Friday, March 30, 2007
The fabulous author of Moncrief Speaks recently downloaded Dionne Warwick's Heartbreaker and provides his Heartbreaker story. He askes his readership to provide their Heartbreaker stories in return.
I was about nine or ten years old when Heartbreaker was a hit in the UK. I recall it being practically omnipresent. Wherever there was a television or radio, the song could be heard without much of a wait. However, my Father had just walked out on us in 1981. Without money for a television licence, there was no television at home. Well, the television was there. It was just never switched on. In fact, Mum cut the plug off from the flex with pinking shears.
Television was freely available to watch in the house next door. Audrey and Ray had an adult son with Down's Syndrome. He loved pop music and children's television programmes. Audrey invited me in to her home to watch television with her son, Paul. If there was nothing much on to watch, he'd have me read his Look-in Magazine to him or we'd play records on the family record player; part of a posh hi-fi system bought in Westbourne. Something I could only dream of.
Audrey would often tire of listening to the latest pop songs and spin one of her 45s for a break in the constant disco beat Paul and I adored. Barbra Streisand was the usual interruption. Or Barry Manilow (we loved Copacabana). However, this time, Babs and Barry were set aside for Dionne. I remember being sat there, listening to it; Audrey, stood, shoulders swaying left and right. She was smiling broadly. When it was finished, she caught me picking my nose. I was an avid nose-picker back then, dear reader.
"All you do is pick your nose," she said.
I went to her toilet and wiped the bogie on some toilet paper.
I hated her toilet. It always stank of shit and farts. And the bowl was really deep. Deeper than our toilet. Also, the tank was high on the wall with a chain to pull, not low-rise, like our cistern. Audrey's toilet made an awful noise on flushing of which I was scared. I'd open the door, hold the handle on the chain, move as close to the door-way as I could with the handle in my hand, pull and run!
When I came back into the living room, she was queueing up Heartbreaker for a second play. Paul got aggitated half-way through, so she took it off. He would snort, blink and say, "No!" rather loudly.
Paul put his Blondie album back on and we were all happy again. Well, Audrey wasn't. She hated Blondie. Like most people she confused the name of the band with the name of the lead singer. I told her that the singer's name was Debbie Harry. Audrey was sweet, though old-fashioned and didn't take too well to being given information by a child.
"Time for Little House On The Prairie," she said as she switched off the turn-table, Debbie's vocal suddenly getting deep and slurred.