The spring evenings were getting longer and people had started to venture out again. On this particular Thursday evening it was my neighbours turn to do some venturing, and so I was babysitting at their house across the road from where I lived with my Mother.
There wasn’t much to do, their toddler was a good and sound sleeper, and I’d already been upstairs at least twice to check that he was still there and still asleep, and so I had settled into surfing the 4 television channels that were available in 1984. I'd just watched TOTPs, where I’d seen the bright orange, and slightly sweaty face of Gary Davies introducing, among others, Lionel Ritchie, Special aka and Nik Kershaw - after that I was ready to give up altogether. Pop music was now over, it was official, TOTPs had virtually announced it, and then just as the final tune was adding insult to injury, and the credits rolled (as if on Pop Music itself) the doorbell rang. It was my friend John, who had called round to see me and my mother had simply redirected him over the road, I could still see her waving at me as I answered the door. To be honest I was pleased to have some company. John used to hang out with my friend Mark, and was one of better dressed Saturday punks in Windsor, which is how I met him. As he came into the house he was clutching that weeks edition of Sounds the music paper and he told me that he had been browsing the musicians wanted ads in the back because, having just missed TOTPs and not knowing that it was all over as I did, he’d decided that he wanted to join another band.
He showed me the ads and asked me what I thought of the ones he had highlighted. They all looked the same to me, but as a way of joining in and making conversation I spotted one that he hadn’t circled despite it looking like all the others he HAD circled. I leant over and pointed it out to him, it read something like “others for essential, crucial sound. Wasted Youth, Danse Society.… call Wendy” - he made a slightly uncertain high pitched “Hmmm” noise, indicating I think, that he was prepared to pass on it but then he circled it anyway. John stayed for some instant coffee served in one of the neighbour's Harvest Mouse motif mugs before watching the end of Brookside and deciding that he should probably head home.
The following week when I ran into him in Windsor, he told me that he had called the number from what he was now calling “your ad” and that he was going to meet the “guitar and keyboards” involved on Tuesday. They lived in Willesden Green, and did I want to come with him? No, not really. I didn’t want to be in a band with John, I was already in a sort of band with my friend Martin, or at least we talked about it a lot, ideally I would have been the fourth member of Dolly Mixture or be signed to Cherry Red by now, (and with a bit of luck Martin would have joined Soft Cell). John mentioned that after the meeting we could then go into Camden or Kensington Market or somewhere, plus he was taking the car so it would be easy. Admittedly, I was slightly intrigued that the name on the ad was that of a girl, that was really the main selling point as far as I was concerned. Ok I was curious but as the ad hadn’t mentioned bands that I liked, apart from The Doors, I thought no more about it. Plus it sounded like they already had a “guitar” and I certainly wasn’t going back to the Casio.