This has been one of the toughest playlists I’ve ever made. 10 songs to sum up my childhood. It could’ve easily been a list of Top 10 TV Theme Songs but after careful, meticulous and painstaking consideration I’ve compiled 10 tracks that, from what I can remember, represent me up to the age of 10. They’re not in chronological order so there’s enough time jumping to make Billy Pilgrim dizzy, just bear with me and here goes…
(Track 7 – Don McLean – Flight Of Dragons is not available on Spotify)
1. East 17 – Steam
It’s 1995, I’m 10 years old and Shawn Michaels has just become the first guy to every win the 30 man Royal Rumble having entered number 1. All the girls are in love with Mark Owen and if you read Smash Hits! magazine Take That are the hottest band on the planet. Naturally me and my mates want to cut in on the market and decide to form our own boy band (stop laughing) but we’re not going to model ourselves on Take That, oh no, we’re gonna sing East 17 covers cos they’re bad ass and Brain Harvey is the coolest man on the planet (seriously, stop laughing, I never said I was proud of this). Cut to a montage of seven of us ‘rehearsing’ in the classroom at lunchtime followed by a day of crotch thrusting in the playground before being told our behaviour was unacceptable and we’d have to stop before parents were called. *thrusts*
2. Postman Pat Theme
Sure there were other Ivor Wood gems like Fireman Sam, Charlie Chalk and the brilliant, BRILLIANT, Bertha but Postman Pat had it all; action (Ted nearly falling off the ladder), horror (Pat nearly falling over a sheep in the fog), romance (Pat was clearly knobbing Mrs. Goggins, wasn’t he?).
3. The Simpsons – Do The Bartman
It’s 1991, I’m 6 and like every other kid on the block I want to be as cool as Bart Simpson. Eat my shorts!
4. Rick Derringer – Real American
Well I’ll tell you something Mean Gene, I can’t really remember a time when I wasn’t a wrestling fanatic. I’ve always loved it. And when I was young I loved Hulk Hogan. He said his prayers, took his vitamins (which were later proven to be steroids) and ran wild on the baddies with his 24 inch pythons (arms)! I soon started to realise that The Hulkster was a bit rubbish and there were much better wrestlers like ‘Macho Man’ Randy Savage, Rowdy Roddy Piper, Mr. Perfect (oh yeah, even as a kid I liked the heels (bad guys)) and the best there is, best there was and best there ever will be, Bret ‘The Hitman’ Hart (he was the excellence of execution!). But it all began with Hulk Hogan, my hero (replacing He-Man), and this theme song which I sang all day long as I jumped around my bedroom pretending I was headlining Wrestlemania. Grown men wearing spandex pants, coated with baby oil, throwing each other around a boxing ring; can’t beat ’em.
5. Michael Jackson – Black Or White
I used to watch Michael Jackson’s ‘Moonwalker’ all the time when I was a kid. I tried doing the Smooth Criminal lean a bunch of times until I fell over and hurt myself. I thought he was cooler than cool but when the video for ‘Black Or White’ came on the TV, with Macaroni Culkin from Home Alone in it, he skyrocketed to idol status in my little innocent eyes. And then he went mental. Shame.
6. Transformers Theme – Lion
Oi, Michael Bay… DO ONE!!
7. Don McLean – Flight Of Dragons
During the first half of my first decade there were five movies that I watched religiously; The Transformers Movie, Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, Michael Jackson’s Moonwalker, Teen Wolf and The Flight Of Dragons. The latter is very dear to me as I’ve only ever met two other people that have heard of it. It’s no longer available to buy (sort your lives out, Warner Brothers) but that doesn’t mean I don’t have it in me DVD collection. You know how you’ll like a band before they become big and because only a few people know about them they feel like your band? Well this feels like my movie.
8. Saved By The Bell Theme
It’s 1993, I’m 8 years old and I love Kelly Kapowski 4EVA I.D.S.T.
9. New Kids On The Block – You Got It (The Right Stuff)
Between 1989 and 1991 we were posted in Germany. Every now and then my Mam and Dad, Babs and Pedro, had to go to a ‘mess do’ (army speak for ‘piss up’) so me and my sister would end up with a babysitter. Two infact, Irish sisters who adored New Kids On The Block. Long story short I got hold of their NKOTB in Concert VHS, learnt all the words and dance moves to half the songs and put on a performance in the living room, on the sofa, when my parents were least expecting it. On a side note, Donnie Wahlberg from NKOTB, Mark’s older brother, grew up to shoot Bruce Willis at the beginning of The Sixth Sense. FACT!
10. Dr. Alban – It’s My Life
We used to take a lot of long car trips when I was a kid. Or maybe just thought the car trips were long because I was a kid *ponders*. Either way we used to listen to the same three or four cassette tapes on rotation. ‘The Simpsons Sing The Blues’, Michael Jackson’s ‘Dangerous’ and a couple of ‘Now That’s What I Call Music’ compilations. One ‘Now…’ tape finished with Dr. Alban’s ‘It’s My Life’ and due to kid logic once the song ended I was I figured the journey ended too. This is when the calls of ‘are we there yet?’ started from the backseat and my dad would shoot me a look in the rearview mirror that said ‘if only your mother and me hadn’t got drunk at that mess do…’.
Me: Are we there yet?
Pedro: Not yet.
Me: Are we there now?
Me: What about now?
Me: Are we there–
Pedro: If you ask me if we’re there yet one more time I’m gonna run you over with a tank as soon as we get home!
Me: Mummy, Dad’s picking on me again!
And that conludes our trip down memory lane. I hope you enjoyed my ramblings and if you didn’t I don’t care ‘cos my Dad could have your Dad easy.