Wednesday, March 15, 2006

My amplifier goes up to eleven.


In theory it shouldn’t be possible to be nostalgic for a period that you were too young to experience. Ok, I was alive in 1971/72, but being five years old I was more likely to be listening to Pinky and Perky singing White Christmas than getting off my face on ganga and grooving on down to the Faces singing ‘Three Button Hand me Down’.

I’m not going to get into rock criticism here, which is the last refuge of the aging hipster with bad teeth and a drink problem. It is a genre that produces the odd genius like Lester Bangs, but is more likely to allow pretentious tossers to indulge in some cod sociology. Paul Morley, whose criticism used to appear in the NME years ago, had the good sense to retire when he was 24, claiming that he was too old to continue.

The period 1971/72 produced some of the greatest rock music ever recorded. The Rolling Stones, the Faces, the Who, and Led Zeppelin were all at their creative peaks, and had not yet succumbed to the hubris of rock hedonism. Seeing any of these bands play live must have been awe inspiring, even if a perforated eardrum was the price you had to pay for the experience.

It just seems to have been a time when there was a generosity of spirit in the air that was on the verge of dissolving into rancour and disillusionment. The Faces in particular just sound like a bunch of pissed blokes producing a ramshackle but wonderful sound.

Within a few years it was all pomp rock, twiddling on synthesisers, and ugly blokes wearing platform boots coated in glitter.

I’m off to listen to the ‘Brown Bomber’ album and play some air guitar. Sod Coldplay and James Blunt. There was a time when hairy men in tight trousers ruled the world. We will never see their like again.

13 comments:

First Nations said...

can he have an AMEN on that?
AMEN!
can he have a HALLELUJIA on that?
HALLELUJIA!
*shuffles off to tint hair*

Kyahgirl said...

hairy men in tight trousers

such an amazing visual to sum up an era!

Convict said...

hariy men in tight trousers

That was me right through the 80's too. Have to mention that other great bands like Whitesnake (before Coverdale fucked up and went all MTV), Rainbow and AC/DC were at either at their peak or becoming noticed.

Wyndham said...

Paul Morley, whose criticism used to appear in the NME years ago, had the good sense to retire when he was 24, claiming that he was too old to continue.

Sadly, Paul Morley has continued to talk total bollocks whenever anyone foolish enough, like me, has placed a few pennies into his hand.

garfer said...

Yeah, he gave up rock journaliam and turned his talents to other uses, like the Late Show.

He wasn't as entertaining as Tom (it's absolutely appallin') Paulin.

funny thing said...

Or his brother, Tar Paulin.

S.I.D. said...

Now your just Paulin our leg

garfer said...

That's enough puns thank you very much.

MHN for short said...

I saw loads of men wearing spandex in the late 80's all on the same day. It was the "Monsters of Rock" at the Rice Stadium.

I think I will post on that. Thanks for the memory Garfer. Love ya! mhn

suburban wonder said...

hairy men in tight trousers

EEeeueuuuuuuuw! So, I was 2 in 1972. In our house, we listened to Bread, The Band, and the Beatles. We were kind of granola rock in that era.

Then my dad went all upper class on us and insisted we all listen to Beethoven.

Personally, I enjoy the 80s-90s hair metal bands.

garfer said...

You are, in British parlance, a 'headbanger' Bronwen. Headbangers attended heavy metal gigs and shook their long hair vigorously while playing imaginary guitars.

Piggy and Tazzy said...

Now how surprised are we?

You are the one person (apart from Stupid Irish Cunt) that we expected to see posting something about that Welshman, Saint Patrick, that all the Paddy's go doolally over every year.

We assume you're off out dancing on tables or something, balancing pints of Guiness on your head, elbows and your arse-shelf.

MHN for short said...

So garfer, just how DID you get your party on?