While visiting Sri Lanka I managed to hook up with Phill Morton and his wife Anne.
Phill and I were best mates back in the late seventies and early eighties in Sheffield.
They were great times to be young guys around town in Sheffield; the music scene was booming, with bands like the Human League, ABC and Thomson Twins (although I concede the latter two bands hailed from nearby Chesterfield) and the city had numerous thriving night clubs and music venues.
We saw John Mellencamp at The Limit for the princely sum of £1.50 each – although he was called Johnny Cougar at that time. A tour that I suspect wont feature in his autobiography.
Back in the day we would hang out at Uncle Sam’s Chuck Wagon on Eccleshall Road, ‘Mister Kites’ wine bar on Division Street and, of course, Saturday lunchtimes at ‘The Crazy Daisy’ on the High Street. It was at the Crazy Daisy that Phil Oakey from the Human League actually met Jo Catherall and Susan Sully as there were no cocktail bars in Sheffield at that time for them to have been working as a waitresses in.
I digress, Phill and his wife moved to Sri Lanka about seven years ago and were here at the time of the tsunami and have been involved in the post tsunami effort, including working at a boys orphanage.
They now live in a comfortable house in Hikkaduwa, near Galle and we spent a very pleasant day with them.
As with all good friends, it took a matter of minutes to erase the nearly twenty years since we last met, and the afternoon was spent regaling tales of two single lads on the town. As the line from Mott the Hoople’s farewell single would have it “We were the dudes and the dudes were we”.
It’s my fervent hope that we won’t leave it as long to see them again. For all the nostalgia we both realise that we’re not the young Turks we once were.