My Life in Songs: Aaron Spencer

Eton Rifles // The Jam

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wJRmrlkYdsQ

My earliest memory of music started in the back of a car. Most journeys consisted of a cassette being played called The Sound of the Suburbs. It was a compilation album of the late 70s and early 80s. Timeless anthemic terrace bands played through the car stereo such as The Buzzcocks, The Undertones and The Psychedelic Furs. Above all, the track that really stood out was The Jam’s enigmatic single, ‘Eton Rifles’.

Sat back in my high chair (9 times out 10 covered in pastry from a Greggs sausage roll) cool, calm and collected digesting the song. Apart from the odd peer out to the fast moving world outside the window, I would sit emotionless, tranquil and still. I didn’t say much as a child, you could say I was more of a listener. When the album finished I would sit in anticipation to the sound of the cassette being wound back again. This paved the way for my love of guitar music.

At the time I didn’t know anything in terms of what the song meant or what it was about. For years that followed I didn’t know the name of the song, when I came across it again when I was 14 I immediately rekindled my admiration. I love the meaning, the attitude composition and the subject of class struggle. Paul Weller galvanised making great pop music with politics. The Jam were a band that famously influenced youth mod culture. As well as being my first memory of music, it’s up there as being one of my favourite songs.

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