If you are as fond of free form association as I am, and don’t keep notes, you run the risk of forgetting what led you where. Case in point…I started with Golden Earring‘s Radar Love, the quintessential driving song, then I knew there was a quick mention of Yellow River by Christie (had known the song but not the artist) and Silence is Golden by The Tremeloes (and I had thought that was Franki Valli and the 4 Seasons). Then I remembered the Garbage song of the same title. Its ok but the one that really takes me to town is I’m Only Happy When It Rains.
I should really save that for the Rain song series along with Here Comes the Rain Again but I like enough to just use it over again. Which reminds me of a story, a true story, as it happens.
A few years ago I was one of the panel members on a television series on which crime novels were discussed and the hook was that not only would we talk about the literary qualities of the book but also how realistic the book was. I was a reviewer and with me would be either policeman, forensic experts, intelligence officers, or etc plus the moderator (a documentary filmmaker). It was the inaugural episode of the show and to celebrate the wrap, we the panel, the two women who produced the show and ran the company, and some of the crew, all men, took off to the nearest bar. Our first book had been the subpar Darkly Dreaming Dexter. Little did we know that the first book would be the worst book. It took a little creativity to introduce some variation in our responses to it. I do kind of enjoy the show they made of it though.
Anyway, we ended up at this large and fairly deserted bar, and walking in, the 8 of us or so formed the majority of customers. It was clear in moments that we had walked onto the low lit set of an unknown David Lynch film. Even with the four or so customers before us, there was an active karaoke setup going run by an older woman with a smoke dangling out of her mouth, like a working mechanic, who interspersed the songs with bad dirty jokes. Think Selma Simpson. At the one occupied table sat a short middle-aged Vietnamese woman with hair down to her belt, and a young couple, the man skinny and the woman chunky, both of them of average height. All in all very trailor park.
This table and the mc seemed to know each other and in fact one or two from the table got up for each song. And they were uniformly horrible. We started making jokes about it and hoped that we would be out of there before they butchered one of our favourite songs. So far we had gone through I Never Promised You a Rose Garden and Don’t Go Breaking My Heart. And then we knew we had been there too long when the Asian woman got up to sing Here Comes the Rain Again. Now that is a song Stephen Hawking could manage but here, oh my god, it was an exercise in creative destruction; maybe I am overstating it a little, let’s just call it the “holding the note until it goes out of tune a few times” style of singing.
If that wasn’t bizarre enough, one of our own, a cop who had had nothing to drink, (he had already told us he had been in the mc’s domicile “in official capacity” a while ago) suddenly ended up as part of the duo and on a whim he took the phallic mike and started miming full on the knees fellatio and after a bit of this with everyone in the place wondering what the hell was going on, he just stopped, came back to the table and sat down as though nothing had happened.
When I told this story to a friend of mine who had lived with a cop, she said “that’s typical”.
So back to the tunes.
I was going to put in the Golden Slumbers medley from Abbey Road but decided to move straight to Okkervill River‘s For Real. The connection is through maybe their finest album Down the River of Golden Dreams. Picked this because the animation looks like David Firth of fat-pie.
And here it broke down. Somehow I had made a connection to Jan Garbarek and Kieth Jarrett playing My Song. I really don’t know how but I am going to leave this because it is a touching piece.
And then I ended up at Buck 65, still lost, and regained the thread with Bat for Lashes and their upcoming Fur and Gold release. No video except on their website so we’ll go straight to the best of them all. Beck had Mellow Gold but this now famous tune, of such serendipitous provenance, fucking tore my heart apart. It is Change Your Heart from Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind.