apolla: (Rock Chick)
In the days, weeks and years to follow, you'll hear a lot of stories about Amy Winehouse. Most everyone with a half-decent anecdote will inflict it upon the rest of us whether we want to hear it or not. This isn't new, and it's even understandable. Reflected glory (notoriety) is still glory (notoriety) after all. If you're very lucky, some of the stories might even be true.

I'm not going to tell my own Amy Story now, and I'm not going to pontificate about THE DANGERS OF DRUGS or THE DANGERS OF ALCOHOL or ROCK AND ROLL IS EVIL or any of that bollocks. This isn't even entirely about Amy, to be honest.

How many stories have you already read about The 27 Club? How many lazy journalists have drawn lines between Amy and that clutch of poor fuckers who died 1969-71, whose names we all know so well? I have a Google News Alert set up for Jim Morrison, and I get maybe one or two links a day. On Sunday morning I had rather more than that... because his name is being invoked in many of the Amy Stories. There's a thing on the BBC website which looks like it's almost entirely Copy Pasta from Wikipedia.

It's not fully clear what we're supposed to take from these stories. It never has been. Yes, quite a number of notable musicians died when they were 27 – but the moral 'they' want us to learn is unclear. Are we supposed to just take it as a straight-up tragedy of a dead young person? Or as some would say, are we supposed to learn from their mistakes? Are we supposed to condemn them as dirty junkie wastes of humanity? Are we supposed to laud them for living 'on the edge'? I guess it depends on what you're reading.

There are several problems with the live fast, die young myth. First off, it hurts all the people who love you. Second, you can't make any more music. Third, and maybe to me most important: you lose control over your work and self. You can't defend yourself.

I have never been in a physical fight with anyone, but I've come close several times, and most of those times were related to Jim Morrison. Once, there was a guy who told me that the best thing that ever happened to Jim was to die. He really believed it, too. Another time, a couple of years ago, there was a drunken twat at the London Film Festival screening of the latest Doors documentary. He was berating the quiet audience as we left (quiet largely because of what we'd just seen – the agonised and contrary life of a great artist), telling us that we should rip it up because 'Jim would want it' and basically taking only the hedonism from Jim's work and nothing else. I've had many moments of wanting to pummel people but that was the only time I actually considered doing it. All this because if he can't stand up for himself, then I will.

Dead people cannot sue for libel. Anyone can say basically anything they want about that person and they're untouchable. An 'author' in the 1980s accused Errol Flynn of being a Nazi spy during the Spanish Civil War. There was almost nothing to support this, and indeed most of what EF wrote at the time and later suggested he was left-leaning. Accusations like that stick, and even recently I saw an article which dredged it up again. Like Flynn was ever going to take time out of carousing for espionage! I could accuse Jimi Hendrix of selling nuclear weapons to Kafiristan, or say that Janis Joplin was planning to assassinate Richard Nixon, and there's nothing much to be done. Whether people believe it is a different matter, of course. I could say that Brian Jones was one of the most unpleasant human beings ever to make music and... well, that would be true, actually.

The problem is more than just plain ol' libel. The artist in question loses control of their reputation certainly, but they also lose control over the music itself, and how it is regarded. I recall a Popular Culture class in California where we discussed the image of Bob Marley before and after his death. Before his death he was presented (presumably with his consent to an extent) as a rebel, someone politically dangerous to the status quo. A fighter, if you like. Since his death, he has been largely repackaged as a poet, as a gentle thinker type – look at the album art for Legend. The danger has been removed and because he can't argue, it stays like that.

By a weird quirk of fate, I've been looking into Janis Joplin a little this weekend. I'm not a fan because I don't like her voice, although I would be lying if I suggested she wasn't good (same as Amy, actually). Now, I'd forgotten how massive she was back in the second half of the 1960s. Since her death she has been relegated – in the mainstream – to a cautionary tale, to an example of what happens to the wimminz when they try to live like the guys, to just another member of the rock dead. Example: those of you who aren't already Joplin fans, name me five Janis Joplin songs you've heard. In death, she lost control of her image, of her music. She has been somewhat airbrushed out of history – how many documentaries about that period of time in music really deal with her on a musical level? No, she's been half-forgotten as an artist and mostly remembered as a dead junkie bogeyman to scare the kids into behaving themselves.

Jim, on the other hand... actually, it's pretty much the same with him. He was someone who was fucking with the establishment before he died and since his death he has been reduced to just That Poster and a punchline to a joke about a fat guy dead in a bath. His death has given people the freedom to talk shit about him, to adapt him as they want, to lose all perspective. You might be able to tell that this is the one I care about... I still argue that the Doors are still 'dangerous' thanks to the music, but it must also be accepted that in dying, Jim handed over his power to the myth-makers and the detractors in equal measure.

I haven't really even mentioned the control they lose over the music itself. Do you really think Queen would've released Made in Heaven as it was, if Freddie had lived? Course not – there's tracks on that record which only saw the light of day because there wasn't anything else. A lot of it is to do with the record labels and marketing types, but it is also dependent on who gets control of the Estate. Tupac Shakur has had more music released post-mortem than in his lifetime – did he want it released, and in the mix/arrangement he wanted? We can't know. I'm not knocking Donal Gallagher for a second, but I don't think the recently released 'lost' album Notes from San Francisco by his brother, guitar god Rory, would've been the same record if your man had the choice. I mean, the vocals on 'Overnight Bag' are double-tracked! On a Rory Gallagher record! Would he have wanted that? We can't know for certain, although the fact he dropped the record in the bin is a clue... Without new material, the labels and the estates seek out what they can find to release, whether the artist considered it worth releasing or not. It's understandable, but we don't have to like it. We can only wait and see what will happen with Amy's music, depending on who gets control of it and how much unreleased material there is.

Dying ain't much of a living: maybe record sales sky-rocket, but there won't be new music. The Glorious Rock Dead are frozen in time, unable to fight their corner, unable to respond to attacks, unable to tell their adoring worshippers that they're fucking idiots. They hand those who hate them the freedom to tear them down. Sure, they leave behind good-looking corpses (theoretically) and remain forever young and beautiful... but it seems to me that there is more freedom in growing, developing... and even if they can't fully control what is said and thought about them, they can at least respond and defend themselves.

I don't know what the future holds for Winehouse's artistic reputation. As with the others I suspect it will become a tale of two images: super-artist beyond criticism on the one hand, drunk junkie who pissed it all away on the other. Both are true – to an extent – but the image of Amy now rests not with her but with marketing and record label executives. My money is on her being packaged as a 'Tragic Chanteuse' in the Billie Holiday/Edith Piaf mould. I also expect a shit, cookie-cutter biopic within a few years which will basically be La Vie En Rose in the 21st Century, Walk The Line without the happy ending, or The Doors without the American Indian.

There is nothing good about this 'club' of damaged people dying at 27, and the next person who says so about Morrison near me does run a very serious risk of injury. If he can't defend himself against both the haters and the acolytes, I will.

apolla: (Rock Chick)
In the days, weeks and years to follow, you'll hear a lot of stories about Amy Winehouse. Most everyone with a half-decent anecdote will inflict it upon the rest of us whether we want to hear it or not. This isn't new, and it's even understandable. Reflected glory (notoriety) is still glory (notoriety) after all. If you're very lucky, some of the stories might even be true.

I'm not going to tell my own Amy Story now, and I'm not going to pontificate about THE DANGERS OF DRUGS or THE DANGERS OF ALCOHOL or ROCK AND ROLL IS EVIL or any of that bollocks. This isn't even entirely about Amy, to be honest.

How many stories have you already read about The 27 Club? How many lazy journalists have drawn lines between Amy and that clutch of poor fuckers who died 1969-71, whose names we all know so well? I have a Google News Alert set up for Jim Morrison, and I get maybe one or two links a day. On Sunday morning I had rather more than that... because his name is being invoked in many of the Amy Stories. There's a thing on the BBC website which looks like it's almost entirely Copy Pasta from Wikipedia.

It's not fully clear what we're supposed to take from these stories. It never has been. Yes, quite a number of notable musicians died when they were 27 – but the moral they want us to learn is unclear. Are we supposed to just take it as a straight-up tragedy of a dead young person? Or as some would say, are we supposed to learn from their mistakes? Are we supposed to condemn them as dirty junkie wastes of humanity? Are we supposed to laud them for living 'on the edge'? I guess it depends on what you're reading.

There are several problems with the live fast, die young myth. First off, it hurts all the people who love you. Second, you can't make any more music. Third, and to me most important: you lose control over your work and self. You can't defend yourself.

I have never been in a physical fight with anyone, but I've come close several times, and most of the times were related to Jim Morrison. Once, there was a guy who told me that the best thing that ever happened to Jim was to die. He really believed it, too. Another time, a couple of years ago, therewas a drunken twat at the London Film Festival screening of the latest Doors documentary. He was berating the quiet audience as we left (quiet largely because of what we'd just seen – the agonised and contrary life of a great artist), telling us that we should rip it up because 'Jim would want it' and basically taking only the hedonism from Jim's work and nothing else. I've had many moments of wanting to pummel people but that was the only time I actually considered doing it. All this because if he can't stand up for himself, then I will.

Dead people cannot sue for libel. Anyone can say basically anything they want about that person and they're untouchable. An 'author' in the 1980s accused Errol Flynn of being a Nazi spy during the Spanish Civil War. There was almost nothing to support this, and indeed most of what EF wrote at the time and later suggested he was left-leaning. Accusations like that stick, and even recently I saw an article which dredged it up again. Like Flynn was ever going to take time out of carousing for espionage! I could accuse Jimi Hendrix of selling nuclear weapons to Kafiristan, or say that Janis Joplin was planning to assassinate Richard Nixon, and there's nothing much to be done. Whether people believe it is a different matter, of course. I could say that Brian Jones was one of the most unpleasant human beings ever to make music and... well, that would be true, actually.

The problem is more than just plain ol' libel. The artist in question loses control of their reputation certainly, but they also lose control over the music itself, and how it is regarded. I recall a Popular Culture class in California where we discussed the image of Bob Marley before and after his death. Before his death he was presented (presumably with his consent to an extent) as a rebel, someone politically dangerous to the status quo. A fighter, if you like. Since his death, he has been largely repackaged as a poet, as a gentle thinker type – look at the album art for Legend. The danger has been removed and because he can't argue, it stays like that.

By a weird quirk of fate, I've been looking into Janis Joplin a little this weekend. I'm not a fan because I don't like her voice, although I would be lying if I suggested she wasn't good (same as Amy, actually). Now, I'd forgotten how massive she was back in the second half of the 1960s. Since her death she has been relegated – in the mainstream – to a cautionary tale, to an example of what happens to the wimminz when they try to live like the guys, to just another member of the rock dead. Example: those of you who aren't already Joplin fans, name me five Janis Joplin songs you've heard. In death, she lost control of her image, of her music. She has been somewhat airbrushed out of history – how many documentaries about that period of time in music really deal with her on a musical level? No, she's been half-forgotten as an artist and mostly remembered as a dead junkie bogeyman to scare the kids into behaving themselves.

Jim, on the other hand... actually, it's pretty much the same with him. He was someone who was fucking with the establishment before he died and since his death he has been reduced to just That Poster and a punchline to a joke about a fat guy dead in a bath. His death has given people the freedom to talk shit about him, to adapt him as they want, to lose all perspective. You might be able to tell that this is the one I care about... I still argue that the Doors are still 'dangerous' thanks to the music, but it must also be accepted that in dying, Jim handed over his power to the myth-makers and the detractors in equal measure.

I haven't really even mentioned the control they lose over the music itself. Do you really think Queen would've released Made in Heaven as it was, if Freddie had lived? Course not – there's tracks on that record which only saw the light of day because there wasn't anything else. A lot of it is to do with the record labels and marketing types, but it is also dependent on who gets control of the Estate. Tupac Shakur has had more music released post-mortem than in his lifetime – did he want it released, and in the mix/arrangement he wanted? We can't know. I'm not knocking Donal Gallagher, but I don't think the recently released 'lost' album Notes from San Francisco by his brother, guitar god Rory Gallagher, would've been the same record if your man had the choice. I mean, the vocals on 'Overnight Bag' are double-tracked! On a Rory Gallagher record! Would he have wanted that? We can't know, although the fact he dropped the record in the bin is a clue... Without new material, the labels and the estates seek out what they can find to release, whether the artist considered it worth releasing or not. We can only wait and see what will happen with Amy's music, depending on who gets control of it and how much unreleased material there is.

Dying ain't much of a living: maybe your record sales sky-rocket, but there won't be new music. The Glorious Rock Dead are frozen in time, unable to fight their corner, unable to respond to attacks, unable to tell their adoring worshippers that they're fucking idiots. They hand those who hate them the freedom to tear them down. Sure, they leave behind good-looking corpses (theoretically) and remain forever young and beautiful... but it seems to me that there is more freedom in growing, developing... and even if they can't fully control what is said and thought about them, they can at least respond and defend themselves.

I don't know what the future holds for the artistic reputation of Amy Winehouse. As with the others I suspect it will become a tale of two images: super-artist beyond criticism on the one hand, drunk junkie who pissed it all away on the other. Both are true – to an extent – but the image of Amy now rests not with her but with marketing and record label executives. My money is on her being packaged as a 'Tragic Chanteuse' in the Billie Holiday/Edith Piaf mould. I also expect a shit, cookie-cutter biopic within a few years which will basically be La Vie En Rose in the 21st Century, Walk The Line without the happy ending, or The Doors without the American Indian.

There is nothing good about this 'club' of damaged people dying at 27, and the next person who says so about Jim near me does run a very serious risk of injury. If he can't defend himself against both the haters and the acolytes, I will.

Forty Years.....

Sunday, 3 July 2011 15:13
apolla: (Smiler)

Forty years.

I can't really compute it, if I'm honest. I feel like I should be utterly bereft, but I'm not. I mean, Jim Morrison is dead. As of today, he's been dead forty years. That's a middle-aged person ago. I've been a fan long enough that I remember the thirtieth anniversary, and how I felt then. Utterly shite, basically. I probably cried. Hell, I'm almost certain I cried. There were riots in Paris on his twentieth anniversary. The consistently dreadful behaviour of 'fans' nearly got him kicked out of Pere-Lachaise, but I can't imagine today will be all that much of a deal. The rabble-rousers got old and are probably spending their Sundays in garden centres or outlet malls.

As is so often the case, this will be as much about me as Jim. It's the only way I can connect to him, after all. Forty years... I outlived him a couple of years ago, you know. It tore me apart for a few days (or possibly months, or maybe it still does) but I just about got over it. Maybe he's the world's oldest twenty-seven year old and I never quite have to outlive him.

It's not easy being a Doors fan. I think I know at least a little how ELO fans feel when they're met with smirks of derision when they announce that they are, in fact, ELO fans. ELO fans don't even have the advantage of having someone who looks like Jim Morrison out front. Anyway, my point is that a lot of people who have some knowledge of popular culture have a particular view on 'who' Doors fans are. Doors fans are, the generalisation goes, whiny-angsty students who sit in darkened rooms burning incense, or they are pitiful people who wear Jim-like clothes and spout pseudo-Rimbaudian crap. Well, I've done a lot of angsting in darkened rooms but incense gives me a headache and I've never got down with Rimbaud particularly. The worst thing that can be said about Doors fans, or Doorzoids as more than one critic put it, is that they have no sense of perspective: Jim is greatest at everything and nobody else ever did anything nearly as good as he did. Jim is beyond criticism and everyone should live a life like Jim. They are blindly-worshipping followers like those morons in Life of Brian who just repeat everything back to him. Have you heard that girl on the live recording who agrees with everything Jim says, even when he turns on a sixpence and says the opposite of what he'd just said?

In fact, I was at Glastonbury last weekend in the mud-n-sun, and one of the people I was there with told me he spent a portion of his youth trying to be like Jim. I'm paraphrasing, but he said with the weariness of someone who has come out the other side of a troubling obsession: “I acted like a complete twat.”

I myself have spent the last ten or so years battling between using Jim as a Life Lesson and just plain following him down the troubling road to The Mythical Edge (nothing to do with U2). I have never wanted to be Jim, but I have come close to swan-diving off The Mythical Edge to find him. It is no credit to me but I have sat alone, emptying a bottle and calling to the sky for him. He has never come, of course.

