I've been writing, editing and re-jigging stuff today. I've had a lot of fun doing this and I'm going to show you what I've done...
Please feel free to share - because, if I get comments and hits on this, I'll share some more.
Go on, have at it ;)
At the dawn of the eighties, Rock music came into its own, going from strength to strength. Deep Purple endured, as did Free, Cream and a host of seventies’ groups. AC/DC, Thin Lizzy, Status Quo, Queen, Whitesnake and The Who made their own eighties revivals and newcomers Meatloaf, Bon Jovi, Def Leppard and ZZ Top either established a firm foot-hold or hovered on the fringes of ultimate cool in the UK rock scene.
Biker style took the throne as the height of fashion, with jeans, boots and leather jackets worn by bikers for their functionality, and fashion victims for the style of 'Rock Chic'.
The development of stretch denim meant skin-tight jeans could be manufactured cheaply and easily and therefore, came to the attention of the slim young things. Leaving little to the imagination where the shape of legs and buttocks were concerned; much to the delight of other slim young things and casual observers everywhere. Leather and denim clad a wide variety of different sized bodies and held an interest for most tastes.
Years before Grunge had even been thought of, 'Grebo' style spread like wildfire. The style encompassed the more functional aspects of leather and denim. Worn widely by Punks, but mostly by bikers, leather jackets were scuffed, often torn by minor slides down the road. Time-worn and filthy 'Originals' were worn by the more hard-core bikers whose ethos was that no cleaning products would ever touch their jeans or cut-off (a sleeveless denim, worn over the leather jacket). Stiffened and thickened by grime, oil and everyday filth, the denims were worn religiously for all of their bike riding. Whether the idea was that the filth, grime and oil encrusted jeans would give a greater protection or not, they certainly gave a great deal of protection from more fastidious females and so were usually discarded when out on the pull.
The unisex appeal of the style sometimes gave rise for confusion, especially as the male bikers also wore their hair long - as a snub to authority, a statement of personal freedom or just to emulate their rock star heroes. Some employers still insisted on well-groomed and short back-and-sides hair styles, but that regimen was falling by the wayside rapidly in the brand new decade.
Justin Hardy stood at the bar, his freshly poured pint in front of him. The barman returned with his change and turned away to serve others without time for a word of thanks in either direction.
Sighing, Justin stared into the froth on the top of the beer. He hadn't wanted to go out at all but he was alone in a small village B&B in the middle of his sales trip and already fed up of the small room he had rented. He had asked the B&B landlady if there was anything to do of an evening and she returned his question with a glum look and the minimal phrase, "There's the Sitwell."
"Pub?" he asked.
"Yes." And then she turned away to continue cleaning her small house. Though she was not much of a conversationalist, her cooking was splendid (better than his mum’s) and the cleanliness of her house was immaculate. Sparse in furniture and home comforts - not even a TV in his room - the bare floorboards gleamed and the threadbare rug harboured not a single speck of dust. He had no wish to sit in her living room with her, watching the likes of Coronation Street or Emmerdale Farm however, hence the quest for other entertainment.
So Justin wandered across to the Sitwell Arms alone. He went in and chose the Tap Room of the pub, figuring if there were any others close to his age, they would be there rather than the Lounge. He took a quick look around and then moved on to the back of the room, up two steps and realised that part of the Tap Room was more spacious than he had first thought. It opened up, with more small tables dotted about.
He spotted a young woman and her friend sat at one table, she sat facing her friend, and therefore him too; the friend sat with her back to him. ‘A nice bit of rough, makes a change,’ went through his mind as he mentally prepared himself. If he had been wearing one, he would have adjusted his tie at that point. She wasn’t what he usually went for, but the choice at that point in time was sparse.
He looked her over, his eyes roving up her tight denim jeans and leather bike jacket. She had long straight hair, dark blonde in colour; too shiny to be described as mousey. She also had on a tiny vest top that barely covered her small but perfectly formed breasts. Her make-up consisted of a little mascara and eye-liner, and shiny pale lip gloss. Far removed from the type he usually went for, he preferred the higher-maintenance kind of girl, but she’d do as a temporary distraction.
She leaned forward, long hair dropping to hide her face and she swept it back to tuck it over her shoulder as she spoke. Deep in conversation with her friend sitting opposite her, they chatted quietly. The other, dressed in similar fashion, black leather bike jacket and jeans. Lovely long brunette, almost waist-length hair shone in the light from the sunset glinting through the window. Two empty half-pint glasses on the table, pushed aside so they could chat. He decided to take a chance to liven up his evening. Preparing to target the blonde, with the brunette as a back-up plan, he couldn’t lose.
