Sunday, January 15, 2017

Why the Spiral Scratch

Back in the spring of 1977 I was dating a woman who's name I have completely forgotten lets call her T, that should give you an idea how well the relationship went. Her aunt was a flight attendant for United airlines, based in Norfolk, VA. where I was living at the time, and making the flight between New York and London on a regular basis. T's aunt used to bring back records and 45s from London and I usually ended up with them. Most of the stuff her aunt brought back was dreary English and Euro pop, the kind of stuff your mother would not be offended by. I would end up just tossing the stuff into a record crate and forgetting it.

One EP really caught my ear, the Buzzcock first EP release titled Spiral Scratch. To place it into context this was Norfolk Va., a very conservative town with a very conservative Rock 'n' Roll radio station in 1977, and the airwaves were filled with Peter Frampton, Queen, and the Eagles. The Spiral Scratch was like nothing I had heard before. It was the EP that set me off to find the Sex Pistols, The Clash, Ramones, and The Modern Lovers. I have long since lost my copy of this EP mostly in a divorce but I still keep coming back to it like a touchstone.

You can still find copies of the Spiral Scratch. Original pressings on New Hormones can still be found but are going for hundreds of dollars. I recently saw a copy in near mint condition for almost $400.00 but this is San Francisco. I'm always hoping that I'll find a copy in a garage sale for $1.00. Don't hold your breath.

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