apolla: (Philip)
I have a new (to me) computer for which I bought some speakers which came with a subwoofer. I did the obvious: hopped over to YouTube for some funk music to appreciate said subwoofer. It's not big but it does what I want it to.

I've always been fond of a stonking bassline. I love how they can move me from stillness in a way that few other things can. A nifty drumline might get my fingers or feet tapping, great guitar riffs stick in mysoul forever, but fab basslines move my entire being like nothing else.

So I suppose it's not much surprise that one of my favourite bands was led by the bass guitarist.

Yes, it's Thin Lizzy time again! I wasn't going to post them for awhile, but they've been in the news again.

Bad News: Mitt Romney thought it was acceptable for him to appropriate "The Boys Are Back In Town" during the US Presidential campaign.
Good News: Philomena Lynott is still a fierce old thing who won't take that lying down from gobshites like him. And so has Philo's widow, who actually has the copyright.

Weird News: "Thin Lizzy" are recording again.
Bad News: Philo is still dead.

The Guardian also republished an old interview with Your Man which brought a little sunshine into a stressful day, which featured the song "The Boys Are Back In Town" heavily.

I forget, being a devoted fan, that most people only know Thin Lizzy for that song. I forget because to be honest it's not my favourite. I love and adore it, but it's not my favourite. It's not even my favourite song on Jailbreak because I'm the kind of mad fool who loves strange album cuts like "Angel from the Coast".

Of course, "The Boys Are Back In Town" was my introduction to the group. I couldn't tell you exactly when I first heard it. It was probably some unimportant, unimpressive day during an unimportant, routine journey in the car. My mum would've been driving, I woudl've been in the seat behind her and my brother would've been in the seat behind the passenger. Maybe my dad was there too. The radio was almost always tuned to Capital Gold when I was young, because that's the music my dad loved and my mum disliked least.

Car journeys always seemed to take such a long bloody time back then. I would read, but that made me feel sick. I have so many memories of staring out of the window, as I'm sure many of us do, as unknown and often very dull landscapes would pass by. Memories of journeys in the dark with the orange glow of a town's street lights in the distance or below as our car climbed up a road. The endless line of lights on a motorway, or the eerie blackness of unlit country roads.

There's one time we went on holiday somewhere without my dad but with my granny. We must've got lost or something because it just seemed to take even more than forever and it was so dark and ugh..... all that to end up in a caravan for a few days in a place so unimpressive I don't remember anything but that long journey.

All that kept me going on journeys like those was the music on the radio. It's a double-edged sword: a holiday during the summer of Whitney Houston's "I Will Always Love You" was ruined by its constant presence on the radio - we were out of Capital Gold range - and same with the summer of 'Everything I Do (I Do It For You)" by Bryan Adams. Our holiday in Florida was defined by "All I Wanna Do" by Sheryl Crow which I swear was playing every single time we got in the damn car and was always followed by "Oh What A Night!"

It's in that realm I would've heard "The Boys Are Back In Town." Probably it was one I sang along with the chorus, like I did for anything which caught my ear. I knew it, is what I'm saying, very well by the time I fell in love with the group.

Philip. I suppose I really fell in love with Philip. Not him exactly, though I adore him. I fell in love with his songs and the beauty of his lyrics. I fell in love with his combination of hard and soft, of tough and romantic. A heavy rock band which could produce such heartrending songs as "Still In Love With You" would always be a winner with one such as me. Hard shell, soft centre. Darkness with just enough light. The rough end of town, but fun.

Philip was a storyteller, above all things. Poetic in it, yes... but first and foremost a storyteller. There's a grand tradition of those in Ireland. Travelling bards, or the folks in town who you could depend on to spin you a great yarn guaranteed to be 99% fantasy (please, let's not call it blarney) and 1% tragic truth. Stories to make you laugh while you're weeping, to rouse your soul as they break your heart.

I do love this song, but it's almost too universal for me to truly devote myself to. It is about anything, therefore can be everything, about anyone therefore about everyone. That is its true genius. Maybe "The Boys" are returning from war, maybe from prison, maybe just from a trip out to the desert or from the big football game. Who knows? They're back, and everything just got interesting because of it.

In the specific version which plays in my head, they're a rock and roll band. Young, impossibly gorgeous, hugely charismatic. incredibly naughty. Thin Lizzy, in other words. Or for me, Shadowlands. They are everything a rock and roll band should be, and they're back to entertain, carouse and leave you wanting more.

I can't tell you that it's my favourite Thin Lizzy song, not even my favourite on Jailbreak. Without it though, I don't think I'd love the band as much as I do. It is their calling card, their mission statement. "The Boys Are Back In Town" is the sound of a group at their best, now that's summer's come. Things may never be as good again (and for Lizzy they weren't, truly) but it's ok because the nights are getting warmer and it won't be long...

Many years ago when I was a callow youth, I wrote a series of probably not very good wish fulfilment short stories based around a nightclub in heaven where all the rockers and rollers hang out. Naturally I went to visit them there. I hung out while the house band played, got a dancing lesson from Gene Kelly, hit on by Errol Flynn (I was young enough for him then). The Works. The name of that club? Dino's. Not just because I love Dean Martin (though I do) but because of this song. Why? The notion of getting to spend time with The My Boys listening to them play, while my heroes and dearest people are around me? That is heaven. Philip wrote it for me, many years ago.



I rather think I love "The Boys Are Back In Town" even more than I thought.




An observation about this series so far: I almost always end up talking about something completely unexpected and unrelated to my intent at the beginning. Hmm.


