“So. I grew up surrounded by music. My dad, although lacking any form of actual musical ability at all, LOVED music and loved it LOUD. When I was a baby and crying in my bed for attention, my parents—who would throw big dinner parties for their friends—instead of rushing in to attend to me like doting helicopter parents that they refused to be, would simply…turn the music up. I soon snapped out of it.”
“My Dad invested heavily on vinyl, speakers, and amps. I thoroughly enjoyed the whole process of picking out a record, carefully opening up the plastic roofing of the record player and resting the disc on the velvety base, delicately fumbling with the little needle that I would always drop on the floor, placing it carefully on the disc, and sitting back as you listened to the silence of the anticipated scratching before the music kicked in with dulcet tones of Cliff Richards while my mom and I danced around the living room singing at the top of our voice ‘We’re all going on a summer holiday.’
My dad was more of a contemporary ’80s fan. Pink Floyd, George Michael, Sting, Simple Minds, Midnight Oil, Blondie, Phil Collins, Dire Straits, INXS to name but a few—with Carly Simon thrown in for good measure.
There was a time I remember when I was 5 where Dad came home with a massive new box and announced to the whole family we were upgrading. Today was the day. We are changing to Compact Discs! Excitement filled the house. Oooooooh! Compact Discs! How fancy! What will the neighbors think now?
We opened the box to reveal this insanely complicated amplifier. My eyes lit up at the amount of sliders and buttons. It was stunning, so shiny and clearly my dad’s new pride and joy. No idea what an actual Compact Disc was however, but interrupting this thought my father instantly and abruptly looked directly at me, pointed at the new machine and with a stern voice said simply ‘No.’
I knew immediately what he meant.
‘Laura, you do NOT touch this. Never, this is not a toy, don’t go near it just NO. If you want to play music ask your mother or myself but you DO. NOT. TOUCH. THIS. UNDERSTAND?’
The very next evening before my dad came from the office I was munching on a peanut butter and jelly sandwich and waddled down the hall to the music room. I couldn’t help it. It was calling out to me, it needed me and I needed to see it again.
I opened the door and went into the forbidden chamber.
There is was. In all its glory. Beautiful. Clearly expensive, state of the art, brand new, and just. Breathtaking.
I started instantly pressing every button I could touch.
Suddenly a tray of sorts popped out of the this beautiful contraption. It was so light and delicate and I was determined to work out what it was used for.
I spent a few solid minutes running my hands all over this machine but couldn’t seem to work out what the tray was for. It was way too small for a record to fit into, and then without a second’s hesitation, I noticed the sandwich in my left hand and it clicked. This was a sandwich holder for when you listen to music. How genius and thoughtful.
I placed my peanut butter and jelly sandwich on the tray and attempted to close it. It wouldn’t move. I decided to use all my force possible and rammed my whole dumpy body against the tray and it slammed shut with my gooey peanut butter and jelly sandwich safely stashed away inside.
What a treat for my dad when he comes home and sees that I have already stocked up on a convenient sandwich for him to munch on while he listens to his favorite tunes for the evening.
Convinced I was going to be praised for my sweet thoughtfulness I left the room and waiting for my dad to return with eager anticipation. It wasn’t until I heard a hysterical unprecedented high pitch scream from my father after entering the music room followed by ‘LAURA WHAT THE F**k!’ did I realize I may have slightly misjudged the situation.
He came stampeding into the kitchen, grabbed me, and proceeded to drag me out into the front lawn where our open garden faced the neighbors in the cul de sac that we lived on. He ripped down my pants and smacked my arse with the force of 10,000 angry elephants slamming into a concrete wall. Never had my parents hit me before and never again did they hit me after that. Once was enough. I had learned my lesson.
Of course I was devastated. In my mind I had done a good thing and I was being punished but please, none of this bullshit judging of my parents and their choice of discipline. It was the ’80s and it was a one-off time. They were the most exceptional parents I could ever ask for and truth be told, I disobeyed.
I did however thoroughly enjoy the attention I got at school for the next two weeks where I would drop my pants at any given opportunity to reveal the deepest darkest hand print you have ever see. #proud
As for my first album I personally ever bought? Cyndi Lauper, Twelve Deadly Cyns which included the single ‘Girls Just Wanna Have Fun’ which, I believe, is rather fitting—don’t you agree?”
“Surrender” is taken from Laura Saggers forthcoming LP Chasing Dreams which arrives in stores later this year.