The 1970’s was a cultural desert. There was no TV for most of the day, and nothing on until the afternoon on Sunday. Few people had cars and personal computers had yet to be invented. Children played outside in all weathers and people with problems were put in institutions. Music was mostly processed disco and happy smiling pop by manipulated one-hit wonders. Boredom was an important part of everyone’s childhood.
Along came punk and suddenly that boredom was something bands wrote about. Music said something about my life. I heard the Sex Pistols, the Clash and the Buzzcocks on the radio. I liked the energy and the anger, but wanted the songs to be about something more.
Then across the cultural desert came two smiling people riding on, of all things, camels. They had journeyed all the way from South London, a strange exotic place I had never been. Glenn Tilbrook and Chris Difford provided a veritable feast compared to the famine and emptiness of what had come before and I was invited. I heard Take Me I’m Yours by Squeeze: “I’ve come across the desert to greet you with a smile…” and music suddenly meant something. Everything about it was perfect: the punishing Kraftwerk-inspirted beat; the oh-so-cool intro.; the fantasy lyrics of strange exotic places; the octave vocals; and of course THAT guitar. “Because dreams are made of this.” My life had changed. I was going to go places, have great times, meet wonderful people, laugh, drink, sing, meet girls, get a passport, travel abroad and even taste yoghurt. 28 years later it’s still a defining moment in my life.
I still get a shiver up the spine listening to it now, even though I’ve heard it a thousand times. I need just the intro. and my heart races. Take me I’m yours? I certainly will.
“Forever there’ll be a heaven in your kiss.”