I’ve really been enjoying the Seven Ages of Rock series on the BBC these last few weekends, from the Who (“Won’t Get Fooled Again” is still one of the most kick-ass rock songs with great guitar licks) and Hendrix (who give me my theme tune, “hey, Joe, where you going with that laptop in your hand? Gonna write my old blog down…”) through the wonderfully weird late 60s early 70s stuff (Floyd and the Wall, the wonderfully androgynous Bowie), the performance rock (dear old Freddie and the boys from Queen), the Metal years (memories of my leather-clad, long-haired, headbanging times at Madison’s rock club), great goddam music.
Then last week’s episode, Left of the Dial, charting indy rock from the mid 80s to mid 90s, from early REM through to Seattle, Nirvanna, Henry Rollins, Black Flag, the grunge scene. Again great music, great attitude (almost punk in the DIY and fuck-it-all attitude) but for me personally that one was something more; that was the soundtrack to my student life, the music of my college years, drinking, noisy parties with various substances passing around, good friends, more drinking, doing a course I really liked (where watching movies counted as ‘research’) and basically having one of the best bloody time of my life (never understood the cliche that the school days were the best of your life – college was much better. It came with louder music, later night, longer mornings and drink and other pleasurable things). Somewhere along the line I also managed to earn myself a good degree in between waking up after a party and finding someone had painted ‘graffiti’ on our flat’s walls with shaving foam or tripping over my wall mirror on the floor because someone had taken it down to snort off of. And that music there all the time. That episode just plugged me directly back into my mid 20s student life for an hour. And I fucking loved it. Might be years in the past now (scary to think how many years and how quickly they’ve gone past) but god that music just pulled it right out of me as if it was yesterday. And at least that era didn’t end with a shotgun in the mouth for me. I love classical music, I adore jazz, but a big part of my soul is forever rock and roll, a true believer in the Holy Trinity: bass, drums and electric geetar, baby. There’s a part of me that still wants to bawl out “touch me, I’m sick”. I hope there always will be.