As I walked out from Brighton Centre this morning having bought my ticket to see a-ha in November, I had to stop a big girlie grin from spreading across my face. And now, as I go back over the old tracks, I’m reminded of a major thing from my childhood.
For a long time, I’ve thought of my first major crush, from the age of 14, as being Mark Shaw (for those who don’t remember, he was the oh-so-beautiful face and often-outspoken voice of Then Jerico). BUT, and this is the scary part, a-ha released Take On Me in 1985, when I was just ten, four years before I really latched onto TJ. So, does this mean Morten Harket was my first ever crush? Actually, yes, I think it qualifies. Which is really very weird. Because you see, the thing is, everyone thinks ten-year-old girls don’t have ‘those’ feelings. That these things develop as we get older and our bodies begin to change. But, if indeed my crush (and I do mean it was a huge crush) on Morten started when I was ten, then I was either way ahead of my time or I was a decade-old music slut.
SO, what’s changed on the Morten front? To tell the truth, not that much. I still think he’s one of the most ridiculously attractive men on the planet and now, aged 50, even that hasn’t changed. How anyone can go through life and stay quite as attractive as he is defies logic, but there you go. I believe even the most libertarian woman of the 21st century would admit that Morten Harket is possibly perfect husband material. Those of us over the age of 30 even seem to have Morten all to ourselves. When I go to see Placebo, for instance, or HIM, most of the audience are considerably younger than yours truly. But it’s a strange thing, and I do feel this in my gut, that Morten is strictly off-limits for those under the age of 30. Because he has that ‘doesn’t look his age’ thing but he has something else, too. He’s a clean man, and by that I don’t mean he’s holier-than-thou or anything. But he’s tidy, he’s neat, he’s well dressed, he doesn’t do drugs, he hardly even drinks, he doesn’t smoke… Hell, he likes orchids (something else I’d forgotten from my childhood – as soon as I heard it in an interview earlier, I remembered him saying the same in the 80s). The sort of man, in fact, that any woman would be proud to take home to her mother.
Don’t get me wrong, here. Oh, no. Because I still like men wearing make-up (so far as I’m aware, Morten never did). I’m still a great imaginer of weird things that, try as I might, I could never explain even if I had a hundred lifetimes to do it in, so I’ve never bothered. What goes on in my head is my own business. But, listening to what I think is perhaps my favourite a-ha track of all time, Train of Thought, I was reminded of that fact, too, because it brought memories of those random and esoteric thoughts flooding back, even though I can’t describe them any better now than I could then, or explain them even to myself.
Who knows? Perhaps Morten could try on my behalf. He was, after all, the channel and catalyst for a lot of those thoughts and feelings (no filth, please, I’m trying to be serious and deep, here), before I even knew what a catalyst was.
Oh, something I haven’t mentioned. The Brighton gig is the night before my 36th birthday and the ticket is an early present from my parents. And I’m going on my own and I can have the band all to myself. Along with, er, however many others who’ll be there, too. But you know what I mean. No? Well, then, I’ll keep that to myself, as well. Because there are some things that are not supposed to be shared.