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My best CD…

… I am listening to “Panic of Girls” but without a shadow of doubt the best set of tunes laid down by man, woman or beast was Blondie’s “Parallel Lines”. Epic. I may never have believed in God but dear sweet fuck I have always believed in Harry and Stein (and Infante and Burke). My wife bought us tickets to see Blondie at the Manchester Apollo many years back. It was emotional. I had a beer and a fag and was touching distance from Debbie. It was like all my Christmases had come together (getting into Blondie – oh, er… missus! was bittersweet). Now oddly enough I have seen Blondie twice at the Apollo. The first time there was a mosh pit (what I was in with a fag and an ale) and the second time just a couple of years later we were seated in rows and had to remain seated and couldn’t have a beer in the Carling Apollo (not that Carling is beer – the weakest piss of the donkster if you ask me – officious cunts not only told me I (a) couldn’t have a fag and (b) I couldn’t have a brew of even that Canuck piss and (c) I couldn’t jump around. All these were verboten by the sort of people who normally work at airports. You know the bottom fondlers. And this is what really gets me? Actually two things do. The first is why? I mean Blondie are dirty sexy by which I mean dirty only if it’s done right so a fag and a pint fits. And I’ll tell you something about that first gig. Something the authorities ignored completely. I was seriously impressed by the audience. Blondie fans cover every age and socio-economic. There was no trouble at all even though more than a few of us were Brahms und Liszt. On the bus home I talked to a bloke who was gayer than a tree full of monkeys and we had a disagreement over what was their best album. I held with the Lines and he thought Plastic Letters. No fight ensued – I still hold with the Lines but he had an interesting point and I also have that CD and like it. So yeah after a completely trouble-free gig where a whole load of folks from teenagers to folks the age of Chris Stein (with their grand-kids on their shoulders) are generally making merry and causing no trouble whatsoever the next gig is locked down and you can’t have a fag or a pint or even get out of your seat. It was like going to a Methodist tea-dance rather than CBGBs.

The second thing is no-one else seemed to mind. The third thing is how quickly it turned and how little anyone seemed to care.


  1. Henry Crun says:

    I do like Parallel Lines, but for me Blondie’s best album is Autoamerican.

  2. NickM says:

    Whilst I also have a copy of Autoamerican and love, it Henry you are an infidel.

  3. RAB says:

    I first saw Blondie supporting the Talking Heads at Bristol Colston hall, they weren’t in the slightest bit famous then, and they were spellbindingly magnificent.

    Then of course (rubs it in, tee hee!) I bumped into Debbie back-stage at a Stranglers gig at the Roundhouse….;-)

  4. Ian B says:

    Oh, don’t get me started about all this. One way to look at it is that the 60s is so fucking over, it’s just completely fucking over. ANd the 70s. And the 80s. As you said, it’s “methodist tea dance” now. I’d wax lyrical about the original Marquee, a bottle of brown ale (wot, glass?!) and a ciggie and lovely goth girls and the stench of dope and Not Enough Fire Exits and the dark sticky glory of it all, but RAB would probably do a better job than me of that kind of thing. But, I’m glad that I was young when I was (even if I missed the 60s themselves, other than in a being-a-toddler kind of a way).

    So oh yes, guess the point I was aiming at is that none of that could happen now- I mean, the 60s, the 70s, rock’n'roll. You couldn’t have psychedelia, or punk, or anything you’d consider a counter culture. Not with everyone sitting neatly in rows, no drink, no drugs, no tabs. Couldn’t happen.

    We’re now just living in the aftermath of a brief social liberal period, as its remnants get older. It’s over, like the Jazz Age. Daresay I’ll be too old to see the next one when it comes. Pisses me off.

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