Tuesday, July 2, 2019

Welcome to the machine: You can't have any pudding

It's Christmas, 1989, and all I wanted was the vinyl version of The Wall, because my casette copy of it was all I'd been listening to all year. We had the most ratshit family stereo with a dodgy turntable, but I wanted the record, for the Gerald Scarfe art, and for the lyrics - there were still some lines I couldn't quite grasp, no matter how many times I played them.

This was a sweet spot in time, when vinyl albums were terminally out of fashion, and you could find anything for super cheap, so it wasn't hard for Mum and Dad to find the record for me. I spent all day going over the album's lyric sheet, and even convinced the adults to let me play it at the family gathering we were at.

And my older cousin Mike was fucking chuffed, because he fucking loved The Wall, and after a few beers, he was singing along with all the songs, and belted out the best, loudest 'If you can't eat your meat, you can't have any pudding!' that echoed across at least three Christchurch suburbs on a quiet summer night, followed by an unholy cackle of glee.

Cousin Mike was a cool motherfucker, and he approved of my life choices, and that was almost as good as a Gilmour solo. He passed away just a few years after that, and I still miss him a lot, but I still hear that cackle every time I play the album.

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