Take Note: School’s out for music

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Times sure have changed. When I was a nipper, I’d listen to John Peel on a tiny radio under the bed covers, lest my parents realise I wasn’t going to arrive refreshed at school next day.

Education in those days was taken seriously by parents, while avoiding it was a full-time task for kids. At times, it was almost as if mothers and fathers were in cahoots with the teachers to ensure our childhoods were fun-free. Indeed, many youngsters’ first steps towards a life of crime came from forging their parents’ signatures on sicknotes. Nowadays not only do children gallivant off on expensive foreign trips during term-time with their carefree guardians, but the kids are even encouraged to rock and roll.

Now, I admit that my own folks would chauffeur me to our local music emporium, although perhaps this kind act was less about saving me the bus fare into the city centre, and more likely to prevent their precious first born from falling in with the wrong crowd and possibly being forced to drink a bottle of wine by The Stranglers. But time off school for music was very much a no-no, if concert tickets went on sale on a school day then it’d be down to a classmate with free time or a casual disregard for the truancy board to make the trip to the box office.