The first time in black and white

You only lose your virginity once. However sordid the planning and execution, a truth is present at that moment.

It was November 1990 at the National Tennis Centre. It was my first concert and I still remember the kick drum thumping my rib cage as I entered. My heart was in danger.

I’d been accumulating albums, two to each D90 cassette. The D90 had been a bridge to new friendships; A way of sharing the musical experience.

The night started with the support act playing in front of a drawn curtain. I’d never heard of him, or his band, but lots of people seems to like the one about standing up and being counted.

They eventually finished, the lights came up, then down again and a chant began. The chant would become a cliché but not this first time

The curtain drew back. Cheering. A camera flash. No. It’s a strobe. A slow, pulsing strobe. White, Black… White!

Five people frozen. Black… White. They’re walking onto the stage. I can see the singer, his stalking gait unmistakable. Black… White. Black…..

An explosion of sound and light and motion. He spins and juts, hands splayed out and shaking, all parts moving seemingly, streaking across the stage. I don’t even recognise the song yet. I’m on the edge. People stand up and rush.

Ten minutes late my voice is shot. I’m dancing like I don’t give a shit. I’m sweating. I’ve been taken in.

As I age, new truths emerge, subtle and rare. Cynicism is easy. And there’s never that “first time” again.

I hadn’t felt truth in music for a while. Then this morning, “The Man in Black” made me feel like crying.

Real truth, unlike trivial facts, is never black or white, and it arrives and then departs in a moment. So pay attention.

I lost my actual virginity a little later and it’s not worth writing about.

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