He's just that kind of guy, really. A lot of people have probably died trying to be like Jim, just as a lot of people have died trying to be like Keith Richards. I don't know if this is a good or bad thing, or maybe it just is. The shame of it is that Jim was always more than just a Hellraising Rock Star. He was incredibly well-read, thoughtful and determined to do more than just basic three-minute love songs. In fact, there's not a single Doors song you could call a straightforward love song. Seriously, find me one.

The Doors have always been both under- and over-rated. While their advocates will never cease listing their strengths and moments of brilliance, they remain on the outskirts of the Rock Pantheon, outsiders even now. Their work is too arty/pretentious, the great songs too long to get much radio play. They exist in a pre-video world so there's not much to show on TV. They're not for the Normal People. I once blogged, a long time ago, how I would not be a Doors fan if I had been beautiful, or popular. The Doors belong to us weirdos and freaks, so they never quite fit into the stereotypical view of the 1960s. Indeed, while everyone in 1967 was all Peace And Love, the Doors were doing The End. See also Love, who like their Elektra stablemates, took psychedelic music and skewed it. This is the dark side of the sun, man, and it doesn't quite fit. Jim makes it into those endless lists of rock stars and stuff because he is seen as a stereotypical rock star. And don't you believe for a second that he didn't encourage it... but it wasn't all he was.

He was more than just the smirking, shirt-allergic Adonis of legend. Seriously man, he was. I'm not a Doors fan because Jim was 'cute' and I've never had a crush on him. All-consuming obsession sure, but not a crush. He was, is, and ever will be, more than that. He is my hero, and I won't ever apologise for it. He was a writer of generally good and occasionally great music. He was more than the punchline to a fucking joke.

I have never wanted to follow him blindly, although maybe sometimes I have. I've seen and oftentimes agreed with criticisms of him, and his work. He did skirt the line between arty and pretentious and sometimes he fell right over it to become mired in self-important wankery. I pity the fools who turned up late to some shows and missed the support act (a small time group called Led Zeppelin) and got instead an incoherent drunken ramble from headliner Jim. You don't have to tell me what a dick he could be: I've read pretty much everything there is to read, and I know. He's still my hero, both because and in spite of his great weaknesses. He's still the guy who gave us 'The End' and 'The Unknown Soldier' and 'Five to One' and 'The Soft Parade'. Sure, he's also the 'genius' behind 'Horse Latitudes', which I don't think was intended as a comedy, but “mute nostril agony” is hilarious. The Doors gave us some practically perfect slices of late-60s rock music: 'Love Me Two Times', 'Love Her Madly', 'Break on Through' and freak anthem 'People Are Strange'. They gave us some extraordinary bits of art-rock too: the seventeen minute, epic 'Celebration of The Lizard', aurally bizarre 'L'America' and the achingly beautiful 'The Crystal Ship'.

Have I mentioned Jim's fantastic, brutal, beautiful voice? Well I should. He could croon like Sinatra but he could also yell and scream with the best of 'em. His voice is like his legend: alternately seductive and violent, alluring and grotesque. Who else could scream at you to WAKE UP and then take you on a journey like that in a Doors concert? For me, Jim's power is not in his face, but in his voice.

A few weeks back, I listened to LA Woman all the way through. Then I did so twice more. The Doors is a great record and the five that follow all have tremendous moments, but LA Woman is an unquestionably remarkable record. Jim's voice is already ravaged, but it's perfect for some dark, terrible blues. 'Been Down So Long' has been my own personal theme tune for years. There's not a duff song anywhere on the record, although 'Riders on the Storm' has always veered dangerously towards cocktail lounge music for my liking – I think it's Ray's organ sound – but it's still a good song. If they'd been able to follow that up, the Doors would likely have regained the ground lost by the Jim's Cock trial.

More woulda-could-shoulda there. I have my dreams of what they and he could've achieved if he'd lived. Some of them are barely even cloud cuckoo land, some of them really are as entrenched in reality as possible. None of them will come true, so I should just put them away. He is dead, after all.

In death, we can take Jim as we need him. I needed a hero to cling onto who would not disappoint me. Even in death, he's managed to do so from time to time, but he's still the guy who turned down car commercials. It's likely that had he lived, he would've sold out as thoroughly as any of the others, but he didn't live to do so, and remains more or less unsullied. He didn't ever make peace with authority and even now remains dangerous, in his way, to society as it currently is. I needed him to be that person, unapologetic for himself. I needed him to be someone I could admire precisely because he never did fit in.

Mind you, seeing Doors CDs being sold in Starbucks took some serious rationalising. It's pretty good in some ways that Himself is dead – I can just blame it all on Father Ray, Robby & John.

Right now, I'm sat in Starbucks on a sunny Sunday afternoon. I'm drinking an iced latte, I'm dressed in a bright yellow sundress and I would honestly describe myself as 'cheerful'. Except for the small detail that Jim Morrison is dead. And you know what? He's been dead for such a long bloody time that it's simply how it is. Of course I'm sad, but if you think I'm going to let this drag me down for my entire damn life, you're more delusional than I am. I am, finally, just about resigned to it.

For the rest of my life and beyond it, I will always believe that a world without Jim in it is worse than one with him in it. I will always believe that he would've become a mighty figure... but I'm not going to shed any tears over it today. He's already had enough of them from me. He would've been a magnificent sight to behold and his work would've been more than just the occasional hint of brilliance, but it didn't happen and until I get my time machine, that's how it's staying.

Today in the sunshine, the shadows are out of sight and it turns out we could survive without him. Jaysus, that should break my heart – but it doesn't. Into the sunshine, indeed.

Forty Years.....

Sunday, 3 July 2011 15:13
apolla: (Smiler)

Forty years.

I can't really compute it, if I'm honest. I feel like I should be utterly bereft, but I'm not. I mean, Jim Morrison is dead. As of today, he's been dead forty years. That's a middle-aged person ago. I've been a fan long enough that I remember the thirtieth anniversary, and how I felt then. Utterly shite, basically. I probably cried. Hell, I'm almost certain I cried. There were riots in Paris on his twentieth anniversary. The consistently dreadful behaviour of 'fans' nearly got him kicked out of Pere-Lachaise, but I can't imagine today will be all that much of a deal. The rabble-rousers got old and are probably spending their Sundays in garden centres or outlet malls.

As is so often the case, this will be as much about me as Jim. It's the only way I can connect to him, after all. Forty years... I outlived him a couple of years ago, you know. It tore me apart for a few days (or possibly months, or maybe it still does) but I just about got over it. Maybe he's the world's oldest twenty-seven year old and I never quite have to outlive him.

It's not easy being a Doors fan. I think I know at least a little how ELO fans feel when they're met with smirks of derision when they announce that they are, in fact, ELO fans. ELO fans don't even have the advantage of having someone who looks like Jim Morrison out front. Anyway, my point is that a lot of people who have some knowledge of popular culture have a particular view on 'who' Doors fans are. Doors fans are, the generalisation goes, whiny-angsty students who sit in darkened rooms burning incense, or they are pitiful people who wear Jim-like clothes and spout pseudo-Rimbaudian crap. Well, I've done a lot of angsting in darkened rooms but incense gives me a headache and I've never got down with Rimbaud particularly. The worst thing that can be said about Doors fans, or Doorzoids as more than one critic put it, is that they have no sense of perspective: Jim is greatest at everything and nobody else ever did anything nearly as good as he did. Jim is beyond criticism and everyone should live a life like Jim. They are blindly-worshipping followers like those morons in Life of Brian who just repeat everything back to him. Have you heard that girl on the live recording who agrees with everything Jim says, even when he turns on a sixpence and says the opposite of what he'd just said?

In fact, I was at Glastonbury last weekend in the mud-n-sun, and one of the people I was there with told me he spent a portion of his youth trying to be like Jim. I'm paraphrasing, but he said with the weariness of someone who has come out the other side of a troubling obsession: “I acted like a complete twat.”

I myself have spent the last ten or so years battling between using Jim as a Life Lesson and just plain following him down the troubling road to The Mythical Edge (nothing to do with U2). I have never wanted to be Jim, but I have come close to swan-diving off The Mythical Edge to find him. It is no credit to me but I have sat alone, emptying a bottle and calling to the sky for him. He has never come, of course.

He's just that kind of guy, really. A lot of people have probably died trying to be like Jim, just as a lot of people have died trying to be like Keith Richards. I don't know if this is a good or bad thing, or maybe it just is. The shame of it is that Jim was always more than just a Hellraising Rock Star. He was incredibly well-read, thoughtful and determined to do more than just basic three-minute love songs. In fact, there's not a single Doors song you could call a straightforward love song. Seriously, find me one.

The Doors have always been both under- and over-rated. While their advocates will never cease listing their strengths and moments of brilliance, they remain on the outskirts of the Rock Pantheon, outsiders even now. Their work is too arty/pretentious, the great songs too long to get much radio play. They exist in a pre-video world so there's not much to show on TV. They're not for the Normal People. I once blogged, a long time ago, how I would not be a Doors fan if I had been beautiful, or popular. The Doors belong to us weirdos and freaks, so they never quite fit into the stereotypical view of the 1960s. Indeed, while everyone in 1967 was all Peace And Love, the Doors were doing The End. See also Love, who like their Elektra stablemates, took psychedelic music and skewed it. This is the dark side of the sun, man, and it doesn't quite fit. Jim makes it into those endless lists of rock stars and stuff because he is seen as a stereotypical rock star. And don't you believe for a second that he didn't encourage it... but it wasn't all he was.

He was more than just the smirking, shirt-allergic Adonis of legend. Seriously man, he was. I'm not a Doors fan because Jim was 'cute' and I've never had a crush on him. All-consuming obsession sure, but not a crush. He was, is, and ever will be, more than that. He is my hero, and I won't ever apologise for it. He was a writer of generally good and occasionally great music. He was more than the punchline to a fucking joke.

I have never wanted to follow him blindly, although maybe sometimes I have. I've seen and oftentimes agreed with criticisms of him, and his work. He did skirt the line between arty and pretentious and sometimes he fell right over it to become mired in self-important wankery. I pity the fools who turned up late to some shows and missed the support act (a small time group called Led Zeppelin) and got instead an incoherent drunken ramble from headliner Jim. You don't have to tell me what a dick he could be: I've read pretty much everything there is to read, and I know. He's still my hero, both because and in spite of his great weaknesses. He's still the guy who gave us 'The End' and 'The Unknown Soldier' and 'Five to One' and 'The Soft Parade'. Sure, he's also the 'genius' behind 'Horse Latitudes', which I don't think was intended as a comedy, but “mute nostril agony” is hilarious. The Doors gave us some practically perfect slices of late-60s rock music: 'Love Me Two Times', 'Love Her Madly', 'Break on Through' and freak anthem 'People Are Strange'. They gave us some extraordinary bits of art-rock too: the seventeen minute, epic 'Celebration of The Lizard', aurally bizarre 'L'America' and the achingly beautiful 'The Crystal Ship'.

Have I mentioned Jim's fantastic, brutal, beautiful voice? Well I should. He could croon like Sinatra but he could also yell and scream with the best of 'em. His voice is like his legend: alternately seductive and violent, alluring and grotesque. Who else could scream at you to WAKE UP and then take you on a journey like that in a Doors concert? For me, Jim's power is not in his face, but in his voice.

A few weeks back, I listened to LA Woman all the way through. Then I did so twice more. The Doors is a great record and the five that follow all have tremendous moments, but LA Woman is an unquestionably remarkable record. Jim's voice is already ravaged, but it's perfect for some dark, terrible blues. 'Been Down So Long' has been my own personal theme tune for years. There's not a duff song anywhere on the record, although 'Riders on the Storm' has always veered dangerously towards cocktail lounge music for my liking – I think it's Ray's organ sound – but it's still a good song. If they'd been able to follow that up, the Doors would likely have regained the ground lost by the Jim's Cock trial.

More woulda-could-shoulda there. I have my dreams of what they and he could've achieved if he'd lived. Some of them are barely even cloud cuckoo land, some of them really are as entrenched in reality as possible. None of them will come true, so I should just put them away. He is dead, after all.

In death, we can take Jim as we need him. I needed a hero to cling onto who would not disappoint me. Even in death, he's managed to do so from time to time, but he's still the guy who turned down car commercials. It's likely that had he lived, he would've sold out as thoroughly as any of the others, but he didn't live to do so, and remains more or less unsullied. He didn't ever make peace with authority and even now remains dangerous, in his way, to society as it currently is. I needed him to be that person, unapologetic for himself. I needed him to be someone I could admire precisely because he never did fit in.

Mind you, seeing Doors CDs being sold in Starbucks took some serious rationalising. It's pretty good in some ways that Himself is dead – I can just blame it all on Father Ray, Robby & John.

Right now, I'm sat in Starbucks on a sunny Sunday afternoon. I'm drinking an iced latte, I'm dressed in a bright yellow sundress and I would honestly describe myself as 'cheerful'. Except for the small detail that Jim Morrison is dead. And you know what? He's been dead for such a long bloody time that it's simply how it is. Of course I'm sad, but if you think I'm going to let this drag me down for my entire damn life, you're more delusional than I am. I am, finally, just about resigned to it.

For the rest of my life and beyond it, I will always believe that a world without Jim in it is worse than one with him in it. I will always believe that he would've become a mighty figure... but I'm not going to shed any tears over it today. He's already had enough of them from me. He would've been a magnificent sight to behold and his work would've been more than just the occasional hint of brilliance, but it didn't happen and until I get my time machine, that's how it's staying.

Today in the sunshine, the shadows are out of sight and it turns out we could survive without him. Jaysus, that should break my heart – but it doesn't. Into the sunshine, indeed.

apolla: (Smiler)

21st October 2009, A Starbucks in a Galaxy Far, Far Away (Tottenham Court Road).

Today is the first day of my life. Today, I am older than Jim Morrison for the first time. I will now always be older than Jim. I will always have outlived him. I don't know why it's a big deal. Generationally speaking, he's still the same thirty-nine years ahead. In a way, he will always be ahead of me (and of course, out of reach) but from now on, I will always be older.

Maybe I care because he's the great personification of rejected, freakish youth. He's not David Cassidy or one of Take That or some nice young man your mother would love for you to take home. Jim is always young and always mostly dangerous. He's not unpredictable anymore, but he's not safe. He'll never be safe. He never could be safe. But now... I must face up to the fact that I am older than him. Every day of my life has been spent getting further away from him and what he means and represents to me... but now it's a two-pronged offensive. He is always getting further away from me as the past gets further and further away: he is now dead thirty-eight years... but now I am also growing older and away from the mercurial, ever youthful Adonis.

This is the kid who said “Once you make your peace with authority, you become an authority.” I happen to think that had he lived, he wouldn't have given in and would've remained on the outside, sneering in... and if he had sold out, I wouldn't care any more anyway. I don't know what the future holds for me. I don't personally see myself becoming normal like the normal people, or giving in to the dark night of mediocre middle age... but I can't be sure. As I get further away from Jim, perhaps I will get further away from myself.

That's not the only thing. Jim achieved everything he achieved in less time than I've had to do fuck all. My time to make a difference is running out. I don't assume that we're the same – I've always felt like I'm on a slightly different timeline to everyone else anyway – but it's a bit of a mindblast to think that everything I love about his work was done in this amount of time that I've already had on earth. God, the time I've WASTED! Playing stupid games, lying in bed, sleeping, eating, watching the same movies over and over again, the same TV shows, the same old same old same old same old same old. My life so far has been a study in applied laziness, and the effort I've spent to do nothing was probably more than I'd need to do something. But I'm not there. I haven't created yet. I haven't shaken people and I haven't made them think. To judge myself against Jim, I am an absolute, complete failure.

On the other hand, and in seeking the silver lining, this gets to be the first day of my life. After this, I cannot judge myself against him in the same way again. After this, that strange little connection is gone. Maybe from today I'll have to fend for myself and put him away. Just as well that I found Rory last year, so that I might have another hero to draw inspiration from – I won't have to worry about outliving him until 2030. If I haven't done what I feel I need (and should) do by then, it really will be too late.

It also means something else: I've survived. Every day that I live after this one will be a tiny victory of my greater angels over my lesser demons (and they really are lesser). This is the victory of Good Clare over Evil Clare. I haven't drunk myself to death. I haven't thrown myself under a fast-moving vehicle. I have got out of bed today. I am smiling today (just a little). Every day from now on, I've managed something that my hero, my old friend and companion through the darkness, could not do. I suppose, if I manage to make myself look at it this way: I won. I may have failed when compared to Jim, but I have won (mostly) when compared to Jimbo.