Part 17 - Nat King Cole - "Mr Cole Won't Rock and Roll"
Part 16 - Rory Gallagher - "A Million Miles Away"
Part 15 - The Shadows - "FBI"
Part 14 - Marilyn Monroe as Elsie Marina - "I Found A Dream
Part 13 - Kenneth Williams as Ramblin' Syd Rumpo - "The Ballad of the Woggler's Moulie"
Part 12 - Chas and Dave - "Rabbit"
Part 11 - The Beatles - "I'm Happy Just To Dance With You"
Part 10 - Duke Ellington - "The Mooche"
Part 9 - The Doors - "Who Do You Love?" featuring Albert King
Part 8 - Queen - "These Are The Days Of Our Lives"
Part 7 - Thin Lizzy - "Don't Believe A Word"
Part 6 - The Bonzo Dog Doo Dah Band - "Monster Mash"
Part 5 - Craig Ferguson - "Doctor Who Cold Opening"
Part 4 - The Bees - "Who Cares What The Question Is?"
Part 3 - Marvin Gaye - "Got To Give It Up"
Part 2 - The Dubliners - "Octopus Jig"
Part 1 - The Allman Brothers Band - "Statesboro Blues"
apolla: (Lynott)

Today I decided that I was going to post something I really love. Not sure what, I headed to my iTunes to check out my 'Top 25 Most Played' list.

Some/quite a lot of what's on the list is there because they're songs I performed myself at one gig or another so listened to them a lot to rehearse/practice. Some of what's on there is because it's the Usual Suspects, those spectacularly talented people whose music grabbed me so hard once that I had to listen to them all the time. All the time.

The number one song on the list is there for both reasons. But I'm not going to post that. I'm going to post the number two song.



"Don't Believe a Word" - Thin Lizzy - Top of the Pops.

To me, this is absolutely the most perfect rock song about being a rock star. It's incredibly short - the album version clocks in at 2:19 - but says everything about the myths, legends and sad reality behind the leather trousers.

Philip Lynott was a truly fantastic, brilliant lyricist. Poet, if you will, in the grand tradition of many a Dubliner like himself. He was really great with rhymes in particular - he built an entire song, "Rocky" around only a handful of rhymes and managed to tell a life story with them.

He wasn't perfect. This is the man who wrote "Tonight there's going to be a jailbreak somewhere in this town", to which we all replied "Would that be at the jail then, Philo?"

Philo was and remains one of my favourite people in the history of the universe, never mind anything else. I don't say this imagining he was always a particularly nice or good guy. He's my hero in spite of and sometimes because of his weaknesses and failings as well as his greatness and strengths.

One of the things he was particularly good at was telling the truth while he lied and lying while telling the truth. In the song "With Love" he sings "But this Casanova's roving days are over... more or less". And he was right. This is a man who could write a song called "Opium Trail", which seems to have a pretty good understanding of what Teh Drugz do to you... only for them to kill him ten years later. 1979's "Got To Give It Up" (no relation to the Gaye track) reflects a similar contradiction. No, not contradiction: simply a breathtaking ability to lie to oneself about oneself.

"Don't Believe A Word" on the other hand, is absolute honesty: that there might always be another girl he's singing to, that he's almost certainly lying. Given that he wrote an earlier song called "Still In Love With You", it's pretty audacious.

And there's rock music in a nutshell. Not just for girls listening to pop crushes, for all of us. The Rock Star is a myth. His wife Caroline said that "Philip was a rock star when he was cleaning his teeth" but that doesn't make it less of an act, it just makes it more constant an act. We know of plenty of rock stars who are all rock-all the time but that doesn't make it true.

They're all lying to us one way or the other. Whoever said they had to tell the truth anyway? Songs should illuminate something about the human condition if they're to be worth anything, but it doesn't follow that the composer had to experience it themselves. Sometimes they do, but it doesn't follow that they're always telling the truth.

But because the music is good - when it is good - we believe it. We silly, naive children. We want to believe. It's understandable, but that doesn't make it true and wishing doesn't make it so.

If wishing made it so, Philip Lynott would be alive and making awesome records with a similarly-animated Rory Gallagher on guitar and Jim Morrison singing. And Moon would be on drums. I'd... make the tea, or something. Anything to be in that room. If wishing made it so...

"Don't Believe A Word" has a great riff, but the ultimate beauty of it to me is the way Philo lays it out clearly: he probably isn't singing to Her/You/Me, he's probably lying to Her/You/Me but it doesn't matter because the song is awesome, because he feels regret about it, because the lyrics are beautiful in that very Lizzy bittersweet way.

That's the reality, the deal we make: we all know it's not real but it's OK to lie to us as long as you're rocking our socks off.

The danger is when we start believing in it, and that goes for the stars as much as the audience: how many of them fell apart because they started to believe in their own magical powers and immortality?

Don't believe me if I tell you, especially if I tell you I'm in love with you.

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: (Black Rose)
It is twenty past eleven on the night of 4th January 2011. I am sitting in my cold living room, curled up in a duvet and I am watching a DVD called Thin Lizzy – Greatest Hits. At the O2 Arena (the Point last time I was there) in Dublin, a band calling themselves Thin Lizzy are on stage. At Vicar Street in Dublin, my favourite live music venue ever, the 25th Vibe for Philo is in full-swing. According to the line-up on the website, the Hoodoo Rhythm Devils & Glen Hansard are playing as I type.

Although his name isn't splashed all over the place, Philip Lynott has not been forgotten today.

I've made various ramblings at this time of year for a long time. I recall the 19th being a bit of an epic, and I know exactly where I was for the 20th anniversary: at the front of Vicar Street, at the Vibe. I was either feeling sick, about to be sick or had just been sick (oddly enough, the exact time of emptying my stomach over the barrier has been forgotten) thanks to an Italian restaurant in Temple Bar which forever lost my custom that night.

As is usual for the 4
th January, I've spent the day pissed off. First it was trying to get up for my first workday since Christmas. Then it was morons on the tube, idiots in the street and the VAT increase on frappucinos. Then it was the imminent threat of root canal this evening. Then it was only having part of the root canal done and having to wait until next week for the long-winded bit. Then it was the cold. Then it was CSI: NY. All day, I've been cheesed off like a mouse who has just been told by a doctor to lay off the cheese due to a serious cheese allergy.

The fact is, the 4th January cannot be a happy day for me, and probably many people who ever gave a flying one about Lynott would agree. It is the day we lost him forever. It is the day that his work took on new, deeper, more tragic meanings.

It is the day that hole in the middle of the stage opened up.

