It's summer 1981. Charles and Diana have just returned from their honeymoon, and Jeremy and I have been given the keys to the holiday flat in Milford-on-Sea, without adult supervision. We're too young to drive, but we have our bikes to get around. The first night is the disco at the tennis club. Bizarrely, Jeremy thinks he spots a girl he recognises from back home in Sussex, a girl he knows via our headmaster's daughter. Trying out the old Haven't we met before? chat-up line, it turns out that, yes, not only is this the girl, but the headmaster's daughter is coming to stay tomorrow — and they're staying in a house not more than 150 yards from our flat.
We took them out on a double date to The Gun, and had a great time. All casually illegal, but we were only on bikes, and it didn't matter that we were unfit to ride them, since the girls — who were convinced that Babycham must be "really strong" — needed walking home.
After that we spent what seemed like many evenings round at their house. But we were only there a week, so it was probably two. They only had two records there. One was Peter Skellern. Jeremy was quite into that, via his parents, but got outvoted by the rest of us. So we listened to the other one, Flesh + Blood, over and over and over. And that is my first and defining memory of Roxy Music.
When we went out for a nighttime walk along the cliffs and down to the beach, we were accosted by Richard Stilgoe's dad. He lived next door to them, and apparently spent much time loitering on the pavement because he was lonely and fancied a chat.
Somehow, over those evenings, songs like Oh Yeah and Over You, and even the cover versions Eight Miles High and The Midnight Hour (I'd never heard the originals) worked their way under my skin. I bought this record a few years later. I guess I was trying to recapture that feeling of being just 16 — when I was 20.
I often think of the evening of Charles and Diana's wedding, 29 July 1981, as the time my life touched bottom. There was a moment, after we came back up from the beach that evening, when I was overwhelmed again. But things were getting better already, and I've never stopped liking this album, despite it's being possibly their least original.
MusicBrainz entry for this album
Wikipedia entry for this album
Rate Your Music entry for this album
Some metadata about this album at Last.fm
Listen to this album in full at We7
Listen to this album in full at Spotify