Graham Coxon – The Song That Changed My Life

The Beatles – ‘Revolution’

I first heard ‘Revolution’ when I was four years old, I guess I was just lucky enough to be able to work the record player and recognise it from the apple in the middle. I liked to play with the knobs on the front of the record player, turn the bass right up… I probably even only got the right-hand speaker. I just wanted it to be as big as possible.

I’ve still got that record, I keep it in a box with loads of 45s I bought as teenager. As a kid it gave me that feeling. Later on my taste got more sophisticated, but probably not by much. I was still searching for that thing that made me feel the same. It informed my obsession with early Pavement, The Damned and Sonic Youth. I mean, The Damned really do sound like maniacs. They are incredibly reckless, and that’s always been an influence on me. I like dynamic, reckless music.

But then, I’m also totally in love with Chopin. That’s my own private world, nothing to do with what I play or record. I think someone had put something heavy on top of the arm when they played our copy of ‘Revolution’, so it destroyed the groove all the way through the song. It was scratched, which made everything twice as noisy. That informed my sense of what is correct, and how heavy sounds can be. Later on, listening to recordings of The Who and The Kinks, that informed my perversion even more. This is why I ended up liking fuzz and liking the noise of a guitar groaning under stress.

This article originally appeared in the April 21 issue of NME