My song today is ‘My Coo Ca Choo’. This was the first successful release for Alvin Stardust reaching Number 2 in the ‘UK Singles Chart’ in December 1973. This glam rock single fared even better in Australia, where it was the best charting single in the country in 1974.
The only thing I can recall about the release of this record in 1973 is that I first heard it at a Christmas party in December of 1974. It was one of the rare occasions when I drank too much alcohol. Being tipsy is an infrequent experience for me and being drunk is a total rarity, as I have not been much of a drinker since the wild days of my teenage years. On this occasion, however, I had drunk too much alcohol and was sitting (or perhaps positioned prostrate) on one of those sofas of the time that went around the room perimeter and had over a dozen sections to it that one could shove together if required. I must have been drowsy and was dropping off to sleep when suddenly, the record being played changed to one being sung by Alvin Stardust, and the room bust out into the loudest ‘Coo Ca Choo’ chant I’ve ever heard (or so it seemed at the time). Then, someone bent down over me, placed both hands on each of my face cheeks, and said “And who’s this little ‘Coo Ca Choo’ all on his own?” as she landed a big kiss on my lips.
Let met instantly say that it was not the usual type of kiss that asks, “Are you enjoying yourself there all on your own, Bill?” but a more lasting, lingering, and tempting one that communicated to my tipsy and addled brain, “Are you enjoying yourself there on your own, Bill? Wouldn’t you rather be enjoying yourself much more if you were alone with me elsewhere; somewhere more private?”
It turned out to be one of the more attractive and friendliest of females in the Probation Office who often chatted and joked with me in a flirtatious manner, which I enjoyed immensely, despite being a married man. When she kissed me unexpectedly at the office do, she knew that I had not yet celebrated my fifth wedding anniversary and that I was at least two years farther away from itching to scratch at any new extramarital territory. It turned out that she also was a woman who rarely drank, but had decided to attend this party and get inebriated because her marriage was going through a rough patch since she’d discovered her husband had been having an affair with a married woman in his workplace.
I would have responded more romantically under different circumstances had neither of us been married. While my own marriage was on a downward slope at the time, I still considered my marriage vows sacred and the words still rang loud and clear whenever a sexual thought strayed in an extra-marital direction. Besides, I believed I was ‘wedded for life, for better or worse’, and politely prevented her from making any further advances she would come to regret when she had sobered up the next day. We spoke for some considerable time that night before we went home our separate ways.
As fate would decree, nothing untoward ever transpired between us during the future years, despite a few ‘near misses’ after both of our marriages broke up two years apart. We continued to flirt harmlessly, aware that danger was always present whenever we found ourselves alone. It was probably the thought of dangerously living on the edge of some event that was always likely to happen that created a sense of acceptable risk and frisson for each of us. We both sensed that there was a spark between us that would immediately ignite into a raging bonfire were we ever to meet again in an inebriated state, and this mere realisation between us would occasionally allow our eyes to betray our ‘guilty secret’. We continued to play out our flirtatious game for several years longer, whilst managing to keep our feelings in check throughout by the combined approach of effectively stifling the expression of our feelings for the other and handcuffing all inappropriate touch and friendly caress in a collusive partnership.
We were both aware that the sexual spark which existed between us could flare up with the mere exchange of a certain look, the voicing of one incautious and inviting word, or the feel of one inappropriate touch between us. Were these explosive elements to ever combine in a meeting of minds at the right time, it would most certainly lead us to do the wrong thing! It was as though we each unconsciously held a box of matches in one hand and a bucket of water in the other for the remaining years we came into contact in the same working environment! We both finished up divorcing our marriage partners, and we never got together.
Before this post, and the recollection of today’s song, I have not thought about my fair-maiden office colleague for many years now, and no doubt she would have remained a distant memory in the recess of my mind had I not recently heard the Alvin Stardust record ‘Coo Ca Choo’ on the radio which momentarily made me wonder, “What if…. I had….?” Then I look across at Sheila, the beautiful woman I was to eventually marry in the autumn of my life, and think, "She’s the only Coo Ca Choo for me!"
Love and peace.