Diary Of A Musical Nobody



“Why should I not publish my diary? I have often seen reminiscences of people I have never even heard of, and I fail to see—because I do not happen to be a ‘Somebody’—why my diary should not be interesting. My only regret is that I did not commence it when I was a youth.” – Charles Pooter


There is a glut of musical memoirs at the moment, so I thought I’d add to the gluttony. After unearthing some old cassettes from the late 1970s/early 80s, I thought I’d discovered a treasure trove of rare unheard masterpieces of modern music. Well, turns out I didn’t, but in amongst the dross were quite a few wee gems that I decided to rescue from the skip. These are tunes I wrote in my teens and early twenties – most of them never played live, but some I played with my old groups, The Pedestrians, The Innocents, The Voice Toys and Third Light. None of these groups set the world ablaze, except for Third Light (Russell Laing, Steve Donnelly and Brian Zwiercan) who achieved a modicum of success after recording a single which John Peel played a couple of times and then going on to support The Damned. But that was after I left!

Anyway, what I unearthed was a bunch of home recordings, all of very lo-fi quality and many of them skipping. I thought it was just vinyl that jumped, but turns out cassettes do too. I’ll put up some of the original recordings, but I’ll mostly be remastering them – a pompous way of saying pasting drums and bass onto them and re-recording the guitars and vocals (it’s mostly guitars and vocals – there’s a slight foray into stylophone and kazoo during my post-punk electronic experimental period).  I’ll update this page whenever I can be arsed. Let’s see how we get on.


First up, a song called, appropriately, ‘Reminiscence.’  I haven’t done much to this one. It’s a rubbish song, but I thought it a good introduction cos of the title. A sombre acoustic piece from late on in the early Tommy Mackay canon – 1983 – when I was either 23 or 24 and already reminiscing. Ha! Looks like I had two goes at it. Here’s what I managed to patch together from the second recording with the voice of me of today filling in the vocal bits ‘skipped’ in the original.

Do you sometimes look back on the old days
Don’t you know that’s bad because you see
You will still remember all the good days
And you will forget about today

Reminiscing times
You will still get older
Reminiscing thoughts
Shove them in your folder

Do you remember all the really good times?

And here’s the unexpurgated first original:

And so the journey begins:

Chapters One and Two – 1977
Chapter Three – 1978
Chapters Four and Five – 1979
Chapter Six – 1980
Chapter Seven – 1981-82
Chapter Eight, Nine and Ten – 1983
Chapter Eleven – 1984