Linda Hoyle
The Green Leather Jacket

If we are to believe Quentin Crisp, then the only thing that matters in life is style. The rest is silence. Though uncertain that this is a philosophy that I am willing to give to the centre of my life, it has its appeal. It's so much easier to think about that than, say, the Categorical Imperative.

I really enjoyed dressing for the stage. Lack of money required careful decisions then, but the second hand clothing world was hitting the streets with a vengeance, and church jumble sales were a cornucopia of chucked out dance dresses and hats. I still posses a museum quality bolero from the 1920's made of silk chiffon, decorated with gold metal thread. 2/6d in old money. About 15c. The armpits are a bit nasty, but not as nasty as the leather jacket in the picture. That little number was bought new, for heavens sake, and made to measure for me. It was bright green and pearlized, meaning it had a slight shimmer. You didn't go to the office in it.

I wore this fearsome thing on and off the stage for a couple of years. It went with my 'bonking on the head with a microphone' persona. I often teamed the jacket with a pair of platform shoes that would put Kiss to shame - green tops, bright yellow platforms, made to order. I was six foot tall in them and loved it.

When I left for Canada and my very different life, I bequeathed this jacket to my sister Wendy. She wore it on stage too, with her band the Lounge Lizards. Then she lent it to a musician friend of hers, Paul Hammond, drummer for Atomic Rooster. He squeezed himself into it as a sausage in a skin, went on stage and had a good sweat as every drummer does. By this time the armpits had turned black. My sister then very kindly gave it back to me and I brought it over to a new continent, where it matured in a tin trunk. On re-discovery, my husband declared it only fit to make soup out of, so off it went to a charity shop. Maybe someone still has it, and calls it a vintage item from the 60's, museum quality. As the world turns.