Comment: What Would Neil Do? Part 1

June 15, 2009

Like everyone this week I have constantly asked myself “what would the Red Hot Chilli Peppers have done in this situation?” and then done the complete opposite. Tiresome propulsive bass lines have been banished, lengthy trousers sported and all sports or any physical activities that would play out like a Pepsi-max advert for virgins have been gratefully dismissed. It’s been pretty enlightening as I’ve realised that George Clinton is actually pretty shit and I have stayed away from any friends who may be dealing with some sort of drug issues fearing for my life that a mawkish ballad that “meant loads to me dude” was nearby.

Drug abuse is pretty passé and in the world of nightlife has become as much small talk as the weather is for the day time grapple between people who work with (hate) each other (writes Melanie Phillips). It’s socially acceptable to droll out a litany of your chemical intake and imbalances because that is the same as announcing “it’s humid but not close which is nice”. Recall each time you announced how (insert Danny Dyer adjective) you were and let the oozing realisation of what a sad state of affairs you are overcome you. Like many of us our measurement of what a good time equates to is when we were so metaphysically cocooned that we could not relate to or comprehend friends, physical objects, concepts of time or the tail of toilet paper wrapped around your legs on Burnt Oak Station platform. Own up we’ve ALL been there!!! Shit I’m writing Michael Macintyre jokes (a man still getting mileage out of pulling a face and saying the word “hob nob” repeatedly (in different accents – each one remarkably like that of a prize cunt) until everyone scratches the blood from their ears praying for silence). You might as well have been locked in a box with sherbet dib dabs poured into every hole until congealed and congregated in your gut the fizzing sugar paste explodes an internal vomiting wave coating your digestive system. And for what? What joy and nirvana has this plethora of ambrosia blocked our senses to? Why are we drug rich, spiritually poor? What have we missed? Jesus? Some Roy Ayres album we were bothered about for 4 minutes in 1993? The notion that House music is more relevant than Bobby Brown (play New Edition and Don’t Be Cruel back to back and then throw your Nu-Groove Collection into Banardos)? No, none of the former but the love of the genius of Neil Sedaka and his joy.

What a digression! But without it, best beloved, you would believe my eyebrows so arched that they are holding up my forehead. No I’ve not come to the guilty pleasures orgy party late, chap hanging out to find the last of the ironic man secretions has already been cleaned off the warm body of what “is really cool this week in ES magazine.” I speak with a total love of all things Neil. The man is a colossus and perhaps only for a handful of songs. Coupled with a voice that has retained a pureness of tone through decades that is delicious light and as gay as cotton candy made into my little ponies but stitched together with joy plus a joyful bitchyness on any youtube duet he’s doing (a shameless scene stealer). He was on the One Show this week, sullied by that Happy Shopper experience no doubt but still holding his end up knowing full well that every trend of cool sprouting from the 20 century and beyond, riding the waves of those totemic values of black, gay and Jewish which underpins all that is great streams forth from that smile, that comb over and his songs. In part II we shall examine Neil in detais, how he helped make “Heart of the Congos”, his relationship to Sir Victor Uwaifo, the essence of joy and looked in to the internet lie that Jerusalem was written by a prophetic William Blake told by the angels that Neil plays the Royal Albert Hall on 30th June. Any postcards describing Neil as cheesy, corny or old showbiz will be forwarded to the Test Pressing Thought Crimes Department who are already far too busy trying to work out when Level 42 officially became shit (“but shep petting-zoo did a mix of “Running In The Family”..).


[Adam Khan]


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