Tonight, a band calling themselves Thin Lizzy are up at the Point. Brian Downey and Scott Gorham are there, the two people I would class as 'Thin Lizzy' after Philip. Darren Wharton is there. Some other musicians are there, plugging the holes. I don't doubt that musically they'll be fine. There are no bad musicians in the line-up, but there is a big fucking hole in the middle of the stage, and ignoring it is like a broken pencil: pointless.

I've seen Thin Lizzy in recent years, before John Sykes left and Downey rejoined. The music wasn't bad, and I consider those evenings well spent, but there is no escaping the massive hole in the middle of the stage

Philip is gone. I've seen and touched the chunk of damp Irish sod covering the hole they put him in.

Yet, here I sit, and looking at the television, it's almost as if I could reach out and touch the shiny red jacket he's wearing in the With Love video, and jaysus, doesn't the smile on him warm my cold, broken heart?

So much has already been said that there seems little more to say... except that seeing the lustrously-barnetted Scott Gorham on lead guitar reminds me of the one sorrow that can never be soothed.

I met Scott Gorham in Starbucks on 26th Feb 2009, Hicks' anniversary. I got to look him in the eye and say thank you. Maybe I'll meet him again in this lifetime, but the important bit is done. I got to say 'you're one of my favourite musicians. Thank you.'

It seems incredibly important to say it. To look into someone's eyes and thank them. It seems the least I can do (actually, the least I can do is buy their music...) and at the same time, it's everything.

Thin Lizzy's music pulled me out of more holes than it put me in. All the sadness, grief, tears and other woe I've felt because Philip is dead are nothing compared to the absolute, pure jubilation his music has given me.

As I've said many times, it was Philip that gave me back Ireland, and I didn't even fully realise how much I needed it. He is my hero, an inspiration, a rock (natch) upon which to lean when I need, and the better part of happiness in my world. I can tell you truthfully that I believe him to be one of the great Irish writers of the late 20th century. I can tell you truthfully that I believe Thin Lizzy to be continually under-rated (partly through their own doing), and that as long as Thin Lizzy's music exists, U2 aren't even the best band from Dublin, never mind in the whole world

Nothing compares to all that, and I'll shed a million more tears before I'll live in a world without him.

I hope the two separate Philo nights are having a grand aul' time. Me, I was feeling like shit, and then I started watching Philip and funnily enough, I started to feel better, a little. And now I've been watching for awhile, I feel a good deal better. The end of the Sarah video still cracks me up, and I will always smile back at that cocky, smug grin plastered on his face throughout Dear Miss Lonely Hearts. I still want sparkly purple trousers like Robbo in the Wild One video. Sure, Still In Love With You makes me want to cry, but that's because it's a sad, sad song. I'm happier now than I was before the DVD started, and that's because of Philo's music.

I will never stop wishing I could look him in the eye and say thank you. I will always wish I could make some kind of difference to how it played out. I will always wish to have been there to see him. I will always believe that a world with Philip Lynott in it is better than one without it, but as long as the music plays, it'll be OK, and OK is all we get.



 









apolla: (Black Rose)
It is twenty past eleven on the night of 4th January 2011. I am sitting in my cold living room, curled up in a duvet and I am watching a DVD called Thin Lizzy – Greatest Hits. At the O2 Arena (the Point last time I was there) in Dublin, a band calling themselves Thin Lizzy are on stage. At Vicar Street in Dublin, my favourite live music venue ever, the 25th Vibe for Philo is in full-swing. According to the line-up on the website, the Hoodoo Rhythm Devils & Glen Hansard are playing as I type.

Although his name isn't splashed all over the place, Philip Lynott has not been forgotten today.

I've made various ramblings at this time of year for a long time. I recall the 19th being a bit of an epic, and I know exactly where I was for the 20th anniversary: at the front of Vicar Street, at the Vibe. I was either feeling sick, about to be sick or had just been sick (oddly enough, the exact time of emptying my stomach over the barrier has been forgotten) thanks to an Italian restaurant in Temple Bar which forever lost my custom that night.

As is usual for the 4
th January, I've spent the day pissed off. First it was trying to get up for my first workday since Christmas. Then it was morons on the tube, idiots in the street and the VAT increase on frappucinos. Then it was the imminent threat of root canal this evening. Then it was only having part of the root canal done and having to wait until next week for the long-winded bit. Then it was the cold. Then it was CSI: NY. All day, I've been cheesed off like a mouse who has just been told by a doctor to lay off the cheese due to a serious cheese allergy.

The fact is, the 4th January cannot be a happy day for me, and probably many people who ever gave a flying one about Lynott would agree. It is the day we lost him forever. It is the day that his work took on new, deeper, more tragic meanings.

It is the day that hole in the middle of the stage opened up.

Tonight, a band calling themselves Thin Lizzy are up at the Point. Brian Downey and Scott Gorham are there, the two people I would class as 'Thin Lizzy' after Philip. Darren Wharton is there. Some other musicians are there, plugging the holes. I don't doubt that musically they'll be fine. There are no bad musicians in the line-up, but there is a big fucking hole in the middle of the stage, and ignoring it is like a broken pencil: pointless.

I've seen Thin Lizzy in recent years, before John Sykes left and Downey rejoined. The music wasn't bad, and I consider those evenings well spent, but there is no escaping the massive hole in the middle of the stage

Philip is gone. I've seen and touched the chunk of damp Irish sod covering the hole they put him in.

Yet, here I sit, and looking at the television, it's almost as if I could reach out and touch the shiny red jacket he's wearing in the With Love video, and jaysus, doesn't the smile on him warm my cold, broken heart?

So much has already been said that there seems little more to say... except that seeing the lustrously-barnetted Scott Gorham on lead guitar reminds me of the one sorrow that can never be soothed.

I met Scott Gorham in Starbucks on 26th Feb 2009, Hicks' anniversary. I got to look him in the eye and say thank you. Maybe I'll meet him again in this lifetime, but the important bit is done. I got to say 'you're one of my favourite musicians. Thank you.'

It seems incredibly important to say it. To look into someone's eyes and thank them. It seems the least I can do (actually, the least I can do is buy their music...) and at the same time, it's everything.

Thin Lizzy's music pulled me out of more holes than it put me in. All the sadness, grief, tears and other woe I've felt because Philip is dead are nothing compared to the absolute, pure jubilation his music has given me.

