I was a belligerent adolescent. I used to fantasise about running away from school. I imagined meeting fellow runaways, but they were much better at it. Unlike me they were fleet of foot whereas I struggled to get out of the starting blocks whenever we had track practice at school. They were witty and clever and had dazzling, mercurial ways of expression. I was virtually mute at school and more like a doormat when it came to levels of self-esteem.
I had hoped that I would get better teachers at secondary school. I was wrong. All teenagers believe that they are outsiders for one reason or another. However I believed that I was being unfairly persecuted by the school. I couldn`t wait to leave such an oppressive institution and be myself.
I left school in the summer of 1991. I managed to acquire 5 GCSEs, the minimum required for Sixth Form College. That following September I was consumed with a very bourgeois kind of ennui. I was looking for a new cause. Rave had become the bete noire of the tabloids. Young people, some of them just a year or two older than I had flocked to raves. These were almost like mobile discos run by a new breed of travelling minstrel, the “New Age Travellers”.
These travelers were much braver than I was at the time, they put their rebellion into action. They left their homes, dropped out of conventional society and criss-crossed the country in second hand trucks. Some were convinced that they were on a noble quest to reconnect themselves to our ancient ley lines but most were committed to just having a good time in a field.
t just the tabloids, the travelers and their lifestyles met the opprobrium of politicians. The rave music they used to party to was characterized as a "series of repetitive beats". Reducing an entire culture like this was a perfect example of the establishments prejudice. I lacked the courage and defiance of the travelers but I was inspired by their example of individualist spirit.