It was ‘Juliet Naked’. I was sitting in the cinema, not too long ago, watching not too bad a film, co-incidentally in part about a bloke totally obsessed with music nostalgia, when ‘Sorry’ thumped out of the screen. Perhaps, from a UK film, you’d expect ‘Friday on My Mind’ if they had their hearts set on an Easybeats’ classic, not ‘Sorry’. But there it was – ‘Sorry’. I was, I must admit, surprised and strangely delighted by the more obscure choice. In a flash my mind was off the movie, picturing Stevie Wright in a grainy old film clip (check it out on YouTube), fronting his mates, belting it out for all he was worth. It was from a concert. Before or after they went off to London to seek fame and fortune? I don’t know, but it doesn’t matter. My synapses has it replete with screaming girls attempting to out yell the tune, as they could back in the day. Before the movie dragged me back into its grasp there I was, a callow teenager back in my home town, my life before me, watching those migrant long-hairs on an old black and white Astor, or was it a Healing?
Songs do that to you, Andrew Johnstone reports in his recent opinion piece for Lume magazine, a freebie to be picked up around town on a regular basis. I’m not into Spotify or Bluetooth or digital downloading – I’m an old fashioned, go out and buy the CD kind of fella. But I adore YouTube and as an appreciator of rock from the past or from the present, I think it’s the best thing since sliced cheese. Mostly I’m an old retro-fart I know, but I am not totally immersed in the product of yesteryear alone. I love the aforementioned platform as, in part, it assists me to make wonderful discoveries from today’s crop of talented performers. Two new finds I have made in 2018 have been Ryan Downey and Jack Rivers – although I had a little non-YouTube assistance with the latter.
But it’s the old stuff, unsurprisingly, that brings back memories of other times, other places. If I hear ‘Bombora’ or a Beach Boys ditty I go back to my years of sun-baking; of baking myself to a crisp, on some beach or other, when I was in my pomp – ‘Wouldn’t It Be Nice’, ‘God Only Knows’, ‘Sloop John B’, ‘Do It Again’, as well as, of course, ‘Good Vibrations’. But, as Andrew says, it’s all false nostalgia. I was never a member of the surfing set. I rarely did more on a beach, as far as water is concerned, than dip my big toe in. ‘Waterloo Sunset’ or ‘Margaritaville’ take me back to my travelling years, although in truth I largely hated London and never went near a Caribbean island – and I am never likely to now. Graeme Connor’s ‘A Little Further North’ gives me goosebumps every time it comes on my CD player as it is symbolic of a cherished dream that never occurred – not that I have any regrets these days. ‘Dive for Your Memory’ (the Go Betweens); Clapton’s classic Layla or the Mac’s ‘Rhiannon’ take me to thoughts of all the women I’ve loved, in various ways, down through the decades. And with ‘Wonderful Tonight’ up comes the beautiful lady I share my life with these days. And those songs are just the tip of the iceberg.
We are, us baby-boomers, a lucky generation to have so much to choose from. I was around when JO’K and Elvis reigned and today we have Lady GaGa and Johnstone’s Mumford and Son. How good is that!
Lume magazine’s website = http://lumemag.net/