We've reached the run-out grooves on side one of Not Fade Away, and while I flip the vinyl and pluck the fluff from the needle let's take a moment. Frankly, I'm out of breath from all the dancing I did in 1983.
By my reckoning we've now reached the halfway point in this blog. I know the legend says "60 years, 60 songs" but by the time we reach the present day (next June? Can that be right?) it will be 62 years, 62 songs. Think of the two added years as bonus tracks.
We've already travelled from the last days of Hank Williams via the birth of rock 'n' roll, the rise of Motown, the British invasion, the folk revival, glam rock, punk, disco, and the new pop to New York dance clubs in the eighties.
For some of you it may be that pop music is already past its peak and what's left is mere postscript. But that would mean we can't talk about acid house, grunge, Britpop, trip-hop, dubstep and, I don't know, One Direction. Hopefully you'll stay with me for the rest of the journey.
But maybe this is a good point to ask a few questions of you all. Of the tracks I've chosen so far what have you loved and what have you hated? Is there anything you didn't know before and if so have you made any happy discoveries? Are you as in love with music now as you were then (whenever then might have been)? What was the last great record you heard, the last great gig you were at? Let me know what you think by posting a comment below.
Looking back at the choices so far it's sobering to catalogue the collateral losses. Among the choices we've had two suicides (Ian Curtis and Billy MacKenzie), one murder victim (in John Lennon), two transport-related deaths (Marc Bolan and Patsy Cline), and a number of ends that came either too soon and/or possibly from a life of excess (Sandy Denny, Brian Jones, Nick Drake, Elvis, Williams). And that's without mentioning Sinatra, Donna Summer, George Harrison, Michael Jackson, Ray Charles. That list is a reminder of how long pop has been with us and the taxes it has made on some of the particpants.
But this is a celebration not a wake. Next Monday we'll start again. It will be 1984. Big Brother may be watching (or as it was the year the home computer was invented, he was at the very least waiting out in cyberspace). But there is still a lot of great music to choose from. After all, we've still got the Smiths and Prince waiting in the wings.