Of course, there's another way to look at it: every day is another day closer to seeing him, at last. Whether in heaven or hell, I don't know. But it wouldn't be heaven without him and hell couldn't be eternal torment if I spent it with him and the other lost boys.

I wrote, for a character of mine the following remark:

My life is coloured entirely, permanently, by his betrayal of himself.”

And that's true for me. I took it out of the story it belonged to not because it wasn't true, but because it was too true. Every moment of my life whether I knew it or not, has been the way it was in part because Jim Morrison, that drunken bastard in the leather trousers, was dead. Were he alive today, my life would not be as it is. I don't say it would be better or worse: I have no way of knowing. Maybe a few more days and nights would've been spent smiling instead of furiously shaking a fist at the unseen heavens, cursing anyone I could find to blame.

I will love that man and his work for the rest of my life, and beyond that too, probably. I am who I am and the way I am in part because of him – for better or worse. The hook is in too deep to remove completely but maybe – maybe today is the first day of a life spent a little less in the dark shadows of morbidity and a little more in the bright golden sunshine of being alive.

Chance would be a fine thing.


apolla: (Smiler)

21st October 2009, A Starbucks in a Galaxy Far, Far Away (Tottenham Court Road).

Today is the first day of my life. Today, I am older than Jim Morrison for the first time. I will now always be older than Jim. I will always have outlived him. I don't know why it's a big deal. Generationally speaking, he's still the same thirty-nine years ahead. In a way, he will always be ahead of me (and of course, out of reach) but from now on, I will always be older.

Maybe I care because he's the great personification of rejected, freakish youth. He's not David Cassidy or one of Take That or some nice young man your mother would love for you to take home. Jim is always young and always mostly dangerous. He's not unpredictable anymore, but he's not safe. He'll never be safe. He never could be safe. But now... I must face up to the fact that I am older than him. Every day of my life has been spent getting further away from him and what he means and represents to me... but now it's a two-pronged offensive. He is always getting further away from me as the past gets further and further away: he is now dead thirty-eight years... but now I am also growing older and away from the mercurial, ever youthful Adonis.

This is the kid who said “Once you make your peace with authority, you become an authority.” I happen to think that had he lived, he wouldn't have given in and would've remained on the outside, sneering in... and if he had sold out, I wouldn't care any more anyway. I don't know what the future holds for me. I don't personally see myself becoming normal like the normal people, or giving in to the dark night of mediocre middle age... but I can't be sure. As I get further away from Jim, perhaps I will get further away from myself.

That's not the only thing. Jim achieved everything he achieved in less time than I've had to do fuck all. My time to make a difference is running out. I don't assume that we're the same – I've always felt like I'm on a slightly different timeline to everyone else anyway – but it's a bit of a mindblast to think that everything I love about his work was done in this amount of time that I've already had on earth. God, the time I've WASTED! Playing stupid games, lying in bed, sleeping, eating, watching the same movies over and over again, the same TV shows, the same old same old same old same old same old. My life so far has been a study in applied laziness, and the effort I've spent to do nothing was probably more than I'd need to do something. But I'm not there. I haven't created yet. I haven't shaken people and I haven't made them think. To judge myself against Jim, I am an absolute, complete failure.

On the other hand, and in seeking the silver lining, this gets to be the first day of my life. After this, I cannot judge myself against him in the same way again. After this, that strange little connection is gone. Maybe from today I'll have to fend for myself and put him away. Just as well that I found Rory last year, so that I might have another hero to draw inspiration from – I won't have to worry about outliving him until 2030. If I haven't done what I feel I need (and should) do by then, it really will be too late.

It also means something else: I've survived. Every day that I live after this one will be a tiny victory of my greater angels over my lesser demons (and they really are lesser). This is the victory of Good Clare over Evil Clare. I haven't drunk myself to death. I haven't thrown myself under a fast-moving vehicle. I have got out of bed today. I am smiling today (just a little). Every day from now on, I've managed something that my hero, my old friend and companion through the darkness, could not do. I suppose, if I manage to make myself look at it this way: I won. I may have failed when compared to Jim, but I have won (mostly) when compared to Jimbo.

Of course, there's another way to look at it: every day is another day closer to seeing him, at last. Whether in heaven or hell, I don't know. But it wouldn't be heaven without him and hell couldn't be eternal torment if I spent it with him and the other lost boys.

I wrote, for a character of mine the following remark:

My life is coloured entirely, permanently, by his betrayal of himself.”

And that's true for me. I took it out of the story it belonged to not because it wasn't true, but because it was too true. Every moment of my life whether I knew it or not, has been the way it was in part because Jim Morrison, that drunken bastard in the leather trousers, was dead. Were he alive today, my life would not be as it is. I don't say it would be better or worse: I have no way of knowing. Maybe a few more days and nights would've been spent smiling instead of furiously shaking a fist at the unseen heavens, cursing anyone I could find to blame.

I will love that man and his work for the rest of my life, and beyond that too, probably. I am who I am and the way I am in part because of him – for better or worse. The hook is in too deep to remove completely but maybe – maybe today is the first day of a life spent a little less in the dark shadows of morbidity and a little more in the bright golden sunshine of being alive.

Chance would be a fine thing.


apolla: (Default)
I was in Suburbia this weekend. I had to go for my contact lens aftercare and for some reason I haven't moved opticians down to London. I actually live above an opticians...

Anyway, I ended up spending notable amount of time in the town centre. I got a new mobile phone thanks to a very helpful young man at the store, who spent ages making sure that I wouldn't lose the photos off my old phone (they include pictures of Granddad). I even think he'd have been that helpful if he wasn't my brother... Thanks, kid. I then went to Starbucks where I tried and failed to write. Mikey then joined me during his break. Then I wandered up to Blockbuster where I rented two films I didn't watch and bought four ex-rental DVDs. Am watching Frost/Nixon right now. Also got Benjamin Button, The Young Victoria and Quantum of Solace, all of which I've seen and didn't care much about but figured I'd like to own them cheaply.

I moseyed around the town centre a little more - went back to say bye to Mikey and went to Marks & Spencer where I replaced most of the underclothes I fucked up in the laundry recently. Not content with that, I went to Waitrose and bought some more stuff, including a bottle of Guinness Foreign Export to try. Then I walked back to my mummy and daddy's house.

It is a place I spent twenty years, on and off. They moved us there when I was three years old, for one of those 'better lives' you hear about on TV. Back in 1985, it was a nice little place, very leafy and green. Now it's just like any other chav-tastic town and I can't say I miss it. I spent the most miserable time of my life there. I clung to our house as a constant and place of some safety and solace. I remember breaking down in tears in the Northampton branch of McDonalds when I discovered we were there so my dad could have a job interview. To this day, I am eternally grateful we didn't end up in that Midlands shithole... but at the time it wasn't that I disliked Northampton, it was that I couldn't bear the idea of leaving our house.

Now I know differently. That place wasn't a haven of peace. It was a prison and a hell. Here where I am now in London, in my Granddad's flat: this is my haven, my safe space and my world. It always was. This was the constant in my life, the happy place. The genealogy work I've been doing recently has taken me back to 1798 for one twig of the family tree and they were in walking distance of where I am now. This is my world.

The parentals broke the news recently that they intend to move back to London. They're going to do the opposite of many and retire to the city, not away from it. They've missed the place, I think. Ours is a city family and has been for countless generations on both sides. I mean, Ireland comes into it (of course)... but it turns out my people are pretty much resolutely urban. I thought I'd be upset that they were intending to leave their house, but I don't care really. My bedroom there isn't my bedroom anymore: aside from the purple walls and carpet it bears no resemblance to my old cocoon/batcave. They even got rid of my old bed recently (without telling me), which they apparently owned since they were married in 1972. I cared more about that than I did the house itself. Maybe when the time comes that they actually leave, I'll care, but not today.

The happy times I spent in that town are so far away, so long ago, that they are now only the fuzziest of memories. They're dearly held memories that I cling to, but most of the good times are at least sixteen years gone. The dark times that followed have had too much of an impact on the good memories, too much of an impact on me. I walked a slightly different way back yesterday and saw a few places I haven't seen in probably years. I didn't feel anything, I just kept singing along to the Irish music I was listening to.

I don't care that my parents intend to leave Suburbia. I mean, I hate the place. No, I don't hate it. Not that town specifically, just suburbia generally. I hate Slough, and Reading, and all those towns where people go to become Sheeple and shop at B&Q and Comet on the weekends. It wasn't a life I ever wanted, not when I was in Suburbia and definitely not now. If you're happy in Suburbia, good on you. You'll likely be happier and more content than me.

Wherever life takes me from here, I've accepted that I am one of those people that needs to be in Zone One to be comfortable. That, or the other end of the scale: rural Ireland. Now there, I could probably be happy.

*

While there, I also recalled something I'd forced myself to forget about. The local theatre had a banner up for their latest play in the shopping centre and I suddenly remembered the time my friend took me along to the youth group there. I was so excited: I wanted to act, man! I wanted that, and I thought I was at last moving towards the dream. I was excited, which in me at the time probably manifested itself as annoying and manic. I recall being part of a group activity and a couple of the group shut me down or said something to upset/anger me. So, when it came to our turn to perform to the rest of the group, I upstaged them. I can't remember exactly what I said or did, and it probably wasn't cool... but they'd lashed out at me and I returned the favour.

At the end, the woman running the group pulled me aside and in what I remember as an imperious manner, told me that 'there are no stars here'' and went on to basically have a go at me. To a point, I deserved it: I didn't deal well with what had been said to me (whatever the hell it was!) but I was crushed. Although she did me the favour of pulling me aside, it had been pretty obviously done and I felt humiliated. Just humiliated. I seem to recall attending the group a few more times, but my card was marked with her and I'd lost what scrap of confidence I'd managed to cobble together. This was when I was struggling through the Secondary School of Horror and confidence was sorely lacking in me. Truth to tell, I'd probably done what I did because I couldn't respond to the people who were really hurting me. Those kids were mean to me and I sabotaged one short activity. In response, that woman humiliated me. I remember now how it felt. I hadn't been trying to be a fucking star!

Of course, I wanted to be a star, but I wasn't trying to be a star or a diva right then, I really didn't think so. She humiliated me, just as countless others had done to me. I recall (potentially erroneously) that after that, I really tried to prove myself... but it presumably didn't work. I don't remember how I came to not join the group permanently, but I do recall going to that self-same theatre as an audience member and that same woman castigating me for noisy chocolate wrappers. Before the show had begun. The people in front of me made the noise during the show. How do you like them apples? She must've decided that I was just some oik, not worthy to be on her stage and that was that.

This would be an amusing anecdote if I'd truly risen above it and proven her wrong. But I haven't, have I? I didn't get back on a stage to act except for Theatre Studies, which I pretty well fucked up one way or another. It may just be that I can't act - I truly don't know. To a point, I think I've spent so long constructing and making peace with my own personality that I no longer want to relinquish it to play at being someone else... but I can't help thinking that that one conversation with that woman played a bigger part than it felt like at the time.

I can't help trying to wonder what my life might have been like if we never left London. So different that I can't really wonder about it. It's a possibility so far in the past that I can't conjure it up. I can more easily imagine life with Maria than that... and she died in 1972. Maybe it's how it was meant to be... just as I was meant to be wrenched from my best friend when I was eleven, just as I was meant to be tormented at school, just as I was meant to find the Beatles and the rest. It was probably all written... by that prankster God, who better have the good fucking sense of humour I think He has... because otherwise he's a vicious bastard.

In related news:

Last week I took part in a training course to become a trainer. It's just something I do at work occasionally so the managerial types thought I should go on the course. It was fascinating, actually. The question of 'how to deal with Big Egos' came up, and some of the others basically said "take them down a peg or two." I had to disagree. Trust me when I say that a lot of Big Egos are masking and hiding scared little children and the worst, the very worst thing you can do is 'take them down a peg or two' in front of everyone else. Maybe that's why I remembered that theatre thing yesterday... because I'm one of those Big Egos, Big Mouths, Noisy People. It's my Dalek armour, hiding a tiny, squalling child inside who got fucked over by the world too many times. And I remembered the feeling of being humiliated by someone who didn't see it, didn't look for it..., and killed me inside, just a little.

*

I went to see When You're Strange, a documentary about the Doors (narrated by The Depp) this evening. I nearly got into a fist-fight with a guy who was barracking the rest of the audience as we all left. I have never wanted to fight anyone like I wanted to fight him. Then I walked home furious at the one it always comes back to, so furious that I walked home in a fraction of the time it usually takes. So furious that I had tears streaming down my face. I really thought I was past this, I really thought that I didn't care anymore. I think it turns out that I turned away from the Doors in recent months/years precisely because I care a great deal. More than I should, more than he deserves.

The more I think I know about Jim Morrison, the more I understand that I don't know him at all. I will outlive him in two days time. There are two bottles of whiskey in my cupboard and it's taking true effort to leave them there right now. But I will, because I don't want to become him. I never did.
apolla: (Default)
I was in Suburbia this weekend. I had to go for my contact lens aftercare and for some reason I haven't moved opticians down to London. I actually live above an opticians...

Anyway, I ended up spending notable amount of time in the town centre. I got a new mobile phone thanks to a very helpful young man at the store, who spent ages making sure that I wouldn't lose the photos off my old phone (they include pictures of Granddad). I even think he'd have been that helpful if he wasn't my brother... Thanks, kid. I then went to Starbucks where I tried and failed to write. Mikey then joined me during his break. Then I wandered up to Blockbuster where I rented two films I didn't watch and bought four ex-rental DVDs. Am watching Frost/Nixon right now. Also got Benjamin Button, The Young Victoria and Quantum of Solace, all of which I've seen and didn't care much about but figured I'd like to own them cheaply.

I moseyed around the town centre a little more - went back to say bye to Mikey and went to Marks & Spencer where I replaced most of the underclothes I fucked up in the laundry recently. Not content with that, I went to Waitrose and bought some more stuff, including a bottle of Guinness Foreign Export to try. Then I walked back to my mummy and daddy's house.

It is a place I spent twenty years, on and off. They moved us there when I was three years old, for one of those 'better lives' you hear about on TV. Back in 1985, it was a nice little place, very leafy and green. Now it's just like any other chav-tastic town and I can't say I miss it. I spent the most miserable time of my life there. I clung to our house as a constant and place of some safety and solace. I remember breaking down in tears in the Northampton branch of McDonalds when I discovered we were there so my dad could have a job interview. To this day, I am eternally grateful we didn't end up in that Midlands shithole... but at the time it wasn't that I disliked Northampton, it was that I couldn't bear the idea of leaving our house.

Now I know differently. That place wasn't a haven of peace. It was a prison and a hell. Here where I am now, in EC1, in my Granddad's flat: this is my haven, my safe space and my world. It always was. This was the constant in my life, the happy place. The genealogy work I've been doing recently has taken me back to 1798 for one twig of the family tree and they were in walking distance of where I am now. This is my world.

The parentals broke the news recently that they intend to move back to London. They're going to do the opposite of many and retire to the city, not away from it. They've missed the place, I think. Ours is a city family and has been for countless generations on both sides. I mean, Ireland comes into it (of course)... but it turns out my people are pretty much resolutely urban. I thought I'd be upset that they were intending to leave their house, but I don't care really. My bedroom there isn't my bedroom anymore: aside from the purple walls and carpet it bears no resemblance to my old cocoon/batcave. They even got rid of my old bed recently (without telling me), which they apparently owned since they were married in 1972. I cared more about that than I did the house itself. Maybe when the time comes that they actually leave, I'll care, but not today.

The happy times I spent in that town are so far away, so long ago, that they are now only the fuzziest of memories. They're dearly held memories that I cling to, but most of the good times are at least sixteen years gone. The dark times that followed have had too much of an impact on the good memories, too much of an impact on me. I walked a slightly different way back yesterday and saw a few places I haven't seen in probably years. I didn't feel anything, I just kept singing along to the Irish music I was listening to.

I don't care that my parents intend to leave Suburbia. I mean, I hate the place. No, I don't hate it. Not that town specifically, just suburbia generally. I hate Slough, and Reading, and all those towns where people go to become Sheeple and shop at B&Q and Comet on the weekends. It wasn't a life I ever wanted, not when I was in Suburbia and definitely not now. If you're happy in Suburbia, good on you. You'll likely be happier and more content than me.

Wherever life takes me from here, I've accepted that I am one of those people that needs to be in Zone One to be comfortable. That, or the other end of the scale: rural Ireland. Now there, I could probably be happy.

