|Friend of Bandy|
I am hailed in the acknowledgments as a person “whose memory is a spectacularly efficient database of facts, anecdotes, football scores and mundane events.” You’ll note there’s none of the useful stuff in there, like geographical data, chemical symbols, mathematical formulae, an encyclopaedic knowledge of the English Civil War, or the correct way to mix and shake 101 head-crushing cocktails. Somehow, my memory evolved into a vault of useless clutter that I’ve never bothered clearing out to replace with something new, functional and up-to-date. So if something goes wrong with this computer, I won’t be able to fix it, but I can tell you all about the day I watched Lincoln City beat Northampton Town 5-4 in 1977. This at least made me a valuable oral consultant on several incidents described in the book, but now that period has been documented and illustrated by Tim, the call for my services could well be facing a barren stretch.
Why, you might ask, would anyone want to read about what it’s like to grow up in a small town in Lincolnshire between 1978 and 1983? It was interesting to me, because I was there. I’ve yet to meet anyone who wasn’t there, but who’s had the chance to read the book, so it’s hard to say how wide the appeal might be. The author is of course highly entertaining in the way he describes and illustrates all the crappy little bands we were in and the terrible gigs we played, and all the times we got drunk and ran away from fights and got crushes on all the wrong girls, and that the experience of being snared as a teenager in a dull country town is broadly universal. You can’t wait to leave, but 25 years later you can’t help but return with a little retrospective insight to take a look at all the mistakes that helped set you off on the path to nowhere.