always good when your epic crushes of early life don’t end up having a nervous breakdown. Sure, DG nearly died several times over in his heroin-abusing days, but he is still pretty hot. I still would.
Other crushes did not end so well. Adam Ant? Well, not so much. He’s a bit crazy and weird-looking these days. George Michael? Lovely as I’m sure he is, he’s turning into a gay parody of himself as each year passes. Bono just turned all chugger and lost any sex appeal he had.
I had a poster I ripped out of Jackie magazine and I stuck it on my wall. It was soon joined by posters of Echo and The Bunnymen and The Smiths. Ironically, it took me one Google search to find it…
I think Dave Gahan was largely responsible for why I developed the hugest crush on a boy named Daniel. As many of the lads at our school did, Daniel was part of the CCF, or Combined Cadet Forces, and on Friday they got to wear their army gear. Daniel in camouflage pants and huge army boots, with his Sun-In fringe and dark Croatian eyes – ah. First loves rock. I confess, Mr Daniel did not age as well as Mr Dave Gahan, heroin aside. I seem to recall always liking the strange boys – the ones you were most unlikely to develop a crush on. My love for Daniel lasted two whole years, which is practically a lifetime for anyone who is a teenager. I still have stuff he gave me. That’s how much he meant to me.
Of course, time passes and if you are lucky, your teen sweethearts grow old with you. I ♥ all those people who have been together since their teens. They make me very happy because we all like to believe in soul mates and true loves. All teenagers should be told that your first love just MIGHT be the person you grow old with. And then they should be told that by the time you are forty, your first love MIGHT have paled in comparison to all the other loves you’ve had. It’s good to know there are some true love stories out there that have been going on since high school. It restores my faith in love!
I was a fickle girl, it must be said. There was a new boy’s name adorning my folder virtually every Monday morning.
Anyway, here’s to bands who grow old relatively gracefully and who don’t turn out to be a guilty secret in your adult life. Here’s to first loves. Here’s to Dave Gahan. Here’s to Martin Gore (btw, anyone back in the day would have put money on him being queer and he’s so straight as a die…) Here’s to Alan Wilder and Andy Fletcher. And here’s to sensitive boys singing about their hearts to a synthesiser beat.