Jimmy & Gene

Jimmy happened on an old mattress, in a damp council flat.

It was 1957 (and the Fair Weekend).

Nine months later he finally entered the world on his own,

on a dreich April Fools day.


During his formative years Maggie sacked his father, amongst many others.

A common household utterance was:

“Thank F you’ve got that job, hen”.

With increasing frequency mechanically recovered meat products appeared on the kitchen table. It was dire.


Come adolescence something happened…Jimmy offered to make newsagent trips.

It wasn’t for the lovely Lizzy, well not entirely – it was for glam rock porn.

NME and Rolling Stone had it going on.


The bright lights of the big city called.

London tore Jimmy apart, demolished inhibitions he didn’t even know he had.

Gene was released for the first time ever. It was wonderful.


A fortnight later Jimmy returned home, but he wasn’t alone.

Gene was burning brightly in his mind, biding time.

Gene drifted out slowly, a glint of glitter at a time.

When Gene fully emerged, glam arrived.


Gene said the things Jimmy only ever thought about;

sashayed the way Jimmy only ever dreamed of.;

paraded styles Jimmy ashamedly coveted.


Complaints were made:

Jimmy’s mum was offended;

his dad didn’t approve;

his sister was jealous.


Gene stole the stars’ style secrets – pouty lips, eyeliner, leopard print, fishnets.

Best of all – top hats.

Gene had them all – David Bowie, Jo , New York Dolls, Doris Day.

Gene wanted to be a star and it happened, in a way.

People stared, neighbours crossed the street, family were discombobulated.


Nonetheless, Gene brought that London shine back to Glasgow.

Hope from the glamour brightened overcast skies and Jobcentres’ long lies.

This new found freedom opened opportunities of learning, experimentation, broadening horizons.

For those closest there was promise of a Labour government,

economic and social recovery,

a future full of possibilities.


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