*

While there, I also recalled something I'd forced myself to forget about. The local theatre had a banner up for their latest play in the shopping centre and I suddenly remembered the time my friend took me along to the youth group there. I was so excited: I wanted to act, man! I wanted that, and I thought I was at last moving towards the dream. I was excited, which in me at the time probably manifested itself as annoying and manic. I recall being part of a group activity and a couple of the group shut me down or said something to upset/anger me. So, when it came to our turn to perform to the rest of the group, I upstaged them. I can't remember exactly what I said or did, and it probably wasn't cool... but they'd lashed out at me and I returned the favour.

At the end, the woman running the group pulled me aside and in what I remember as an imperious manner, told me that 'there are no stars here'' and went on to basically have a go at me. To a point, I deserved it: I didn't deal well with what had been said to me (whatever the hell it was!) but I was crushed. Although she did me the favour of pulling me aside, it had been pretty obviously done and I felt humiliated. Just humiliated. I seem to recall attending the group a few more times, but my card was marked with her and I'd lost what scrap of confidence I'd managed to cobble together. This was when I was struggling through the Secondary School of Horror and confidence was sorely lacking in me. Truth to tell, I'd probably done what I did because I couldn't respond to the people who were really hurting me. Those kids were mean to me and I sabotaged one short activity. In response, that woman humiliated me. I remember now how it felt. I hadn't been trying to be a fucking star!

Of course, I wanted to be a star, but I wasn't trying to be a star or a diva right then, I really didn't think so. She humiliated me, just as countless others had done to me. I recall (potentially erroneously) that after that, I really tried to prove myself... but it presumably didn't work. I don't remember how I came to not join the group permanently, but I do recall going to that self-same theatre as an audience member and that same woman castigating me for noisy chocolate wrappers. Before the show had begun. The people in front of me made the noise during the show. How do you like them apples? She must've decided that I was just some oik, not worthy to be on her stage and that was that.

This would be an amusing anecdote if I'd truly risen above it and proven her wrong. But I haven't, have I? I didn't get back on a stage to act except for Theatre Studies, which I pretty well fucked up one way or another. It may just be that I can't act - I truly don't know. To a point, I think I've spent so long constructing and making peace with my own personality that I no longer want to relinquish it to play at being someone else... but I can't help thinking that that one conversation with that woman played a bigger part than it felt like at the time.

I can't help trying to wonder what my life might have been like if we never left London. So different that I can't really wonder about it. It's a possibility so far in the past that I can't conjure it up. I can more easily imagine life with Maria than that... and she died in 1972. Maybe it's how it was meant to be... just as I was meant to be wrenched from my best friend when I was eleven, just as I was meant to be tormented at school, just as I was meant to find the Beatles and the rest. It was probably all written... by that prankster God, who better have the good fucking sense of humour I think He has... because otherwise he's a vicious bastard.

In related news:

Last week I took part in a training course to become a trainer. It's just something I do at work occasionally so the managerial types thought I should go on the course. It was fascinating, actually. The question of 'how to deal with Big Egos' came up, and some of the others basically said "take them down a peg or two." I had to disagree. Trust me when I say that a lot of Big Egos are masking and hiding scared little children and the worst, the very worst thing you can do is 'take them down a peg or two' in front of everyone else. Maybe that's why I remembered that theatre thing yesterday... because I'm one of those Big Egos, Big Mouths, Noisy People. It's my Dalek armour, hiding a tiny, squalling child inside who got fucked over by the world too many times. And I remembered the feeling of being humiliated by someone who didn't see it, didn't look for it..., and killed me inside, just a little.

*

I went to see When You're Strange, a documentary about the Doors (narrated by The Depp) this evening. I nearly got into a fist-fight with a guy who was barracking the rest of the audience as we all left. I have never wanted to fight anyone like I wanted to fight him. Then I walked home furious at the one it always comes back to, so furious that I walked home in a fraction of the time it usually takes. So furious that I had tears streaming down my face. I really thought I was past this, I really thought that I didn't care anymore. I think it turns out that I turned away from the Doors in recent months/years precisely because I care a great deal. More than I should, more than he deserves.

The more I think I know about Jim Morrison, the more I understand that I don't know him at all. I will outlive him in two days time. There are two bottles of whiskey in my cupboard and it's taking true effort to leave them there right now. But I will, because I don't want to become him. I never did.
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I have a habit. An irritating habit. I like to share YouTube videos on Facebook on even the smallest pretext. This leads to me basically spamming my own FB profile with videos each time I stop there. So far, I've managed to refrain from sharing The Late Late Show With Craig Ferguson every time I burst out laughing.

Lately, I've been profile-spamming with Rory Gallagher videos every so often. Or rather, every time I go to YouTube in search of a Rory video. I'm in the mid-period stage of New Obsession, and it's just as well that YouTube wasn't around when I went through the same with The Beatles, or with Led Zeppelin or with Thin Lizzy or with The Doors, or with Dean Martin.

Amongst the videos I posted the other day was this:


I added the note"I wasn't going to clutter FB with any more tonight but the end of this is astonishing in its grand fabulousness." If you want to accuse me of being over the top, hyperbolic or just plain nuts, that's cool. I happen to think it's a very cool live exploration of the song that reaches a thoroughly satisfactory climax (oh, matron, etc etc) but part of my excitement was bound up in the newness: it was the first time I'd heard it in such an arrangement.

Now one of my friends on Facebook, the Fabulous Marie, clicked 'Like' on a few of the videos and I was glad that someone - anyone - had seen then. I get quite preachy when I fall down the rabbit hole for a musician, I know this. "OMG YOU MUST LISTEN! NO REALLY!". I know, and I'm at least less awful than I used to be (just ask anyone who was around when I fell down the Doors rabbit hole).

I posted a bunch of videos, and also, while I'm at it, the profound FB status message "RANDOM SCOTT GORHAM ON TV!" so it's fair to say I was in a particular frame of mind: the oh my god, rock music is all I care about and all I can think about frame of mind. Haven't been there for a while, and it was fun. So imagine the mixture of emotions the next day when I read an email alert that someone had replied to my posting of the above video.

"It's not as if he's the best or anything - do you just fancy him?"

On the face of it... it's just a slightly stupid, shallow remark. There's more to this than meets the eye, to borrow a phrase from the movie Help! (more on that later).

Let us examine this, because I'm still angry two days later. Leaving aside the quality judgement, because that's not the issue and is always going to be contentious in rock geek circles, the question.... do you just fancy him?

Exsqueeze me, baking powder? (another quote from another rock music movie). What did you just say? It was a boy who said it, for the record, called Adam. I have had several online discussions with him about music, the blues, Clapton and Gallagher. I know he falls on the side of Clapton. I do not. I only know him via my brother, so I can't claim to know him at all well. I can't speak to his motives or meanings behind the remark. I can only speak to how it feels to read such a remark. And I'm fucking well going to speak to it.

How dare you.

I was immediately put in mind of a fascinating feminist post over at Shakesville: The Terrible Bargain We Have Regretfully Struck. If you, men and women, read nothing else about this post, click the link and read. I was put in mind because the question that came to me as I read the comment from Adam was: Swallow shit, or ruin the afternoon? As the article suggests, moments that wear/cut away at a woman's sense of self, worth, importance have already ruined the proverbial afternoon for them. So fuck it kids, I'm going to ruin the afternoon.

I am sick and tired - oh so weary - of being treated in a particular way for being a rock fan with a cunt. The number of times I've had men (and some women) patronise me, scorn me, outright mock or attack me for it... I took a Pop Music Culture class nearly a decade ago in which I had to stand up for myself - and all the other female rock fans - for wanting to love the music.

So let me ask a question. If a man posted four or five videos of a musician they liked a great deal, would 'do you fancy him' be a question that even occurred to anyone? Rock music is still so skewed towards men. That's fine, as long as they're good at it. I mean come on! My absolute favourite musicians are all men! This may be due to a conspicuous lack of choice in the female rock department.

Who is there? In mainstream rock music, I mean. There are the Bikini Kill and Riot Grrrl types who are to be respected and commended, but you can't call it mainstream... Who is there who ROCKS THE FUCK OUT while in possession of a vagina?

You're having trouble, aren't you? Don't worry, you're not the only ones: Rolling Stone's Immortals list has only four women in the top fifty, and Aretha (number nine) is a soul singer, Madonna's (36) a clotheshorse bandwagoner. Only the other two, Janis Joplin and Patti Smith, can even reasonably be considered to share the same space as the guys. I don't say this to deride the Queen or Madge, just to point out that they're not rockers. Janis and Patti are at places 46 and 47 respectively. The bottom fifty has six females/girl groups.

It's not because girls don't like rock music. It's not because they can't play it. It's because they're told they can't, or just plain told not to. I remember why I asked to learn the guitar when I was seven years old. I was watching Top of the Pops (a very long time ago, when I could still find something on there to like). I made the connection between rock music, guitars and cool pretty easily. I was a kid who had her own record player at the age of six and listened to Buddy Holly records. It was 1989. I wanted to play the guitar. The electric guitar like all those cool-as-fuck musicians. Can you imagine the disappointment I had to hide when my mummy took me to the music school and introduced me to my classical guitar teacher? I wanted to ROCK OUT but it had been assumed (I assume in turn) that it would be classical. I turned out to love my lessons and stuck with them from the age of ten to nineteen, and I only stopped them to go to university. (Sidenote: Mr Burden, you're a fucking legend.) But the assumption hurt.

For the record, I'm sitting within two feet of two guitars: a Fender California series electro-acoustic slice of gorgeousness and a gold copy-Strat. There's a bass (Fender jazz copy.) (rarely played) sitting in my spare room.

So anyway, I've been dealing with this shit for twenty years and it still stings. I wouldn't be writing this if Adam's remark didn't hurt a little. How can I explain without seeming like An Irrational Female or A Bitch? I can practically hear the TVTropes names forming. How can I adequately explain the shredding of my heart every time some ignorant tossmonkey suggests that the only reason I could ever love music is because I fancy the musician? My God, it still hurts, every single time, and partly on behalf of the musicians in question. What an insult it is to them to suggest that I could only love them for their face and body? (There is an argument to be made that Robert Plant asked for it).

I suppose it couldn't possibly be because of the music, could it? Or them as humans for being charismatic or intelligent, or funny? It couldn't be because of a MONSTER RIFF or a STONKING BASSLINE or a PROFOUND LYRIC? God, the mere idea of loving the Beatles for the music! Why didn't I think of that before? Whyever would I like Led Zeppelin for Jimmy's fourteen track guitar solos or for Bonzo's extended Moby Dick drum solo? (for the record: I actually love the version of Moby Dick that's in The Song Remains The Same).

I couldn't possibly like Rory Gallagher for his mad guitar skills, could I? Or his often excellent songwriting? There are a couple of his songs that are such excellent examples of their type that I assumed they were covers. 'Goin' To My Hometown' is a particularly excellent example. It couldn't possibly be because he brought an Irish lyricality to the blues and a deep authentic feeling that I have never once believed from Eric Clapton, could it? It couldn't be his dedication to the music, or the simple-but-effective live shows? No, I must fancy him.

A far more stinging and accurate mockery would've been to suggest I only like him for being Irish. It'd be more accurate than 'oooooh, you lurrrrrrve him!' but it'd still be wrong.

Why are women still barred from being considered 'proper' fans of anything? Why are we still having our motives questioned? Are we still tagged as groupies, no matter what we do? Are we all supposed to be crazy fangirls, as if my love of rock music is the same as a tinhat Supernatural fan's love of J2? Even if it is, what would be wrong with that? A guy can own thousands of records and be a fan, a girl could own the same and be tagged as a crazy fangirl.

I appreciate that the screaming girls since the Bobbysoxers have not helped the cause. However, you don't know what it was they loved, and not all fangirls are the same. Twihards right now are not helping, but it's possible - just possible - that they love the books above loving Robert Pattinson. Have you even asked?

Oh hey, Fact Fans! For all the crazy fangirls that clutter the internet and the world, it was a white man who killed John Lennon. To extend this further, a white man killed Jim Morrison, when you think about it.

I sit opposite a rock fan called Phil at work. We routinely drive everyone else mad by bickering, for one thing, and for droning about rock music for another. We also quote A Hard Day's Night and Help! at each other for a good portion of any given day. Swine flu has been particularly good for this: He's a swiiiiiiine. Phil can speak at length about the differences between the stereo and mono mixes of the Beatles records and on Friday spent some time waxing truly lyrical about the new remaster of Abbey Road. He is almost as much of a fan of several other bands. He dislikes my ironic love of Xanadu because that's when he finally gave up on ELO. He's seen Clapton tons of times. I don't believe he's ever been accused of being in love with any of the bands he likes.

Go over to YouTube and read the comments on Rory Gallagher videos:

Do please pardon my language.But Goddamn fuckin amazing ... 5:49 ... with the bass ... and the ... the ... oh god i love it .....  by someone called Brianlovesiobhan on the video above.

ah for feck sake!!!!!!! that was just unreal. Vids of Rory blow me away everytime! thanks a million for sharing! from someone called MonkeyMan198599, video and comment linked in quote.

Now, I can't be sure that these people (there are hundreds of similarly adoring comments on most of RG's videos, but I'm not going to spam you with them now) are men... but I can surmise it. I suppose that they too must fancy Rory? Or am I to understand that only men can be obsessive about music and that women must only be obsessive about musicians?

It's entirely possible for a woman to fall in love with a rock and roll musician. It's just as possible for her not to. It's actually a pretty complex set of emotions for me, so for someone to reduce it to do you just fancy him is infuriating. Even if I did explain, I don't think most people would be interested, which is fair enough, but don't reduce it to the lowest common denominator. I've sat for hours watching old concerts for these people, I've lost days of my life to listening to their records. I'm poor because of them. I've travelled the globe for them, I've stood at their graves. I've danced around the living room alone at 2 o'clock in the morning because of a funky song. I've read books. I've written dissertations and blog posts. I've laughed and I've cried. I've watched great documentaries and shit documentaries. I've defended and attacked them. I've fought their corners. I've sung their songs on stages. I've written songs about them. I've done all this because of the music.

To quote briefly from a long-ago post I made that was nominally about the Phantom of the Opera but was actually about Jim and Me:

It is a handy little extra that Jim Morrison is Adonis. It makes putting pictures of him up on the wall a genuine pleasure. It's always nice to have beautiful things to look at. But you don't get pictures when you're listening to a record. When it's just you and the vinyl, the only thing he has to win you over completely is his voice singing his words. No pout, no smirk or smoulder or trousers. There's none of the slumping onto microphones or falling into a heap. Only a voice.

Would I love Jim Morrison if he were ugly? I don’t think I’ve ever actually had a choice in the matter.

Note the phrase 'would I love' rather than 'would I be in love with'. To me, they're not the same thing. In fact, I believe I use the word 'love' as shorthand a lot of the time, because everyone understands love but they don't necessarily understand the rock fan - musician relationship. 'Love' is an easy way of avoiding exactly what I mean.

To quote briefly from a post I made in July 2007:

Without music I'd be dead. Or at least very, terribly hollow and dead inside. I might still live and breathe, but who would I be? I talk music most of the time, I think music even more. The only things that distract me from music are writing, movies and myself. That's it. There's nothing else.

I'm not saying you can't crush on musicians, can't be in love with them... it's just that it's not why a lot of us women love the music first and foremost and above everything else. To suggest that I could only love the music because of the man makes my stomach twist itself inside out because I love the music so much for itself. Yet, it's hard often to explain adequately how or why a piece of music is so important... but it's relatively easy to talk about people. I have talked about how I love Jim Morrison or any of the others - but it's not a crush. It's not romantic and never was. It was a depth of affection for someone who gave me that music. If Jim hadn't written those songs, I wouldn't give a flying rat's arse about him in or out of a shirt. I love the music, so I love them for the music. That doesn't give them a free pass to make shit music and it doesn't mean that I sit here daydreaming about them.

Wouldn't that be a waste of fucking time in my case, given that most of the bastards are dead?

I don't want to fuck or marry these people. I want to see them live in concert. When I hear the music I love, I feel alive. I feel like there's meaning to the world. I feel like there's wonder and brilliance in the world. I feel like I could fly. My heart soars or dips depending on the song. I get songs stuck in my head. Some songs make my blood run hot, some turn my blood cold. Some songs make me want to die. Others make me want to live. That makes you and me and all the other rock fans pretty much the same, whether we have a cock or a cunt, something else or none of the above. Amazing, right?

