50 Tunes For 50 Years: Shannon

“I heard zips, I heard zips!” the immortal words my mother screamed one night back in 1984 as this misfit made the first mistake of her teenage life. Not the snog session under the coats piled up in my bedroom, there would be plenty of time to sort that mistaken sexual identity later, but throwing a teenage birthday party. End of. What was I thinking? Well, this 14-year-old from class 3TS obviously wasn’t, desperate for popularity my kind of kid from my walk of life was never going to achieve. But it did make me infamous, grounded for months, piss ripped for weeks, because of the party that caused a scene. A scene soundtracked by a birthday gift of Shannon’s ‘Let The Music Play’. A scene I still today play in my head to the whipping 808 beats of a 12” I’ll always cherish.
Hard liquor when we were supposed to play soft, dodgy outfits and the biggest of 80s hair, each coming together to create a headache for my mum who on returning to the party night found scotch drinking teenagers passing out all over her house and smooch obsessed snoggers in my bedroom. The first action either my bunk beds or me had ever seen, the arrival of my zip-hearing mother was not a sight I shall never forget. Hell hath no fury more than a so-called liberated 80s mother suddenly discovering her red line. A red line I had crossed, although throughout that snatched snog with Kev I was wishing it was being crossed with the girl next door. Literally.

So now when Shannon’s music plays I always hear zips. Zips I actually never got to undoing, I mean how could with that parental reaction a definite, but zips I’m glad my fellow fumbling friends for the night enjoyed. Zips one day I’d also get to furtively fiddle with. As for the lessons I learnt from my party-throwing mistake? First, thirty turfed out drunken teenagers and Frinton’s beach huts don’t mix and can end up as headlines in the local gazette. And second, don’t attempt a fumble in your Ma’s house. It’s like DJing but with a pair of Fisher Price record players. Doable but…

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