Richard Parsons

Part 44 – Given Circumstances

9 October 2018

September 1981.

‘So. Inspection.’ The Big Cheese’s addressing the staff at the beginning of my fifth new academic year. In full swing.  

My own relationship with him has gradually morphed from outright fear to grudging respect. In turn, he even occasionally tries to share a joke with me nowadays as if somehow, I too have morphed from dangerous deranged specimen teaching an irrelevant subject to a young radical bringing in valuable and valued new pupils…

Part 43 – Given Circumstances

3 October 2018

The silence between Cher and I thickens; just the piped music insinuating.

“…sometimes I don’t know what I will find…” 

This is moving things on. Clive could be in here. Consenting adults. Like with the Femme Fatale. Is that what I want? Is that what Cher wants? Or will it just complicate things? Make things awkward after.

And then something clicks…

Daydream In Blue – I Monster

3 October 2018

This is one of those electronica songs I first heard quite by chance on a late-night radio show back in 2001…and was thoroughly annoyed that the DJ failed to give me a name check of either the track or the artist! Ah!!! Now what? How to find it?…

Part 42 – Given Circumstances

26 September 2018

I’ve lazed the early weeks of summer holiday 1981 away. Bit of cricket. Bit of social. Lot of thinking. Bought a copy of “Face Value” by Phil Collins which is welded to my turntable.

To my surprise, on the morning of summer school starting, I’m awake early, a stirring in my guts. Why?…

Finest Hour – Submotion Orchestra

26 September 2018

My second submission, after “Red Dress”, by this Leeds based band featuring the dulcet tones of Ruby Wood, and the lush pseudo-orchestration led by the trumpet of Tommy Evans. This is a seven minute build of electronica/jazz which pretty much sums up the musical style you can expect from each of their four albums…

Chariots – TransGlobal Underground

19 September 2018

Can their album “Psychic Karaoke” really be over twenty years old now? Released in 1996, I heard “Chariots” up first and was absolutely hooked by the depth of sound, the subcontinental/Arabian voice of Natacha Atlas (!) and the changes of rhythm and sounds. The super duper highway indeed!…

Part 41 – Given Circumstances

17 September 2018

Summer term. 1981.

I’m in my study listening to Pat Metheny on the cassette player, holding a letter from The Big Cheese, countersigned by the Bursar confirming a rise in salary next year. “In recognition of your contribution to drama at Fitzrovia.”

It’s warm June sunshine outside with the aroma of fresh mown grass through the open window; a presage to cricket nets in half an hour. At the sound of footsteps in the corridor I thrust the letter into my pocket…

People Make The World Go Round – The Stylistics

11 September 2018

In the early 70’s the sound of Philadelphia was all the rage and along with bands like the O’Jays, The Stylistics were at the forefront. They had a sugary sound that didn’t always appeal to me – songs like “Betcha By Golly Wow” for instance – but I absolutely LOVE this song – this full length version’s great!…

Part 40 – Given Circumstances

11 September 2018

Just before Christmas, “Bouncers” takes place.

‘Ticket sales are picking up,’ says Hovis Hair a few days before performance. ‘A slow burner.’ She purses her lips. ‘A friend tells me it’s quite violent. Bad language.’

‘It’s meant to be a comedy,’ I venture. ‘There’s an edge to it, but essentially it should be funny.’ 

She frowns. ‘My husband and I are coming on the Saturday. Is it suitable for children?’

‘I’d exercise some caution. Teenagers, fine. Younger than that probably not.’…

Part 39 – Given Circumstances

5 September 2018

“…innocence raped with napalm fire, twenty first century schizoid man…”

Next morning I’m in my study, still assimilating how I really feel about the previous evening with Miss Dazzle, when there’s a knock on the door. ‘Come in.’

It’s Fizz; flushed in the face; looks as if she might have been crying. Red eyed. Puffy. She should be in school uniform, ready for Sunday chapel, but isn’t.

What’s going on? I turn down King Crimson…