Monday, June 04, 2012

Sir Paul Who?

As I have mentioned before, ours was a pop-music-free household when I was growing up.  Strictly classical only, with a smattering of Glen Miller from time to time and that was it.

Don't get me wrong, I like lots of classical music but I think it's a real shame that both my parents excluded a whole genre from the house.  It wasn't that it was exactly forbidden - more that I just didn't have my own radio and the Dansette record player was in the lounge and hence everyone could hear anything played on it. 

On the very rare occasions when I tried to listen to something recorded after about 1945, I would give up after the first couple of interruptions - generally from the Communist -  along the lines of "Why are you listening to that rubbish?"

Unlike many teenagers, therefore, I just didn't spend my pocket money on records.  I read about the current stars - David Bowie, Marc Bolan - in teenage magazines, so I could hold my own in any conversation about them without ever letting on that I had never heard the music, except very occasionally at some party or other.

Even now, if I am listening to music and my mother enters the room I will immediately switch it off before she can comment.  Old habits and all that - - though the Communist was the most critical of the two of them in a "they are all long-haired louts and you can't hear the words" kind of way.


This weekend in Britain we have two Bank Holidays for the Queen's Diamond Jubilee and it appears that everyone in Britain is suddenly waving a Union Jack (ohhhh yes, I know, Union Flag, please don't correct me because I really don't care either way) and claiming to be wildly patriotic.

Tonight there's been a whopping Diamond Jubilee concert organised by Lord Barlow of Manchester, as he will be in ten years' time, or Sir Gary Barlow as he will be in five years' time, or Gary Barlow as he is now.  Yes, I know.  I'm in a cynical mood.  Too much flag-waving does that to me. 

Mum had the Jubilee Concert on her television and was pleased to spot Peter Kay.  "That Lancashire lad.  I like him."

Then Paul McCartney came on and - to be fair - wasn't in very good voice and squeaked his way onto the high notes rather.

"Let it Be?"  said my mother.  "Isn't that a hymn?"

"No, Mum, it's a song by the Beatles."

"Hmmm."   She looked unconvinced.

She didn't like all the explosions during "Live and Let Die". 

"It's ridiculous!  Far too loud!  Who's paying for all this?  I bet it's us."

She went quiet for a moment.

"Is this nearly the end then?"

"Yes, Mum, it is."

"So why's this chap on last then?"

"Because he's Paul McCartney.   He's probably the most famous musician in Britain."

My mother looked down her nose at the screen, her expression filled with doubt.

"Well." she said, and paused.  "If you say so."






5 Comments:

Anonymous Jay at The Depp Effect said...

Ahahahaha! Well, he's never been my favourite Beatle, but at least I know who he is!

My teen years weren't exactly soaked in pop culture either, but I did have a transistor radio which I used to listen to with an earplug (only ONE) under the covers at night. My father was pretty intolerant too, and free with his denigrating comments so I didn't play it within earshot if I could help it. Later I had a record player of my own, but sadly no money to buy records!

12:44 am  
Blogger Jan Blawat said...

I went to see Sir Paul in Las Vegas a couple of years ago and was prepared to be disappointed because, after all, he's gotten old. His show was great, he was gracious, professional, and fun. He had the audience in the palm of his hand. It doesn't matter whether he's the greatest musician your country has produced, he's done you all proud.

4:43 am  
Anonymous Shooting Parrots said...

I agree, he wasn't on the best form last night. I think he needs to knock his songs down and octave or two. It didn't really matter because such was the wave of hysteria that the crowd would have cheered the palace cat.

But don't you think that McCartney looks more and more like Ken Dodd?

10:23 am  
Blogger Jennyta said...

My dad had very similar views but I do owe my appreciation of classical music to him. We joined a record club when I was in my teens and built up a good collection to play on the Dansette. However, I did have my own transister radio at 16 and so could listen to Radio Luxembourg at night. Happy days!

12:08 pm  
Blogger Yorkshire Pudding said...

In her defence, I doubt that Paul McCartney has heard of her either. I think he'd have been better off miming like most of them used to do on "Top of the Pops".

4:19 pm  

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