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Saturday 7 February 2015

Playlist: Fixing A Hole

My Playlist piece in The Guardian today, ‘Fixing a Hole’ from the Beatles’ ‘Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band’, second item on the page linked here.

As three months have passed since it appeared, I understand I may now post the content here. 

Fixing a Hole by the Beatles 

“I’m fixing a hole where the rain gets in /
And stops my mind from wandering / 
Where it will go”

1968: A-level year. We moved house and I was allowed to decorate my new bedroom as I wanted, and listening to Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band on my reel-to-reel tape recorder I covered the flowery wallpaper a responsible dark blue and irresponsibly failed my A-levels. I’m not sure which my mum thought worse, the room colour or the exam results, but after I left for an office job in Leeds, the flowery wallpaper returned.

1970: “Painting the room in a colourful way.”

To the tape of Sgt. Pepper, I painted the walls of my rented room an adventurous orange and unadventurously stayed for seven years, ignoring my mum’s frequent hints about the dreadful colour.

1978: A mature student in Hull. With Sgt. Pepper loud in stereo through my Akai tape deck, Leak amplifier and massive Wharfedale speakers, I emulsioned the room an impulsive dark red and unimpulsively got a first, despite living with such a dismal colour my mum said.

1990: “Filling the cracks that ran through the door”

In a good career in Nottingham, I at last meet someone who appreciates my interior design skills. I moved in with my old stereo and tape of Sgt. Pepper and mended the doors and window frames. I like to think my mum would have been impressed too but sadly by then it was too late. We sold the house and moved back to Yorkshire.

1993: Sgt. Pepper is now on a cheap cassette player as we paper our bedroom ceiling using the two chairs relay method. Standing one behind the other, the person nearest the wall sticks one end of the pasted wallpaper to the ceiling and the person behind sticks the next bit. The first person then moves with chair behind the second, and sticks up some more, and so on, right across the room. We both end up slippery and sticky, with more paste on us than on the paper, which slowly detaches itself and drops down.

2015: “Taking my time for a number of things that weren’t important yesterday.”

I only hear music in the car these days. Sgt. Pepper comes on and reminds me that now the kids are grown up we need to re-paper the bedroom ceiling which has cracked under the weight of all their junk – and mine – up in the loft. I wonder if the tape deck, amplifier and speakers still work?

Akai 4000DS, Leak 3200, Wharfedale Glendal XP3

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