My Inspiration – Tim Murray (The Raygun)
This is not some great Mark Kermode rant about the The Exorcist and the power and intensity of William Friedkin’s movie, but more about a time and a place. It was 1979; a mate over the road had just got a VCR (one of the first in our school to have one) and we were duly invited round to watch a film on a Friday night. The video man – a long gone phenomenon, but think of the average pirate visiting a pub on a Friday night and supplant it to someone’s home – with a box of tapes for us to look through. We went for The Exorcist. And yes, it was truly powerful, I was about 12 or 13-years-old at the time and it scared the living daylights out of me. Especially when we put it on rewind and played the scene with the crucifix over and over again. I remember my mate’s parents turning up and them saying they hoped they hadn’t been watching horror films with that nice little Timmy watching them. Too late, I was changed. I remember crossing the road on my own to go home, still petrified. I already knew, just knew, I’d be a journalist, but now it didn’t necessarily have to be about football (or more specifically Millwall), or music (punk rock), but now it could be about film. Or rather, video.
If I’d ended up writing about music (I’ve dabbled, still do), I may have plumped for seeing The Sex Pistols on Bill Grundy (I didn’t know what their music sounded, like, I was 11-years-old, but I knew I wanted to be part of it), getting the first Banshees album for Christmas or seeing The Clash at the tender age of 14 or 15-years-old. Or even discovering acid house. But those are other stories for other times.
Even at college, I was writing stories about the Video Recordings Act and how the legislation was affecting stores.
When I got offered a job on Video Business magazine, I turned down a bunch of freelance work from the NME. I’d rather have sat and watched a film at home on video than watch a ton of hopeless bands at the Bull and Gate or Falcon.
My Inspiration could just as easily have been one of a ton of other staples I watched after that – The Warriors, The Wanderers, The Burning, Evil Dead, Zombie Flesh Eaters (still a favourite) – the list was endless.
But The Exorcist was my first, I was hooked.
I am a true child of the video nasty generation, and proud of it.
•HMV’s My Inspiration is about the artists, actors and directors we love, sharing with us the lyrics and songs, poetry and dialogue that have inspired them. The journey began in 2006, when David Bowie became the first artist to take part, selecting Syd Barrett’s Gigolo Aunt as his inspiration. Since that time, many of our greatest icons and best new artists from the world of entertainment have featured.
We at the Raygun are asking the UK home entertainment trade for the films, people, or even songs, that inspired them to become part of our business.
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