This was the first issue of “Boy`s Own” that I actually saw. A workmate (Christian, where are you now?) borrowed it from his older brother, who I would later bump into pretty regularly at The Yellow Book (Hi Adam). Once photocopied and pawed over its impact on me was huge. Dave Little`s iconic “Boy & Dog With Shiners” cover, Farley and Weatherall as mushroom squatting pixies, and everything written as if out of breath. Inspired, I put together my own fanzine, with a circulation of about 10, which over the years has evolved from a clubland / misadventure diary, to stapled sheets of poems, prose and stolen art, into what I do now. And as for the charts, absolutely everything had to be found.
To be honest, the majority of the tracks included in part 1 of this compilation I only ever heard in warm-ups. Most of music I associate with Echoes in Bow. We`d get there at 9, when the doors opened, and lurk in the corners of the empty club. Eventually skipping around to “An Englishman In New York” or making spectacles of ourselves, solitary dancers on a still brightly lit floor, to the Sherwood mix of The Woodentops “Why”.
A lot of the releases listed were new and on British labels, and so could be picked up fairly easily IF you knew what you were looking for. I could usually find promos in Croydon`s 101. Piano Fantasia and Red Box were not new, but both got reissues (though not before Brother Johnston had made some extra pocket money trading in “Heart Of The Sun” 12s). The imports, dodgy Italian covers of what, even by 1989, were Balearic classics (I have to confess I do own a copy of “Sexy Lullaby”, despite several attempts at giving it away – time constraints have prevented if from being included here), and limited runs, like Fluke`s “Thumper” I would buy from Oscar in Trax.
The Edie Brickel bootleg I bought from under the counter, downstairs in Blackmarket, to much joy on my part, after hearing Weatherall play it at Steve Bicknell`s “Kazoo”, a party advertised in the fanzine and held in a basement under Praed Street. The DJ at one end and a crate of Red Stripe at the other. The night I went it was populated by some of the smarter / more dangerous chaps that I`d met in Catford and Downham. There was also a small group of people dressed in crushed velvet.
Electra`s “Autumn Love” has me back at a Land Of Oz all-dayer, most of which I spent unable to move and listening to Dr Paterson, though I did bump into a few former breakdance and graffiti contemporaries before I rendered myself immobile. Ruth Joy is Johnny “The Fox” Warren. The Inner City is for Miss Scott, Croydon`s Kylie, even though I know she`d be dreaming of Loz.
Tim, the Kirk Brandon look-a-like DJ at Croydon`s Underground and ON-U expert at H. R. Cloaks, had already sold me the “End Of The Century Party” LP, but Gary Clail`s “Beef”, its remix and the remix of the remix (canny chap that Oakenfold) belongs to the aforementioned Yellow Book, in Covent Garden. Nights spent dressed up in Michiko-Koshino, Paul Smith, Christopher New (Tarten trews), and John Richmond, sharing a dancefloor and urinals with Primal Scream, Jack Barron and nosed-up boys from Bexleyheath.
I know it`s not OK to like Sting any more, but his lines taken from a conversation with naked civil servant Quentin Crisp still resonate, despite the apparent contradiction in a piece written about slavishly following the words and tastes of others.
“Be yourself no matter what they say”.
“Boy`s Own. The Complete Fanzines 1986-92” is published by DJhistory.com and can be purchased directly here.