A Heartbreaking Tale Of Childhood Betrayal

HysteriaPicture it. Wodonga. 1988.

An already-into-rock Peter Hodgson is about to turn 10. All I want for my birthday is Def Leppard’s Hysteria album (on cassette, natch). My cousin Daz was into Def Leppard in a big way and he was a few years older than me and, in my opinion, totally cool. And if he liked Def Leppard, then I liked Def Leppard.

So, my birthday rolls around and in all the excitement I go to open my presend. The first is one of those awesome 80s boom boxes with two tape decks and a graphic EQ!!! I was in heaven! I could play the hell out of my Dire Straits and Beatles tapes on this! I could make my own mixtapes containing my favourite tracks from the maybe five cassettes I owned at that point! I could tape stuff off the radio! I could graphically equalise it!

Then mum hands me another present, all wrapped up, obviously a cassette. YES, I think. This has got to be my Def Leppard tape! This is going to be so awesome! I was already picturing myself instantly entering adulthood with the mere listen of this landmark album, maybe suddenly and inexplicably finding myself driving around in a Corvette, kitted out in sunglasses and fluro shoelaces – maybe a Hysteria singlet, definitely a mullet – impressing all the ladeez with my mad cool 80s rock style. So I hastily unwrap the present, all trembling hands and chattering teeth. Def Leppard Def Leppard Def Leppard!

You know what the cassette was?

Jason Donovan’s Ten Good Reasons.

Needless to say, I was mortified.

Well, I still listened to it because hey, I now had a new tape. But I begged and pleaded and wailed and whinged until I got my Def Leppard tape too.

The moral of the story, I guess, is that complaining will get you what you want.

I never did get that Def Leppard singlet though.