In the midst of the Joy Division obsessed sixth form at my school there were several moments of insanity that stick in my mind.
The day that Made In Japan was placed on the common room turntable (yes it was one of those types of schools) with the immortal words of “just one track” mumbled was one of those days. The hairy young man placed side four on the table and sat back as all 20 minutes of Space Truckin’ unfolded.
“The fireball that we rode was moving
But now we’ve got a new machine
Yeah Yeah Yeah Yeah the freaks said
Man those cats can really swing”
The very serious young men in their long black overcoats were in a state of shock and cried into their cups of tea. In no way would the words cat or swing ever pass their lips unless it was about an actual cat. Distorted feed backing pseudo classical soloing on the guitar was something they were unfamiliar with and the screaming of the vocalist caused them significant visible pain it seemed.
Nobody moved to take the album off as it seemed the whole room was frozen by the audacity of the long haired pimply teenager. After the song ended he stepped to the machine, slipped the record in it’s sleeve and left Made In Japan clutched under his arm.
The whole room was silent. Something monumental had happened the gloomy sway of Joy Division had been broken by the neanderthals in denim and leather, anything was now possible, at least for a brief time.
On the way home I stopped at the record store and bought Made In Japan and ever since it has been my shield against the encroaching darkness. I firmly believe if Deep Purple MK II reformed they would be able to turn back the tide of gloom and lies that are enveloping us at present. It really is time to let that freak flag fly I think.