Tuesday, January 17, 2012

Come On Baby Do The Juke Box Jive

Paul Mason's recent Why It's All Kicking Off Everywhere analyses how the new global revolutions have been fundamentally dynamised by the influence of social media tools and the internet. Mark Steyn's earlier After America - which cheerily dissected the imminent and irreversible end of Western Christian Civilisation - also included a brief insight into a future of "humanity turned inward" where blackberry-originated tweeting and Facebook updating was thus "pioneering a form of immortality that extends the moment forever."

Youtube alone is solely responsible for one of the most intrigueing social phenomena of our time as affecting huge swathes of the middle-aged population. This being the ability to experience gut-wrenching and dewy-eyed nostalgia over a golden past for a glorious 365 days of the year now as opposed to just the late afternoon of Christmas Eve or when you turn your Christmas lights off the following evening.

So while cracking open that second bottle of red wine - and what with Monday being the new Friday during the winter months - one can transpose and tranquilise oneself alike on a light flight one never thought possible only a few years previously.

Richard O'Sullivan leaving behind the 6 Myddleton Terrace flat in Earl's Court (and the two hottest girls in Seventies London) for the life of a highwayman in Dick Turpin, the strange ending of the ITV children's classic Brendon Chase with three teenagers huddled together like H-Block protestors in the Eighties, those extraordinarily emotive theme tunes from Robinson Crusoe to Mister Rossi and the sheer otherness of Catweazle, Lizzy Dripping or even Wurzel Gummidge.

One may ponder in turn as to how groups like Vinegar Joe, Horslips or Be Bop Deluxe never achieved the commercial acclaim they deserved. Or indeed in turn why utterly commercial fodder from The Rubettes to Chicory Tip to Brendon to The Congregation still sound so utterly wonderful - The Rubette's Juke Box Jive being the great lost song I wish The Ramones had covered.

There is all the sheer craziness of Frank Carson's frigging lunatic Ip Dip Chibberdy Dip single, the rock n roll jiving in leather to the magnificent Remember This down at The Wheeltappers and Shunters Social Club or Northern Ireland showband Clubsound's Belfast Belfast classic which would give half the government opposition frontbench a stroke if they heard it today.

That warm glow of familiarity for better days when things were not quite so tough - or just the vain hope of one day hearing the theme tune to Hope and Keen's Crazy Bus again - only qualified of course by the the rank evil of the IRA bursting French chanteur Claude Francois' eardrums during a 1975 bombing of the Hilton Hotel in London or the bitter knowledge that Vesta Chicken Curry or Beef Rissotto probably were as shit back then as they would taste today.