Colin badly wanted to be so many things that he wasn’t. For a start, he wanted to be a tough street kid… [I]n keeping with the spirit of the times, he resented the stable, middle-class lifestyle his mother and father had provided and his resentment seemed to increase with every dirt-poor blues artist he discovered. Worst of all, try as he might, he found it impossible to upset his kind and loving parents. When he grew his hair his mother said it looked “nice”. When he informed his father that he and I (aged fourteen and thirteen respectively) would be hitch-hiking around the south coast that summer, his dad merely offered to give us a lift to the station. He told both parents of our intention to spend Saturday night in Soho and they were both unworried, saying only that we should be home by midnight.

 Alan Johnson, “This Boy: A Memoir of A Childhood”.

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