Tuesday, February 18, 2014

Your Attention Please

About fifteen years ago, the greatest band that ever existed split up. My childhood was over. Not that I was even remotely a child then, and not that that’s been a part of my childhood. They’d just been the greatest band that ever existed and they’d split up. And your childhood can end at any time. I was lucky mine had lasted so long.

But although you can never recapture your childhood, bits of it can return. You can’t experience in the same way those early emotional discoveries: those long car journeys with the stereo blaring out “Don’t forget the alcohol!” as if you were ever likely to being a young adult in a beer obsessed country; or that first time listening the freshly-purchased Gentlemen whilst lying on the mattress on your floor because beds were for those people who could be bothered to go out and buy them. No modern experience can adequately recreate those exciting days of youth. All experiences are now tempered with wisdom, flavoured with the bitter aftertaste of accumulated failure and slowed down by the fact your body no longer just consists of skin and bone, but there is somehow some fat there as well. And don’t get me started on gray hairs.

To find that not only has the greatest band that ever existed come back together, they are recording new songs again. Maybe they’ll never achieve the peaks that allowed you to glimpse What Jail is Like, but maybe they will. That fact that one bit of your childhood, that happened way after your childhood, has reassembled can only mean hope. Hope that music will once again be holy and that your body can once more be that unusual shade of a bit too lean you got used to over all those years.

It’s been a while since I preordered anything. That requires optimism. Maybe mine’s back. I’m going to leave you with the song that made me start writing all this. Goodnight.