Over at What’s It All About? recently, Alyson wrote (amongst other things) about how difficult it is to complete a series which us bloggers may start.
A first world problem, for sure, but one with which I can totally empathise.
Coincidentally, whilst on my recent medically-enforced hiatus, I went through a load of previous posts and identified lots of ideas I had for a series of posts, which faltered after just a few.
And so I vowed to resurrect those that I still thought had some interesting or entertaining (I can only hope that at least one of those applies) posts to write. (The Chain excepted – I currently have no plans to bring it back, so jog on.)
Nowhere was this more evident than ones where I had been stupid enough to state in the title how many posts one could expect there to be in the series.
Amongst my old posts was this series – which, for those who have started reading the guff I write here since I lasted posted in this series, way back in June 2022 (actually, not as long ago as I had thought), the original idea was to mark the impending event of my 50th birthday by picking 50 acts that I hated, or ignored, or dismissed, or simply didn’t ‘get’ when I first heard them, but now rather like.
The idea was to post all 50 before my 50th birthday.
I am now 53, and the series remains only just over half-way done.
So here we go again, and I’ll begin with a band that I didn’t dislike but who I just didn’t really give any time to when they were in their pomp, possibly out of embarrasment of a misunderstanding I wrote about back in 2015, here. The video link no longer works on that post, so I shall explain: basically, whilst the ‘cool kid’ in question was talking about, and extolling the virtues of, Seven Seas by Echo & The Bunnymen, I thought he was talking about Seven Tears by The Goombay Dance Band.
Oh, the shame.
This faux pas – coupled with my brother’s purchase of the band’s (The Bunnymen, not The Goombay’s) greatest hits album, Songs to Learn and Sing (so I didn’t need to buy anything by them) – probably contributed to the ridiculous delay in my actually purchasing anything by them until 1987.
I was reminded of this recently when I went for coffee with my old mate Richie the other day. I’ve mentioned him often on these pages, but to recap: I met Richie when I went to Sixth Form; we bonded pretty much as soon as we met – mostly because I held pretty much the same political views as he did – and although we did lose touch for some time, we’ve reignited our friendship in the past ten years or so. My decision to move back to Peterborough was largely fuelled not just by a desire to save money on rent, or to be closer to my family, but to be able to see him more often than I already did. We now try to meet up at least one a month, go for coffee (we’re too old to trust ourselves to go to the pub, it seems), and have a good old catch-up and, inevitably, put the world to rights.
As I’m not yet able to actually walk into town for a rendez-vous, when he suggested meeting up this week, I accepted, but explained he would need to pick me up and drive me home again. Which he did, without complaint, of course.
He was also the person who, without question, helped me move the last of my stuff from London to my new home, and also took me to A&E – twice – when my recent health problems kicked in.
As I climbed into his car this time, he was listening to The Bunnymen’s 1980 debut, the peerless Crocodiles and when this tune came on, I told him it reminded me of my 18th birthday. My parents had hired a local venue and a DJ; Richie and I turned up early, partly to check all was in order, but mostly to give a load of vinyl to the DJ with strict instructions that this was the sort of tuneage we wanted. We did not want your usual party fodder: no Agadoo, no Ooops! Upside Your Head.
I don’t know if the DJ put this one on to familiarise himself with our demands, or to show that he understood our instruction, but this was the first tune he played:
I can’t remember which happened first: this, or my eventual purchase of a record by Echo & The Bunnymen. I suspect the latter might just edge it, but I bought what turned out to be the end of their first phase: a split happened shortly afterwards, with lead singer Ian McCulloch embarking on a brief solo-career, and the rest of the band plodding on and releasing the frankly quite dreadful Reverberation album in 1990, a phase of the band’s history which still causes me shudders to this day.
For in 1990, I was the Social Secretary at the Student’s Union at the college I attended and we had decided to throw the first ever Summer Ball at the end of my tenure. We needed a band to perform at the event – held in a massive marquee – and, as I recall, we had narrowed it down to either Echo & The Bunnymen, or Pop Will Eat Itself.
Whilst actually booking the bands that played the college was not my responsibility – that fell to the Entertainents Manager, with whom I had, shall we say, a fractious relationship, and thus won’t be named here – I was often consulted (and usually ignored) on which bands to book.
The Poppies were much more expensive, and, I thought, probably not well known enough at the time to justify the amount we were charging, so my vote went to The Bunnymen – they’d had hits, right? – completely missing the facts that a) McCulloch was no longer on the scene, and b) they had their not-very-good new album (which I hadn’t heard at this point) to promote.
Cue the most internimably dull set played in the history of human kind, devoid of anything that wasn’t on the new album or anything approaching a hit record and rightly ignored by the attending masses. If it wasn’t for the fact that 95% of the attendees had hired in tuxedos on which they didn’t want to lose their deposits, I swear there would have been a riot that night.
Anyway: here’s the opening track and lead single from the first Echo & The Bunnymen record I actually parted with my hard-earned cash for, 1987’s (at the time) swan-song eponymous Echo & The Bunnymen:
Echo & The Bunnymen – The Game
2 thoughts on “50 Ways to Prove I’m Rubbish #35”
Love The Game, a bit of a last hurrah from the classic line up, along with Lips Like Sugar
Thanks for the return mention Jez. You are right though, I think we have both learnt never to state in the title how many posts there will be in the series – asking for trouble.
Seven Seas/Seven Tears – you were young so you are excused. Should have done your research ahead of that Student Ball though. I can just imagine it.
I’m really chuffed to hear you have become reacquainted with your old school pal. Funny how decades can elapse but you can pick up almost where you left off again and have all those shared memories. It’s happened to me recently too and just so easy to slip back into it when you knew someone so well during those formative years.