Monday 2 June 2014

That's a cover, did you not know that?

Don's release was in 1984.
I was in the gym the other day, trying to shut out the music on the gym video feed with my
headphones, when the song I was listening to ended and in the silence between tracks a bit of what was on the TV screen filtered through to my ears.
It was familiar, but I couldn't quite place it.
So I took off my headphones for a moment and listened and watched.
It was a young woman, weighing about four kilograms, walking along the beach and singing..., no wait, don't tell me..., it..., it was Boys of Summer, by Don Henley, formerly of the Eagles.
I was, not astonished, but sort of surprised.
I've looked up on the web to see if I could find who this diaphanous female was, but have had no luck.
But it reminded me of something I've (sadly) noticed lately, which is that one sign of ageing is that you were young and hip when a song came out originally.
And so it was with Boys of Summer.
I watched this lissom female cavort on the screen and I had to admit that it wasn't a bad version.
Those who have been watching this space will know that I am as crotchety as a wild boar with a sore tusk, and a card-carrying member of the Old Fogey society, and so may have expected another vitriolic rant along the lines of "this kid is nowhere near as good as Don Henley".
But no, I kind of enjoyed it.
However, as I watched, I suddenly had a realisation of my age as it occurred to me that this cover was actually, I'm pretty certain of this, a cover of The Ataris cover of Boys of Summer, which came out in 2003.
So effectively I was at grandfather generational level of covers of this song.
The original version by Don was released in 1984, the Ataris' version in 2003, and now this microscopic female with no clothes on in 2014.
So sadly for you middle-aged readers of this blog, when your kids are going mad for a new song, and you know it's a cover and they don't, it's a sign of ageing.
The Ataris went at it in 2003.
Other songs that come into this category are Cats in the Cradle by Harry Chapin.
The original came out in the early seventies, and the cover by Ugly Kid Joe in 1992.
I had glimmerings of being old then, as I was one of the few in that time that knew this was cover.
However I was on the right side of knowledge for a few covers.
Always Something There to Remind Me by Naked Eyes, was one, this came out in the 80s, and I evinced considerable surprise, and demonstrated my lifetime-long considerable ignorance, when I found out it was a cover, the original version was from the 60s and was written by venerable song writing team Burt Bacharach and Hal David.
Puttin' on the Ritz, likewise caught me by surprise, when I heard Taco's version in the eighties, and just only just now learned what a long term popular thing this song is, being written in 1927.
Forever Young is another song that confuses most to its attestation, even Wikipedia.
On the Wiki page is says "originally released by Alphaville in 1984".
However just down the page it correctly shows the lineage as written by Bob Dylan in 1974.
Another was the theme tune to Four Weddings and a Funeral, Love is All Around.
The song for the movie of the nineties was performed by Wet, Wet, Wet - the band name comes from a weather forecast for Glasgow, where two of the band members were from, and is not a character reference.
The song Love is All Around stayed at number one in Britain in 1994 for 15 weeks and easily was the biggest seller in the UK that year.
I quite liked it, but then was surprised to find it was cover as well, it was originally released by the Troggs in 1967.
But for once, and for the last time, I was in the "young persons'" position of not knowing it was cover.
So this week's tip of fighting the onslaught of age is this, if your kids come in raving about a new great song, and you know it's a cover, don't say that.
Then, pretend you like the song.
This way you can remain a bit younger for a bit longer.
The classic old fogey thing to do is say, "This is rubbish, only the original version was any good."
This damns you eternally as a foge.
What's more it's a handy technique for stopping your kids liking the song, and therefore playing it incessantly around the house.
The logic your kids follow is that "Yeechhh, if mum likes this song then it must be very lame", and so you will then be free of it from then on.
Deriding the next generation's music is of course a human trait, and I'm still not sure why people do it, but I'll have a go at nutting it out.
It was best demonstrated for me at a flea market in Bathurst when I was about 16.
For those who was wondering flea market is likely named as such because the original markets were thought to contain mouldy old furniture with fleas infesting the lining.
The Bathurst Flea Market - "it is ordained that the market of the lame, by the lame, for the lame, will never perish from this Earth".
Another theory is that a market near a swamp in New York state had so many flies hovering around it that it was termed the Fly Market, and the term warped back to the old-world term, flea market.
My mother was addicted to these things, first going there an buying any piece of junk that could fit in the car, then later, having a stall herself.
With this stall my mother gained the possible title of the greatest disseminater of useless, f%^-king garbage that the central tablelands had ever seen.
I might add, I had no general objection to her doing this, but the problem came when my brother David and I were yoked into the slave harness to carry all the junk down and set up the stall.
Needless to say we didn't get paid, or even thanked.
Oh Dear!
What's more, to get the best spot, you had to be down there pre-dawn, and getting out of bed in a Bathurst winter before the sun had shed it's warming rays on the town, was critically endangering to life.
Among the junk that my mother sold was old records.
One Saturday morning a middle-aged man came over and found some records that he liked and went to buy them, as he handed them over, I looked at the cover slip and could find no price on them.
He said, "how much do you want for these?"
I replied, "Looking at this stuff, 5c a record would be about right."
I can't remember exactly what the music was, some totally lame arse swing music from the thirties as I recall, and my 5c remark, and my tone, clearly indicated that I thought I really should be paying him to take it away, it was that lame.
Did that open the flood gates to a rant from this lame arse character.
"what are you talking about? This is real music, none of your rubbish that you kids listen to", and more on the same theme.
I should have known better, I was somewhat trapped as I was, behind the table of my mother's stall, and so couldn't a) go away somewhere, and b) tell him what I really think.
The wages for speaking out would of course been being beaten up by my mother and or father when I got home.
Anyway tirade finished he paid his dollar, for twenty records and left, no doubt with the self-satisfied feeling of cogently explaining to me why his music was better and no doubt feeling that the first thing I would do is change my musical tastes because of his reasoned argument.
So again, I repeat, if you don't wish to be seen as lame and old, don't bag the next generation's music.
And so to The Simpsons where as usual, this whole vexed debate was done best.
What happens is Homer has to take a group of kids to school as car pool driver, due to a certain "unscheduled offroad excursion" that Otto takes the school bus on, rendering it unviable as a transport device for elementary school children.
I might add, in a lesson for school principals everywhere, Principal Skinner sends a note home explaining why the school bus is out of action, and says at the beginning of the letter, "By reading this letter out loud you waive all rights to sue", which Marge doesn't notice until she's already read it out at the Breakfast table.
Bart and Lisa admirably demonstrate how
embarassing parents are, no matter what they are doing.
Anyway, in the car Homer puts on his music and then can't understand why the kids a) don't like it and b) (recoil by Homer) have never even heard of the band before.
So Homer goes down to the record store and asks the clerk if he has any Grand Funk Railroad, the band he was playing in the car.
The clerk jabs his thumb over his shoulders and says one word, "oldies".
Homer is downcast.
realizing that the seminal band of his youth is now in the "old" category, and therefore he is old and uncool, he then goes on a process of trying to prove to his kids that he is anything but and ends up taking his kids to the big music fest, Lallapaloosa.
Once there he buys a Rastafarian beret and then tries to blend in with the crowd.
This last for about three seconds before the kids swaying to Smashing Pumpkins notice him trying to fit in and immediately decry him as an undercover cop.
He is then ejected from the back of the crowd, and faces the realisation that he is finally and ultimately uncool.
So watch out for it parents, there are things you can do to stave off the onset of fogeyness, but never forget this, as a parent, your very existence embarrasses your kids, no matter what your behaviour.

