Number 87 – We’ve all been there
Caught By the Fuzz – Supergrass – Chosen by SWC – Taken from ‘I Should Coco’ LP (1995)
Wasn’t 1995 a marvellous year for music. So many decent records came out that year. I think it’s the year that features the most in this rundown. But, enough of that, seeing as we are talking about ‘Caught By The Fuzz’ let’s talk about the time I got arrested.
But before that, a quick question – does anyone out there remember a band called The Jennifers? They played run of the mill indie pop and I think disappeared just as quickly as they arrived. The reason I ask is that a few months after The Jennifers disappeared, Supergrass arrived with ‘Caught By The Fuzz’, two minutes of clever punky indie pop telling a story about being busted for drug possession and then being told off by your mums. It was way better than anything The Jennifers ever recorded (not that there was much). Basically The Jennifers turned into Supergrass, but its the clever packaging that allowed Supergrass to be something entirely different.
Much was made how Supergrass were terribly young whippersnappers (despite Gaz looking like he needed to shave four times a day to stop his growing a W G Grace beard before tea time), and they had been plucked out of a school room concert and signed on the spot obviously its not quite true. The Jennifers did form at school and did release records whilst (apparently) still at school, but ultimately Supergrass were in their twenties when ‘Caught By The Fuzz’ came out. Not that it matters, its still a brilliant record.
Anyway, there I am in the interview room at the police station.
Cold. Aged 14, a bit sniffy, naïve and not really that streetwise.
I have been arrested for criminal damage. I honestly didn’t do it. I mean I was there when the bin was set alight, and I might have laughed as the hedge next to it caught fire too, but I didn’t have the matches or the lighter fuel. I’d also ran away when the fuzz arrived (or The Man as we called them), sadly for me, I didn’t know my way around the back streets of Gillingham Park and I’d run down a dead end cul-de-sac, hence my arrest. The real criminals got away, as all of Kent finest were dealing with me. I won’t name names but suffice to say there is a reason I took such smug satisfaction in the celebrated Dubstar argument around ten years later.
Then my Dad arrives, he is properly pissed off, because he has been dragged away from his table tennis match, which apparently was a County Cup Match (he is still in his kit, a slightly sweaty sweary mess). I’m not sure if he is more angry with the coppers or with me. There are a few lengthy discussions none of which I remember largely because I’m too scared to think for myself. Seriously I’m 14 and I think I am going down for life for not setting fire to a bin.
My dad looks at me and says “just tell them what happened then we can go get some chips”.
Honestly that’s what he said.
I nod largely because I was hungry.
I sat in the room and a kindly old guy with a moustache came in and asked me some questions.
“Did I set fire to the bin?”
“Do I know who did?” Now, I didn’t know for sure, so I said: –
Apparently this wasn’t helping myself. My solicitor (a bloke my dad knew from the local pub, who he’d phoned about an hour earlier) told the officers that there was no evidence against me, maybe I was just in the wrong place at the wrong time.
“We’ve found the matches you dumped” another officer tells me (a grumpy young chap – nice and nasty you see). I know this to be incorrect, because one, I didn’t have any matches, and two, the whole box got thrown in the bin fire to make it burn better. So what they had was some matches they’d picked up, dropped by someone else, this was a fit up. Bloody Feds.
I didn’t have any matches I say. At this point my dad interrupts and says, “He wouldn’t even know how to light a match”. This is true, Chris had a lighter for our secret smoking sessions behind his Granddads shed.
After about twenty minutes of further ruthless interrogation “you stink of smoke”) they let me go, with a warning. I walk out feeling like Reggie Kray. I was untouchable. Ha, I fought the law…
Then my dad grounded me for a month. Without pocket money and I didn’t get any chips on the way home, he also made me clean his car, my Granddad’s car and most of his friends cars for free.
Its doesn’t pay folks.
Its Not Me