Wait until next year

Putting off what could be done tomorrow, today

Tag: music

The Future of Rock and Roll

Band playing on stageI’m not entirely sure that I’m best placed to write about the future of rock and roll. I might seem qualified. I’ve listened to a hell of a lot of music in my time. I’ve read a lot about music too. I think I have a pretty good understanding of rock and roll history and what makes a great band. Yet I’m not really the right demographic anymore. Rock and roll is music for the young, right? Read the rest of this entry »

It shouldn’t matter to you

Razzmatazz is the great forgotten Pulp single. I remember picking up the 12″ single in a bargain bin of a local record shop, the kind of record shop that doesn’t exist anymore. It wasn’t particularly fancy, was geared more to mainstream stuff and that appeared to be what it sold. So, if you liked a more obscure song, it paid to wait a few weeks and then sift through the bargain bin. It was a good and cheap way of discovering new bands, or at least hearing bands I’d read about but couldn’t hear on the radio. Read the rest of this entry »

The Jazz Scene

Portrait of Howard McGhee and Miles Davis

After a bit of a surge in visitors to the site in the past couple of days I figured I’d scare them off with my real speciality, the filler post. Ah, but what filler today. I thought I’d highlight this collection of photos from William P. Gottlieb, taken in the 1930s and 40s, documenting the great and the good of the jazz world. There appears to be approximately one billion photos in the set, and they are all now in the public domain, so lazy bloggers such as me can use them to embellish their sites and write puff pieces like this. Read the rest of this entry »

John Lennon’s death, 29 years on

Steven’s post reminded me that today/yesterday is/was the 29th anniversary of John Lennon’s death.

I was but a baby when Lennon was killed, and so I can’t offer any memories on that day. However, that does mean I was born during a period where the Beatles permeated everything. Parents and teachers were fans, and so the music was there at home (via the records) and at school (where Beatles songs were a handy resource for trendier music teachers). There was no escape, not that I was looking for one.

And as I grew older, the Beatles were a constant reference point, as most bands I cared about would mention them. Without the Beatles, popular music wouldn’t have progressed as it did. That’s not hyperbole, that’s fact. Even if I had doubts over some of their work, I had to respect their influence, and certainly loved many of their songs.

This year, through the remastered versions, I’ve continued my Beatles odyssey and especially loved all the non-hits. Maybe the one problem with the Beatles is their ubiquity. Nothing sounds new if you’ve grown up with the songs. So, to hear the lesser-known album tracks has been wonderful, and the closest I’ll come to experiencing the thrill there must have been in the 60s listening to a new Beatles track for the first time.

Lennon’s death was obviously tragic. One strange side-effect for me is that the complexity of his character has, by many, been glossed over, in favour of some sort of martyrdom, as has happened for many rock/pop stars who died before their time. I think this does the man a disservice.

Someone so caustic and witty shouldn’t be beyond criticism and proper analysis, as some sort of ‘Saint John’. Hopefully I’m not just setting up a straw man argument here, and certainly don’t intend to be inflammatory on this anniversary. But, while he played a part in some of the greatest music of the twentieth century, there is more to him than that. Acknowledging lesser examples of his work and other aspects of his character are just as important to understanding the genius he had.

But, first and foremost, boy, could he write a tune. And listening to ‘Twist and Shout’ he couldn’t half belt out someone else’s tune too.