BY the time I reached Guardamar, I was belting out the lyrics like a good ‘un
WE have all experienced the power of music and its ability to take us back to special places and key moments in our lives.
I was returning from Alicante airport, having dropped off old friends who, until my visit to the UK last year, I had not clapped eyes on for 30-odd years.
Theirs was an obscenely early morning flight and I found myself on the deserted N332 at half past stupid with just some light mist, a chunky Kit Kat and an all night radio station for company.
1968 was a helter skelter year, with deep ravines of depression that slowly turned into a new and happier phase in my life.
My marriage that had terminated abruptly and brutally in the early summer of that year after a whole 18 months, had left me badly mauled, but an introduction by my friend’s wife (the one I had just delivered to the airport) to her brother, marked the start of my return to normality and a new circle of close friends.
It began with the excellent Jose Feliciano singing Light My Fire – always a passport back in time – which was followed by good old Leapy Lee dodging Little Arrows.
Then Aretha Franklin came on to assure me that she would Say A Little Prayer on my behalf.
Obviously this was the 1968 music hour, because along came the sandpaper tones of Joe Cocker and the legend that is Dusty Springfield, and when Mary Hopkin reminisced that Those Were the Days, I confess there were goose bumps as I nodded to myself in fervent agreement.
By the time I reached Guardamar via Gary Puckett, Marmalade and The Doors, I was belting out the lyrics like a good ‘un.
And when the intro to Jesamine by The Casuals oozed silkily out of the speakers, the metamorphosis was complete and I was back in the bar of The Boars Head or on the dance floor at the Thingumajig Club, reborn and thankful to be alive.