Monday, 12 May 2014

So here’s to you, Mrs Robster

I suppose it was inevitable that when I eventually met the future Mrs Robster, it would be music that would bring us together. In our case, it was R.E.M.

I had the enormous privilege of seeing R.E.M. three times and each occasion has its significance. The latter two occasions were with Mrs Robster; at Cardiff Arms Park on the Monster Tour in 1995 and Earl’s Court in 1999. The Cardiff show is right up there in terms of significant moments in my life as it is how the Mrs and I met. Well, we had met previously in passing as I knew her mum through work, but this time I was asked if I would ‘look after her’ as she was going to the show with one of her friends. Being a mere slip of a girl, her mum wanted someone responsible to make sure she was OK. Obviously she couldn’t find anyone to fit the bill, so she asked me instead… A few months later, we went on our first date and we’ve never looked back.

As well as our mutual appreciation/devotion/obsession with Athens GA’s finest, we seemed to align musically in other ways too. She had Bowie and Police CDs and was rather accepting of my suggestions. I’ve already mentioned how the La’s album is one we hold dear for reasons I cannot divulge on a non-age restricted blog; ‘I Am The Greatest’ by A House was another big fave of us both. I made her a mix tape as all young lovers used to do, replete with sleeve notes. It might still be in a box here somewhere, but off the top of my head I recall it did have Satellite of Love by Lou Reed on it, Carole King’s Will You Still Love Me Tomorrow and I Don’t Like Mondays by the Boomtown Rats as it was the number one single the week she was born. I’ve always been jealous of that – no one can deny it beats Chirpy Chirpy friggin’ Cheep Cheep in every possible aspect!

Over our years together we’ve shared our musical loves and hates, though to be fair it’s more a case of she’s listened to what I’ve been playing and decided what she likes, what she doesn’t and what she cannot stand. She loves Pixies for instance (who we saw on our honeymoon, as relayed here), and Public Service Broadcasting, but cannot stand Cardiacs, Bjork or the Manic Street Preachers. I suppose I have to forgive her really, though had she taken a dislike to Pixies too I’m not sure we’d have lasted the 19 years we’ve stuck at it.

Or maybe we would have. It’s not all been about music, we’ve had all manner of ups and downs. The ups have been amazing, fun and unforgettable; the lows however have been rather devastating. Many relationships have fallen apart over far less. That’s what we hold dear. We’ve come this far even though we drive each other insane. When I think about what we’ve put each other through... yet she’s still my gig buddy. Yes, she was even with me when we saw the Manics last year. She watched them through gritted teeth, but never left my side, bless her.

This year marks our 10th wedding anniversary. Getting to the first was difficult enough – we’d already lasted almost 10 years as a couple by that point – so it’s really something to celebrate. Not sure how we’ll do that yet, but there’ll probably be some tunage involved (though likely not an airing of ‘A Little Man And A House And The Whole World Window’ unfortunately…)



  1. Great post! I met my wife while studying in Athens. I too can thank REM for bringing us together. One of the reasons she even went to school in Athens was her love of REM.

  2. Lovely. Me and my wife, we've been together for more than 21 years and this June will mark the 11th year of our marriage (let it be known that I formally asked her to marry me, diamond ring and all, exactly on the day 10 years after the first time we went together on a date). We get on so well together probably because she isn't in the slightest interested in pop music.