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Trashback (Slight Return)

October 19, 2017

August 11th 2007

Picture the scene: white sand, warm cobalt sea, a gentle breeze wafting through the palm trees…and punk rock 1977-style courtesy of a valve-driven Sony Walkman and a stack of grubby cassettes. Thirty years ago when I helped record these tapes I never dreamt I would be listening to them again in the idyllic surroundings of Caldes D’Estrac, a few miles north of Barcelona and a former holiday destination of Pablo Picasso (the local art gallery contains his preparatory sketches for Guernica).

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But forget art – we’re here to talk Trash, the band that Mick (guitarist now working in Spain) formed with me (vocals), Keith (bass) and the inevitable Spinal Tap-esque procession of drummers (Steve, Brian and Simon 2).

Mick, Keith, Steve and I were all studying Food Technology in the highly inappropriate environment of St.George’s Hill – stockbroker belt par excellence. Forced to make our own entertainment we came up with an enthusiastic if unskilled amalgam of Nuggets and Eddie and the Hotrods and we were off – two chords good, three chords jazz. Pausing only to sack our co-vocalist (sorry Jane) and ignoring what a great name The Food Technologists would have been we named ourselves Trash, partly because we all loved the New York Dolls and partly to get our retaliation in first.

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Bizarrely as soon as Mick started writing some originals we were offered a singles deal via Polydor and this we took, slightly amazed. Two singles were released to little reaction, despite the fact that the second platter was produced by The Legendary Shel Talmy. After a while the combination of relentless poverty, few gigs and no more records resulted in Trash quietly expiring. Thirty years on and with both our singles selling well on eBay it’s a different story .

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Which brings us back to our seaside listening party. The final haul is six finished studio tracks, a handful of strong demos and four examples of our ‘energetic’ taste in covers, crowned by a hilarious interview on the late unlamented Radio 210 between Mick, Tony The Manager and an anonymous but totally clueless DJ from Reading.

Mick’s lady Carole comes up with a title (‘Putting Out The Trash’) and we’re done. Next comes dull stuff like transferring tracks to Minidisc and remastering. Plus there’s a mysterious reel-to-reel track which no-one has the gear to listen to – could it contain our Rock Opera, the mighty ‘Carrots’ ?

To be continued.

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