I'm going to leave you with a few choice quotes that, depending on your point of view, should leave you squirming and uncomfortable or punching the air triumphantly, mostly from women in music, because the only real difference between the person on stage and the person in the audience is what side of the security guard they can see.

People don't want to see women doing things they don't think women should do. Joan Jett

Girls have got balls. They're just a little higher up that's all. Joan Jett.

Aggressive, tough and defiant may describe me, but that leaves the impression I'm mean and I'm not. Joan Jett, again.

I figured out it was a social thing, what women were allowed to do. At a very young age, I decided I was not going to follow women's rules.  Joan Jett, once more. Has she had to spend her entire career explaining and defending her choice? (answer: Yes).

As far as I'm concerned, being any gender is a drag. Patti Smith.

No, my work does not reflect my sexual preferences, it reflects the fact that I feel total freedom as an artist.  Patti Smith.

On stage I make love to twenty five thousand people; and then I go home alone.  Janis Joplin

Some nights I look out and want to fuck the whole front row. Robert Plant

The so-called feminist writers were disgusted with me. I did my thing, and so I guess by feminist standards I'm a feminist. That suits me fine.  Chrissie Hynde

I dig music. The fictional musician Russell Hammond in Almost Famous, a film which didn't help the girl-fan (not fangirl) cause but was otherwise OK.

and a final word from one of our sponsors:

You know, people can't fall in love with me just because I'm good at what I do. Robert Plant, 1977 (I'd be interested in the context of this quote if anyone has it).
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I have a habit. An irritating habit. I like to share YouTube videos on Facebook on even the smallest pretext. This leads to me basically spamming my own FB profile with videos each time I stop there. So far, I've managed to refrain from sharing The Late Late Show With Craig Ferguson every time I burst out laughing.

Lately, I've been profile-spamming with Rory Gallagher videos every so often. Or rather, every time I go to YouTube in search of a Rory video. I'm in the mid-period stage of New Obsession, and it's just as well that YouTube wasn't around when I went through the same with The Beatles, or with Led Zeppelin or with Thin Lizzy or with The Doors, or with Dean Martin.

Amongst the videos I posted the other day was this:


I added the note"I wasn't going to clutter FB with any more tonight but the end of this is astonishing in its grand fabulousness." If you want to accuse me of being over the top, hyperbolic or just plain nuts, that's cool. I happen to think it's a very cool live exploration of the song that reaches a thoroughly satisfactory climax (oh, matron, etc etc) but part of my excitement was bound up in the newness: it was the first time I'd heard it in such an arrangement.

Now one of my friends on Facebook, the Fabulous Marie, clicked 'Like' on a few of the videos and I was glad that someone - anyone - had seen then. I get quite preachy when I fall down the rabbit hole for a musician, I know this. "OMG YOU MUST LISTEN! NO REALLY!". I know, and I'm at least less awful than I used to be (just ask anyone who was around when I fell down the Doors rabbit hole).

I posted a bunch of videos, and also, while I'm at it, the profound FB status message "RANDOM SCOTT GORHAM ON TV!" so it's fair to say I was in a particular frame of mind: the oh my god, rock music is all I care about and all I can think about frame of mind. Haven't been there for a while, and it was fun. So imagine the mixture of emotions the next day when I read an email alert that someone had replied to my posting of the above video.

"It's not as if he's the best or anything - do you just fancy him?"

On the face of it... it's just a slightly stupid, shallow remark. There's more to this than meets the eye, to borrow a phrase from the movie Help! (more on that later).

Let us examine this, because I'm still angry two days later. Leaving aside the quality judgement, because that's not the issue and is always going to be contentious in rock geek circles, the question.... do you just fancy him?

Exsqueeze me, baking powder? (another quote from another rock music movie). What did you just say? It was a boy who said it, for the record, called Adam. I have had several online discussions with him about music, the blues, Clapton and Gallagher. I know he falls on the side of Clapton. I do not. I only know him via my brother, so I can't claim to know him at all well. I can't speak to his motives or meanings behind the remark. I can only speak to how it feels to read such a remark. And I'm fucking well going to speak to it.

How dare you.

I was immediately put in mind of a fascinating feminist post over at Shakesville: The Terrible Bargain We Have Regretfully Struck. If you, men and women, read nothing else about this post, click the link and read. I was put in mind because the question that came to me as I read the comment from Adam was: Swallow shit, or ruin the afternoon? As the article suggests, moments that wear/cut away at a woman's sense of self, worth, importance have already ruined the proverbial afternoon for them. So fuck it kids, I'm going to ruin the afternoon.

I am sick and tired - oh so weary - of being treated in a particular way for being a rock fan with a cunt. The number of times I've had men (and some women) patronise me, scorn me, outright mock or attack me for it... I took a Pop Music Culture class nearly a decade ago in which I had to stand up for myself - and all the other female rock fans - for wanting to love the music.

So let me ask a question. If a man posted four or five videos of a musician they liked a great deal, would 'do you fancy him' be a question that even occurred to anyone? Rock music is still so skewed towards men. That's fine, as long as they're good at it. I mean come on! My absolute favourite musicians are all men! This may be due to a conspicuous lack of choice in the female rock department.

Who is there? In mainstream rock music, I mean. There are the Bikini Kill and Riot Grrrl types who are to be respected and commended, but you can't call it mainstream... Who is there who ROCKS THE FUCK OUT while in possession of a vagina?

You're having trouble, aren't you? Don't worry, you're not the only ones: Rolling Stone's Immortals list has only four women in the top fifty, and Aretha (number nine) is a soul singer, Madonna's (36) a clotheshorse bandwagoner. Only the other two, Janis Joplin and Patti Smith, can even reasonably be considered to share the same space as the guys. I don't say this to deride the Queen or Madge, just to point out that they're not rockers. Janis and Patti are at places 46 and 47 respectively. The bottom fifty has six females/girl groups.

It's not because girls don't like rock music. It's not because they can't play it. It's because they're told they can't, or just plain told not to. I remember why I asked to learn the guitar when I was seven years old. I was watching Top of the Pops (a very long time ago, when I could still find something on there to like). I made the connection between rock music, guitars and cool pretty easily. I was a kid who had her own record player at the age of six and listened to Buddy Holly records. It was 1989. I wanted to play the guitar. The electric guitar like all those cool-as-fuck musicians. Can you imagine the disappointment I had to hide when my mummy took me to the music school and introduced me to my classical guitar teacher? I wanted to ROCK OUT but it had been assumed (I assume in turn) that it would be classical. I turned out to love my lessons and stuck with them from the age of ten to nineteen, and I only stopped them to go to university. (Sidenote: Mr Burden, you're a fucking legend.) But the assumption hurt.

For the record, I'm sitting within two feet of two guitars: a Fender California series electro-acoustic slice of gorgeousness and a gold copy-Strat. There's a bass (Fender jazz copy.) (rarely played) sitting in my spare room.

So anyway, I've been dealing with this shit for twenty years and it still stings. I wouldn't be writing this if Adam's remark didn't hurt a little. How can I explain without seeming like An Irrational Female or A Bitch? I can practically hear the TVTropes names forming. How can I adequately explain the shredding of my heart every time some ignorant tossmonkey suggests that the only reason I could ever love music is because I fancy the musician? My God, it still hurts, every single time, and partly on behalf of the musicians in question. What an insult it is to them to suggest that I could only love them for their face and body? (There is an argument to be made that Robert Plant asked for it).

I suppose it couldn't possibly be because of the music, could it? Or them as humans for being charismatic or intelligent, or funny? It couldn't be because of a MONSTER RIFF or a STONKING BASSLINE or a PROFOUND LYRIC? God, the mere idea of loving the Beatles for the music! Why didn't I think of that before? Whyever would I like Led Zeppelin for Jimmy's fourteen track guitar solos or for Bonzo's extended Moby Dick drum solo? (for the record: I actually love the version of Moby Dick that's in The Song Remains The Same).

I couldn't possibly like Rory Gallagher for his mad guitar skills, could I? Or his often excellent songwriting? There are a couple of his songs that are such excellent examples of their type that I assumed they were covers. 'Goin' To My Hometown' is a particularly excellent example. It couldn't possibly be because he brought an Irish lyricality to the blues and a deep authentic feeling that I have never once believed from Eric Clapton, could it? It couldn't be his dedication to the music, or the simple-but-effective live shows? No, I must fancy him.

A far more stinging and accurate mockery would've been to suggest I only like him for being Irish. It'd be more accurate than 'oooooh, you lurrrrrrve him!' but it'd still be wrong.

Why are women still barred from being considered 'proper' fans of anything? Why are we still having our motives questioned? Are we still tagged as groupies, no matter what we do? Are we all supposed to be crazy fangirls, as if my love of rock music is the same as a tinhat Supernatural fan's love of J2? Even if it is, what would be wrong with that? A guy can own thousands of records and be a fan, a girl could own the same and be tagged as a crazy fangirl.

I appreciate that the screaming girls since the Bobbysoxers have not helped the cause. However, you don't know what it was they loved, and not all fangirls are the same. Twihards right now are not helping, but it's possible - just possible - that they love the books above loving Robert Pattinson. Have you even asked?

Oh hey, Fact Fans! For all the crazy fangirls that clutter the internet and the world, it was a white man who killed John Lennon. To extend this further, a white man killed Jim Morrison, when you think about it.

I sit opposite a rock fan called Phil at work. We routinely drive everyone else mad by bickering, for one thing, and for droning about rock music for another. We also quote A Hard Day's Night and Help! at each other for a good portion of any given day. Swine flu has been particularly good for this: He's a swiiiiiiine. Phil can speak at length about the differences between the stereo and mono mixes of the Beatles records and on Friday spent some time waxing truly lyrical about the new remaster of Abbey Road. He is almost as much of a fan of several other bands. He dislikes my ironic love of Xanadu because that's when he finally gave up on ELO. He's seen Clapton tons of times. I don't believe he's ever been accused of being in love with any of the bands he likes.

Go over to YouTube and read the comments on Rory Gallagher videos:

Do please pardon my language.But Goddamn fuckin amazing ... 5:49 ... with the bass ... and the ... the ... oh god i love it .....  by someone called Brianlovesiobhan on the video above.

ah for feck sake!!!!!!! that was just unreal. Vids of Rory blow me away everytime! thanks a million for sharing! from someone called MonkeyMan198599, video and comment linked in quote.

Now, I can't be sure that these people (there are hundreds of similarly adoring comments on most of RG's videos, but I'm not going to spam you with them now) are men... but I can surmise it. I suppose that they too must fancy Rory? Or am I to understand that only men can be obsessive about music and that women must only be obsessive about musicians?

It's entirely possible for a woman to fall in love with a rock and roll musician. It's just as possible for her not to. It's actually a pretty complex set of emotions for me, so for someone to reduce it to do you just fancy him is infuriating. Even if I did explain, I don't think most people would be interested, which is fair enough, but don't reduce it to the lowest common denominator. I've sat for hours watching old concerts for these people, I've lost days of my life to listening to their records. I'm poor because of them. I've travelled the globe for them, I've stood at their graves. I've danced around the living room alone at 2 o'clock in the morning because of a funky song. I've read books. I've written dissertations and blog posts. I've laughed and I've cried. I've watched great documentaries and shit documentaries. I've defended and attacked them. I've fought their corners. I've sung their songs on stages. I've written songs about them. I've done all this because of the music.

To quote briefly from a long-ago post I made that was nominally about the Phantom of the Opera but was actually about Jim and Me:

It is a handy little extra that Jim Morrison is Adonis. It makes putting pictures of him up on the wall a genuine pleasure. It's always nice to have beautiful things to look at. But you don't get pictures when you're listening to a record. When it's just you and the vinyl, the only thing he has to win you over completely is his voice singing his words. No pout, no smirk or smoulder or trousers. There's none of the slumping onto microphones or falling into a heap. Only a voice.

Would I love Jim Morrison if he were ugly? I don’t think I’ve ever actually had a choice in the matter.

Note the phrase 'would I love' rather than 'would I be in love with'. To me, they're not the same thing. In fact, I believe I use the word 'love' as shorthand a lot of the time, because everyone understands love but they don't necessarily understand the rock fan - musician relationship. 'Love' is an easy way of avoiding exactly what I mean.

To quote briefly from a post I made in July 2007:

Without music I'd be dead. Or at least very, terribly hollow and dead inside. I might still live and breathe, but who would I be? I talk music most of the time, I think music even more. The only things that distract me from music are writing, movies and myself. That's it. There's nothing else.

I'm not saying you can't crush on musicians, can't be in love with them... it's just that it's not why a lot of us women love the music first and foremost and above everything else. To suggest that I could only love the music because of the man makes my stomach twist itself inside out because I love the music so much for itself. Yet, it's hard often to explain adequately how or why a piece of music is so important... but it's relatively easy to talk about people. I have talked about how I love Jim Morrison or any of the others - but it's not a crush. It's not romantic and never was. It was a depth of affection for someone who gave me that music. If Jim hadn't written those songs, I wouldn't give a flying rat's arse about him in or out of a shirt. I love the music, so I love them for the music. That doesn't give them a free pass to make shit music and it doesn't mean that I sit here daydreaming about them.

Wouldn't that be a waste of fucking time in my case, given that most of the bastards are dead?

I don't want to fuck or marry these people. I want to see them live in concert. When I hear the music I love, I feel alive. I feel like there's meaning to the world. I feel like there's wonder and brilliance in the world. I feel like I could fly. My heart soars or dips depending on the song. I get songs stuck in my head. Some songs make my blood run hot, some turn my blood cold. Some songs make me want to die. Others make me want to live. That makes you and me and all the other rock fans pretty much the same, whether we have a cock or a cunt, something else or none of the above. Amazing, right?

I'm going to leave you with a few choice quotes that, depending on your point of view, should leave you squirming and uncomfortable or punching the air triumphantly, mostly from women in music, because the only real difference between the person on stage and the person in the audience is what side of the security guard they can see.

People don't want to see women doing things they don't think women should do. Joan Jett

Girls have got balls. They're just a little higher up that's all. Joan Jett.

Aggressive, tough and defiant may describe me, but that leaves the impression I'm mean and I'm not. Joan Jett, again.

I figured out it was a social thing, what women were allowed to do. At a very young age, I decided I was not going to follow women's rules.  Joan Jett, once more. Has she had to spend her entire career explaining and defending her choice? (answer: Yes).

As far as I'm concerned, being any gender is a drag. Patti Smith.

No, my work does not reflect my sexual preferences, it reflects the fact that I feel total freedom as an artist.  Patti Smith.

On stage I make love to twenty five thousand people; and then I go home alone.  Janis Joplin

Some nights I look out and want to fuck the whole front row. Robert Plant

The so-called feminist writers were disgusted with me. I did my thing, and so I guess by feminist standards I'm a feminist. That suits me fine.  Chrissie Hynde

I dig music. The fictional musician Russell Hammond in Almost Famous, a film which didn't help the girl-fan (not fangirl) cause but was otherwise OK.

and a final word from one of our sponsors:

You know, people can't fall in love with me just because I'm good at what I do. Robert Plant, 1977 (I'd be interested in the context of this quote if anyone has it).

The Magic 27

Tuesday, 24 March 2009 20:28
apolla: (Default)
I'm twenty-seven years old tomorrow. In twelve hours, actually, if you go by birth time. It's not a big deal for most people but...

Twenty-seven... do you know how many important people in my world died at twenty-seven? Hendrix, man. That Joplin girl, although she's never been my thing. Brian 'The Bastard' Jones. Kurt. Robert 'Devil at the Crossroads' Johnson. There are more - wiki for 27 Club.

And then there is the man it always comes back to. The adored Jim.

I haven't spoken about him here for awhile, although maybe I have and it just doesn't feel like it. It was ten years ago or thereabouts that I really discovered what it was he meant to me and would come to mean to me, and I'm about to outlive the weak-willed bastard. I have loved him for such a long old time that I only remember how it is not to love him in theory. I know there was a time that I didn't love him, but I don't feel it.

I don't want to outlive Jim, I really don't... but to achieve even a sliver of what he did, I will have to. I'm not on the same special fasttrack as him. To outlive my great hero, to surpass him even only chronologically, feels so wrong. I can argue of course, that as he'd be sixty-five if he'd bothered to live, I still haven't caught up. I'm STILL playing catch-up, still! I still feel this ridiculous tugging towards that undeserving old bastard... and reaching 27 hasn't changed that.

