This week I’ll focus on my last six months at secondary school. Looking back I seem to be more preoccupied with girls, music and photography - than my studies. This story is told through excerpts from my diary I kept aged 16.
Catherine, the girl I love | I'm depressed once again, I could cry | Listening to The The Infected album Brilliant! | Pissed off, because of the ‘O’ level mock - bodged it up | Julian’s in lust with about 6-10 different girls | I think I still fancy Nancy | Claire is being a bit of a punk rocker | Went to Liz’s party, me and Julian drank a bottle of red wine (50p from dads France booze run) | Jo is 7 months pregnant, poor girl | Watched ‘Alien’ with Andrea and Andrew, beat Lawrence at snooker, Nana gave me £1 | Today Catherine went on about her new boyfriend, how it would change her life - bullshit | Completed T-shirt ‘FLASH GORDON - DEATH TO MING’ | Made resolution, going to stay in do lots of work - revision or I’ll be up shit creek | Had a dreadful feeling as I left the house that I was going to die today | I quite fancy Naomi, we were talking about nipples - fine conversation | She said she wouldn’t want to know me if I was a hippy | Julian and I got pissed on 1½ cans of cider, and couldn't stop laughing at the dinner table | Finished The Cult T-Shirt, listening to The Best of The Damned | Day of the boat disaster in Zeebrugge, Belgium, I’ve been left feeling cold. One lorry driver said ‘that the engineers were trying to hit the door shut with sledgehammers, trying to stop the water from coming in’
In 1987 I did my first band photo shoot with local punk band ‘Furore’. We (Andrew, Adrian, Simon and Kev) did the shoot down Fleet woods. An image was used in the local paper promoting one of their forthcoming gigs. Afterwards I made a handwritten poster with one of these images, promoting myself as a band photographer. I got permission to put it up in our local music shop - Kingfisher Music where all the musicians would go.
Punk band Furore Fleet Woods, 1987
Today I took my camera to school, got a few good snaps of everyone | Andrea, helped me decide what to do for my art exam - snakes. Colour / texture, a weight off my mind | Got stroppy with mum tonight, for the first time in 5 years I'm going to pray tonight and every night | On the way to school I saw a pigeon with a damaged wing, I went to the nearest house and asked to make a phone call to a vet or something | Catherine acting all grown up lately, Naomi’s wearing a short, short skirt, what a turn on, I think I fancy her. Is it lust of love? | She sat in English pinging her knicker and bra strap, giving me a look | Went to ‘Pitch N Putt’, got out my sketch pad and oil pastels and created a brilliant snake skin. In the sun on my own completely mellow | Went into lunch, got my sketch pads out, people going wow that's cool. Sorry if I keep going on about my art, but I'm quite excited | Andrea’s birthday today, got her a cider home brew kit, she was quite pleased | Jo came into school telling us about the babies father, she is pressing charges for under age sex | Me and Naomi lay together on the sofa, I really fancy her, I then went home and watched Quadronphenia with Andrea | Near the end of the Tech Drawing project. Many late nights, working from 5pm - midnight | Party at Fleet Country Club, Joolz (formerly Julian) got off with Julie, giving her 5 love bites, man he was hungry | School disco, best laugh in ages, Me and Joolz pogoed to the ‘Coffin Nails’ |
Naomi rang to see if me and Joolz wanted to go round Kath’s house, when we arrived Kath wouldn't talk to Joolz or any of us | Went to Silverstone race track with Martin, took lots of photos, had a great time | Me and Joolz went to Alice’s party, Joolz went off into the wilderness with Alice. He came back excited, Alice's friend Nicola had fancied me for 2 years! I got off with her, we kissed a couple of times. I really fancy her | Went round Nicola’s house, a bit nervous, spilt a cup of tea over my T-shirt - what a plonker | English ‘O’ level today, really hard | I’ve been seeing Nicola for 11 days now - Wow! | Went round Martin’s to pick up my camera, pissed off. I lost 2 films in the processing - one from the banger racing and one from the Milk Race - where I'd got two shots of Jimmy Savill | I love Nicola, she’s beautiful, she’s shy. She’s not very well, she’s got ulcers in her eyes, poor soul | I did alright in English literature yesterday | Went to London to Brighton bike race with Julz’s (formerly Joolz & Julian) family. Colin his dad’s company sponsored it, we got into the press and celebrity Marquee. Colin said “If you take good photos I’ll put them in my magazine”. Fame at last. Got photos of Sharon Davis and some chappy from the Likely Lads | I did the dreaded dead and finished with Nicola | Andrea took me to see Furore practise. They played Love Removal Machine as a warm up, Simon the singer didn't know the words so I stepped in and sang it |
For my final art exam I needed to submit three pieces. I drew some snakes made with oil pastels and made an anti war sculpture - a war scene with a naked lady as mother earth crafted from chicken wire, papier mache surrounded by barbed wire and planes in battle. The final piece I submitted was a photography series shot at Aldershot banger racing track of a 'Demolition Derby' (an example of a caravan one) . The banger cars would drive round full speed in a figure of 8 track. These are a few scans from the one roll I shot. I remember I made some 20” x 16” black and white prints in Martin’s step dad’s darkroom. One of the final prints I submitted was a 'Solarization' print. This is where you turn on the white light quickly in the darkroom whilst the print is still in the developer. Creating a silvering effect first used by the artist Man Ray.
Neg. Scans from The Demolition Derby, Aldershot Banger Racing Track 1987
My exam results arrived today, what a complete disaster. Pretty depressed with the overall results. I kind of expected it though..I did get 1 ‘O’ Level in Art and 1 in English Literature.
Julian, Andrea and Me on holiday in Spain 1987
After leaving school I worked on my dads building site that summer, followed by a holiday in Spain. My dad had a construction company - Massey Construction. I worked for him during the holidays over the following years. Finally graduating to site delivery driver. It was good money but I would get some shit for being the boss’s son.
If you have some photographs from your youth, go check out The Museum Of Youth Culture and submit your photos and join their collection.