Coming this July 4… Boy About Town
I was no longer fitting in at school. I was unsure of my friends, and they were increasingly unsure of me. I wanted to be a rock star – a punk rock star, if need be. But while all around, voices were starting to break, acne beginning to appear, facial hair sprouting, I remained all flabby flesh and innate scruff, with a high-pitched whine and not a muscle to my name. I could come top of the class, I could converse with the older teens on the football terraces and with adults in record stores. Yet I was the runt of the class and rarely allowed to forget it. I had no father at home to help me out, and could hardly talk to my mum. So I took solace in The Jam.
Boy About Town tells the story of the author’s formative years in the pre- and post-punk music scenes of London, counting down, from fifty to number one, attendance at seminal gigs and encounters with musical heroes; schoolboy projects that became national success stories; the style culture of punks, mods and skinheads, and the tribal violence that enveloped them; life as a latchkey kid in a single-parent household; weekends on the football terraces in a quest for street credibility; and the teenage-boy’s unending obsession with losing his virginity.