(The Way I Am – A Tears for Fears story… with Diego S from Berlin)

I lived in Chicago as a child, not in a suburb but it may as well have been, for it was far from the downtown in a mainly Polish immigrant neighbourhood that wasn’t even the historic cool “downtown” Polish ‘hood. To get some relief from the dullness, I used to love riding my bike (I still do), and would often venture further than the one mile radius that I was allowed to travel. This radius wasn’t perfectly square, however, but rather ended abruptly where the neighbourhood started to get more Mexican, which was a shame ‘cos there was a mall there with a great music store and also a cookie shop that my aunt used to be manager of.

Anyway, as a child I was also very into Tears for Fears, even though they were a bit before my time. What really hooked me was not so much their hits but rather their experimental-sounding b-sides. These tracks were the first examples I’d ever found of pop music that also was art. These were the days before internet streaming, however, so if I wanted to hear these b-sides, I had to go to a shop and buy them, but not just any music store. Instead, I had to find a used record store that had UK imports. One of my greatest finds was their UK-only non-album 10" vinyl single “The Way You Are”, a song that formed the inspiration for this shoot with Diego S.

On the day that I found this record, I’d cycled the 8 ½ miles from my house to Reckless Records. I was eleven years old and it was well beyond my allotted radius, but no one was going to drive me there, and I needed this music like it was air… so I left just saying I was going for a bike ride. No further details.

When I arrived home after getting the record there were police at my house. I guess the three hours or so that I was missing raised alarm bells. So of course I was grounded and had my bike taken away… but later I learned to use the bus.

See more of Diego and read his story in Elska Magazine issue (02) Berlin


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