THE Sirens of ancient Greece lured sailors to their doom on the rocky coast of their island with tempting music.
Something similar happened to Maria and me down at the pub the other night – only we ended up on the rocky coast of Morrisons.
We were having a quiet drink in the Jacob’s Well when we commented on the quality of the music being played.
I’m not a fan of loud music in hostelries unless I have gone to listen to a rock band. Nor do I appreciate that insistent rhythmic noise that some claim is dance or disco but which is an amplified cardiac arrest and could quite possibly induce one because it so annoying.
For me, a pub is a place for chat and social intercourse – not somewhere to have your eardrums challenged.
But this music was great, from an era when songs were songs (and how often are the younger generation told that?) and the disc being played contained one well remembered hit after the other.
It was not played loud enough to intrude on conversation, but was a delightful backdrop that became a source of fond recollections.
We asked Dave and Jude behind the bar and they showed us the three CD boxed set of Love: The Definitive Collection.
Elton John, Harry Nilsson, Righteous Brothers, Dusty Springfield – 54 classic tracks.
“It’s brilliant,” I said.
“And only a fiver from Morrisons,” said Dave. “I got this, too, for the same price.”
A double CD of 60 tracks telling The Legendary Story of Sun Records. My kind of rock and roll.
So Maria and I went to Morrisons the next day. We bought copies of each and left the store with a tenner’s worth of priceless memories.
And only then did it hit me.
“Er, just one thing,” I said, as we got in the car. “We don’t have anything to play them on.”
Years ago, it was simple. You had a record player upon which you played records. Then came stereo-systems that looked like the control desk of the Starship Enterprise, then hi fi systems and mini audio systems followed by micro systems. After that I got lost.
The last “system” we bought was as simple as possible but it broke a year ago and I’ve never got round to replacing it. Now I’ve just taken a look online and discover there is no such thing as simple but there are iPod docking micro systems, airbox systems and something called a Boombox in such a horrendous shade of pink that I would not be seen in close proximity to it even if I were dead on the shores of a Greek island.
The only place we can play the discs at the moment is in the car, which is not exactly convenient if Maria wants to listen while she does the ironing, unless we leave the car windows down and the front door of the house open and turn the volume to maximum.
So I have to either face the scorn of hip, switched-on assistants in one of the major stores or buy a CD player online and hope I can batter my way through the jargon and get it right.
Wasn’t it a lot easier when all you needed for a party was a Dansette and a dozen 45s? Or two or three Sirens on a Greek island?