I am not one to waste time quarrelling with old friends about musical taste but dear old Geoff and Betty have taken exception to some fine performers based upon a television programme that I have yet to see.
There are plenty of musicians, from a wide range of genres, whose music I enjoy. As far as I know all of them, with the possible exception of Mississippi John Hurt, have displayed symptoms of twatdom that would put most of us in the shade. Even at my most extreme, I would be pushed to be as tarty as Mick Jagger or as incoherent as Bob Dylan. From all accounts (and perhaps with some justification) Ludwig was a far grumpier old sod than I will ever be, even if someone says “Thatcher”. I enjoy Wagner’s overtures, and ignore his politics. The most recent track I downloaded was by an up and coming beat combo called “Oasis”, who are, without much doubt, a bunch of assholes. I find myself able to enjoy young Mick Jackson’s music without being influenced by his reported personal preferences. I might draw the line if Jeffrey Archer were to produce a single with the quality of, say, “Born to be Wild”, but possibly not.
I began to think that Betty and Geoff had turned into my parents when I read their posts. Although I might be one of theirs, as Betty has proffered the witterings of Mr Bowie as “music”.
Just let me put in some good words for Crosby, Stills and Nash. And James Taylor. And Joni Mitchell.
I don’t want to know much about their lives. I don’t want to change my life for theirs. I don’t want their money, or to shag any of the women they have shagged. Or men. I don’t much care about it.
It is just that for me they represent the mellow end of what was so good about the 60’s. Music that I enjoyed while under the influence of some gentle drugs, and still enjoy today years after the last hallucinogenic chemicals have found their way out of my system. They were only part of it. If I were asked, and as this is my bloody blog, then consider me asked, who was the best songwriter, I would choose Joni Mitchell. I don’t usually bother with the words, I go by the sound of the music. But I have come to the conclusion that Lennon and McCartney had the poetic ability of Keat’s pet squirrel. Bob Dylan concealed his clever bits amongst pretentious codswallop, Paul Simon should have stuck to humming, George Harrison is among the worst. “I look at the floor and see it needs sweeping”. What the fuck? Sweep it then, you dim bastard, and get some 12 year old to write your songs. I listen to all of these people from time to time. I might even sing along if I am sure no one is listening, but none of them have anything to say. Joni, on the other hand, does.
I expect this gets more comments than most posts here. I probably won’t pay much attention to them. You will not change my musical choices, anymore than I will change yours. Tom will still be listening to Val Doonican, Realdoc will be getting down to Matt Monro, and Pamela will be dancing naked in the yard to the tunes of Iron Maiden. Mark, who is back from his enforced absence, will come up with some 18th century blues singer from Malawi called Whispering Keith Jockstrap or some such, at which point I will turn up the Beethoven violin concerto and let you all get on with it.
So, carry on, love is coming. Love is coming to us all.