I don't hoard things. However I do enjoy just a little bit of clutter around me if I can afford the space. I have pieces of music memorabilia that would be worthless but mean the world to me. I have also managed to collect and keep the ticket to every single concert I have ever attended since the first show I saw in 1995. I didn't mean to collect all these. I just did and now it's become an obsession. I also keep stuff that I think may be of some worth in the future. Railway memorabilia is good because it's highly sort-after by those who have not yet discovered the joys of drinking. Occasionally it pains me to discover that these items have gone missing forever.
So about 15 years ago when it was time to retire my broken old piano which would never stay in tune and upgrade to something… well something usable, my dad and I wheeled the old thing into the garage and broke it up so we could put it in the car and take it to the rubbish tip. On removing the keyboard I discovered that the manufacturer, presumably as some sort of padding, had placed a load of train timetables underneath where the keys sat. On inspection the date on these timetables was around 1890. My first thought was "oh Jesus, we have just taken a hammer to an antique piano!", to which my dad's reply was "well, if idiots like us didn't smash these things up then they would never become rare and valuable". Fair enough. But I thought the timetables might be worth something in themselves so I gathered them up, stuck them in an envelope and put them in a drawer. A few days later I discovered that my mother had taken them out of the drawer and thrown them in the bin claiming "they smelt a bit funny". The reason why I am writing about this now 15 years later is that she is still not forgiven! A couple of years ago I made a further mistake of doing a little search on Ebay - the online market place for people who HAVE discovered drinking and have lost all control and responsibility over their finances (one evening I bought a PA system, amp, mixer, lights, lasers, smoke machine and bubble machine… yes, that's right a bubble machine, and on realisation that I had nowhere to store all this equipment I then without a care in the world bought a van to keep my purchases in). Anyway, I discovered an item very similar to the train timetables I once had safely tucked away in a drawer for all of 3 days only this example was a bit more battered. It was going for £150. Mine were pristine and I had 20 of the little buggers!
In our final year of school, when perhaps we should have been studying for our GCSEs, my mate and I thought it would be a more constructive use of our time to write some stories to share with our classmates. Yes, it was he and I that penned the famous novels 'The New Adventures Of Goat Bob', 'Hague's A Tory (Hunky Dory)' and a compilation of short stories entitled 'Tales From Behind The Mule's End' (TM Udder Books 1998 - "Look the 'udder' way"). We also drew a beautiful unflattering picture of all of our school friends and teachers and got each and every one of them to sign it - yes, even the teachers. This was a far better memento of my school years than a photograph or signed shirt but somewhere along the line when moving from house to house when I was acting like a complete twat in my early 20s I lost it. I do however still have the books and I may at some point scan them and send them off to the British Library for their archives. Failing that I'll just abuse @undammed on the Twitters until she puts them on musicbymeiosis.com.
I've also managed to keep hold of every single song I have every written on paper which I think may be well over 1000, and also Meiosis set lists that date back to the first gig I ever did at Newcastle Arts Centre in 2000. Video footage of that show exists - but I lost it. Video footage also exists of a show we did in Consett in September 2000 where I appear to be entertainingly drunk - but I lost that too (an audio version is however available on my Soundcloud page http://soundcloud.com/musicbymeiosis but I have cleverly edited out anything that makes me appear unprofessional!) Video footage exists of a 1970s nostalgia show I appeared in at college where I play the part of David Bowie in full Ziggy Stardust regalia. The band behind me by sheer coincidence happens to be members of Meiosis and I'll have you know I have not lost this. Only because I never owned it in the first place. Shame.
So over the years I seem to have misplaced endless CDs, countless valuable pieces of paper and copious amounts old tat that no one else would ever care about. Probably the best plan would be to put it to bed and forget about it. Having said that if anyone has a copy of Meiosis at Newcastle Arts Centre in May 2000 or 'Live In Consett' (you see what I did there? - it's an 11 year-old long-running joke and still not funny), or New College Durham's year 2000 production of 'Hits & Hairdos', or some old train timetables * or a big 100 year-old piano that you would like to donate to my cause then get in touch. Everybody must have items like this that are now nothing but memories so you should be familiar with my anguish.
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*Don't bother if they are worthless.
More old tat at http://www.musicbymeiosis.com
The new Meiosis album, 'Where Reality Ends And I Begin' will be available on CD, vinyl and download from your local internet store from Monday 24th October.
Buy tickets for The David Bowie Experience live show at World HQ in Newcastle here: http://www.wegottickets.com/event/121285