As I've said many times, it was Philip that gave me back Ireland, and I didn't even fully realise how much I needed it. He is my hero, an inspiration, a rock (natch) upon which to lean when I need, and the better part of happiness in my world. I can tell you truthfully that I believe him to be one of the great Irish writers of the late 20th century. I can tell you truthfully that I believe Thin Lizzy to be continually under-rated (partly through their own doing), and that as long as Thin Lizzy's music exists, U2 aren't even the best band from Dublin, never mind in the whole world

Nothing compares to all that, and I'll shed a million more tears before I'll live in a world without him.

I hope the two separate Philo nights are having a grand aul' time. Me, I was feeling like shit, and then I started watching Philip and funnily enough, I started to feel better, a little. And now I've been watching for awhile, I feel a good deal better. The end of the Sarah video still cracks me up, and I will always smile back at that cocky, smug grin plastered on his face throughout Dear Miss Lonely Hearts. I still want sparkly purple trousers like Robbo in the Wild One video. Sure, Still In Love With You makes me want to cry, but that's because it's a sad, sad song. I'm happier now than I was before the DVD started, and that's because of Philo's music.

I will never stop wishing I could look him in the eye and say thank you. I will always wish I could make some kind of difference to how it played out. I will always wish to have been there to see him. I will always believe that a world with Philip Lynott in it is better than one without it, but as long as the music plays, it'll be OK, and OK is all we get.



 









apolla: (Default)
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).
apolla: (Default)
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).
apolla: (OTP)
This time last Sunday, I was curled up in a bed in Cork City watching RTE One. Now, I'm in my own living room watching a really, really old Miss Marple. It's from 1985, according to The Great Wiki.

I miss Ireland so much that I actually started missing it about six hours before I left. Anyway, I had a perfectly nice time although I didn't do as much as I wanted to. Holidays on your own are a bit weird, also, but I liked being able to do exactly what I wanted to.

*

Went to some movies while I was in Dublin. I started off thinking I'd just go see The Mummy 3 but it was so awful that I ended up marching straight back into the box office and getting myself a ticket for Mamma Mia also. Then the next day I was so knackered that I killed some time by catching The Dark Knight a second time.

The Mummy 3 is so absolutely fucking awful that for the first time ever I considered leaving the cinema. I didn't, if only cos I'd spent 9 euro on the ticket. It is so beyond bad... Remember what we all loved about the first two movies? It was ALL thrown out of this movie to be replaced with absolute tosh. Alex is so absolutely different (in all sorts of bad ways) that he might as well be someone else. Maria Bello is all right but not exactly awe-inspiring... and somehow insipid next to the old Evy O'Connell.

When we were first introduced to Evy Carnahan, she was a dowdy, clumsy librarian to be sure... but she had her dreams and her aspirations. She knew she was going to have great adventures, and went after them. I loved her in The Mummy Returns because she'd blossomed into this wonderful, feisty, successful lady. It was a mark of how interesting and rounded she was that when it turns out she was the reincarnation/descendant of an ancient Egyptian princess, it made a certain amount of sense. It was OK, you know? Not Mary-Sueish.

Maria Bello's Evy was... suburban. I found it hard to believe that this Evy had been a spy or whatever during the war. She exhibited none of the spark of the 'real' Evy... and none of the depth of knowledge, the sense, that the old one had. I don't think it's entirely Maria Bello's fault - the story and the script were the kind of cack you'd expect from anything else, not the Mummy movies.

Rick was OK. He was the same old, same old. He was fine, although doesn't seem to have aged at all since, you know, the thirties!

Alex. This is what made me really, really pissed off. I don't care that they skipped ahead so that he was basically an adult now. I don't care, really I don't., What I really hated though, was that they took the once precocious, intelligent, thoughtful little boy with an English accent... and turned him into a gun-loving, brutish dolt with no sensitivity and an American accent. Where'd he pick that up, exactly?

I could almost believe that Rick and Alex had some sort of falling out, or drifiting apart since the second movie - but Rick had no problem showing the old Alex affection. Clearly Rick knew that the New Alex was an idiot and wanted the old one back.

Add in a few tired cliches: the handy pilot that Rick already knew, the mummy's henchman - and some new nonsense: the chemistry-less romantic subplot, a vaguely interesting subplot between the general and the witchy woman - and it's basically shit.

There were a few things I liked, but they weren't used - they were at SHANGRI-LA and they just switched to the Great Wall instead! The General guy was there, brought back, and yet nothing was done with it except to explain why those mummies don't kill Rick and 'Evy'.

It was one of those movies that basically shouldn't have ever been made... but to make it so badly is unforgivable.

[personal profile] logansrogue: DON'T WATCH IT!!

*

Mamma Mia was OK. It took me a long time (at least half the movie) to get into it. The singing was adequate but not excellent, the dancing was lacklustre and the scenery was the best thing of the whole movie. I didn't dislike it, certainly.

I have issues with Abba anyway. When I was about ten, I really got into them - I wanted that red spiky hair that Frida had in the latter days. I even saw Abba: The Movie more than once. Problem was, at the first music lesson we had at secondary school we were asked what music we liked. I said, without shame: Abba. This was 1993 and they were not held in the esteem they now possess. This was 1993, before they became cool again, before Mamma Mia and dozens of shit weekend TV programmes featuring 'celebrities' talking about and performing Abba songs. This is before they were on the cover of MOJO magazine and before they were being called 'perfect pop'.

Still, this was before X-Factor and Popstars, so there wasn't anything truly, truly heinous to compare them to.

This would be fine... except that this one answer to one question shaped, more than almost anything, the way my scholastic career was to pan out. 'Abbafan' became a great insult and it was flung at me time and time again. Sure, my wearing of shocking pink baseball boots a few weeks later was to make things worse... but that one answer to one question set the scene. I'm sure I would've had a miserable seven years even if I'd answered 'rave music' like so many of the others. At the time I remember thinking: "You're eleven fucking years old, you don't go to fucking raves, you lying fuck."

