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Saturday, 26 June 2010

Comfortably Numb

With  stunningly synchronicity yesterday  I blogged about the Isle of Wight festival in 1970 and this evening I'm watching the Scissor Sisters at Glastonbury, which is celebrating its 40th anniversary! The real freakiness of the show is that I was listening to a song, which threw me back into the early 70's. "I don't feel like dancing" is Leo Sayer's long promised pay cheque. If the Chiffons made a mint out of  George Harrison's "My Sweet Lord", Leo must be banking on millions for the SS tribute to his stunning " (You make me) feel like dancing" 1976 hit.

If there has been a rip off I prefer that SS ripped it off. I remember hearing for the first time Puff Daddy's (Pee Diddy, Pimp Dumby - what's he called now?) version of the Police's "Every Breath I Take". I thought I'd died and gone to heaven. O.K that was the point of the video an' all but it was a fabulous take on a great song. The Police video was extremely effective but the addition of Faith Evans in Puff's version was the icing on the cake. 

I remember when music videos happened, many of us thought they were a disaster. Quite simply in a music video the images you see are those of someone else. And forever, that is the image of the song. Before MTV you created your own script/teleplay to the lyrics. That's how the argument went. But if I run "Only the Lonely" through my head all I get is the lyrics - nothing else -except that song immediately invokes Sunday mornings at church. Me with my mother and in the pew directly opposite Barbara (and her ginger haired friend).

I followed her from church once; didn't dare talk to her. She and her ginger haired friend lived in the same road and her friend peeled off to her house. I felt so self conscious. Somehow it was ok stalking two girls but one? So I never found out the number although I knew the road. Bobby Vee's "Please Don't Ask About Barbara" as you can imagine was a favourite with me.As was The Everly's  "Cathy's Clown" and the Big O's "Only the Lonely" That was me.

One of the tracks that send me helter skeltering down the windmills of my mind ( an in joke with the in crowd) was/is the Boxtops "The Letter". I don't know what it is about that song but it explodes in my head. "Gimme a ticket for an aeroplane, ain't got time for a fast train." For me, in parochial Hove, in Sussex, in my parents semi-detached, by the sea this record played on a creaky stereo just transported me to the US.

It was as if Bobby Vee, Brian Hyland and Del Shannon had just got their draft cards.

At the same time "Aloneagainor" ran rings around my mind. I'm sure it was the song title to begin with. It was so unusual. That song haunted me for years and years and years. It would pop up in my mind unsummoned and fade away.

In 2003, I went into an HMV record shop in Tottenham Court Road. There was a "remastered" copy of "Forever Changes" by Love and the first track was AloneagainOr" It was like a homecoming. This  had been in my memory for 35 years and pressing the "play" button brought it shimmering back into my life. In 2004 I saw Arthur Lee.The show was the LP live and it was ...cool..and...heavy... and we all got it together ..one more time. 

Which in a round about way brings us back to synchronicity.One evening in August 2006  I was listening to Calexico playing "Aloneagainor" on the internet and switched to the BBC website:  to learn that Arthur Lee had died.

As Captain Beefheart might have said Abba Zaba Zoo  

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