*

I'm actually healthier now than ever before. I keep relatively fit by going to the work gym (sometimes i even manage to go twice a week!) and I don't eat even a fraction of the rubbish I used to. Crisps are gone. Most chocolate is gone. Cookies during work remain a vice, because Sainsbury's cookies are such manna from heaven. I don't drink Coke anymore, diet or otherwise, though my dependence on tonic water is worrying it's nothing in comparison to the bad, bad old days.

I don't get much more sleep than I used to, but at least now I think "Ah, half twelve, I should think about sleep" rather than "Ah, half three." Maybe I'm just on my way to the middle like everyone else, I don't know.

I don't have to battle the demon drink like I might once have done, although I'm drinking Marsala right now. I've fought and partly-won against my own lesser demons. I don't pretend to have won completely, or forever. Maybe listening to Jimmy right now is enough to send me back to the depths, or to the bottom of a bottle.

I'm not really much different to the person I was two, five, ten years ago. But that person has fought the right battles enough times to have just a little control over those lesser demons, just a little. I'm still the Unhappy Girl from Strange Days, but I know why I am and I increasingly choose it.

Ten years ago I was a rock music obsessive who watched way too many movies. My dreams are still more or less the same as they were then, but maybe at least with a couple of roots in reality. I'm the same person. I don't change.

*

Anyway, I won't outlive Jim Morrison until 20 Oct 2009. I won't have to really worry until then, right? I still hope that when I die, he'll be the one to come collect me, and I won't know whether he's from heaven or from hell. Except that it can't be heaven without him and the others...

The Magic 27

Tuesday, 24 March 2009 20:28
apolla: (Default)
I'm twenty-seven years old tomorrow. In twelve hours, actually, if you go by birth time. It's not a big deal for most people but...

Twenty-seven... do you know how many important people in my world died at twenty-seven? Hendrix, man. That Joplin girl, although she's never been my thing. Brian 'The Bastard' Jones. Kurt. Robert 'Devil at the Crossroads' Johnson. There are more - wiki for 27 Club.

And then there is the man it always comes back to. The adored Jim.

I haven't spoken about him here for awhile, although maybe I have and it just doesn't feel like it. It was ten years ago or thereabouts that I really discovered what it was he meant to me and would come to mean to me, and I'm about to outlive the weak-willed bastard. I have loved him for such a long old time that I only remember how it is not to love him in theory. I know there was a time that I didn't love him, but I don't feel it.

I don't want to outlive Jim, I really don't... but to achieve even a sliver of what he did, I will have to. I'm not on the same special fasttrack as him. To outlive my great hero, to surpass him even only chronologically, feels so wrong. I can argue of course, that as he'd be sixty-five if he'd bothered to live, I still haven't caught up. I'm STILL playing catch-up, still! I still feel this ridiculous tugging towards that undeserving old bastard... and reaching 27 hasn't changed that.

*

I'm actually healthier now than ever before. I keep relatively fit by going to the work gym (sometimes i even manage to go twice a week!) and I don't eat even a fraction of the rubbish I used to. Crisps are gone. Most chocolate is gone. Cookies during work remain a vice, because Sainsbury's cookies are such manna from heaven. I don't drink Coke anymore, diet or otherwise, though my dependence on tonic water is worrying it's nothing in comparison to the bad, bad old days.

I don't get much more sleep than I used to, but at least now I think "Ah, half twelve, I should think about sleep" rather than "Ah, half three." Maybe I'm just on my way to the middle like everyone else, I don't know.

I don't have to battle the demon drink like I might once have done, although I'm drinking Marsala right now. I've fought and partly-won against my own lesser demons. I don't pretend to have won completely, or forever. Maybe listening to Jimmy right now is enough to send me back to the depths, or to the bottom of a bottle.

I'm not really much different to the person I was two, five, ten years ago. But that person has fought the right battles enough times to have just a little control over those lesser demons, just a little. I'm still the Unhappy Girl from Strange Days, but I know why I am and I increasingly choose it.

Ten years ago I was a rock music obsessive who watched way too many movies. My dreams are still more or less the same as they were then, but maybe at least with a couple of roots in reality. I'm the same person. I don't change.

*

Anyway, I won't outlive Jim Morrison until 20 Oct 2009. I won't have to really worry until then, right? I still hope that when I die, he'll be the one to come collect me, and I won't know whether he's from heaven or from hell. Except that it can't be heaven without him and the others...
apolla: (Default)
I haven't mentioned Jim Morrison here on the Auld El Jay since (according to LJ Archive) since the sixteenth of January, which was only in passing while talking about Ronnie Drew. Before that, the last mention of him of any substance was on 9th December, the day after his birthday, and only in response to a news article. Those of you unaccustomed to my ways might think "Ah, she no longer cares. She's over it, she's moved on." As if I fucking could. Just show me how, etc, etc.

Actually, I only started onto that path today thanks to Bill Hicks. I finished reading American Scream (which is a biography of Bill) by Cynthia True while I was in Starbucks this lunchtime, and I turned to the Igby's 1993 bootlegs and listened with new ears. In some ways it was the same as the last twenty times I've listened to that gig, but somehow just a little extra context gave some of it a new, real edge. Of course, I missed him. At the end of this month, it is fifteen fucking years since Bill stepped into reality from this ridiculous dream we call 'life'. Letterman finally showed the censored show he cut in late '93. Thanks to the wonders of Counts of the Netherworld, I'd already heard the set many times, though not in that exact form. In fact, I think it's pretty flat and the 'let's hunt and kill Billy Ray Cyrus' bits seem a little 'off' outside the wider context of a full Hicks set. Mind you, fifteen years later and we're still dealing with the deplorably mediocre Cyrus family...

I started thinking about people who see the world as it is and say so, the people who call it as they see it, who see the world logically. Bill talked about the rise of 24-hour news networks spilling their sensationalist scaremongering into our lives, scaring us all into silence and compliance. How about now, kids? 

Then I started quite naturally thinking about Jim, who I always believed (and I suspect always will believe) was just trying to tell us the truth. Disagree with his methods and style by all means (honestly, non-Doors fans, I get your criticisms, I really do), but the man was just trying to tell us the truth about the world. That he, unlike Bill, held onto the chemicals long after they ceased being useful, doesn't make his truth telling any less valid, it just makes some of it clouded and cut short our supply. Incidentally, I really think that, had he survived and lived, your man Morrison would've been the conscience of his generation in a way only Lennon could compete with. Who else could and who has since? McCartney? Jagger? Clapton? Any of those fuckers who made their peace with the Establishment in exchange for money and privilege? Can you imagine Morrison accepting anything from the US government? Can you imagine the hay he would've made out of Watergate? Can you imagine that Lennon would accept anything from the Queen after sending the last thing back? No.

Interesting, isn't it? That these men who tried to tell us the truth ended up.... er... DEAD... while the ones who told us our cuddly bedtime stories about frogs and got into bed with the devil... oh hey! They go to polo matches and they get knighthoods and they have 'witty banter' with Brad Pitt and his waxwork lady. I find that to be an interesting coincidence.

The only person I felt sorry for during the Hicks set was Marky Mark, if only because it seems like he's actually tried to become something better, something more useful to the cultural and creative destiny of our society. I think he might even understand better than most people what Bill was going on about. He wasn't talking about actually killing Billy Ray or Mark, it was about what the fuck are we letting this shit into our lives for?

I occasionally think that I should become a stand up like Bill, because I really feel this stuff still needs to be said. It needs to be SHOUTED OUT TO THE FUCKING WORLD UNTIL THEY FUCKING LISTEN, but I'd just end up regurgitating all Bill's act, and Denis Leary already did that, the cunt. Oh yeah: Leary stole pretty much everything that made you laugh from Bill, including the angry guy persona, and he's now a movie and TV star... and Bill's fucking dead. If anyone tells me that the world is a just and right place, I will merely point this small, disgusting fact out as the proof that it's REALLY NOT.

There are real problems in the world. I don't just mean the economy being shit or genocide. I mean the WHOLE FUCKING THING. Even if I did stand up on a stage and say so, who would listen and who would care? We killed the guys who told us the truth and now we couldn't respond to the truth if it came and kicked us in the face. WHICH IT HAS!

They tried to tell us the fucking truth, and they died. What does that tell you about the fucking world? If one more Oxbridge-educated upper middle class cunt tries to tell me to be scared of anything, I'll be after them, because I'm not going to be scared anymore. Life is but a dream. Viva la revolucion.
apolla: (Default)
I haven't mentioned Jim Morrison here on the Auld El Jay since (according to LJ Archive) since the sixteenth of January, which was only in passing while talking about Ronnie Drew. Before that, the last mention of him of any substance was on 9th December, the day after his birthday, and only in response to a news article. Those of you unaccustomed to my ways might think "Ah, she no longer cares. She's over it, she's moved on." As if I fucking could. Just show me how, etc, etc.

Actually, I only started onto that path today thanks to Bill Hicks. I finished reading American Scream (which is a biography of Bill) by Cynthia True while I was in Starbucks this lunchtime, and I turned to the Igby's 1993 bootlegs and listened with new ears. In some ways it was the same as the last twenty times I've listened to that gig, but somehow just a little extra context gave some of it a new, real edge. Of course, I missed him. At the end of this month, it is fifteen fucking years since Bill stepped into reality from this ridiculous dream we call 'life'. Letterman finally showed the censored show he cut in late '93. Thanks to the wonders of Counts of the Netherworld, I'd already heard the set many times, though not in that exact form. In fact, I think it's pretty flat and the 'let's hunt and kill Billy Ray Cyrus' bits seem a little 'off' outside the wider context of a full Hicks set. Mind you, fifteen years later and we're still dealing with the deplorably mediocre Cyrus family...

I started thinking about people who see the world as it is and say so, the people who call it as they see it, who see the world logically. Bill talked about the rise of 24-hour news networks spilling their sensationalist scaremongering into our lives, scaring us all into silence and compliance. How about now, kids? 

Then I started quite naturally thinking about Jim, who I always believed (and I suspect always will believe) was just trying to tell us the truth. Disagree with his methods and style by all means (honestly, non-Doors fans, I get your criticisms, I really do), but the man was just trying to tell us the truth about the world. That he, unlike Bill, held onto the chemicals long after they ceased being useful, doesn't make his truth telling any less valid, it just makes some of it clouded and cut short our supply. Incidentally, I really think that, had he survived and lived, your man Morrison would've been the conscience of his generation in a way only Lennon could compete with. Who else could and who has since? McCartney? Jagger? Clapton? Any of those fuckers who made their peace with the Establishment in exchange for money and privilege? Can you imagine Morrison accepting anything from the US government? Can you imagine the hay he would've made out of Watergate? Can you imagine that Lennon would accept anything from the Queen after sending the last thing back? No.

Interesting, isn't it? That these men who tried to tell us the truth ended up.... er... DEAD... while the ones who told us our cuddly bedtime stories about frogs and got into bed with the devil... oh hey! They go to polo matches and they get knighthoods and they have 'witty banter' with Brad Pitt and his waxwork lady. I find that to be an interesting coincidence.

The only person I felt sorry for during the Hicks set was Marky Mark, if only because it seems like he's actually tried to become something better, something more useful to the cultural and creative destiny of our society. I think he might even understand better than most people what Bill was going on about. He wasn't talking about actually killing Billy Ray or Mark, it was about what the fuck are we letting this shit into our lives for?

I occasionally think that I should become a stand up like Bill, because I really feel this stuff still needs to be said. It needs to be SHOUTED OUT TO THE FUCKING WORLD UNTIL THEY FUCKING LISTEN, but I'd just end up regurgitating all Bill's act, and Denis Leary already did that, the cunt. Oh yeah: Leary stole pretty much everything that made you laugh from Bill, including the angry guy persona, and he's now a movie and TV star... and Bill's fucking dead. If anyone tells me that the world is a just and right place, I will merely point this small, disgusting fact out as the proof that it's REALLY NOT.

There are real problems in the world. I don't just mean the economy being shit or genocide. I mean the WHOLE FUCKING THING. Even if I did stand up on a stage and say so, who would listen and who would care? We killed the guys who told us the truth and now we couldn't respond to the truth if it came and kicked us in the face. WHICH IT HAS!

They tried to tell us the fucking truth, and they died. What does that tell you about the fucking world? If one more Oxbridge-educated upper middle class cunt tries to tell me to be scared of anything, I'll be after them, because I'm not going to be scared anymore. Life is but a dream. Viva la revolucion.
apolla: (Jimmy M)
I'm an hour late, I guess, but I just saw this link:

What would Jim Morrison look like if he was alive today?

Now, to me, the picture just looks like someone went crazy with the blurring button on Photoshop, but what do I know? I can't believe that actual scientists have done this and have been given, like, real money for it.

It, of course, cued up lots of JIM MORRISON WAS A DRUNKEN EGOMANIACAL BASTARD stuff over on ONTD and lots of OMG SO SEXY!!!! in return. Some of it turned into HE WAS A TALENTLESS DRUNKEN EGOMANIACAL BASTARD (this after someone invoked the other man of the day, John Lennon and it had to be amended) and some turned into 'no way, he'd look way worse' and stuff.

Someone else posted a link of some apparently psychotic Doorzoid who is so crazy it's ruined the Doors for this other person. I didn't dare click.

There was a lot of 'I'd be a supergroupie fer sure!!!" and even some stuff along the lines of "Just as well he's dead then".

I am filled with quiet and resigned bitterness. I should be asleep right now, but no, I'm not and it's 1am. I'm off to see Seasick Steve in Bethnal Green this coming evening. Seasick Steve is two years older than Jim would be and has only become a 'name' in the last few years. He's also a very sweet, kind man of the sort who will give you a hug and make you feel immediately relaxed in his company. This I know from personal experience (and was better than Shakin' Stevens telling me to smile. Sod off, Shaky).

I just really really wish that Jim had lived, not even for selfish reasons. I wish he'd lived to prove his naysayers wrong, that he wasn't a talentless wanker (really, I don't believe he was) and that he was capable of such great things as we can't even conceive of now. I wish he'd been there to fight his battles and make his arguments.

I also wish that this June just passed, I had been backstage at the Pyramid and instead of sidling a little nervously up to Steve to say "Man, you're great!" and getting a hug from him... I wish it had been Jim. I wish the Doors had some kind of fantastic gig and I'd had to knock nervously on the door, hands shaking, to do my job and then just to say "I really loved your set." If all he did was breathe in and out and completely disregard my presence, I actually think that would be OK: if he lived, that would be enough for me. Unusually, I don't think this has ever really been about me... huh.

Or of course, he would've lived to expose himself (narf narf) as a total wanker. In which case I wouldn't care anyway.

Happy birthday, you old bastard. Give Lennon a nod from me too.

apolla: (Jimmy M)
I'm an hour late, I guess, but I just saw this link:

What would Jim Morrison look like if he was alive today?

Now, to me, the picture just looks like someone went crazy with the blurring button on Photoshop, but what do I know? I can't believe that actual scientists have done this and have been given, like, real money for it.

It, of course, cued up lots of JIM MORRISON WAS A DRUNKEN EGOMANIACAL BASTARD stuff over on ONTD and lots of OMG SO SEXY!!!! in return. Some of it turned into HE WAS A TALENTLESS DRUNKEN EGOMANIACAL BASTARD (this after someone invoked the other man of the day, John Lennon and it had to be amended) and some turned into 'no way, he'd look way worse' and stuff.

Someone else posted a link of some apparently psychotic Doorzoid who is so crazy it's ruined the Doors for this other person. I didn't dare click.

There was a lot of 'I'd be a supergroupie fer sure!!!" and even some stuff along the lines of "Just as well he's dead then".

I am filled with quiet and resigned bitterness. I should be asleep right now, but no, I'm not and it's 1am. I'm off to see Seasick Steve in Bethnal Green this coming evening. Seasick Steve is two years older than Jim would be and has only become a 'name' in the last few years. He's also a very sweet, kind man of the sort who will give you a hug and make you feel immediately relaxed in his company. This I know from personal experience (and was better than Shakin' Stevens telling me to smile. Sod off, Shaky).

I just really really wish that Jim had lived, not even for selfish reasons. I wish he'd lived to prove his naysayers wrong, that he wasn't a talentless wanker (really, I don't believe he was) and that he was capable of such great things as we can't even conceive of now. I wish he'd been there to fight his battles and make his arguments.

