Soundtrack To My Youth – Part 4

The freedom ride! 

The jeans have lost their flair inserts, they are straight legged again, however they have gained a couple of safety pins.  Not to hold them together, but to make a mild punk statement.  I did try to pierce my face with one but that hurt!  So on to the trousers they went.  ‘You look ridiculous!’ my Mother exclaimed, ‘and what will the neighbours say? They all know I am a good seamstress!’ She shook her head and walked away.

It’s 1978, I had been to London and Punk was the order of the day, albeit a neat and tidy order in provincial Switzerland! In fact, I couldn’t imagine living in a more boring place than where I was.  As far as I was concerned, absolutely nothing ever happened in my town.  I needed to get out. I wanted to see the world, meet new people and have adventures …. but first I had to do the dishes.  Then my best friend Cello got his car licence and a nice blue Opel Ascona.  Freedom had arrived!  Now we would be able to get out of town, cruise the streets and be men of the world.  The car came equipped with a neat eight track cassette system and half a dozen old tapes.  Percy Sledge’s Greatest Hits being the best of the bunch.  On the day Cello got his license, he picked me up at around six in the evening and off we went.  Oh the feeling of independence, the old cassette deck was turned up to 11 as we cruised around the hills singing along with Percy.

And then we crashed! Coming round a sharp bend we hit the side of the road, the car spun around and headed straight for the side of the mountain.  We were stopped by a long wooden fence, of which we cleaned up about 10 metres, a wooden plank finally smashed through the front windscreen, narrowly missing us both.  The car eventually stopped, but  Percy Sledge was still singing ‘When a man loves a woman’.  We turned to each other, both looking pale but thankfully unhurt.  We turned Percy Sledge off and got out of the car.

And that was the end of our great freedom for a while; drivers licence and car both gone in the one day! So today’s song is not Percy, he still gives me an uneasy feeling when I hear him!

In 1978 I listened to a lot of different music, but this track seems to sum up an eventful year in an unremarkable town.  (Besides, It has a camera on the front cover!)

Elvis Costello ‘Pump it up’

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About Roman W. Schatz

Roman W. Schatz is a Swiss photographer based in Australia. A frequent traveller, Roman has a particular interest in capturing time and place. Using the visual language of the photographic image, he believes that art is an international language that can be used to communicate the humanity that unites us all.

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