Incidentally, those shocking pink Chuck Taylors now retail for £45 in the shops. I have a new pair, too. Those sneakers are fashionable (to a point) and Abba are 'cool'. I was fifteen years ahead of the curve (or indeed, thirty behind it)... and unfortunately, Abba have borne the brunt of this. I can't listen to them anymore without feeling the pain. I have a couple of their songs on my iPod actually - the depressing stuff - The Winner Takes It All and The Day Before You Came. But I don't know where my copy of Abba Gold is, even though it was one of my first ever CDs (as opposed to vinyl or cassette). I was a little surprised by the fact I still knew all the words to all the songs in the movie... but Abba will inextricably be linked to a time in my life I'm still trying to recover from.

No, I can't really blame Abba, of course I can't. Perhaps I should blame the cruelty of sheeple children. Perhaps I should blame myself. I don't know... but I can't help wonderign what would've happened if I'd answered that one question differently.........

*

Ronnie Drew
died the afternoon before I went to Ireland. He was 73, had been ill for two years and so it can hardly be considered a 'tragedy'... but I'll admit to you I saw the news on BBC News Online and sat and cried. When I tried to tell my mum what had happened, I started crying again... and she proceeded to explain to Mikey's girlfriend in a manner I considered 'belittling'. She simply doesn't understand why I feel so attached to musicians or whatever - she called them 'celebrities' and didn't even lower her fucking voice so I couldn't hear.

I wrote a post about this while I was in Ireland which maybe I'll post... but the simple fact is that Ronnie was one of Those Voices as far as I'm concerned. I didn't talk about him as much as I did people like Jim or Philip, or even your man Flynn... but his is one of the voices I love so much I can't imagine living without it. I like Luke Kelly's voice, I think it's one of the best ever, but I love Ronnie's.

The only real 'positive' I can see to this is that the timing meant that I was in the right country at the right time - Ronnie's death was covered briefly in Britain but the Irish loved the man and it was everywhere. I must've spent ten euros on newspapers over the course of my time there to get the coverage. In fact, this time last Sunday I was watching a Ronnie documentary on RTE One which I'd never have seen on British TV.

Anyway: Jim. Philip. Dino. John. George. Plant. Dylan. Ronnie. Those are the voices I don't ever want to live without, and I don't say this because Ronnie's dead. I was saying it last week. In fact, last Saturday morning I walked to my mammy & daddy's house from the town centre singing along with him. Four hours later, he was dead.

I hope he's been reunited with those he loved and who loved him that went before. He deserves naught less.

*

It was Philip Lynott's birthday on 20th August, and it was one of the reasons I chose to go to Ireland when I did. I was vaguely thinking of not going up to see him... but I woke up early, checked out and got onto the DART. I know it was only half past ten when I arrived at the cemetery (St Fintan's, Sutton) but there was nobody there! Someone had left flowers fairly recently and there was all sorts of stuff left for him as usual - you can see which is his grave from far away in the cemetery because of all the stuff around it...

But there was nobody else there! It was nice that I was there on my own, just me and my hero... but I don't want him to be forgotten. Anyway, I left him a note, as I did last time, and as I had a bunch of bracelets on, I slid the little white one off my wrist and added it to the collection of bracelets left by fans. I can live without it, after all. I hope people did go up there later in the day, because he shouldn't be forgotten. I noticed later that day that the pub near his statue was full of people outside smoking, but they were paying no attention to the statue. Fair enough, but don't forget him!

[profile] marquiserachel is right - statue does have two left feet, but it's not totally noticeable. I pointed it out on Tuesday night to some guys stood by it and we ended up conversing about Rory Gallagher, who was from Cork.

I bought myself The Essential Rory Gallagher while I was in Cork, but... I don't think I can afford to get sucked in by another Dead Irish Musician.

Speaking of Rachel: I must take you to Cork, but also to Dublin again - you'd really get a kick out of the National Museum 'annexe' at the Collins Barracks.

*

Speaking of the National Museum, I arrived there on Tuesday, fresh off the train from Cork. There I was in my big, burnt orange (Mammy swears it's 'brick' coloured) rain jacket... my Louise Brooks hair was ruined by not having straighteners with me... I felt exhausted...

And there were the 31 contestants for the Rose of Tralee for a photocall.

Now, I know that I'm no beauty, really I do. But I have never felt quite so ugly as when they trooped past me into the museum. I actually waited to see what direction they went in so I could go in the opposite.

I have never EVER wanted to be part of some idiotic beauty contest before... but I felt so... not jealous but wistful perhaps. Why? Not because they're beautiful but because it's about being Irish...

The BNP apparently tried to intercede because this year's London Rose has a Jamaican father. Quite aside from the fuckwittery of telling a black girl she can't take part in an Irish thing because she's black... they're the BRITISH National Party! What fucking business is it of theirs to dictate ANYTHING to the Irish? That's what started all the trouble before!

*

I always feel most English when I'm in Ireland. All the rest of the time I feel whatever it is I am (Irish-Anglo, I suppose)... but in Ireland I can feel all the most English traits of mine - being a bit uptight about the time, especially for trains and buses etc, whatever. But then again, i think I developed some of those from my granny, who grew up in Co. Derry, so maybe it's nothing to do with 'Englishness' or 'Irishness' at all.

I just... a bit like the Abba question, I wonder what manner of person I would be if I'd been brought up in Galway after all?

*

My friend Louise is back in England for the first time since moving to Australia. I'm off to see her on Thursday and can't wait...

Other than that, nothing interesting. How about you lot?
apolla: (OTP)
This time last Sunday, I was curled up in a bed in Cork City watching RTE One. Now, I'm in my own living room watching a really, really old Miss Marple. It's from 1985, according to The Great Wiki.

I miss Ireland so much that I actually started missing it about six hours before I left. Anyway, I had a perfectly nice time although I didn't do as much as I wanted to. Holidays on your own are a bit weird, also, but I liked being able to do exactly what I wanted to.

*

Went to some movies while I was in Dublin. I started off thinking I'd just go see The Mummy 3 but it was so awful that I ended up marching straight back into the box office and getting myself a ticket for Mamma Mia also. Then the next day I was so knackered that I killed some time by catching The Dark Knight a second time.

