I grew up in Leighton Buzzard. It's a small industrial town about an hour from London if you take the train. My mum runs a little boutique there, has done since the mid-Eighties. I went to middle school just around the corner. Leighton Middle School. Every day after school I'd have to wait for my mum to close the shop before driving us home. This was the early Nineties, so I would've been about 11 or 12, and those 2 hours seemed like a long time to wait. I remember walking around town. I'd go to the library or go buy some chips from the Ocean Fish Bar, where you'd walk in and the Chinese woman would ask you "Wha you want?" (Years later, while visiting home after university, I went in there to get some chips, this must've been at least 10 years later, and the same woman asked me "You want the usual?") Sometimes I'd sit on the bench outside the Superdrug and pick up the used cigarette butts, hold them up to my mouth, pretend I was a smoker. But my favourite thing to do was go to the Co-op. In the Co-op they had tapes of rock'n'roll music for £1.99. When I was 11 or 12 I really liked rock'n'roll music. Buddy Holly, Little Richard, Eddie Cochran, I really liked the song Runaway by Del Shannon, because his voice went really high.
I don't remember the first time I heard Splish Splash by Bobby Darin. I know they used it in an episode of Family Ties, when the parents go to a school reunion. Family Ties was my favourite thing on TV, because it had Michael J Fox in it. I bought the Bobby Darin tape from Co-op and memorised all the words to the song. I used to sing it to myself when I was walking around town. I remember wishing that I could do that jumping and clicking feet together in the air thing. That song is catchy. In the song Bobby Darin is singing about missing a party because he's in the bath. I think the party's in his living room and he's so busy splishing and splashing that he doesn't hear the party going on. Even at the time I found that charming. When I listen to the song now I feel nostalgic for the 12 year old boy who felt nostalgic for the Fifties.
Bobby was actually quite versatile, he could croon too. His real name was Walden Cassotto, and he suffered from rheumatic fever in his youth which damaged his heart and which meant he would only have a short life. He left behind some music I really liked when I was 12.