I was there mate, at the Gladstone, 1982
It was better than anything you ever saw,
and most things you’ve gone on to do.
I can tell you that right now. For free.
We were up front and the microphone
hit me in the face and when I tasted
the sweat of the singer it went down like
the coldest beer, a cup of actual freedom.
Another four hours and I’d be starting
my shift. But who gives an actual shit
when you’re there in that world – with that
music (the best) and maybe your girl, or
you’d give it a go – that’s for fucking sure.
And so what that you’ve seen all the best bands –
I saw most of them first and some of the ones
you reckon are great are shit now mate. But I
saw them when they had potential. Yeah, that’s
what it was. Potential. I started off with almost
nothing, you know. And I like to think I’ve got
most of it left. And I’m building up
a library of all the things I’ve seen and done.
And that is my victory. And you shouldn’t
take people’s victories from them. You can
be any sort of cunt you like – but don’t
take away the gigs that I earned and
the things I learned from getting in early on
both the gate and the drink. Your generation
is the one that takes everything for granted,
whereas we were the last to feel like
we actually worked hard.
Two kinds of people mate – two kinds:
hard workers, and those hardly working at all.
And no one worked harder than the guy up front
at the Gladstone in 1982. In the centre of it all,
up against the barrier – in more ways than one.
A front man – of sorts. Waiting in the reserves.
Every word on his lips, tongue ready to sub in –
every song in his heart, every truth he ever knew
was right there on that day. And you’re gonna be
the one to try to take it away? Nah, get fucked mate.
You had to be there. And you weren’t. You never
were – but I was there man. I was bloody there.
Gladstone. 1982. And some nights I’m still there.
And that’s always gonna be your problem eh.
And it’s just the difference between us.