The Mummy 3 is so absolutely fucking awful that for the first time ever I considered leaving the cinema. I didn't, if only cos I'd spent 9 euro on the ticket. It is so beyond bad... Remember what we all loved about the first two movies? It was ALL thrown out of this movie to be replaced with absolute tosh. Alex is so absolutely different (in all sorts of bad ways) that he might as well be someone else. Maria Bello is all right but not exactly awe-inspiring... and somehow insipid next to the old Evy O'Connell.

When we were first introduced to Evy Carnahan, she was a dowdy, clumsy librarian to be sure... but she had her dreams and her aspirations. She knew she was going to have great adventures, and went after them. I loved her in The Mummy Returns because she'd blossomed into this wonderful, feisty, successful lady. It was a mark of how interesting and rounded she was that when it turns out she was the reincarnation/descendant of an ancient Egyptian princess, it made a certain amount of sense. It was OK, you know? Not Mary-Sueish.

Maria Bello's Evy was... suburban. I found it hard to believe that this Evy had been a spy or whatever during the war. She exhibited none of the spark of the 'real' Evy... and none of the depth of knowledge, the sense, that the old one had. I don't think it's entirely Maria Bello's fault - the story and the script were the kind of cack you'd expect from anything else, not the Mummy movies.

Rick was OK. He was the same old, same old. He was fine, although doesn't seem to have aged at all since, you know, the thirties!

Alex. This is what made me really, really pissed off. I don't care that they skipped ahead so that he was basically an adult now. I don't care, really I don't., What I really hated though, was that they took the once precocious, intelligent, thoughtful little boy with an English accent... and turned him into a gun-loving, brutish dolt with no sensitivity and an American accent. Where'd he pick that up, exactly?

I could almost believe that Rick and Alex had some sort of falling out, or drifiting apart since the second movie - but Rick had no problem showing the old Alex affection. Clearly Rick knew that the New Alex was an idiot and wanted the old one back.

Add in a few tired cliches: the handy pilot that Rick already knew, the mummy's henchman - and some new nonsense: the chemistry-less romantic subplot, a vaguely interesting subplot between the general and the witchy woman - and it's basically shit.

There were a few things I liked, but they weren't used - they were at SHANGRI-LA and they just switched to the Great Wall instead! The General guy was there, brought back, and yet nothing was done with it except to explain why those mummies don't kill Rick and 'Evy'.

It was one of those movies that basically shouldn't have ever been made... but to make it so badly is unforgivable.

[personal profile] logansrogue: DON'T WATCH IT!!

*

Mamma Mia was OK. It took me a long time (at least half the movie) to get into it. The singing was adequate but not excellent, the dancing was lacklustre and the scenery was the best thing of the whole movie. I didn't dislike it, certainly.

I have issues with Abba anyway. When I was about ten, I really got into them - I wanted that red spiky hair that Frida had in the latter days. I even saw Abba: The Movie more than once. Problem was, at the first music lesson we had at secondary school we were asked what music we liked. I said, without shame: Abba. This was 1993 and they were not held in the esteem they now possess. This was 1993, before they became cool again, before Mamma Mia and dozens of shit weekend TV programmes featuring 'celebrities' talking about and performing Abba songs. This is before they were on the cover of MOJO magazine and before they were being called 'perfect pop'.

Still, this was before X-Factor and Popstars, so there wasn't anything truly, truly heinous to compare them to.

This would be fine... except that this one answer to one question shaped, more than almost anything, the way my scholastic career was to pan out. 'Abbafan' became a great insult and it was flung at me time and time again. Sure, my wearing of shocking pink baseball boots a few weeks later was to make things worse... but that one answer to one question set the scene. I'm sure I would've had a miserable seven years even if I'd answered 'rave music' like so many of the others. At the time I remember thinking: "You're eleven fucking years old, you don't go to fucking raves, you lying fuck."

Incidentally, those shocking pink Chuck Taylors now retail for £45 in the shops. I have a new pair, too. Those sneakers are fashionable (to a point) and Abba are 'cool'. I was fifteen years ahead of the curve (or indeed, thirty behind it)... and unfortunately, Abba have borne the brunt of this. I can't listen to them anymore without feeling the pain. I have a couple of their songs on my iPod actually - the depressing stuff - The Winner Takes It All and The Day Before You Came. But I don't know where my copy of Abba Gold is, even though it was one of my first ever CDs (as opposed to vinyl or cassette). I was a little surprised by the fact I still knew all the words to all the songs in the movie... but Abba will inextricably be linked to a time in my life I'm still trying to recover from.

No, I can't really blame Abba, of course I can't. Perhaps I should blame the cruelty of sheeple children. Perhaps I should blame myself. I don't know... but I can't help wonderign what would've happened if I'd answered that one question differently.........

*

Ronnie Drew
died the afternoon before I went to Ireland. He was 73, had been ill for two years and so it can hardly be considered a 'tragedy'... but I'll admit to you I saw the news on BBC News Online and sat and cried. When I tried to tell my mum what had happened, I started crying again... and she proceeded to explain to Mikey's girlfriend in a manner I considered 'belittling'. She simply doesn't understand why I feel so attached to musicians or whatever - she called them 'celebrities' and didn't even lower her fucking voice so I couldn't hear.

I wrote a post about this while I was in Ireland which maybe I'll post... but the simple fact is that Ronnie was one of Those Voices as far as I'm concerned. I didn't talk about him as much as I did people like Jim or Philip, or even your man Flynn... but his is one of the voices I love so much I can't imagine living without it. I like Luke Kelly's voice, I think it's one of the best ever, but I love Ronnie's.

The only real 'positive' I can see to this is that the timing meant that I was in the right country at the right time - Ronnie's death was covered briefly in Britain but the Irish loved the man and it was everywhere. I must've spent ten euros on newspapers over the course of my time there to get the coverage. In fact, this time last Sunday I was watching a Ronnie documentary on RTE One which I'd never have seen on British TV.

Anyway: Jim. Philip. Dino. John. George. Plant. Dylan. Ronnie. Those are the voices I don't ever want to live without, and I don't say this because Ronnie's dead. I was saying it last week. In fact, last Saturday morning I walked to my mammy & daddy's house from the town centre singing along with him. Four hours later, he was dead.

