Posts from 17th March 2013

Mar 13

kursaal longhairs and mechanical mice: wilko vs whacko! and other forgotten tales

FT21 comments • 1,909 views

feelgoodlonghair(quick notes on a partial late-night viewing)

Reliably, Julian Temple still really annoys me. It was already a third of the way in when I switched his Doctor Feelgood doc (I’d only just got in and hadn’t realised BBC4 were screening it tonight), but I was watching because Bob Stanley had told me he liked it. Bob’s judgments are good, and I was probably grumbling about past Temple action when he stepped in to rep for Oil City Confidential: long ago I wrote this about The Filth and the Fury (the word “dinosaur” subbed in there unwanted unpleasingly, grrr), and this about Joe Strummer: The Future is Unwritten (JSTOR sub need, I’m afraid, grrr bah). So yes, I’m still really quite grumpy about these, the first especially.

But then I’m way over-invested in how people write and think about the Pistols, and if I’ve warmed to posh dead Joe a little, I still dislike the Clash enough that anything that doesn’t at least somewhat reflect my irritations is going to bug me. Both times there’s seriously the problem of placing yourself retroactively onside with the lads — of treating a long-ago victory as a battle still courageously to be fought and won. But with Feelgood the issue of belatedly declaring yourself a warrior on behalf of the correctly direction of history isn’t actually quite so much of an issue — like many supposed precursors of punk, their vanishment was by and large the price of its triumph — so I was willing to concede (or at least imagine) that Temple might do well by them.

Well, he does and he doesn’t.