25th October 1971, my maternal grandmother dies, a few days later we all go to the funeral and we end up back at the house of our cousin’s and the cousin who is now famous and appears regularly in those “celebrity” womens magazines, or at least as regularly as he can blag his way into them by making up outrageous stories about him and his more famous wife, that cousin, well we all go up to their bedroom and he plays a brand new LP that he has just purchased.
NOTE: the term LP ?
Unknown to younger readers the term “LP” relates to the thing that you will now know as a “vinyl” record, its how we used to buy music , you’d have to save up your pocket money (no credit cards), and get on a bus into town where you’d go to this thing called a “record shop” to spend all afternoon idly flipping through stacks and stacks of what you now call “vinyl” but we called “LP’s”, it stands for “Long Player” in that it plays for a long time, or at least longer than the vinyl single, “single” being a word that you will be familiar with.
Anyway, the now famous cousin puts on his record deck “Every Picture Tells A Story”, the new LP by the newly emerging talent known as Rod Stewart, its #1 in the LP charts at that time and the single “Maggie May” is also #1 in the singles charts, which was a big deal in 1971 as you had to sell about half a billion records to get to #1 rather than just three as you do now.
So I like the LP, I like the artist, I go and buy the LP and I buy his back catalogue and I continue buying his output until he buggers off to America circa 1980 and joins the LA disco crowd and becomes a shite singer, but it all started there, my liking of Mr Stewarts recorded output, it all started there in my now famous cousin’s bedroom, on the day of our grandmothers funeral.
So yesterday I’m out in the car and on the radio appears the song “Maggie May” sung by Mr Stewart and I turn the volume up and enjoy for its a song that doesn’t get played on the radio at all these days unless you count those awful “Lets play the whole chart from a random year in history” shows usually presented by a long dead DJ who you never liked anyway, not even in the random year of choice.
And I’m humming along to the radio and I’m thinking of that day when I first heard the album “Every Picture Tells A Story”, sitting on the edge of the bed in my cousins bedroom after our grandma’s funeral, not really that interested in the funeral proceedings downstairs but enthralled by the LP despite everyone from downstairs shouting up the stairs to “turn that bloody music off”.
And then I suddenly realise that the funeral was around this time of year and I do some more hard thinking from the museum of recollections and I recall that somewhere on this blog a few years ago I made a trip to the cemetery to where my grandmother is buried and using the brain satnav feature in the museum of recollections I actually recounted our steps to the very graveside, and then in a blinding flash the date of my grandmothers death came to me as I was driving along the lonely M18 yesterday morning, 25th October 1971.
And even spookier, when the record came on the radio it would be around the time of her funeral, about 10am, 25th October 1971, exactly 40 years to almost the exact minute.
Coincidence or not ?