Friday, November 17, 2006

This house believes in Dylan over the Beatles

Over a A Trout in the Milk, Plok is eulogising the Beatles, bringing back one of the great schisms to hit our Sixth Form.

Now when I was twelve, you weren't allowed to like any record issued before the Buzzcocks' Orgasm Addict, and the charts were full of croonily-challenged nylon-fizzing boybands like Sailor and Slik (no, Midge Ure, that hasn't been forgotten).

Especially detested was older-brother music like Queen and David Bowie or even-older-sister music like Barclay James Harvest. To this day, I can't listen to Seven Seas of Rhye without being gripped by the unquenchable fear that my mates might be watching.

Anyway, Year Zero lasted about three years, brutally put down when hard-core indie favourite Adam Ant (heard about only in rumours, because Radio One didn't play it and I wasn't about to spunk out three quid at Robin's Records on Richard Mayes' say-so) turned out to be a media floozy and vacuous, lipsticky fop. Disillusionment hit and we were forced to delve back into pre-history to find something listenable.

Obviously, sibling tunes were still out, though Led Zeppelin were OK because they never released singles and could there never become associated with plesiosaur DJ's like Dave Lee Travis. But it was the wretched Sixties that we started to discover.

A quick shuffle through, say, the 1965 charts will show that the Sixties produced as much unlistenable ear-belch as anything concocted since, and any decade which spawned Freddie and the Dreamers without throat-punching them out of the studio must have been, to some extent, lacking critical judgement.

But after some initial crude fumblings (the Strawbs: why, Lord, why?), our peer group split into three hostile factions. The Rolling Stones fans all eventually moved on to umlauted horrorshows like Motorhead and Motley Crue and are now living on crystal meths in squats in Tower Hamlets. Heavily outnumbered, we Bob Dylan fans specialised in alienation, profundity-mining, and heavy sarcasm. You'd never guess to listen to me now, though, would you?

And those who listened to the Beatles? They never gave their parents a moment's worry and are now running the country.

No, I just never got the Beatles. I'm not going to diss them because, well, what's the point? They've sold about eighty-five billion records, so I'm obviously in the rejected minority. But I've never, ever been moved by a Beatles song. Well, maybe Norwegian Wood if you substitute the words for a football chant.

And just hearing the first half bar of Imagine makes me want to slap John Lennon across the face with an outsized chequebook.

We're all friends, here, right, so no-one's going to laugh if I say my favourite Paul McCartney song is crashingly-twee Wings' ballad London Town.

London Town, for god's sake. The horrible Dick Van Dyke-ness of it all. But stick it on the stereo and I'll be blubbing like a D-lister facing a plate of Witchetty-grubs.

Dylan may have had a voice which emitted from a hole in his abdomen, and he may have been (I admit this reluctantly) a strum-along-and-blow merchant, but his work was untouchable. The week I bought Blood on the Tracks, I listened to it for ninety-eight hours non-stop until a timely intervention by Social Services.

This house still believes in Dylan. It's inescapable.


Blogger plok said...

Ah! Ya got me, Clone. Interesting, when I was about fifteen or so there was no uncooler thing than music from the Sixties, so I jumped all over it. Curse that Big Chill movie anyway for making people like it again, in the wrong way! So many good songs lost...damn you, Classic Rock...

I won't argue Dylan vs. Beatles. Dylan is Dylan. As a friend's brother said, when his sister-in-law was talking about how unpleasant she found Bob's voice: "Are you kidding? I'd crawl naked for a mile over broken glass just to hear the man cough!" And Dylan mystique goes as deep as Beatles mystique...

Not that a person in ten who likes the Beatles even gets that mystique, I think...

London Town! You're a strange kind of a person, aren't you?

1:43 am  
Blogger Disintegrating Clone said...

Dylan v Beatles is something of a religious divide, I think.

Strange? Me? Hmmm, possibly. I can't justify liking London Town, but I do anyway. We all have a musical skeleton or two in our mental cupboards, don't we?

Perhaps it's just me...

12:39 pm  
Blogger Marionette said...

Puff the Magic Dragon makes me cry.

2:38 pm  

Post a Comment

<< Home