I also wish that this June just passed, I had been backstage at the Pyramid and instead of sidling a little nervously up to Steve to say "Man, you're great!" and getting a hug from him... I wish it had been Jim. I wish the Doors had some kind of fantastic gig and I'd had to knock nervously on the door, hands shaking, to do my job and then just to say "I really loved your set." If all he did was breathe in and out and completely disregard my presence, I actually think that would be OK: if he lived, that would be enough for me. Unusually, I don't think this has ever really been about me... huh.

Or of course, he would've lived to expose himself (narf narf) as a total wanker. In which case I wouldn't care anyway.

Happy birthday, you old bastard. Give Lennon a nod from me too.

apolla: (Smiler)
I turned twenty-six the other day. A friend bought me a purple lily which I hope I won't kill as quickly as I tend to kill most plants. Otherwise it was an ordinary day - I went home after work and watched Saved!, stayed up too late watching TV and woke up the next morning more exhausted than I was when I went to sleep.

*

Anyway, I started thinking about something today when the shuffle on my iPod hit some particular tracks. It was very simple: I think I was supposed to have outgrown some stuff by now.

When I say some stuff I mean, as I almost always do, that Morrison bloke. Yes, you know the one. I've often heard it said, seen it written that one is supposed to find the Doors, listen to them and then put them behind you. Like writing one's own poems, like wanting to be in a band, like all those other markers of adolescence. Sixth form poetry, his stuff has been called, with the clear implication that we are meant to leave it behind when we leave behind our youth.

Well now, I figure that if I haven't cut him away yet, I never will.

I walked a good portion of the way home today in the rain. Everything was grey. The sky was grey, the rain was grey, the pavement and roads, the buildings and the light were all grey. The rain was wicked cold and I was tired. Still, I was listening to An American Prayer so I noted the greyness and decided I didn't care much.

I even started composing this post, but it was the usual stuff. You know, "Oh woe!" and "I hate him, I love him, I hate him!" and "He's a twat, he's a genius, he's a cunt, he's fabulous!"

Fact is, I was supposed to have outgrown him and his music by now. I think I was supposed to be a grown up, but I didn't bother with that either.

Then again, I don't think you could call me a typical Doors fan. You know the ones, those muppets who give Doors fans such a bad fucking name. The people who cannot, will not, accept any kind of criticism towards the band no matter how deserved. The people who make themselves look like the Doors. The people who drop acid and smoke dope just to be like Jim. The people who blindly, unquestioningly worship at the candle-strewn altar of His Holiness The Jim. These are the people who scrawl shit over all those graves in Paris who nearly got the man exhumed seven years ago. These are the people who get me funny looks from other people when I say "yeah, I'm a Doors fan." I almost always have to clarify it and I hate having to do that. It's not the band's fault really - I know they despised the blind acolytes even at the time.

There's a great and revealing moment in a live recording:

Jim: I don't know how many of you believe in astrology... I am a sagittarius, the most philosophical of all the signs.
Girl In Audience In Almost Agonised Tones: I know, so am I!
Jim: ... but anyway I don't believe in it.
Girl In Audience In Almost Agonised Tones: I don't either!
Jim: I think it's a bunch of bullshit myself.
Girl In Audience And Everyone Else Who Believed In Astrology Ten Seconds Ago: YEAH!

Now, I don't believe in astrology although I find it interesting occasionally... but nothing could induce me to pretend just so someone would like me, then switch round immediately he said "actually, no."

The funny thing is, though, the Doors don't really belong to the sheep and the lemmings. They don't belong to the people who fit in, or are popular. The Doors are a band of outsiders for outsiders - let's just remember that our boy was considered a freak by many people at school. Most teenagers reading sixteenth century books about witchcraft would probably be thrown into therapy the second they checked the book out of the library these days. Perhaps in another life that twisted slightly differently, Jim would've been the kind of teenager that walked into his school one day and shot a bunch of his classmates...

I've been an outsider for my entire life, from one perspective or another, to one degree or another. When I was sixteen I really wouldn't have minded if I'd died. I felt absolutely alone, absolutely without hope or chance of happiness. Honestly, I occasionally think that I dreamed it, or that my fevered imagination has exaggerated it - but then I come to my senses and know that I was truly, desperately sad. The Beatles did their part - I maintain that John Lennon has, in some important ways, saved my life. But, and this is important, the Doors helped me find the courage to say: "FUCK YOU, WORLD!" and "I AM WHAT I AM AND FUCK YOU I DON'T CARE WHAT YOU THINK!"

Or, as he put it: Expose yourself to your deepest fear; after that, fear has no power, and the fear of freedom shrinks and vanishes. You are free.

Before the Doors, I wanted people to think I didn't care. After the Doors, I really didn't care. Jim helped me find that - he didn't give it to me, but he helped me find it. It takes a great deal of courage to tell the world to fuck off, and I can't claim that I always feel that way... but it's also hugely emancipating to know that you are your own creation, that you cannot be made to feel bad.

Eleanor Roosevelt was the one who said "No one can make you feel inferior without your consent." and it's true. I knew that it was true when I was younger, so much younger than today. It was Morrison who pushed me towards withdrawing that consent from most of the world.

It should also be said that the man influenced my own writing. There's a notebook or so full of stuff involving souls and darkness, death and dancing, time and sadness. I can't tell you if any of it's any good... perhaps it's just as sixth form as he was accused of being. Maybe one day I'll find that notebook and share it with you.

It's at this point I should maybe talk about the music. So much mention is made these days of the legend and the myth and the tales of dark deeds done that the music is forgotten. NEWS FLASH: It's really quite good. Some of it's some of the best music you'll ever hear.

Recently I was listening to the very excellent mash-up by a guy called CCC called Cracked Pepper (google for it) which is the entirety of the Sgt Pepper record mashed up with stuff. I got as far as the Within You Without You track and was listening... and I had no idea which songs had been mashed in, but this particular one felt terrifically familiar. I couldn't work it out at first (I'd be rubbish at Intros on Buzzcocks) but it felt like something hardcoded in my head... First, I recognised the bass-line from Fire by Hendrix, but the drums were... I remember I was walking down Goodge Street at about quarter to nine in the morning. As I crossed the street the little Doors switch in my head flipped. I knew it but couldn't think what it was, couldn't get to the bit that would definitely identify it, there was no organ track yet. I had the band, the album but not the track. Silly, right? Bear in mind I didn't know the name of the mash-up track, which would've told me.

Then all of a sudden, from George's dear but slightly reedy voice, it switched: "AND WE'RE ON OUR WAY! NO, WE CAN'T TURN BACK!"

Dear God, the lurch in my stomach when Jim suddenly turned up out of nowhere. The contrast between George (who I love dearly also) and his higher, thinner voice and Jim's big, deep, round voice was so... it would be stupid and cliche to say "oh, it was like coming home", but there was such a sense of absolute familiarity, as if the voice was in fact coming from deep inside my own psyche.

Perhaps at this point it is.

What I really like about listening to music on an iPod or other such personal device, is the way it feels like the music is directly inside your head. There's no air, no space between you and the sound. Now, it might send me deaf before I'm thirty, and I don't listen too loudly all that much... but sometimes all I can do is turn it up so there's nothing but me and them. Might be the Doors, might be Dean or even the aforementioned George, maybe Dylan (buzzsaw with hair, but I love him)... I remember finally being able to really hear the low chanting of "get together one more time" in Five To One by the Doors in this manner.

I really like how it makes Jim's voice so close to me, like it really is all in my head. Perhaps it is, maybe he's a construct from my crazed consciousness like Gene Hunt... I'm getting off the point. The music is really good. It doesn't really belong in any genre from the period in which it was made - it's not hippy-dippy love-and-peace psychedelia, nor is it protest-folk, pop, or even the Velvets. The music doesn't belong anywhere, which renders it somewhat timeless, and therefore perfect for the outsider types. The music doesn't belong, neither do we and so we belong to each other.

The Doors were a big band. They were successful and made a lot of money. They still do, thanks to their avaricious plundering and constant repackaging of their back catalogue... but they never belonged to the happy, contented citizens of the world. The people who really fell in love with them were the ones like me, who were looking for something and found it in Los Angeles, 1967.

Actually, I found it in Never Mind The Buzzcocks. Riders on the Storm was in the intros round as performed by Tony Hadley & Bobby Davro (of all the unlikely combos, right?). Wikipedia, being the giant of information it is, informs me that this episode was first shown on 9th April 1999. I bought a Doors greatest hits on the back of it, as I recall, and it was all downhill from there.

That's not entirely true. I don't remember the first time i heard of the Doors or of their singer. I grew up with rock music so I assume I just picked it up somewhere along the line. When I started reading MOJO magazine, it had pull out photographs in the middle. The first or second issue I got in 1997 (either Lennon or psychedelia, I don't remember which) had that famous photo of Morrison, cruciform. It got put up immediately - I was so keen to pull the thing out that I tore it slightly in the margin. I still have the picture, which still has the chunk torn out.

The odd thing is, 1997 doesn't feel that long ago. 1999 certainly doesn't, yet it feels like I have had that voice in my head for longer than I remember. Maybe I have. Still, I didn't own every single record until I was in California - I went all the way to Fashion Island to the music store there and dropped some mad amount like ninety dollars in one go to complete the set.

I wanted to avoid saying the same old things as before. Since this blog started rather unevenly in late 2002, Mr. Morrison has been a frequent visitor, the same old "I love I hate" stuff as has been going on since whenever. Ask my poor, long suffering friends who had to suffer through the rants, the waxing lyrical and back again in person, on the phone, etc etc.There is one ray of hope for my potential for maturity though, and it's to do with him. For some time now, there has been no "I love I hate". I have truly despised him sometimes. I have truly loved him. I have yearned and sobbed, yelled and screamed. Then for Christmas 2006 I got up on stage at the Borderline in London and sang a version of Light My Fire that was part Julie London and part Doors. That night I'd also bought The Doors by the Doors book.

I have not hated him since. Something about that day had me make my peace with the demon lurking in the back of my brain. Conceivably I learned to empathise with him for the first time. I don't know. Now I can approach him with... serenity. At last, I made my peace with him. I'm sure I'll have days where I hate him again, whether for dying or being an arsehole or being a bit rubbish sometimes, or for lying or dying... but it will have no teeth. I am past the point of wanting to resurrect him so I can smash him in the face. I can think of him and smile now, and I think that's a real accomplishment. Look Ma, all half-growed up - Next, reality! Now I can just listen to the music and feel warmth... and I am so glad for it.

Maybe it's the first step to outgrowing them. Jimself also said: "Hatred is a very underestimated emotion". When the hate is gone, perhaps the fire is gone. I hope I don't leave them behind, because thinking of Morrison with a smile is a new and truly stupendous feeling to have.

I wonder, did I make peace with Morrison or with myself? I shall finish with a line from Marilyn Manson's Rolling Stone piece about Jim for the Legends thing a few years ago. I nodded and agreed with everything he said - as an intelligent and thoughtful man loved by outsiders painted by the rest of the world as a terrible freak who'd bring down the Establishment and corrupt the Youth I suppose he was uniquely placed to comment upon an intelligent and thoughtful man loved by outsiders painted by the rest of the world as a terrible freak who'd bring down the Establishment and corrupt the Youth.

I wish every single mindless Doorzoid would be hit over the head with this until it sunk in:

But it's all just ideas pasted on ideas, faded copies of copies. If you want to be like Jim Morrison, you can't be anything like Jim Morrison. It's about finding your own place in the world.


*

In other news, I believe that, unless Season Nine turns out to be better than Season Eight, I have declared 'Radar Leaving' as the moment MASH jumped the shark. I have also decided that I really love the phrase 'jumped the shark', possibly because I have seen the scene in Happy Days it refers to.

Also: I recommend not putting Creme Eggs in the fridge - the soft centre goes all solid and bizarre.
apolla: (Smiler)
I turned twenty-six the other day. A friend bought me a purple lily which I hope I won't kill as quickly as I tend to kill most plants. Otherwise it was an ordinary day - I went home after work and watched Saved!, stayed up too late watching TV and woke up the next morning more exhausted than I was when I went to sleep.

*

Anyway, I started thinking about something today when the shuffle on my iPod hit some particular tracks. It was very simple: I think I was supposed to have outgrown some stuff by now.

When I say some stuff I mean, as I almost always do, that Morrison bloke. Yes, you know the one. I've often heard it said, seen it written that one is supposed to find the Doors, listen to them and then put them behind you. Like writing one's own poems, like wanting to be in a band, like all those other markers of adolescence. Sixth form poetry, his stuff has been called, with the clear implication that we are meant to leave it behind when we leave behind our youth.

Well now, I figure that if I haven't cut him away yet, I never will.

I walked a good portion of the way home today in the rain. Everything was grey. The sky was grey, the rain was grey, the pavement and roads, the buildings and the light were all grey. The rain was wicked cold and I was tired. Still, I was listening to An American Prayer so I noted the greyness and decided I didn't care much.

I even started composing this post, but it was the usual stuff. You know, "Oh woe!" and "I hate him, I love him, I hate him!" and "He's a twat, he's a genius, he's a cunt, he's fabulous!"

Fact is, I was supposed to have outgrown him and his music by now. I think I was supposed to be a grown up, but I didn't bother with that either.

Then again, I don't think you could call me a typical Doors fan. You know the ones, those muppets who give Doors fans such a bad fucking name. The people who cannot, will not, accept any kind of criticism towards the band no matter how deserved. The people who make themselves look like the Doors. The people who drop acid and smoke dope just to be like Jim. The people who blindly, unquestioningly worship at the candle-strewn altar of His Holiness The Jim. These are the people who scrawl shit over all those graves in Paris who nearly got the man exhumed seven years ago. These are the people who get me funny looks from other people when I say "yeah, I'm a Doors fan." I almost always have to clarify it and I hate having to do that. It's not the band's fault really - I know they despised the blind acolytes even at the time.

There's a great and revealing moment in a live recording:

Jim: I don't know how many of you believe in astrology... I am a sagittarius, the most philosophical of all the signs.
Girl In Audience In Almost Agonised Tones: I know, so am I!
Jim: ... but anyway I don't believe in it.
Girl In Audience In Almost Agonised Tones: I don't either!
Jim: I think it's a bunch of bullshit myself.
Girl In Audience And Everyone Else Who Believed In Astrology Ten Seconds Ago: YEAH!

Now, I don't believe in astrology although I find it interesting occasionally... but nothing could induce me to pretend just so someone would like me, then switch round immediately he said "actually, no."

The funny thing is, though, the Doors don't really belong to the sheep and the lemmings. They don't belong to the people who fit in, or are popular. The Doors are a band of outsiders for outsiders - let's just remember that our boy was considered a freak by many people at school. Most teenagers reading sixteenth century books about witchcraft would probably be thrown into therapy the second they checked the book out of the library these days. Perhaps in another life that twisted slightly differently, Jim would've been the kind of teenager that walked into his school one day and shot a bunch of his classmates...

I've been an outsider for my entire life, from one perspective or another, to one degree or another. When I was sixteen I really wouldn't have minded if I'd died. I felt absolutely alone, absolutely without hope or chance of happiness. Honestly, I occasionally think that I dreamed it, or that my fevered imagination has exaggerated it - but then I come to my senses and know that I was truly, desperately sad. The Beatles did their part - I maintain that John Lennon has, in some important ways, saved my life. But, and this is important, the Doors helped me find the courage to say: "FUCK YOU, WORLD!" and "I AM WHAT I AM AND FUCK YOU I DON'T CARE WHAT YOU THINK!"

Or, as he put it: Expose yourself to your deepest fear; after that, fear has no power, and the fear of freedom shrinks and vanishes. You are free.

Before the Doors, I wanted people to think I didn't care. After the Doors, I really didn't care. Jim helped me find that - he didn't give it to me, but he helped me find it. It takes a great deal of courage to tell the world to fuck off, and I can't claim that I always feel that way... but it's also hugely emancipating to know that you are your own creation, that you cannot be made to feel bad.

Eleanor Roosevelt was the one who said "No one can make you feel inferior without your consent." and it's true. I knew that it was true when I was younger, so much younger than today. It was Morrison who pushed me towards withdrawing that consent from most of the world.

It should also be said that the man influenced my own writing. There's a notebook or so full of stuff involving souls and darkness, death and dancing, time and sadness. I can't tell you if any of it's any good... perhaps it's just as sixth form as he was accused of being. Maybe one day I'll find that notebook and share it with you.

It's at this point I should maybe talk about the music. So much mention is made these days of the legend and the myth and the tales of dark deeds done that the music is forgotten. NEWS FLASH: It's really quite good. Some of it's some of the best music you'll ever hear.

