Wednesday, 28 March 2018

Radio Songs #31: Heartbreak Radio

Our first date was a Saturday night, which meant I didn't see her again until Monday. (Nowadays, texts or emails would be exchanged in the interim, allowing for a better assessment of one's prospects. Back then you just had to wait till you saw them again.)

Come Monday then, I spent a fair amount of time lurking out in the corridor (rather than doing my job), waiting to "bump" into her and test the water over a second date. The idea of making a direct and public approach and actually going into her office to talk to her was obviously beyond me. This was far more stomach-churning than the initial "asking out". Then, my confidence had been buoyed by the encouragement of others and the idea of "nothing ventured, nothing gained". This time I was alone... and the stakes were much higher. The glow of Saturday night was still with me... the idea that it was a one off, and that she hadn't felt a similar glow herself was frankly terrifying.

But there was little sign of her that afternoon, and certainly none of the impromptu visits she'd occasionally make "to check the logs" prior to delivering the next day's schedule at the end of the afternoon. And when that time did actually arrive, it wasn't the girl in question who brought them... it was her colleague.

"Where is she?" I asked.

"Oh, she had to leave early tonight."

"Oh. Did she... did she say anything about... Saturday?"

"Oh, yeah. She said she had a nice time."


"A nice time?"


In my head, I heard this.

A couple of days later, her friend told me the real story. She'd got back with her old boyfriend.

The jock.

Sooner or later things went back to normal. I stopped lurking in the corridor. I'd smile and say hello as though nothing had happened. A tiny part of me had died, but it wasn't the first time and it certainly wouldn't be the last.

Their relationship didn't last and she left for a better job a few months later.

Looking back now, I can see that beyond the physical attraction (and the fact that she was a member of the female species who'd actually shown an interest in me: a genuine rarity), we had very little in common and it probably wouldn't have gone anywhere anyway. You wish you could travel back in time and have a word in your ear that it's no great disaster. L.I.F.E.G.O.E.S.O.N. , as Noah and the Whale memorably put it.

31. Roy Orbison - Heartbreak Radio

The final Roy Orbison album, King of Hearts, was released posthumously in 1992, made up from The Big O's last recordings with producer Jeff Lynne. Orbison died of a heart attack in 1988 at the height of a major career comeback. He was only 52 years old. Tragedy was a constant companion throughout his life, which probably explains why he sang like he did...

Hometown sweetheart.
Hung around in the dark.
Only make a move or two.
I was just a young fool.
Never been to night school,
Didn't know enough to be cool.
So she found another lover,
They went undercover.
The way she stole my heart was a crime
In order to keep the peace
Callin' out the police Find her 'fore I lose my mind.

There's a weird postscript to this story which I'll reveal on Friday...


  1. Oh my, I feel for your young self. To have plucked up the courage to ask her out, and actually enjoy the date, only to have it all fizzle out before it began - Cruel. As you say however she doesn't sound as if she was the girl for you anyway and your date was just a pleasant little interlude for her during her on/off relationship with the jock.

    I remember the anguish my first school boyfriend used to go through last thing on a Friday after double Maths - There was a tiny window, as we all streamed out of the classroom, when he could ask if I wanted to go out the following evening but looking back it must have taken a gargantuan amount of courage to do that, especially in front of the other lads. I take my hat off to the males of the species, who before Facebook and Tinder just had to bite the bullet do the whole face-to-face "asking out" thing. A tough gig.

  2. Rol - I can't match your sad tale, but here's one of my own.

    There was a blonde angel called Sandra the year below me in school that I fell madly in love with. I kept arranging to bump into her around the school corridors but was too shy to say anything. I finally got to talk with her when me and a couple of mates gatecrashed my school's annual Rugby/Hockey dance, held in the (secondary) school's main hall.
    For some reason, I ended up alone with her in the playground and gibbered away at her (I'd had 2 or 3 underage pints of snakebite before I went to the dance) before seeing her to her bus stop. Somehow, the fact that she seemed to enjoy my company didn't register with me and walking home that night, I believed I'd blown any chance of seeing her again.
    A week later my mate's sister came up to me in school and told me that the object of my affections would meet me outside the school at 4 p.m. When the appointed time rolled around, I just couldn't find the courage to go and meet her. Our paths never crossed again. My big chance and I blew it.
    As for "Heartbreak Radio", I love the original version - written and sung by Scotland's greatest soul man, Frankie Miller.

  3. We all have our heart broken at one point or another, whether in friendship or love. Can't control how the other feels. There are plenty more fish in the sea as they say!

    Sad Roy Orbison died in the midst of his career renaissance.

  4. Ah, I feel for you Rol and also Gram and Alyson's school boyfriend - all those boys in fact who were sweet and genuine and had to do that whole asking out thing, that includes Mr SDS, whom I led a merry dance for some time, it's a wonder he didn't give up (he told me since that he nearly did, several times).

    Look forward to your postscript.

    As for Roy, recently watched a documentary on his life and was just so saddened at the incredible amount of tragedy he went through, just awful - I hadn't appreciated his full story before that.


Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...