Sunday, 28 December 2008

I mow a lot of grass, o Lord, I pop a lot of pills (Lem-Sip mainly)

We've all been feeling under the weather recently, in various states of 'flu, colds, and winter run-down-ness, so felt that a bit of medical gubbins was called for.

Here is my prescription for feeling slightly better if you're tucked up with something unpleasant, and hopefully not as unpleasant as the half-eaten bananas our smallest has taken to leaving in our bed when we're not looking.

I think I've mentioned before that while becoming increasingly grumpy heading towards the prime of life, I find myself thinking of records I would sooner have scraped out my eardrums with knitting needles than heard just one more time in my youth, and find that they seem to have not only lost their emotional charge, but are actually quite hummable and some actually bear re-acquaintance.

Hence the inclusion of a rather clunky disco number, and another by the Jackson Five - which I remember mainly because I had it on one of those 'Top of the Pops' compilations covered by sounding-slightly-alikes in the early seventies, back in the days when I couldn't afford real records.

When I was about twelve, the boys from our street all gathered around one of our houses to listen to records on his big sister's record player, and I recall being subjected to a Queen album and 'Argus' by Wishbone Ash.

I commented at the time that I'd sooner be listening to T Rex or Slade, and was slapped down fairly harshly by the older boys, who told me in no uncertain terms that I'd soon grow out that kids' stuff and listen to proper grown-up music. I remember thinking at the time that this was highly unlikely to happen, and now I'm old enough almost to be a grandfather to any of those boys I would still rather listen to T Rex or Slade than Wishbone Ash or Queen. 'Seven Seas of Rye' was a pretty ace single, but even after Live Aid I remained steadfastly allergic to Fred and the gang. I downloaded 'Argus' again recently just to see if it had improved with age. To anyone considering doing the same, I would strongly recommend thinking long and hard before doing so.

While on the subject of records not being entirely accessible to all tastes, the last track on here is a gem I first heard on the late John Walters' show about twenty years ago, 'Tableau of a Lithotomy', and now - thanks to the wonderful wobbly winterweb - it's possible to enjoy it all over again.

Very few people I played a tape of it to at the time shared my enthusiasm for it, but it's worth listening to once just to see - or even imagine seeing - the expression on the face of anyone in the room with you while it's playing.

A lithotomy, by the way, is a bladder operation.

Have a happy new year, see you in 2009.

No comments: