Thursday, 15 April 2010

A blast from the past...

Last night we went to see Robyn Hitchcock. The last time I saw him was about 1997 and I wrote a review of the gig for the local music paper - I even have a copy of the paper somewhere in the depths of my b.c. (before children) memorabilia.

I'm sure Youtube has plenty of evidence, but all I can say is that Robyn Hitchcok is the definition of aquired taste. He looks like a camp, overweight professor with bad taste in clothes. His music is sort of beat poetry set to Sgt Pepper, having a punk day trip on a very bad hangover. And if that makes you curious, just go google him.

The bad thing about staying in the same town for more than 20 years is that sometimes your previous (in my case b.c.) life leaps out at you when you least expect it. Last night I was approached through the dark of the venue by some guy who I vaguely recognised. He said 'You might remember me...Glastonbury 1993? You were there with M.' He then continued to tell me all the bands that had played at Glastonbury that year (as if that would jog my memory...yeah).

Er...excuse me but that was 27 years ago. I can't even remember what I did last week, let alone twenty-bloody-seven years ago! What is this, Master-bloody-mind??

Of course I remember M, but did we really go to Glastonbury together? Gawd knows. I'd like to think that perhaps it was the recreational - er - pharmaceuticals that have made some of my past years a bit fuzzy round the edges. But no, alas I have always had a terrible memory, for faces, places, times, and - er - pretty much everything. I have lived most of my life inside my head either thinking about what is past, or what might happen in the future and somewhere in the midst of that I have always failed to notice what is happening in the present.

I was shocked to see another blast from the past at the gig last night. A girl (woman now I suppose, though she looked the same as 25 years ago) who dated one of my friends at Polytechnic. I remember her distinctly. She worked at Virgin Records (or was it HMV?). They dated for about 6 months or more. They had a humungous drunken row on New Years Eve that I was a witness to (she phoned the police - I tried to mediate - ha ha). Oh joy. Don't you just love those new years eve's of your twenties? Anyway if there's one thing I learnt from their relationship it is that if you are going to sleep with more than one girl at a time, don't choose a girl whose name begins with the same letter as your other girlfriend. One slip and oops!

Ah well, perhaps back to normal blogging tomorrow...


MadameSmokinGun said...

Robyn Hitchcock! It's now driving me mad that I can't remember the title of his most 'famous' song - about an uncle's machine called Reg or something? Please help. My memory is atrocious too. I've spent all day looking for a 4 year old friend's favourite book that we borrowed, which I tidied into a 'safe' and 'logical' place 3 days ago. I really need to find it if only to feel I've reclaimed some marbles (I've already ordered another copy from Amazon in the hope this will make it materialize). That secure retirement home for forgetful old trouts who keep repeating themselves is already getting my room ready. Robyn Hitchcock! I'm sure he had a song about an uncle called machine with a Reg. I saw him supporting Billy Bragg (strange mixture) somewhere north (North London I mean - like Camden or somewhere) years ago. I do remember Billy Bragg pointing at me and telling me off for swearing at the rest of the crowd for lifting me off my feet and separating my upper body from my lower in human cross tides. I remember that. Apparently the BBC were recording it and didn't need my input. Now....... um..... yes Robyn Hitchcock! He had this song about a Reg called uncle with a secure retirement home .......... Have you seen that book anywhere?

Big mamma frog said...

Uncle's machine called Reg? Er...Dunno, but it sounds like pretty much all his songs. Did he really have a famous song? Blimey, that's news to me. Supporting Billy Bragg? That's some combination. Can't imagine them getting together for a beer afterwards, can you?

Books and memory...yeah...I once gave away a bag of books to a charity shop, only to find out a fortnight later that the baby board book ('what do we need this for...I'll get rid of it') among them was one we had taken out from the library. Oh those librarians at our library must have such a giggle about parents like me while eating their peanut butter sandwiches and letting their hair down. At least I was honest. I could have said the dog ate it.

Big mamma frog said...

Ok, couldnt' resist googling it because it's late and I'm bored and I need more red wine.

There is a mention of Reg in the song lyrics here:

and here:

Do you think he has a thing about the name Reg? Or perhaps it just rhymes

Anonymous said...

It takes all kinds to make a world.......................................................

MadameSmokinGun said...

It came to me while I was folding - I do my 'best thinking' while folding (ie: next time I really must add the detergent etc) and after a few streaky snatches of 'sledge! ....uncle Percy's flying sledge.... no not Percy Sledge.... uncle thingy flying Brenda! Brenda's flying sledge....all aboard Brenda's IRON sledge! Yes! Yes!! Yes!!!!' And there - I just flicked onto and it really does exist - Brenda's Iron Sledge.

Still haven't found that plonking book tho'. But proud of my ability to remember the truly important things.

MadameSmokinGun said...

Sorry - me again. Had to just reiterate my genius - the 'Reg' bit was in there:

All aboard Brenda's Iron sledge
Please don't call me Reg
It's not my name

And I have been singing this bit for 2 days now.

Need help actually. Although it is better than Russ Abbott's 'I love a party with a happy atmosphere' which I had in my head before that - Primark's labels say 'Atmosphere' and it's really not funny.

Big mamma frog said...

Oh I had some irritating song in my head this morning...can't remember what it was now, thankfully. It was them kids that started me off.

Oh god! I've remembered what it was - it was the Sesame Street theme tune! Arrrghhh!

MadameSmokinGun said...

The Annoying Song game is one of my favourites tho'. Surrepticiously (no idea how you spell that - sorry) sneak up alongside someone and hum or nonchalantly sing a couple of lines of the most obnoxious song you can think of and then wait.

It won't take long. Prizes awarded for fastest results or for most furrowed brows - but the slow burners can often be the most satisfying. Confessing is optional.

Reeeeeaaallllyy bad 80's big hair-do hits usually seem to work the best for some reason but children's theme tunes are made for this game.

....I've got a handful of songs to sing songs and blue songs and songs to bring you...'

Walking away now...