I Hate Music
THE BEACH BOYS – Fun? Fun? Fun?
I was cornered by a man with what can only be described as yellow hair in my local gin palace last week, something which perturbed me greatly. I dislike being cornered at the best of times, but when I have to fear not only for my life but a prime glass of Bombay Sapphire and Schweppes my battle skills are somewhat impared. However with my free hand I managed to tug on his ridiculously scraggy beard and ask why he was disturbing the peace of the juniper berry.
“The Beach Boys” he breathlessly forced out, as I applied pressure on his thorax. “They must be your weakness.”
I finished the fool off with a quick knee to the solar plexus and removed his No Fear T-Shirt, rightly thinking that he would have no need for it anymore, having looked fear in the face and been very, very afraid. But he did leave me and Sapphire musing (for which do not mean making terrible records in the style of Anyone Can Play Guitar). You see the truth is I have never really considered the Beach Boys worthy of my aprobation. A couple of surfer dudes, a madman and a dead guy really should not concern me. And their record – and indeed records – speak for themselves. Especially “Fun Fun Fun”.
As a child I was always wary about anything which advertised itself as Fun Fun Fun. As far as I could understand things could only really be Fun, and most things described as fun were not even that. Where is the fun in a fun sized Mars Bar? Where is the Fun in Fun by The Blue Aeroplanes (I’ll tell you that actually, watching their “dancer” spazzing out and knocking the half arsed Gerard Langley into the drum kit). Ripping the wings off of beatles is fun, as is ripping the piss out of The Beatles – and Wings. The day I had my first gin and tonic is about the only time I have experienced Fun Fun. But never have I reached level three of fun, the so called nirvana of Fun that the Beach Boys made it to.
So let us examine what it is that creates the third degree of fun? the clue is in the line
“And we’ll have fun fun fun til your daddy takes the T-Bird away”.
T-Bird can only be short for Thunderbird. Yes, this song is merely the Beach Boys paean to underage drinking. You can see them hanging round phone boxes with their acned faces sureptitiously sipping from litre bottles of this foul fortified wine. Being lary to honest decent citizens whilst their young brains go wild on this nasty cocktail. It probably led to Dennis Wilson glue sniffing round the bike sheds whilst Mike Love graduated on to two litre bottles of Strongbow and Spesh. As for loopy old Brian Wilson – the reason Smile was never released is nothing to do with a nervous breakdown. What do you think the 20/20 on bottles of Mad Dog actually means? Its the number of years it takes simpletons to recover from the hangover.
MANIC STREET PREACHERS – Let Robeson Sing
I have to say I feel for Nicky Wire. Not because of his passionate lyrics and political committment, though to be fair he’s not actually worse at those than the bloke from The Alarm. But because he, like me, is a poor speller. “Let Robeson Sing” is actually meant to be called “Let Robson Sing”, Wire accurately calculating that dim TV hunk and karaoke clown Robson Green is the only vocalist beside whom James Dean Bradford (increasingly looking more like Marlon Dean Brando) would sound good. Alas a slip of the pen and Bradfield finds himself singing about some old folkie. A second slip-up for the Manics in two singles, this. I was ready to give “Ocean Spray” a fair hearing: “I may hate the Manics,” I thought, “But finally we have a band willing and able to tackle head-on the real medical issues facing women today. Good on them!” And then it turned out to be about his Mum dying. Ocean Spray’s not going to help with that! I can only assume that when James asked his girlfriend why she was buying so much cranberry juice she got embarrassed and muttered something about it being good for the “c-word”, and the poor man got cystitis and cancer muddled up. Poor old Mrs. B – it tastes horrible. If I’m ever on my deathbed, readers, I expect at least Sea Breezes.
CHARLATANS WATCH 2001
As avid viewers of I Hate Music will know, I have a particular fondness for The Charlatans and their life jacket lipped frontman Tim Burgess. The jist of this stems from guessing which icon of rock or pop will they rip off on each of their new releases. Well, blow me down with a force ten gale of tuneless yelpery from Burgess’s own lips if they haven’t gone and picked squeeling pig era Rolling Stones. For some reason Tim thinks that what the world needs now is someone sounding like a poor man’s Mick Jagger doing that silly falsetto which never got on any of the greatest hits records.
And Love Is The Key? Well it certainly isn’t in any key usually recognised by Western popular music. They might have been better in the key of F. Or at least F’ off.