"Could I buy you two ladies a drink?" he asked, his most suave smile beaming, his eyes on the breasts of the girl facing him.
Her eyebrows raised and he lifted his gaze to her face. She gave a strained smile back at him. Her companion sat up a little, taking time to turn around.
The words ‘fuck off’ only registered after he realised the mistake he'd made in the gender of the girl's companion. The lad was younger than himself by perhaps a half-dozen years, he was slim with gorgeous clean, shining hair but his youthful features were very obviously masculine.
"Oh jesus," Justin muttered. "Sorry mate." As the lad glared at him, he felt his face colour up and he decided against sitting in that part of the Tap Room. He hurried back down the steps to find a vacant table in a corner in which to recover from his embarrassment. He heard the girl laugh as he fled but her companion did not.
"Fuckin’ trendies," the long haired lad muttered.
"Are you going or staying?" She ignored his annoyance.
"Staying I suppose. Do you want another?" He stood up, picking up both glasses to take to the bar.
"No, I'm ok. I've had enough coke for now."
He nodded and left her glass on the table in front of her.
Justin watched as the long-haired 'hippy type' stood at the bar waiting to be served. He moved his resentful glare between the lad’s back and the girl as the lad ordered his drink. Justin thought to himself as he watched, ‘The tight-fisted bastard didn't even get his girlfriend one and they were only drinking halves, probably to make his dole money last to the next gyro cheque’. Smug in the knowledge that at twenty-four he had a reasonable job with better than average pay nailed down, his resentment blistered in his mind. ‘What did that girl see in him, the greasy yobbo?’.
A short time later, Justin got up to check out the tunes on the jukebox. He became more dismayed with each card he flipped over. He had already put his money in and not found any tracks that weren’t rock of some kind or another. He settled for a selection of tracks that were or had been in the charts and went back to sit down.
While he studied the choice of music on the jukebox, more bikers had arrived. The table where his drink sat almost finished remained empty, but the newcomers had surrounded it and moved the chairs so only his remained. He picked the glass up and moved to another table, very aware that it looked like he was intimidated.
When the group walked in, the girl he had tried to chat up went over to greet one of them. She kissed him and he went to the bar to get them both drinks. The first lad followed her down and sat with the new arrivals.
Justin’s seat away from the crowd became enveloped again as more bikers arrived. He gave up and went into the Lounge area. He left his empty glass on the table and as he went, Justin heard the girl tell her boyfriend that he'd mistaken Staffy for a bird. “That’s an easy mistake to make,” the boyfriend said and they laughed at Staffy’s ‘Fuck off!’ response. Resentment flared in Justin’s mind as they laughed, and instead of another pint, he started on vodka & coke when he got to the bar on the other side.
Once during the evening, Justin went to the toilets and dropped a tab of speed he found in the corner of his wallet - not because he needed to - he wanted to. He wanted a better buzz than the downer enveloping his mood at that minute. It was all due to that hippy getting obnoxious. Who the fuck could tell which were boys and which were girls if they all dressed alike?
That was his last tab of speed and he was in an area that he didn’t know. The only way he could think of getting topped up was to ask a local. That meant talking to the greasy yobbos.
Justin waited his chance. He saw the girl he’d tried to chat up leave the bar area to go to the toilet.
He waited for her as she came out.
“Hey,” he said. “Do you know where I can score?”
She looked at him with a frown on her brow, puzzled at the question.
“You know,” he prompted. “Speed, wiz, even blow if there’s nothing else?”
She looked him up and down and sneered. “You fucking trendies think you’re so much better than us. You dress nice and smart and people accept you because of how you look. Just because we don’t wear suits and ties they think we’re scum but look at you, you’re the one that can’t get by without getting high. Fuck off, you tosser. I don’t do drugs; I don’t need it. Fucking waster!” She slammed open the door to the Tap Room and left him standing there.
He glared at the door she’d stormed through and told himself she was an uptight bitch and probably protecting her sources, he couldn’t blame her, he supposed. He went back to the Lounge and his drink.
He watched the rowdy bikers through the serving area that connected but separated the two bars for ease of serving and he allowed his smouldering resentment to fester.
A few drinks later, he struck up conversation with some of the locals and one old boy in particular chatted away quite happily; more due to the fact that Justin was generous in getting in the rounds than any other reason, he supposed. Justin stood in order to make his way to the bar again. He hesitated and steadied himself when he got to his feet, to prevent the drunken wobble he could feel beginning to slip itself into his gait. Through the bar staff's domain between the rooms, he again spotted the long haired lad – ‘Staffy’ she had called him. The bikers were all still in the lower area, crowded in and being quite lively in their banter, well they had to shout over the noise that was coming from the jukebox, he supposed. They seemed to be enjoying his choice of music.