As a kid 10/11 year old I was a member of the British Council. Came by train from Moratuwa to the Kollupitiya train station. Walked across the school (Cant remember the name, its still there) and bare land that is now the US Embassy ( as I became older that was how we ran to movies at Liberty and Rio). The next property was the British Council.
My father taught me in many ways to do my own thing. He made me a member of the British Council and long before that made me a book addict. Brought me over to the BC Children's sections. Probably twice or thrice. And then I was on my own, the book addict, get on the train if I needed the fix. Ever so often he would meet me at the BC and then when we pass the the second hand bookshop in front of the now American Embassy he would buy a book. Wilkie Collins, Moonstone was one that comes to mind now, much much better than Sherlock Holmes. To be honest I cant remember the stories, just that they were better than Agatha Christie. I know thats no comparison to the Texas Chain Saw murders.
So what can I remember from the children section books. Juan Manuel Fangio (and I did not look up the whole name before I spelled the names or made a link) and Stirling Moss.
I am still not getting to the American Center. Somewhere had heard about the American Center. Cant recall if I walked to the American Center or took a bus. I was sweaty (not that it really mattered in that day and age) and walked into ice cool environment. The British Council was cool but not this cold. I really didnt know what to do. There was this gentleman who came and asked, " do you want to listen to music". I guess I agreed. I didnt know how to put headphones or plug them in either. Never seen a headphone or a sound system before in my life. I think I was pointed to Osi Bisa and Chicago albums. I listened and was hooked. Could not become a member of the American Center till I was 14 or 16.
Couple of year later my cousin Logai (Bernard Barr) brought 8 Track tapes of Temptations 1990, Ike and Tina Turner Nut Bush Limits.
Finally after all the yap, some of the first stuff I listened at American Center at Galle Face Court,
Gong Gong Song Osi Bisa