Sultans calling

Sep 29th, 2009 | By | Category: Pop thinking

Trivial things from the past seem suddenly to loom out of the memory, things like a record bought thirty years ago and probably not seen in twenty-eight.

Having a sister from England to visit last week probably triggered the thought.  “You don’t know where my Dire Straits album is, do you?”

“What Dire Straits album?”

“Their first one.  It came out in 1978, but I bought it the following year”.

“How should I know?”

A reasonable question, given that I had gone to live in Northern Ireland in 1983 and she had moved to her own home in the 1989.

“What album was it?”

“It was just called ‘Dire Straits’ – it had ‘Sultans of Swing’ on it.  I loved that album”.

“Maybe it’s still at home somewhere. I don’t remember ever seeing it.”

Some people can work miracles.

An email came yesterday from my father:

Mum has found three Dire Straits albums: Alchemy, Brothers in Arms, and one with no name, but it has Sultans of Swing, Down to the Waterline etc. Sarah says they are yours.

Yes!  Brilliant!


The third one is mine – recorded 1978 – it was simply called Dire Straits.
The other two are Paula’s (though I’ll take them if she doesn’t want

‘The other two must be Paula’s’, I had thought, “Who else could have bought them?”

Paula lives in Belfast, eight years younger and only 15 when I left for Ireland, I never knew what music she played.

A further email came;

Mum has an idea that one of them may be hers, Brothers in Arms.

Even it was released in 1985 – a quarter of a century is rolled away.

A psychoanalyst could have a field day.

“Now Mr Poulton, perhaps you would like to sit on the couch there and tell me about this desire to play thirty year old records”.

“Well Dr Fraud, there’s this piece of music that I played over and over again when I was eighteen, and no matter how many times I played it, I still liked it.  Thirty years, later I can still play that piece of music repeatedly”.

“Very odd behaviour”.

“Indeed, but isn’t it good thing that we keep things thirty years in our family?”

“If you say so”.

“I do”.

You get a shiver in the dark
It’s been raining in the park, but meantime . . . “

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  1. Haha . . you should have said, I’m sure I’ve got it stashed somewhere in the wardrobe. Did you get someone to accompany you to Mark Knoffler? I saw them way back and frankly, they were too perfect that they were a little boring. I like a few flaws in my live music!

  2. i was never much into Dire Straits after the first album. The stuff seemed very packaged.

    I like Knopfler now because he can be moody and grumpy at gigs – he complained in Dublin last year about someone’s camera; I loved that, I hate people who spend the whole of a concert holding up their mobile phones and cameras.

    My old friend Les is considering coming from England for the gig, but he has to get a dispensation from the authority

  3. Haha . . I’m assuming his ‘social secretary’. Hope he makes it and you get to go.

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