He wore sunglasses, even in the rain,
(and it used to rain a lot in them days as I recall)
some kind of cool 'n out style game.
Walked like he was going to fall over,
in some kind of
gettin' ahead of it too quick thing.
As if the bell for the last lap
was about to go ring-a-ding-ding.
His record collection was massive,
he had music
a bubblin' up in his jive thang blood.
Hours spent lost in vinyl dreams
and the latest homespun tapes in the pockets of his jeans.
At parties he hung with the deejays
and talked arty chart-chat with the cornered girls,
those ones with the rolling eyes
and the well-fingered permanent curls.
We hitch-hiked together sometimes,
round and round the concreted country,
to see the latest groovy bands live on stage.
Sleeping roughed-up in midnight motorway joints,
and eating the miles up with lardy truckers
in a rubberized and diesel oiled haze.
He carried a little battered radio wherever he went,
so he could stay in touch
with the latest tunes
and keep himself in the know.
Sometimes, late at night,
I would listen in with him
to the fade and gain of Radio Luxembourg,
followed by the John Peel show.
We used to laugh a lot,
and get up to a bit of skylarking,
a bit risky but not too hot.
He said his dream was to work in the city
in the biggest and coolest record shop.
But his parents were right-of-centre
and they put a stop to that.
Said he had to have a nice safe steady job
in an office in the town.
But JoJo had the last laugh,
he wore a Walkman hidden under his hat.
Life was acted out
in those days
like a Scorsese movie.
Full of acts of violence
and slowed down highlights.
Some young blokes
experience difficulty understanding
acts of racism,
especially when they are directed
if you have communist activists for parents,
and their skin is a different colour to yours,
and it's obvious they are not your real blood
because you are adopted.
And what is more,
your so-called sister
is adopted too,
so she is not blood either.
We used to skin up sometimes,
behind the blackbird pub funnily enough,
and we would discuss these things together,
these things that gave him
such a crazy mixed-up life,
and we would mull it all over.
But we didn't find any answers.
I don't think we were really looking.
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