The physical signs of Ageing.

But that's all to do with your mental state and your outlook inside your head, what about the physical signs of Ageing?
I'm sorry here if I am making anyone feel down, but since it's germane to this issue, I have to bring it up.
When I was a young man, I made the somewhat mature vow to myself, that is I didn't go bald, I would go grey gracefully.
If you are a bald man reading this, I'm not trying to be luckier-than-thou, I'm simply leading up to my loathing for men who dye their hair.
It's invariably done to look younger, and I'm here to tell you, it doesn't bloody work.
There is no dye treatment, costing any amount of money that is fool proof up close.
Then you fall into the even lamer category of one who has gone grey, but is trying to hide it.
So in then end I was genetically lucky, and didn't go bald, and that is why you see me these days, and forever after sporting a head of grey hair.
And while we're on the topic, there is a persistent myth that baldness comes down through the mother's side of the genetic crap shoot.
This is completely untrue.
Men get their father's hairline.
If your dad is bald, you will be too. (sorry)
And what of women dyeing their hair?
Well this seems to be more acceptable in our society, why I don't know, but it seems to be to do with society's stereotypes to do with sex and relationships.
My friend Evo, once pointed out a little piece of philosophy that highlights this quite admirably.
Said Ev, :"There seems to be some sort of intangible moment in a man's life when his sex desire moves from an older women to one younger than himself."
This certainly hold true and the classic teenage boy fantasy is for the mother of one of his friend's, or the hot young maths teacher at school.
But then as men age this turns around and I can assure you that my home town Byron bay is infested with middle-aged self-styled gurus who hang around the Beach hotel and try to pick up 18-year-old backpackers from Denmark.
"Hey Fellas, here's a tip, stop it now, nothing looks lamer than you".
So women have a genetic imperative to look as young as possible and this is highlighted by the truly staggering amounts that is spent on Makeup in Australia each year.
the MoneySmart website tells us that Australians spend a staggering eight billion a year on Beauty in one form or another, with make up, high on this list.
I think that's a sorry state of affairs, particularly when considered in the light of the current federal budget in which out treasurer asks us to all do some heavy lifting financially.
Well, if we stopped wasting our money on going to the beauty parlour then there is a few bill that could go back into the coffers.
I'm hoping not to strike a note of attacking women about this, what I am genuinely attacking is society's mores (pronounced morays, like the eel, referring to standards, morals and views in general) which put so much pressure on women to look younger.
Time for us all to be allowed to grow older gracefully.

The War with Channel Ten

But in a final note of uplift for the future of our society, channel ten last week premiered a reality TV show that I struggle to utter over the moronity of.
It's called I Wanna Marry Harry, and is some sort of skankfest where they got a load of female dumbarses and they all compete somehow for the right to marry prince Harry and have the real life fairy tale of becoming a princess.
To my utter, utter and complete joy, the show was an abject zarking failure.
It didn't appear in the top 20 shows for that night, and so despite the fact that 51% of Australians are clinically defined morons, which is why Tony Abbott is Prime Minister, it seems that the line has been drawn at last and even a show as truly nauseating as this one has no viewers.
So well done Australian TV viewers, now let's move this general uplift along and vote intelligently an' all.

1 comment:

  1. Re: Boys of Summer. Would it be the version by DJ Sammy (vox by Do), released in 2002?