Jeff Wayne, Jeff Wayne’s Musical Version of The War of The Worlds (1978)
Matamata, NZ; early 1990s – pre Hobbiton – New Year’s Eve. We go for a walk – three of us, we’re about 15 years old – and we are wondering what sort of minor mischief we can get up to. We’re allowed out, we’re housesitting at my mate’s place. His folks are away. We have been left with just a few cans of beer and so we “torpy” them for maximum impact – we cut a hole in the side with a car key and plunge each can up to our mouths and tear the tab. We suck hard. (Perhaps in more ways than one). We wander the street after three can each. We have a very nice, very light buzz. We see a bambina parked by a house. We lift it up onto the footpath. And then onto the front lawn of someone’s house. We think this is hilarious. We run back to the house where we’re staying. A few minutes later we hear a police siren. We turn the lights off and hide behind the couches. We wait for 20 minutes. Giggling. Worrying. Then laughing much louder. One of the guys gets this album out, his dad’s copy. And we sit and listen to it. Lights off. Passing a sherry bottle back and forth and between us. You want to talk about rites of passage? Jeff Wayne was a hero to me after that night. So much so I even bought his lame attempt at a sequel-of-sorts, Jeff Wayne’s Musical Version of Spartacus. I kept that (on CD) for a few years, can’t have listened to it right through more than three times. I’ve also never been back to Matamata, by the way. But I’m prepared to give this record a chance. Once again.
Sample Track: The Eve of The War
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