I spent 20 minutes of most mornings in 1988 standing at the bar in University Cafe. Ham, cheese, tomato croissant or sandwich; strong latte. Maybe two, if a really busy day was in store. This was after dropping my children - William and Thomas's much older sister and brother - at school and before hitting the office. They were busy days. It was a good time. And we were younger then.
No, I was never a fan of eighties mainstream pop music, much of which was complete rubbish. But sadly and somewhat ironically, amidst the Stock Waterman Aitken dross there was some great stuff.
And so this year is the 20th anniversary of Under the Milky Way by The Church. If there is a better pop song ever recorded, let me know. Or at least wait for the bagpipes solo. You'll never sneer at bagpipes again.
The Saints' Grain of Sand and Just Like Fire Would came out around the same time, maybe a year earlier. And 'golden oldies' radio plays Farnham and Barnes ad nauseam?
A review appeared in the paper this morning, prompting this post. The review is of a new album by Robert Forster, one half of the Go-Betweens. Grant McLennan died a year or so ago. Their song, Streets of Your Town, was recorded in 1988; a sad, haunting, melodic pop confection that has that uncanny ability to strip the years away and recreate, just for three or four minutes, the place where you were then. Place being more than geographic.
And so, back to Lygon Street. These days I hang out more often at Brunetti but University Cafe is still there and the same as it ever was. Here's Lygon at Faraday on Friday, just prior to lunchtime. We had had coffee at Brunetti and were browsing some new books, first in Readings and then in Borders. Thunder boomed, lightning crashed and we came out to almost flooded street. Rain was pouring through a downlight just inside the sushi bar next to STA Travel. I haven't seen a rainstorm like it for years.