Little Eva

When I was four or five years old, our family lived in a bungalow in Parkstone Poole that mum and dad had had designed and built on a plot of land given to them by Nan and Jim. My room was at the end of the house and was full of junk. Amongst the clutter was a portable record player with automatic changer and two knobs on the front – volume and tone controls. Also was a box of my mum’s French Lingua-phone records and a couple of music 45’s. One was ‘Old Man River’ and the other was ‘The Locomotion’. 

It seems like objects play a vital role in our early life and it’s funny how sometimes the significant objects are the random ones that we just come across. Freud realised this when he was observing his grandson playing with a cotton real on a piece of string. The presence and absence of the mother is traumatic and the infant seems to use objects as a way of gaining a psychic control in a world were the mother who is their world appears and disappears.

For me there was a magic and fascination in taking this small black disc, sliding it down the central pin and dropping the needle – the voice was like a disembodied object and was always there on my command and I loved the sound of it. The voice sounded higher than my mum but I always imagined that she, Little Eva looked a bit like my mum; white, peroxide hair, slim and in her mid twenties.

Yesterday I thought I must look it up ‘The Locomotion’- this important part of my life on YouTube. Off it starts with those great honking sax drones and the groove …. and Little Eva is there grooving centre stage … My surrogate mother was AfroAmerican! How wonderful is that!

I’ve fallen in love with Little Eva all over again. Her original name Eva Narcissus Boyd. Eva was my mum’s mums’ name.526675144


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