Recently I was listening to the very excellent mash-up by a guy called CCC called Cracked Pepper (google for it) which is the entirety of the Sgt Pepper record mashed up with stuff. I got as far as the Within You Without You track and was listening... and I had no idea which songs had been mashed in, but this particular one felt terrifically familiar. I couldn't work it out at first (I'd be rubbish at Intros on Buzzcocks) but it felt like something hardcoded in my head... First, I recognised the bass-line from Fire by Hendrix, but the drums were... I remember I was walking down Goodge Street at about quarter to nine in the morning. As I crossed the street the little Doors switch in my head flipped. I knew it but couldn't think what it was, couldn't get to the bit that would definitely identify it, there was no organ track yet. I had the band, the album but not the track. Silly, right? Bear in mind I didn't know the name of the mash-up track, which would've told me.

Then all of a sudden, from George's dear but slightly reedy voice, it switched: "AND WE'RE ON OUR WAY! NO, WE CAN'T TURN BACK!"

Dear God, the lurch in my stomach when Jim suddenly turned up out of nowhere. The contrast between George (who I love dearly also) and his higher, thinner voice and Jim's big, deep, round voice was so... it would be stupid and cliche to say "oh, it was like coming home", but there was such a sense of absolute familiarity, as if the voice was in fact coming from deep inside my own psyche.

Perhaps at this point it is.

What I really like about listening to music on an iPod or other such personal device, is the way it feels like the music is directly inside your head. There's no air, no space between you and the sound. Now, it might send me deaf before I'm thirty, and I don't listen too loudly all that much... but sometimes all I can do is turn it up so there's nothing but me and them. Might be the Doors, might be Dean or even the aforementioned George, maybe Dylan (buzzsaw with hair, but I love him)... I remember finally being able to really hear the low chanting of "get together one more time" in Five To One by the Doors in this manner.

I really like how it makes Jim's voice so close to me, like it really is all in my head. Perhaps it is, maybe he's a construct from my crazed consciousness like Gene Hunt... I'm getting off the point. The music is really good. It doesn't really belong in any genre from the period in which it was made - it's not hippy-dippy love-and-peace psychedelia, nor is it protest-folk, pop, or even the Velvets. The music doesn't belong anywhere, which renders it somewhat timeless, and therefore perfect for the outsider types. The music doesn't belong, neither do we and so we belong to each other.

The Doors were a big band. They were successful and made a lot of money. They still do, thanks to their avaricious plundering and constant repackaging of their back catalogue... but they never belonged to the happy, contented citizens of the world. The people who really fell in love with them were the ones like me, who were looking for something and found it in Los Angeles, 1967.

Actually, I found it in Never Mind The Buzzcocks. Riders on the Storm was in the intros round as performed by Tony Hadley & Bobby Davro (of all the unlikely combos, right?). Wikipedia, being the giant of information it is, informs me that this episode was first shown on 9th April 1999. I bought a Doors greatest hits on the back of it, as I recall, and it was all downhill from there.

That's not entirely true. I don't remember the first time i heard of the Doors or of their singer. I grew up with rock music so I assume I just picked it up somewhere along the line. When I started reading MOJO magazine, it had pull out photographs in the middle. The first or second issue I got in 1997 (either Lennon or psychedelia, I don't remember which) had that famous photo of Morrison, cruciform. It got put up immediately - I was so keen to pull the thing out that I tore it slightly in the margin. I still have the picture, which still has the chunk torn out.

The odd thing is, 1997 doesn't feel that long ago. 1999 certainly doesn't, yet it feels like I have had that voice in my head for longer than I remember. Maybe I have. Still, I didn't own every single record until I was in California - I went all the way to Fashion Island to the music store there and dropped some mad amount like ninety dollars in one go to complete the set.

I wanted to avoid saying the same old things as before. Since this blog started rather unevenly in late 2002, Mr. Morrison has been a frequent visitor, the same old "I love I hate" stuff as has been going on since whenever. Ask my poor, long suffering friends who had to suffer through the rants, the waxing lyrical and back again in person, on the phone, etc etc.There is one ray of hope for my potential for maturity though, and it's to do with him. For some time now, there has been no "I love I hate". I have truly despised him sometimes. I have truly loved him. I have yearned and sobbed, yelled and screamed. Then for Christmas 2006 I got up on stage at the Borderline in London and sang a version of Light My Fire that was part Julie London and part Doors. That night I'd also bought The Doors by the Doors book.

I have not hated him since. Something about that day had me make my peace with the demon lurking in the back of my brain. Conceivably I learned to empathise with him for the first time. I don't know. Now I can approach him with... serenity. At last, I made my peace with him. I'm sure I'll have days where I hate him again, whether for dying or being an arsehole or being a bit rubbish sometimes, or for lying or dying... but it will have no teeth. I am past the point of wanting to resurrect him so I can smash him in the face. I can think of him and smile now, and I think that's a real accomplishment. Look Ma, all half-growed up - Next, reality! Now I can just listen to the music and feel warmth... and I am so glad for it.

Maybe it's the first step to outgrowing them. Jimself also said: "Hatred is a very underestimated emotion". When the hate is gone, perhaps the fire is gone. I hope I don't leave them behind, because thinking of Morrison with a smile is a new and truly stupendous feeling to have.

I wonder, did I make peace with Morrison or with myself? I shall finish with a line from Marilyn Manson's Rolling Stone piece about Jim for the Legends thing a few years ago. I nodded and agreed with everything he said - as an intelligent and thoughtful man loved by outsiders painted by the rest of the world as a terrible freak who'd bring down the Establishment and corrupt the Youth I suppose he was uniquely placed to comment upon an intelligent and thoughtful man loved by outsiders painted by the rest of the world as a terrible freak who'd bring down the Establishment and corrupt the Youth.

I wish every single mindless Doorzoid would be hit over the head with this until it sunk in:

But it's all just ideas pasted on ideas, faded copies of copies. If you want to be like Jim Morrison, you can't be anything like Jim Morrison. It's about finding your own place in the world.


*

In other news, I believe that, unless Season Nine turns out to be better than Season Eight, I have declared 'Radar Leaving' as the moment MASH jumped the shark. I have also decided that I really love the phrase 'jumped the shark', possibly because I have seen the scene in Happy Days it refers to.

Also: I recommend not putting Creme Eggs in the fridge - the soft centre goes all solid and bizarre.
apolla: (Default)
First things first:

1. Grab the nearest book.
2. Open the book to page 123.
3. Find the fifth sentence.
4. Post the text of the next 4-7 sentences on your LJ along with these instructions.
5. Don't you dare dig for that "cool" or "intellectual" book in your closet! I know you were thinking about it! Just pick up whatever is closest (unless it's too troublesome to reach and is really heavy. Then go back to step 1).
My books are all over the place at the moment due to decoration, so I went to them and held a hand out for the nearest. I ended up picking up two:

From The Celtic Book Of Living And Dying:

"One day, the bards of Ireland realized that they had forgotten the Tain Bo Cuailgne, the poem about the great cattle raid which pitted the men of Ulster against the men of Connacht. The saints of Ireland join with the poets to ask for God's help. So he revived one of the ancient heroes, who one last time recited the adventures of the men of Ulster, the fight betwen two magic bulls, the deeds of Cuhulainn and the wiles of Queen Maeve of Connacht."

From Philip Lynott, which is a collection of Philo's lyrics and poems and doesn't go as far as page 123:

"Don't believe me if I tell you
Not a word of this is true
Don't believe me if I tell you
Especially if I tell you that
I'm in love with you.

Don't believe me if I tell you
That I wrote this song for you
There might be some other, silly pretty girl
I'm singing it too [sic]

Don't believe a word
For words are only spoken
Your heart is like a promise
Made to be broken

Don't believe a word
Words can tell lies
And lies are no comfort
When there's tears in your eyes.

Don't believe me if I tell you
Not a word of this is true
Don't believe me if I tell you
Especially if I tell you
I'm in love with you."

and just because I can, from 'Fighting My Way Back':

"I'm tough, rough, ready and able
To pick myself up from under this table
Don't stick no sign on me
I got no label
I'm a little sick, unsure, unsound and unstable
But I'm fighting my way back

I'm busting out and I'm going in
Im' kickin up about the state I'm in
Looking to my future, not my pas
I want to be a good boy but how long can it last
Fighting my way back

This kid is going to wreck and ruin
I'm not quite sure of what I'm doing, you see
It all happened a little too soon
But it's all here in this here tune
Fighting my way back"

This surely proves that lying to oneself is a far great, deadlier crime than lying to everyone else. If only.... never mind.

Other Items of Disinterest:

The Doors are on the cover of Classic Rock this month. Last time the Old Bastard graced a magazine cover, the stupid fools at the magazine had used a black and white photo and added blue eyes for effect. Which is perfectly fine, but for one minor detail:

His eyes were brown.

I haven't read the entire article (OMG new interviews with Manzarek, Krieger, Densmore and Botnick, they say!) but I anticipate it being much the same as ever- Father Ray bigs up the Morrison Legend while trying to appear like he isn't, Krieger just doesn't disagree and Drummer John is rather more scathing about the whole thing. In fact, so far, the word 'normal' has been invoked so many times that clearly the current Doors trend is to Paint Jim, Normal.

Please. The man was normal like I'm normal. Which is you know, not all that much, but still more normal than people assumed. He was an chronically shy alcoholic and taker of many drugs (quantity and variety both). He was actually a total Cuddly Uncle Ned's Trio at his worst and a genius at his best. I wish they'd stop trying to analyse him, as if working out the root of Jimmy's problems is what would bring him back.

Nothing brings him back. If dreams could do it, if wishes could do it, if shouting, screaming and sobbing could do it, I'd be drinking tea with the Old Bastard about, oh say, now-ish.

There's nothing to be done. Nothing, that is, that doesn't involve high-level witchcraft, satanism or heavenly bribery. So let's stop trying to understand that which cannot be understood. I have learned one thing more than anything else in my study: The more you learn about Jim Morrison, the more you realise you don't know him at all.

*
Snoreworthy decorating stuff:

I now have carpet in the front room. In fact, both the front room and the bedroom are painted, they're newly carpeted and shiny white Venetian blinds are coming to be fitted very soon.

Very soon, it'll all be sorted out, and it will seem as if Granddad was never here. The chair will go soon, to Uncle Fred who needs a funky electric chair far more than me. A new sofa will come along, then my desk will come in and I'll get a chair for that. I'll get a new wardrobe and stuff....

And it'll be as if Granddad was never here. My dad even broke something off the mirror when he was moving it, so he wants me to chuck that out (regardless of whether it can be fixed, I haven't looked yet). That mirror's been in the hallway as long as I can remember through the course of my life. This morning I stared right at the wall to see if I'd brushed my hair. It took me much longer than it should've done to realise it was wall, not myself.

I don't have to be told that this place was in desperately dire need of redecorating - I'm the one that's been living here for nearly two years. I don't have to be told that this is my home now, because I've been here on my own since February. But see the thing is, I have no particular desire to erase everything from the place that was his. See, I like old things, everyone knows this, so why am I being told to 'go modern' and all that nonsense?

This place isn't really Clare's, it's Granddad's, you see. It's been Granddad's for twenty-five years, and five months does not change that. Another twenty-five years might not change that. Perhaps the new paint and the new stuff don't really make a difference at all, but one of these days I'm going to look around, and it won't bear any resemblance to the place he knew, or I knew.
apolla: (Default)
First things first:

1. Grab the nearest book.
2. Open the book to page 123.
3. Find the fifth sentence.
4. Post the text of the next 4-7 sentences on your LJ along with these instructions.
5. Don't you dare dig for that "cool" or "intellectual" book in your closet! I know you were thinking about it! Just pick up whatever is closest (unless it's too troublesome to reach and is really heavy. Then go back to step 1).
My books are all over the place at the moment due to decoration, so I went to them and held a hand out for the nearest. I ended up picking up two:

From The Celtic Book Of Living And Dying:

"One day, the bards of Ireland realized that they had forgotten the Tain Bo Cuailgne, the poem about the great cattle raid which pitted the men of Ulster against the men of Connacht. The saints of Ireland join with the poets to ask for God's help. So he revived one of the ancient heroes, who one last time recited the adventures of the men of Ulster, the fight betwen two magic bulls, the deeds of Cuhulainn and the wiles of Queen Maeve of Connacht."

From Philip Lynott, which is a collection of Philo's lyrics and poems and doesn't go as far as page 123:

"Don't believe me if I tell you
Not a word of this is true
Don't believe me if I tell you
Especially if I tell you that
I'm in love with you.

Don't believe me if I tell you
That I wrote this song for you
There might be some other, silly pretty girl
I'm singing it too [sic]

Don't believe a word
For words are only spoken
Your heart is like a promise
Made to be broken

Don't believe a word
Words can tell lies
And lies are no comfort
When there's tears in your eyes.

Don't believe me if I tell you
Not a word of this is true
Don't believe me if I tell you
Especially if I tell you
I'm in love with you."

and just because I can, from 'Fighting My Way Back':

"I'm tough, rough, ready and able
To pick myself up from under this table
Don't stick no sign on me
I got no label
I'm a little sick, unsure, unsound and unstable
But I'm fighting my way back

I'm busting out and I'm going in
Im' kickin up about the state I'm in
Looking to my future, not my pas
I want to be a good boy but how long can it last
Fighting my way back

This kid is going to wreck and ruin
I'm not quite sure of what I'm doing, you see
It all happened a little too soon
But it's all here in this here tune
Fighting my way back"

This surely proves that lying to oneself is a far great, deadlier crime than lying to everyone else. If only.... never mind.

Other Items of Disinterest:

The Doors are on the cover of Classic Rock this month. Last time the Old Bastard graced a magazine cover, the stupid fools at the magazine had used a black and white photo and added blue eyes for effect. Which is perfectly fine, but for one minor detail:

His eyes were brown.

I haven't read the entire article (OMG new interviews with Manzarek, Krieger, Densmore and Botnick, they say!) but I anticipate it being much the same as ever- Father Ray bigs up the Morrison Legend while trying to appear like he isn't, Krieger just doesn't disagree and Drummer John is rather more scathing about the whole thing. In fact, so far, the word 'normal' has been invoked so many times that clearly the current Doors trend is to Paint Jim, Normal.

Please. The man was normal like I'm normal. Which is you know, not all that much, but still more normal than people assumed. He was an chronically shy alcoholic and taker of many drugs (quantity and variety both). He was actually a total Cuddly Uncle Ned's Trio at his worst and a genius at his best. I wish they'd stop trying to analyse him, as if working out the root of Jimmy's problems is what would bring him back.

Nothing brings him back. If dreams could do it, if wishes could do it, if shouting, screaming and sobbing could do it, I'd be drinking tea with the Old Bastard about, oh say, now-ish.

There's nothing to be done. Nothing, that is, that doesn't involve high-level witchcraft, satanism or heavenly bribery. So let's stop trying to understand that which cannot be understood. I have learned one thing more than anything else in my study: The more you learn about Jim Morrison, the more you realise you don't know him at all.

*
Snoreworthy decorating stuff:

I now have carpet in the front room. In fact, both the front room and the bedroom are painted, they're newly carpeted and shiny white Venetian blinds are coming to be fitted very soon.

Very soon, it'll all be sorted out, and it will seem as if Granddad was never here. The chair will go soon, to Uncle Fred who needs a funky electric chair far more than me. A new sofa will come along, then my desk will come in and I'll get a chair for that. I'll get a new wardrobe and stuff....

And it'll be as if Granddad was never here. My dad even broke something off the mirror when he was moving it, so he wants me to chuck that out (regardless of whether it can be fixed, I haven't looked yet). That mirror's been in the hallway as long as I can remember through the course of my life. This morning I stared right at the wall to see if I'd brushed my hair. It took me much longer than it should've done to realise it was wall, not myself.

I don't have to be told that this place was in desperately dire need of redecorating - I'm the one that's been living here for nearly two years. I don't have to be told that this is my home now, because I've been here on my own since February. But see the thing is, I have no particular desire to erase everything from the place that was his. See, I like old things, everyone knows this, so why am I being told to 'go modern' and all that nonsense?

This place isn't really Clare's, it's Granddad's, you see. It's been Granddad's for twenty-five years, and five months does not change that. Another twenty-five years might not change that. Perhaps the new paint and the new stuff don't really make a difference at all, but one of these days I'm going to look around, and it won't bear any resemblance to the place he knew, or I knew.

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