Ep.4: Everywhere in a White Maestro van 

Everywhere in a White Maestro van 

This episode is a little snippet of the drive to work on a Tuesday morning in 1988 with my boyfriend trying to get from Mapesbury road in Cricklewood to Holloway road in Archway.

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It’s ten past eight on a Tuesday morning and my boyfriend is on a mission to keep moving and not get stopped by traffic. ‘Everywhere’ by Fleetwood Mac starts playing on the radio and I’m immediately trained into it’s ping pong beats as Izzat is trying to outwit the other drivers. It’s a bit of a pointless challenge if you ask me because this is North London in the morning rush hour. He’s determined to seek space. But the seeking doesn’t seem to be helping him feel better. With each abrupt turn the van seems to be jerkier than the last, and his growls sound a little more menacing. 

Uhhhh you crazy idiot what did you do that for?!! Are you stupid?!! 

I don’t want to do anything stupid so I disappear into the sound of the lyrics of the song and the movement of my body as it flips side to side with the music. 

“Oh ahhh, I wanna be with you everywhere” 

I do want to be with you everywhere, I think, but I don’t like the morning drives to work when I stay over at your place. I’m not sure what’s on your mind today but I guess I’m getting used to the cloud that appears sometimes. I know now that there’s a time and place for asking and that time is not now. So I’ll just have a wordless conversation with Fleetwood Mac instead. 

That hotel is where we had our works Christmas party last year. I am never organising one of those again! But that blue silk jumpsuit that I bought from Next Directory was gorgeous. It was a heck of a lot of money but I felt amazing in it so it was worth it. I deserved it for all the stress involved in trying to organise everyone and everything for that party. I know that no one else realised, but that’s the point really isn’t it? It’s about making sure everyone has a smooth time enjoying themselves and doesn’t see the frantic feet paddling beneath the surface trying to make everything run as it should. 

I think I feel a lift in the tension now you’re swerving into the car park at the back of Microware, in that way that makes me always grip the hard plastic ledge under the door handle. There’s almost a smile as we spot Haval up ahead getting out of his car. The battle is over for a few hours and you are in your kingdom, work, where you colour our days with your wit and confidence. 

I bump ever so slightly up and down in my seat as you drive over the uneven concrete in the car park. 

Fleetwood Mac are on the outro now 

(Bah, Bah Bah Bah Bah, Bah Bah, Bah Bah) 

And now we come to a perfectly timed standstill together.  I don’t have to sit in the car and wait for the song to end, or fade it out slowly so as not to have a jarring moment from sound to no sound. I hate that. 

We’re here at work, together for now, but we won’t see each other much until the end of the day when we get back into the van and I can play my sounds and feel okay again. 

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Everywhere was the fourth single by Fleetwood Mac to be released from the Tango in the night album. It was written by Christine McVie and was released in Nov 1987. Wikipedia mentions a cover version by the Band Moustache featuring Melinda Jackson and so I’ve added this to the playlist as well as another cover version that I like by the Hawaiin reggae band Ekolu. 

The Austin Maestro van came onto the scene in the 1980’s and were often seen in bright yellow for BT vans and red for the Royal Mail vans. British Gas also used the Maestro vans too. The reg plate for our company’s white one was C189 showing how old it was! Apparently they were noisy but I don’t remember that about them, probably because car audio was not hugely advanced back then anyway and so just hearing anything else other than the tyres and the road and the metal and plastic made for a more interesting experience. Today there is an incredible amount of work that goes into tuning car stereos and a lot of this work uses digital signal processing which makes for an even finer tuned sound. Here's a link to an article about Morten Hermansen’s work tuning car audio systems for Dynaudio.

 

Here's a link to the podcast on Spotify.

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