Saturday, August 18, 2007

Dear Diary ...Sat in class, listened to Hey Jude all afternoon...

December 1968

Dear Diary,

Sat in English class all afternoon and listened to "Hey Jude" continuously for two hours as Earnshaw said he liked it very much, then went home to start christmas holidays.

Yes thats how it happened.

In September 1968 the fresh faced and innocent 11 year old Jerrychicken started Leeds Modern Grammar School in his brand spanking new stripey blazer and long trousers with The Beatles "hey Jude" at number one in the hit parade.

By December none of the first year lads in our all male school were fresh faced or innocent anymore but we still knew not to talk back to the masters (they weren't "teachers" they were "masters") , to stand to attention when they walked in the room and stand aside inthe corridor as they swept past, black gowns wafting a trail of chalk dust and tobacco in their wake.

All except for the English department where the masters were also fresh faced straight out of teacher training college and slightly more liberal and easy going than the older bastards, some of whom had been teaching at the school for ninty years or more.

Earnshaw was our English master, not "Mr Earnshaw", just "Earnshaw" unless he was in your presence in which case it was "Sir", and so it was with some suprise that he walked into our form room for the last English lesson before the christmas holidays with a portable gramaphone player under one arm, plugged it in and asked if anyone had any records that they wanted to play.

It wasn't such a stupid question for rarely a day went by without at least one boy in our form bringing a single or LP to school to lend to someone else - Rob Vasey the class bully had such a record with him that day - The Beatles "Hey Jude" and Earnshaw's's eyes lit up, his favourite tune.

We spent the rest of the afternoon, a whole double period, eighty minutes listening to "Hey Jude" on repeated playback (you take the arm off the central record loader to make it repeat the disc its just played - you haven't a fekkin clue what I'm talking about have you ?) over and over again it played, and we loved every minute of it.

I still do.

The full and yet incomplete version of Jerrychickens Schooldays can be found here.

No comments: