Jodie Foster’s intensely private HMV memories

First off, what makes you think you’ve got the right to ask me about my HMV memories? My memories are private. PRIVATE god dammit.

Jodie FosterSo, I suppose you’re just gonna say “I know what Jodie Foster’s first ever album was”, right? You’re gonna say it was Fistful of Alice by Alice Cooper, or Feels Like the Fist Time by Foreigner or Introducing the Hard Fist According to Terence Trent D’Arby. Well, they might have been the kind of albums you bought, but not me.

Mel, you with me? Remember the twelve inch? I think you do. We don’t need another hero, is all I’m sayin’, Mel. That was a bit of code between me and Mel, there.

I’ll come right out and say it: the first album I bought was on vinyl. You don’t remember vinyl, huh? Back in the day, going to HMV was a magical, dreamlike experience where you didn’t have to pay for anything – like going to the moon, or better still blasting off to the edge of space like I did in my 1997 movie, Contact.

Every Saturday afternoon I’d get lost in aisles of legendary seminal works: Straits, ZZ, Winwood, Aswad – oh, boy! Later, I’d have to be forceably aroused by the staff after I’d slip into another dimension listening to Level 42 on the big headphones.

They’d find me in the fetal position with a big wet patch on my shorts, muttering “I’m okay to go” over and over. They were my family, my brothers in life – and in arms. I wanna thank you guys.

That vinyl smell – there’s something no one ever talks about. I would immediately get so immersed in the album sleeve that I would bring it closer and closer to my face until I’d end up walking home with it fully wedged over my head. The day I bought No Jacket Required, the bus conductor never even asked to see my ticket. It was the most beautiful time of my life.

I have sniffed literally thousands of sleeves since then, hoping to recapture that joy but it’s been futile – even people with prosthetic arms are a disappointment. One time, during the filming of Nell, I accidentally sniffed Liam Neeson’s sleeve and it was revolting. Somewhere between an incontinent leper and used dental floss. Don’t do it, Mel.

Now that I’ve ended the speculation for good, I hope you can stop your obscene fascination at my HMV memories, like a room full of pervy John Hinckleys.

Hows about a woop woop for privacy, brothers and sisters? Mel, sit down.