Tag: <span>Neil Sedaka</span>

I can remember the first time I heard it, in the Clyde Bar in Helensburgh. Raw, explosive, vitriolic and, to my 17yr old ears, a spitting hammer blow through my music collection.

I bought the CD that weekend and as soon as I got home, rushed up to my room, closed the door (I’m not THAT rebellious), put it in the stereo and turned it up loud.

Thumping bass notes, screeching guitar and THAT refrain.


As a track it still has enough raw energy and youthful (misguided) attitude to remain an anthem to many an angsty, angry, acne-ridden youth, and through the “power of the internet” it’s now the Christmas number 1 for 2009.

And yes, I bought it. And yes I’m glad I did.

Not because of any “sticking it to the man” sympathies, as many have pointed out, Sony own both record labels so they win either way.

Not to get at X-Factor per se, as it at least drives me to source other forms of music and find richer seams of pleasure away from the (mostly) manufactured crap that peppers the charts.

Not (just) because, musically, I much prefer a good bit of noisy rock to yet another ballad.

And definitely not to “get at Joe”, who seems wholly likable and sounds a bit like Neil Sedaka to me and that’s no bad thing (really, it’s not).

Nope, I mainly just to placate that tiny piece of me that remains rebellious, the bit that gets tattoos. To have a small amount of “fuck it” in my life, to get away from the tensions and strains of being an adult.

That’s really all there is to it.

So I’m not really raging against the machine, more *mildly not too keen on the thingmabob.


Well Peter and Lyle have already answered (correctly) my question – I guess I should’ve banned certain people from answering…

So why the Gilbert and Sullivan quote? Well for some reason I got that song into my head yesterday, as all I seemed to be doing was adding, deleting, editing and creating lists. I’m sure I’ve read something somewhere about people like me who love the planning stages of things but loathe the actually ‘doing’ of things (admittedly it does depend on the topic, the sexual power that can be transmitted in a text msg is quite startling at times. I digress.)

The song – They’ll be none of ’em be missed – is about the first victim of the new Lord High Executioner… although I’m not sure why I’m telling you this as it’s not what I was going to talk about.

Hang on, time to change the music.

Ahh that’s better, John Coltrane – Blue Train.

Right, what I WAS going to mention was the memories that most Gilbert and Sullivan songs dredge up. My Dad was very active in the local operatic groups (he’s a tenor, I’m a bass) and usually ended up in various lead roles, including the one for which he shaved off his beard of some 15 years, you can guess which one. My memories of being dragged along to these shows as a young teenager are surprisingly welcome, almost fond. But then I already know I’m turning into my Dad so why fight it?

It’s almost a comfort zone I think. Presuming you are happy that you inherit some of your parents traits, which I am (some of them!) then it’s all to easy to fall back into them as a reminder of childhood, into an almost blanket-like comfort. If I really don’t know what type of music to put on, I find myself reaching for Paul Simon, Billy Joel and the like (I have no Neil Sedaka in my collection I’ve just realised, must remedy that). The familiarity of the songs and the times they represent are unique to me.

This is turning into a ‘the power of music’ waffle. So I’ll pause here and move on to another topic – briefly though.

I have a gay friend. He’s been my friend for years, even before he realised* he was gay. I’m thinking he’ll be my friend for many more years to come. I don’t particularly bleat on about the fact, although obviously accompanying him to a known ‘gay bar’ (great, that damn songs in my head now – fight back Mr. Coltrane!!) does raise the fact when people ask what you did at the weekend.

One thing that DOES annoy me is the ‘points scoring’ that some people seem to.. I dunno.. enjoy? Counting how many ‘gay/black/muslim/other ‘minority’ group’ they are friends with. Obviously too insecure in themselves. Bugs the crap out of me. That is all.

* OK, BAD choice of word but you get what I mean… “before he came to accept” may be more accurate but I’ve never discussed it in great detail with him.

Comments closed