I hope he's been reunited with those he loved and who loved him that went before. He deserves naught less.

*

It was Philip Lynott's birthday on 20th August, and it was one of the reasons I chose to go to Ireland when I did. I was vaguely thinking of not going up to see him... but I woke up early, checked out and got onto the DART. I know it was only half past ten when I arrived at the cemetery (St Fintan's, Sutton) but there was nobody there! Someone had left flowers fairly recently and there was all sorts of stuff left for him as usual - you can see which is his grave from far away in the cemetery because of all the stuff around it...

But there was nobody else there! It was nice that I was there on my own, just me and my hero... but I don't want him to be forgotten. Anyway, I left him a note, as I did last time, and as I had a bunch of bracelets on, I slid the little white one off my wrist and added it to the collection of bracelets left by fans. I can live without it, after all. I hope people did go up there later in the day, because he shouldn't be forgotten. I noticed later that day that the pub near his statue was full of people outside smoking, but they were paying no attention to the statue. Fair enough, but don't forget him!

[profile] marquiserachel is right - statue does have two left feet, but it's not totally noticeable. I pointed it out on Tuesday night to some guys stood by it and we ended up conversing about Rory Gallagher, who was from Cork.

I bought myself The Essential Rory Gallagher while I was in Cork, but... I don't think I can afford to get sucked in by another Dead Irish Musician.

Speaking of Rachel: I must take you to Cork, but also to Dublin again - you'd really get a kick out of the National Museum 'annexe' at the Collins Barracks.

*

Speaking of the National Museum, I arrived there on Tuesday, fresh off the train from Cork. There I was in my big, burnt orange (Mammy swears it's 'brick' coloured) rain jacket... my Louise Brooks hair was ruined by not having straighteners with me... I felt exhausted...

And there were the 31 contestants for the Rose of Tralee for a photocall.

Now, I know that I'm no beauty, really I do. But I have never felt quite so ugly as when they trooped past me into the museum. I actually waited to see what direction they went in so I could go in the opposite.

I have never EVER wanted to be part of some idiotic beauty contest before... but I felt so... not jealous but wistful perhaps. Why? Not because they're beautiful but because it's about being Irish...

The BNP apparently tried to intercede because this year's London Rose has a Jamaican father. Quite aside from the fuckwittery of telling a black girl she can't take part in an Irish thing because she's black... they're the BRITISH National Party! What fucking business is it of theirs to dictate ANYTHING to the Irish? That's what started all the trouble before!

*

I always feel most English when I'm in Ireland. All the rest of the time I feel whatever it is I am (Irish-Anglo, I suppose)... but in Ireland I can feel all the most English traits of mine - being a bit uptight about the time, especially for trains and buses etc, whatever. But then again, i think I developed some of those from my granny, who grew up in Co. Derry, so maybe it's nothing to do with 'Englishness' or 'Irishness' at all.

I just... a bit like the Abba question, I wonder what manner of person I would be if I'd been brought up in Galway after all?

*

My friend Louise is back in England for the first time since moving to Australia. I'm off to see her on Thursday and can't wait...

Other than that, nothing interesting. How about you lot?
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.
apolla: (Lynott)
If Philip Lynott had been reincarnated into a new born baby the day he died, as apparently some theories hold happens, he'd be old enough to drink in the USA again.

I miss him very much, but you should already know that. Right now at Vicar Street in Dublin there are hundreds and hundreds of people listening to loud guitars attempting to reconjure a magic that has long been absent from the world of man. It can't be regained or reproduced and my heart bears the scars of such knowledge.

I am not in Dublin tonight, but I wish I were. Not because I'd be any closer to Philip than I am now, not because I could say  I was a real fan then... because I miss the town of Dublin very much itself... and because at least surrounded by Thin Lizzy fans I might not feel so quite alone in my probably misplaced grief. It's hard to feel lonely or even terribly sad when surrounded by a thousand drunken fools humming the bassline to Dancing In The Moonlight.

But I'm not there. I'm sat in my room killing time before Grey's Anatomy, trying to get used to the keyboard I bought to attach to my laptop until I can afford a new computer.

I'm not in Dublin. I'm not in Dublin and it's not 1971.  Every year takes me further and further and further away from the people I've loved the best.

If dreams were wings, I'd have flown all the way to Heaven to sit with my Philip by now. If love could possibly be enough to resurrect the dead, he'd be sat with me now. Or perhaps he'd be at Vicar Street with everyone else.
apolla: (Lynott)
If Philip Lynott had been reincarnated into a new born baby the day he died, as apparently some theories hold happens, he'd be old enough to drink in the USA again.

I miss him very much, but you should already know that. Right now at Vicar Street in Dublin there are hundreds and hundreds of people listening to loud guitars attempting to reconjure a magic that has long been absent from the world of man. It can't be regained or reproduced and my heart bears the scars of such knowledge.

I am not in Dublin tonight, but I wish I were. Not because I'd be any closer to Philip than I am now, not because I could say  I was a real fan then... because I miss the town of Dublin very much itself... and because at least surrounded by Thin Lizzy fans I might not feel so quite alone in my probably misplaced grief. It's hard to feel lonely or even terribly sad when surrounded by a thousand drunken fools humming the bassline to Dancing In The Moonlight.

But I'm not there. I'm sat in my room killing time before Grey's Anatomy, trying to get used to the keyboard I bought to attach to my laptop until I can afford a new computer.

I'm not in Dublin. I'm not in Dublin and it's not 1971.  Every year takes me further and further and further away from the people I've loved the best.

If dreams were wings, I'd have flown all the way to Heaven to sit with my Philip by now. If love could possibly be enough to resurrect the dead, he'd be sat with me now. Or perhaps he'd be at Vicar Street with everyone else.
apolla: (OTP)
Heather Mills really will do anything, won't she? Even if her accusations (including that Paul beat Linda) are true... wouldn't it have been best to keep it in the courtroom and not everywhere else?

