Living with…The Velvet Underground…for a week

Fifteen minutes of fame

“In the future, everyone will be world-famous for 15 minutes” Andy Warhol

I couldn’t go this week without an honourable mention for the Seagulls visit to Anfield last Sunday.  To refer back to Andy Warhol, sometimes its fame sometimes its infamy that lasts 15 minutes.  Brighton’s performance wasn’t that shocking but will be forever remembered for the statistic of three own goals.  And more particularly for Lewis Dunk the 15 minutes of ‘fame’ came the following morning with every sports bulletin and newspaper focusing on a daft moment of keepy uppey in front of the Kop resulting in the ball squirting over the line for his own goal.  I believe these moments are known in polite circles as character forming.  I was so pleased to hear that a few days later he’s put forward as a nomination for Football League young player of the year award.  Time to brush yourself down and move on.  Two games on and we have all moved on.

Despite the result, I was sad because I couldn’t make the game with insufficient loyalty points and a full house even in the Liverpool end.  I was there 29 years ago for the more pleasurable Sunday outing when we took the spoils likewise underdogs.  As the memories came flooding back I dug in to a far corner of the garage to find the programme from that game.  Happy memories of a team I can still reel off  and of Jimmy Melia and his happy travelling Seagulls circus.

And then there it was tucked underneath.  My 15 minutes of fleeting Seagulls fame!  Lurking beneath the Liverpool programme was me on the front cover of a Brighton and Hove Albion programme.  And then another and then another for several months during 1980-1.  My favourite is this attractive piece of history from 27th December 1980.

Yes, a Boxing Day victory over our Croydon rivals Crystal Palace, 3-2. And a suitably summery shot it is.  Can you see me?…maybe we need to zoom in a bit.

That’s a lot clearer, isn’t it?  I’m right in the centre.

Still can’t? Ok right the way in  and I’ll add a circle to help.

That’s better.  You can tell that even on the warmest of days I wore my blue and white scarf loyally.  Tucked in one hand I also know will be my Duckhams Oil sun hat so useful in that rather awkward spot on the East Terrace chicken run.  Happy memories again of a different type of footballing Saturday.

I did say it was fleeting Seagulls fame, and by the time that we’re at this level of magnification we’re brushing with Andy Warhol both artistically and fame-wise.


Maybe not.


70’s style – only one Peter Ward

Hidden within these old football programmes there are always gems of another age.  For a whole season there was that same advert for a hair transplant clinic on Palmeira Avenue.  Alan Mullery’s spartan words of comfort, particularly icy towards Palace on that day, extending no goodwill at all on their visit.  And then a long-forgotten picture of Peter Ward which he’s probably tried to censor.  We all remember the frizz, how about this!  He does remind me of an extra from Starsky and Hutch…


The Velvet Underground and Nico (1967)

The week was spent with an old favourite, the Warhol banana album from the Velvet Undergound.  I discovered this a couple of years after Brighton’s famous trip to Anfield and it saw me through the dingiest student room in Birmingham so much so that even as I started playing it a smell of damp mould and rotting matter started to overcome me.  It’s an album of student evenings and pretending that one day we’d all be great poets.

I love the charm of Sunday morning, I’ll be your mirror, Femme Fatale.  The exotic edge to Nico’s voice.  I love the quirkiness of All tomorrow’s parties.  And probably like everybody else apart from those on the drugs, just struggle with the cacophony of Heroin.

The album has been a friend that I’ve taken for granted and I’m very grateful for the time that we’ve spent and the influence that it’s had.  But you know, I still think we’ll only occasionally visit in years to come.  We don’t need to force the issue.


The latter part of the week was returning to Florence and the Machine’s Ceremonials.  Still think it’s a remarkable album that’s getting better and better.  I caught her performance of No Light, No Light on The Brits and it had to be the stand-out moment – great performance with her troupe of mad nodding dancers – catch it from about 3 minutes onwards.