Last week I gate-crashed a party and I meant to tell you all about it. The party was happening in one of the fourth floor radio studios at Pacific Quay and, as far as I could tell, I was the only guest. It was being held by Bryan Burnett and his producer Barbara Wallace as the Get It On programme celebrated the thirtieth birthday of BBC Radio Scotland. They took 1978 as the theme and the party food reflected that. There were chunks of ham and pineapple on cocktail sticks, little crackers covered with cheese from a tube and glasses of non-alcoholic fruit punch. Bryan had invited me in to see the spread and, well, I kind of out-stayed my welcome.
"You can say a few words on air, " warned Barbara, " but only if you keep it short."
She directed me to a microphone, put my finger on a fader and told me to push it forward when Bryan asked me a question. I mean, honestly! She must think us management types have no common sense at all.
"Hello Boss, " said Bryan, after he had introduced the show and played montage of clips from the opening day of the station, "do you feel like a proud Father?"
I'm guessing no one heard the first few words of my answer because at that moment Barbara leapt towards me and pushed the fader forward. Just a tiny lapse of concentration on my part.
I then talked about 1978 as the year when I seriously began to buy records. In my attic I still have that little black box of vinyl singles. There's music by Blondie, ELO, The Jacksons and various tracks from Grease in that box. I also revealed to Bryan that I had actually bought the Wings greatest hits album and he confirmed that this was probably the root cause of my loneliness at school.
Incidentally, the only other party I have ever gate-crashed was one being held by Richard Branson. This must have been about eight years ago. The millionairre was having a bit of a thrash in a Glasgow restaurant to celebrate the opening of one of his Virgin mega-stores. I had been dining with friends in the upstairs section of the restaurant and we had wandered down to see what all the fuss was about. Not only did we spend some time drinking his free wine but we actually persuaded him to fetch us another bottle. Then, with my faculties under the same level of control as a smashed jar of marbles, I engaged him in a lengthy conversation about the dangers of over-extending the Virgin brand. For good measure I also told him that he had opened his shop on the wrong street. Oh yes.
Eventually it dawned on him that I was not one of his employees, nor was I the business guru my mouth thought I was. He was very good about it, though. He left us with the bottle.
Still, thirty years on and BBC Radio Scotland is still thriving, but where's Virgin radio and whatever happened to those mega-stores?