Still, he wouldn't be the only Beatle to have suffered from a giant ego or beaten his wife. He has taken all manner of drugs and quite openly said so. He does drink, sometimes to excess. He does surround himself with people too willing to do exactly what he wants. Still, I find it hard to believe his children would adore him so much if he'd beaten their mother. I don't know. I hope that it's all false- I'd rather believe her a mental fantasist than reconcile myself to another of my heroes being a total cunt. Mind you, he'd be in populous company.

Anyway, I scribbled this a few weeks ago and thought I'd share it with you:



apolla: (OTP)
Heather Mills really will do anything, won't she? Even if her accusations (including that Paul beat Linda) are true... wouldn't it have been best to keep it in the courtroom and not everywhere else?

Still, he wouldn't be the only Beatle to have suffered from a giant ego or beaten his wife. He has taken all manner of drugs and quite openly said so. He does drink, sometimes to excess. He does surround himself with people too willing to do exactly what he wants. Still, I find it hard to believe his children would adore him so much if he'd beaten their mother. I don't know. I hope that it's all false- I'd rather believe her a mental fantasist than reconcile myself to another of my heroes being a total cunt. Mind you, he'd be in populous company.

Anyway, I scribbled this a few weeks ago and thought I'd share it with you:



apolla: (Live And Dangerous)
In January, some time after returning from Dublin, I sat down and began writing the Epic Lizzy Post that I've been threatening to unleash on the world for months and months and more months. Shards of it are in front of me now, in a dog-eared, torn, pitiful excuse of a notebook. It became a monster within moments of pen touching paper. Within only four sides, it had descended into "Fuck you Philip, and your little dog too!" and surely, I could do better?

I'm afraid that I can't. I cannot explain or express what it is about them without taking my pen and sticking it into my head and hoping that what spills out is a rough draft of the way I feel and think on a daily basis.

It's a shame really, because I put more effort into this thing than I did an entire secondary school education. There were notes, post-it notes, notes on me hand, scrawled memos to self, the whole caper.

I can't do it. I raise the white flag of "Dude, you're kidding me" because after all those post-its and pages of rambling, I cannot tell you why. There is nothing I can tell you about the band that their own music could not tell you itself, better. There is nothing I can tell you about Philip Lynott that he himself did not say.

I could tell you about Johnny, the alter-ego that shows up in songs throughout the Lizzy canon. I could tell you about the issues he faced, the demons he battled and the private war he lost. I could even tell you about Scott Gorham's shiny hair, Robbo's kimono and Downey's mirror sunglasses. None of this is stuff I could report better than they could play it.

So I propose a compromise of sorts. In the time-honoured rock tradition of Endless Naffing Lists, I present to you: a bunch of lists. I don't suggest you download the whole lot, or go out and buy the entire Lizzy catalogue on CD, although if you want to, please do. I could tell you about the diverse nature of the Lizzy legend and Philip's astounding way with words, but the music itself does that better.

The ability of Lizzy to cross generic boundaries and borders was rare in 'hard rock/heavy metal' back then, and is even rarer in these thoroughly pigeon-holed days. Perhaps it was the diversity of the band that caused the record companies the headaches and slowed their assaults on the US even more.

So I do not present you with a twenty thousand word treatise. I present you instead with lists, because you might all find something to love. If you're really lucky, like I was, you'll love it all.

apolla: (Live And Dangerous)
In January, some time after returning from Dublin, I sat down and began writing the Epic Lizzy Post that I've been threatening to unleash on the world for months and months and more months. Shards of it are in front of me now, in a dog-eared, torn, pitiful excuse of a notebook. It became a monster within moments of pen touching paper. Within only four sides, it had descended into "Fuck you Philip, and your little dog too!" and surely, I could do better?

I'm afraid that I can't. I cannot explain or express what it is about them without taking my pen and sticking it into my head and hoping that what spills out is a rough draft of the way I feel and think on a daily basis.

It's a shame really, because I put more effort into this thing than I did an entire secondary school education. There were notes, post-it notes, notes on me hand, scrawled memos to self, the whole caper.

I can't do it. I raise the white flag of "Dude, you're kidding me" because after all those post-its and pages of rambling, I cannot tell you why. There is nothing I can tell you about the band that their own music could not tell you itself, better. There is nothing I can tell you about Philip Lynott that he himself did not say.

I could tell you about Johnny, the alter-ego that shows up in songs throughout the Lizzy canon. I could tell you about the issues he faced, the demons he battled and the private war he lost. I could even tell you about Scott Gorham's shiny hair, Robbo's kimono and Downey's mirror sunglasses. None of this is stuff I could report better than they could play it.

So I propose a compromise of sorts. In the time-honoured rock tradition of Endless Naffing Lists, I present to you: a bunch of lists. I don't suggest you download the whole lot, or go out and buy the entire Lizzy catalogue on CD, although if you want to, please do. I could tell you about the diverse nature of the Lizzy legend and Philip's astounding way with words, but the music itself does that better.

The ability of Lizzy to cross generic boundaries and borders was rare in 'hard rock/heavy metal' back then, and is even rarer in these thoroughly pigeon-holed days. Perhaps it was the diversity of the band that caused the record companies the headaches and slowed their assaults on the US even more.

So I do not present you with a twenty thousand word treatise. I present you instead with lists, because you might all find something to love. If you're really lucky, like I was, you'll love it all.

apolla: (OTP)

Burton to 'join' Worlds Cast.

In it, the BBC 'inform' us that Richard Burton is to be digitally 'resurrected' for the new stage show version of Jeff Wayne's The War of the Worlds.

This is the opposite of news. This is olds. Not only have I known for some time, I've already got my tickets booked, know that Jeff Wayne's daughter will be featured as Carrie, the Journalist's great love, and that Parson Nathaniel will be played by Russell Watson. The latter brings joy to my mama who loves RW and dread to me, who has a slight affection for the man who sang Nathaniel in the original.*

And this is news? I can only assume that they're struggling to fill space now that Celebrity Big Brother has been put down for this year.

Try harder please, Auntie. We pay your bills, remember.

* I refer of course to Philip Lynott, and the 'slight affection' is of course sardonic understatement. And he also renders the mood icon relevant. Love you, dear boy.

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