April's bucket playlist update— Andrew Close -
We have a playlist. It updates every month. It’s done mainly by Andy so we ask him every month to write an article about the playlist, what we could expect etc. Every month he supplies us with fucking nonsense. Here is April’s fucking nonsense:
My friend Chad was very small for his age. The attention he attracted because of this filled me with a cruel relief. Having a friend with a ‘pick-on-able’ issue is a social bulletproof vest for cowardly and self-conscious teenagers. I now have a son that looks like he’ll be inhabiting similar dimensions.
That’ll teach me.
I have three strong memories of Chad which, oddly, is three more than I have of friends I spent far more time with during school.
Memory number one.
Chad was one of the first kids at my school to own a Commodore 64. This made him insanely popular in the summer of ’84 until a hundred computer shaped boxes under Christmas trees later that year made him lonely again.
Memory number two.
Chad and I worked in a supermarket on Saturdays. I was quickly bullied into shape by our furious red dot of a manager who would appraise us thusly as he sullenly handed out our wafer-thin pay packets at five thirty.
“Shit, shit, REALLY fucking shit, bit better, don’t come back next week” etc. etc.
Chad didn’t really respond to management’s incandescent screaming/training sessions and would pass his time at work standing in the loading yard throwing fruit at the adjacent church, locking new starters in the freezer and indulging in petty thievery.
This made his appointment to the booze aisle all the more surprising.
Your competency level decided your aisle. If you were a bit shit you’d be assigned one with low footfall - spices and sauces for example. Handy with a price gun? Off you go to crisps and soft drinks. However, one section sat outside of these rules………the alcohol aisle. Always maintained by an adult, the Saturday crew were never let near it for obvious reasons but this weekend the crotchety old dude that normally ran it cried off and, incredibly, Chad was up.
The horrendous fuck up didn’t happen straight away, we all watched confused and more than a little jealous as Chad succeeded. His assured performance even coaxing a passing compliment from management. You had to persuade a truly ancient lift to help you get the stock from where it was stored upstairs down to the shop floor, the kind where you had to pull a squealy old gate into place before it moved.
Now this fucker was wildly fritzy, it wouldn’t come when you called it. Sometimes it would stop halfway and refuse to move for twenty minutes and sometimes it would end its journey inches below the stock room floor. The latter was Chad’s undoing, too short to clock the disparity between the top floor and the bottom of the lift, the front wheels of his booze-laden trolley dropped the four inches the lift couldn’t be bothered with and went over on its side - the cases of vodka, scotch and Christ knows what else it was loaded with going off like a bomb.
I was waiting for the lift to come back down so when the glittering, cocktail waterfall began pouring down the lift shaft soundtracked by Chad’s terrified howling I slid my cupped hand through the squealy old gate, brought it back to my lips and tasted the next two decades of my life.
Surprisingly Chad wasn’t fired for murdering several hundred quid’s worth of alcohol, he was fired because he broke down during an interview with supermarket security. Ex-CID apparently, though
This was never confirmed, they’d been called in because the light-fingered Saturday staff were eating half the shop’s profits. This was before CCTV so they had no real proof, this was purely a shakedown. Before he was called in to his interview I remember trying to capture and maintain his terrified, flickering gaze whilst repeating the following mantra.
‘They’ve seen nothing Chad’ ‘They know nothing Chad’ ‘Tell them nothing Chad’ ‘GIVE THEM NOTHING CHAD!’
He went in so pale and wide eyed he may as well of been wearing a t-shirt that read, ‘I ATE ALL THEM LION BARS.’
Ten minutes later he was tear streaked and sacked and, to be fair, he had eaten all them Lion bars.
Memory number three.
I’d gone to the local record shop after work with Chad and spent a portion of one of my earlier pay packets on the Miami Vice soundtrack on cassette*. He’d gotten all sneery about this and had insisted on the following Saturday that I purchase the twelve inch of Blue Monday. I remember getting it home, sliding it out of its odd, mock floppy disc sleeve and…………being thoroughly underwhelmed.
The song didn’t change my life but that ‘leap of faith’ purchase changed something that still feels fresh and hungry in me thirty odd years later.
There’s your tenuous musical link, sorry it took so long. Thanks Chad.
Here’s April’s playlist, wrap theses joyous tunes around your thorny soul and be soothed.
Fuck you! Crockett’s Theme is a jam!