By Ginger | October 3, 2000
So, now there’s a band in place and the songs sound great… but something is missing. I can’t quite put my finger on what it is, either. Mind if I just throw some thoughts your way? If any of them stick then maybe we’ll have made some use of this time together, ‘cos chances are my little baby boy is gonna start the dawn chorus any second now and we’ll be back to where we came in. So, for now, just me and you… let’s just talk.
Y’see, I’m the kind of guy that loves music. With me, it never had to have any chart reference. In fact, that sad shower of faceless poodles always reminded me of those old shooting galleries where the ducks would appear for a few seconds, only to trundle on by and be replaced by a different piece of tin, maybe with slightly less bullet holes. I think they made Space Invaders from that design too. And I heard someone on TV the other day saying that Space Invaders was the originator of shooting games?!?! I guess time renders everything historical but this comes with no guarantee of value. It just gets old, right?
Anyway, where was I?
See, I tend to do that sometimes these days. Parental sleep deprivation they call it. I think it’s bullshit myself. If that were the case, then how come there aren’t more interesting parents? Don’t get me started on that bag of cats. What is it with people and babies? The cool people you know don’t change at all, but the other people – y’know, the ones that you always knew wouldn’t be there for you anyway (y’know how you just know that?) – those guys just get indifferent to you. What’s that all about? It couldn’t be that they’re jealous of the fact that all your parts are all working and they harbour some fear that theirs might not be? Naaah! That can’t be it. I prefer to think that they were just that shallow all along. It’s just that, until having a kid, it didn’t bother you too much. Nowadays you don’t want those kind of people around your baby, so the radar is a little more sensitive. But how about those good friends, though? Didn’t you start loving your real friends more than your family?
Fatherhood is weird, man. It’s kinda like ‘out with the old and in with the new’, except no one tells you what’s old and what’s new. It just kinda presents itself. You’ve gotta improvise. Back to that guarantee of value again, right? Old just seems old these days. I always thought that I’d feel older somehow after having a kid. D’ya think maybe that’s just an excuse not to have ’em? ‘Cos I feel more into life than I ever did with nothing to do on a weekend. Hangovers don’t really piss me off any more because there isn’t enough time in the day to think of myself any more. Wallowing seems to definitely be a thing of the past. Man, sometimes I want to tell everyone to have kids – y’know, maybe it’ll lighten them all up. It sure did me.
And there ain’t half some miserable, self-absorbed, motherfuckers out there. They could use a lift. A loss of self. That’s what I always thought wisdom was anyway, loss of self. Accepting things without judgement. Action without premeditated thought. That way you can’t ever be scared of anything… except for your kids being brought up around a bunch of morons, that is! Man, if those people made my lad stupid I would personally kill them all. See? That’s another thing that comes with kids – the ability to kill. Man, I wouldn’t even think for a second about it, those fuckers would die. End.
So I’m getting too heavy, right? Well, there’s nothing wrong with getting heavy now and again… as long as it’s only now and again. So anyway, where was I? Oh yeah, music.
What is it with music these days anyway? No one seems to be looking forward to much any more. OK, I know the Scala show is gonna be pretty spectacular, but people sure are quick to dismiss something nowadays. Take, for instance, the first day of sales for that show. Those tickets went out quick! HOT, HOT, HOT! And boy did everyone think they were working with Bon Jovi for a second! Then the tickets dried up because there hadn’t been enough supplied for demand. Well, you can guess what happened then can’t you? The sales slowed down and all the suits decided it was just a flash in the pan – y’know, no need to get too excited. For a second there I thought everyone was really into it, but they aren’t are they? They’re into looking good, and fast sales make other suits stand up and notice. Imagine if everyone worked as hard as they want to be admired… man, this business would look like the golden age of Hollywood! When, in reality, it looks more like Blackpool on a Wednesday night. But those suits, man, they can sure talk themselves excited when they want to. I think it’s nearly sold out now. Don’t really matter somehow… it didn’t sell out in a day!
Good job we’re still together, though. I wish I didn’t want to make money, y’know? Life would be so easy. Just stick out a record every now and then and play in front of your friends, now that would be cool. I guess I’d have to be much, much, meaner than I am to do that, what with a kid ‘n’ all. Still, if there’s any comfort in this shallow business then it’s that no matter where you go in the world people are all the same… but your friends are different!
Speaking of friends, did I tell you about the band yet? Oh man, we make a great noise! Sounds like we’ve known each other for years. Remember asking me “how are you gonna do the harmonies live?” a while back? Just wait until you hear this shit! People are telling me that there’s a lot of competition these days. What’s that, a threat? Then fucking bring it on!
Great music always takes people by surprise these days. That’s my secret weapon, I guess, the element of surprise. Thank fuck no one thinks much these days, or I’d be out of a job! I’ve never been in a band with a real-life guitar hero before either! Never needed to be, I can always pull something out the bag myself. But having Conny around has been a real ear-opener. Man, those guitar heroes… now they can shred! Conny is too cool, man! It’s handy him being a singer ‘n’ all that too. Makes those ‘difficult’ close harmonies seem like maths homework – y’know, something that used to be a problem. And I’ve always been a little scared of third part harmonies because if they aren’t right they’re just about the most wrong thing in the world. I’m a country and western fan so I love harmonies. But in the way that a good chef loves food, I hate bad harmonies.
Man, that Jon Poole can sing too! Jon is the guy that played bass on the album, but he never sang. I mean, I knew he was talented but, fuck, man, that guy can’t do things wrong. OK, I take that back. Musically speaking, he’s as solid as the pavement, but he ain’t called ‘Random Jon Poole’ for nothing. From fucking in the toilets, to sticking chewing tobacco on his dick, to having what can only be described as ‘fits’ when The Who come on the pub jukebox, to consistently coming out with the most abstract conversation I’ve ever heard… there’s no mystery to why this guy is in the Cardiacs.
There is, however, a mystery to the Cardiacs.
And I have never played with a rhythm section as tight as Jon and Tom. Oh yeah, Tom Broman. He’s this Swedish guy that learned the album in three days by tapping on his legs and playing air drums to it! The guy is ridiculous, man. Used to play with a band called Send No Flowers. Does all the showman stuff everyone’s too self-conscious to do these days (but are all sat in their room practicing!) and plays double bass drums like a machine gun through a PA stack. Takes a guys face off when he goes. Astounding! Yeah, I’m more than happy with the guys. No bitching, no moaning, no pussies, no problems.
Well one little problem.
I really don’t like this business I’m in. It really is too empty. Too easy to deceive. I could cut off my hair and play acoustic numbers with a boyish grin on my face, and I know I could sucker all those other suckers into thinking I was the next real deal. Can’t do it. Not for me, not for Jake, and not for you. Of course I’ll keep going, it’s what I do. And how else am I gonna get to see the best stage show in the world? No one else is going to do it, are they? They’re all too busy making suits happy. Me? Let’s just say I don’t get nervous about music. It’s my gift and no one can take that away from me.
Ah, there goes little Jake now. Guess I’ll have to drink up and split. But, hey, I’m glad we can have these little chats. It’s good to talk, right? And you’re a good listener, man. Thanks for being there and I’ll see you again real soon. Maybe at the Scala? Oh, and bring a crash helmet. I’ll be armed that night!
Love ya, man.