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When Alan Davies was growing up he seemed to drive his family mad. 'What are we going to do with you?' they would ask - as if he might know the answer.
Perhaps it was because he came of age in the 1980s. That decade of big hair, greed, camp music, mass unemployment, social unrest and truly shameful trousers was confusing for teenagers. There was a lot to believe in - so much to stand for, or stand against - and Alan decided to join anything with the word 'anti' in it. He was looking for heroes to guide him (relatively) unscathed into adulthood.
From his chronic kleptomania to the moving search for his mother's grave years after she died; from his obsession with joining (going so far as to become a member of Chickens Lib) to his first forays into making people laugh (not always intentionally); Teenage Revolution is a touching and funny return to the formative years that make us all.
Snow was falling heavily. I went into a phone box and smoked a cigarette for warmth. Six miles from home and frozen, I rang the police and told them I was stuck. They said I should walk a mile and a half down the hill to Red-bridge roundabout where there was a minicab office. I had to sneak into my dad’s room to find some cab fare without waking him up. He woke up and was livid. It was 2 a.m. Despite the torturous journeys home, which I remember as well as the gigs, they were two nights that
bag of chips away to let the pint of vinegar he liked to add drain out. He was always smiling and it was unbearably sad when he went. I’d come to know Parndon Wood. Another friend and fellow fizzy rider lived near to it. Everyone called him Ernie because of a past resemblance to the Sesame Street character. We used to ride around together, often to see the pretty girls, both called Anna, we liked to chat to down at the stables in Buckhurst Hill. Ernie sold me a Beeline race exhaust which made
hard down across my fingers. That was enough of a diversion to break up the attack and we escaped, but there was no sign of my mate who had been at the counter ordering burgers. We went back and snuck in to the gardens of a hotel opposite, to see if we could see our innocent accomplice. I was bleeding and the knuckle of the middle finger on my left hand had moved oddly out of place. The boy from Enfield had red welts all over his back. He was appalled that my mate had only spectated rather than
draw on child-like feelings as he portrays a young man drunk in a gutter. Dennis Hopper, who was in the cast, is quoted in David Dalton’s biography of Dean (which I read in 1984): ‘I have a script in my hand that says this guy’s in the gutter, drunk, and he gets taken to the police station and is angry about it. Well, first of all, the guy is in the street playing with a toy monkey? And doing baby things – trying to curl up, to keep warm… Then he’s searched, and this angry drunk guy is suddenly
enough to promote Gillingham. I went up to Selhurst Park to watch the Gills lose the replay 2–0 with Swindon’s star player Dave Bamber in form. It was a huge disappointment made worse because, bizarrely and against any geographical logic, Swindon and Gillingham were fierce and hated rivals. The Gills stayed in Division Three where they would play against Sunderland, who won the championship at the first attempt. Arsenal won the Littlewood’s Cup against Liverpool with two goals from Charlie