Soft Option

Adam Hall, Colin Evans and Dave Tonner, Liverpool, 1983
“Flock of Seagulls owned Liverpool when we came together but we were really Depeche Mode fans. Trouble was, we only had one Synth – the Roland pictured above – so on the more complicated songs we covered like Everything Counts (see cassette below) I had to play parts on a Melodica – the small keyboard you blow into. It was my Mother's idea. We went to an all boys school, so the gigs were boys only, which meant we did not get laid but the nights we played were some of the greatest of my adolescence. Our school and our normal lives were so strict, the sense of release was total.” Below is the cover of their 1983 eponymous cassette release which combines self penned classics like They're Killing Me with some of Depeche Mode's finest.

Vegas Era Elvis

Marco Cegile, Maplewood, New Jersey

The Elvis thing was in my life for years. It started when I was quite young, perhaps 5 or 6 and went on until I was about 11. That's a dog's age in terms of a kids' attention span. My Elvis was
"Vegas Elvis." I didn't have a jumpsuit, just a regular suit and some gold chains I'd borrow from my dad. It all began at family gatherings like Christmas, thanksgiving, etc. but quickly became a fixture whenever a large crowd of any kind gathered at our house. My brother Tony would be on drums and my cousin Paola would be singing back up while my oldest brother worked "sound" aka playing 8-Tracks of the songs as backing. I even started writing my own songs which the crowd were patient enough to sit through while waiting for more familiar numbers.

The show stopped when I got older. When I hit 12 or so the bit suddenly felt long dusty. It was definitely over when I discovered heavy metal in my teens and I realized that despite truly being a captive audience, my family had no interest in watching me put on my motorcycle jacket and combat boots and belting out a rendition of Metallica's "Sanitarium" while they digested their Thanksgiving turkey.