In late 1979 my family got a video cassette recorder. It was early in the life of the VCR and the reason was simple: my father was in advertising and OCCASIONALLY would watch a tape of a work in progress. But really it was a perk – something to show the neighbours and our teenage friends.

We recorded films (Sunset Blvd, Jason And The Argonauts and Play It Again, Sam were early entries, I remember) and watched them again and again. (Woody Allen never recovered the early form shown in that Herbert Ross movie, IMO. A controversial opinion – till he was accused of child abuse…)

The videotapes were made by Thorn and cost a lot. I numbered them and tape 2 was devoted to pop music. I used to record things off Top Of The Pops (no remote; I’d sit there with 2 fingers on the keys, not buttons, waiting…)

I remember taping Martha And The Muffins’ Echo Beach. I rerecorded over it quite soon but a fraction of it remained, the introduction.

I’ve just discovered that the sleeve of the single shows a map of Chesil Beach, near which an old friend now lives. And the title refers not to an actual beach but to a reference in Hiroshima Mon Amour by Ultravox! (John Foxx era), which would have meant a lot to me at 16. I know it’s out of fashion and a trifle uncool but…


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I had a stroke on July 26th, 2013. I was a screenwriter. Don’t do that anymore. But have found another way to write.

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