Today I stopped postponing that which could no longer be put off and gave in. Call it what you will, nostalgia, a momentary lapse of reason, whatever, but today I finally threw in the towel. To what you may well ask: tidying up the garden, filling last year’s tax return or summoning up a proposal for Darling Number 1? No, I succumbed at last and bought the Eagles Greatest Hits. You weren’t even close were you?
Desperado, One of these Nights, On the Border, even the pomp, pomp and yet more pomp that plumps up Hotel California – and there are those who will argue that it is a carefully honed allegory for the transition from 60’s idealism into 70’s decadence but to be honest it’s all hippie bollocks. It’s why we needed punk. Seventies symphonies to hedonistic grandeur brought to you by Bacchanalian Bachelors of questionable virtue and impeccable facial furniture. Or is it the other way round. Men who, unaccustomed to anything other than the slow lane life of the mid tempo ballad would, when confronted by anything approximating a pulse, shuffle uncomfortably from one foot to the other, usually, but not always completing the journey. And didn’t Joe Walsh once play for Luton Town? No shame there but then that’s just me, preferring the ditch to the fast lane; New York Hustle to West Coat Muscle, Brill Building pop over Laurel Canyon schlock.
Meanwhile back in the Shire Darling Number 1 wanted to go to Primark, tk Maxx or some such in order to buy a belt with which to rein in a new frock. Off duty I’d crept into H.M.V to see if I could pick up a Paloma Faith cd and was happy to find it in the two for a tenner pile. Fighting off a late bid from a T.Rex collection that included Metal Guru, Jeepster, Telegram Sam and The Groover but not Solid Gold Easy Action, the Doolin’ Dalton gang got the nod as checkout companions. Also got the hot new disc from Noah and the Whale whom I’d seen at Glastonbury and liked. Sharp boys in smart suits and the whole caboodle gave me three pounds change from my crisp £20 note.
Incidentally is everyone aware that in France HMV is pronounced Ash. Em. Vay? No, really . . .
And does anyone else agree with me that in music shops there should be, along with sections for Rock, Pop, Jazz etc one for Shit. It could be called Shit and in it would go all the shit bands, shit singers and their shit music. And before anyone begins the pointless argument of subjective versus objective, please note that my judgement is beyond question so just shut up and enjoy the ride. And furthermore, before anyone else says ‘agree to differ’ I have to say that I cannot and will not compromise.
“Excuse me, do you have the latest release by The Rolling Stones?”
“Yes Sir, it’s filed under Shit, in between R&B and Techno”
“Thank you. Have you listened to it?”
So, leaving aside such soft targets as Sigue Sigue Sputnik, Whitesnake and the entire ELP back catalogue, begs the question, who’s next?
Neil Diamond, Shakatak, The Electric Light Orchestra, Blow Monkeys, 80’s-present day Stones, 90’s Bowie, Led Zeppelin 5, Fine Young Cannibals, Hot Space by Queen, Tygers of Pan Tang, Dylan’s Empire Burlesque, Level 42, Sham 69, Creedence (without John), post Coughlin/Lancaster Quo, the Quireboys and Darling Number 1’s suggestion The Edible String Band (with or without Liquorice). Ok, maybe not all of the above but they go well beyond being the acceptable guilty pleasures. Of the flesh in the case of the FYC's.
All this might come across as a somewhat cynical exercise on my part. To back this up only this week I was in a bar with Various, Pit and JR (Albrecht Durer’s nemesis) when it was pointed out that Pit and the Nemesis would, as parents end their days being quietly shunted by their offspring into The Last Resort, a ‘retirement and beyond’ home only to fetch up quietly dribbling in dark corners whilst past art fairs flash before their eyes. No everlasting peaceful, easy feeling for them then. Various and myself, being barren of womb and short on ideas respectively will, somewhat inevitably fall down the stairs of our Victorian terraced homes, at the foot of which we will suffocate beneath a fortnight’s junk mail advertising amongst other things Stannard stair lifts.