Oh yep, 1987.
A strange musical year for me…a transitional period which saw me coming down from the thrashing mid-80s metal high, and begin to branch out into industrial and Brit dark alternative music. These were my prime concert-going days…literally going to concerts weekly. I still pay the price today, having to cock my head in order to make sure I’m hearing correctly when soft-spoken people speak and I find myself asking “huh?” way much more than I’d like. Next step is a big shiny hearing aid protruding out my hairy ear canal. Jesus.
That’s what happens when you spend too much time in 100+ decibel environments. 1987, 1988, it was all crazy shit those years. Watching Motorhead on Saturday at the Santa Monica Civic Auditorium and maybe the following Friday, The Jesus And Mary Chain at the Hollywood Paladium. Good times.
1987 saw John Lydon resurface yet again with an album, “Happy” from his Sex Pistols reincarnation-al project, Public Image Limited.
I loved the Seattle track immediately, and I still do. Have the mp3 tucked away on my hard drive and it means so much more now that it did then.
Back then it was just a morass of disconnected words…it was music and nothing else. We all take away a little of our soul from the music we choose to listen to. Basically soulless at the time, subsisting for a boozy good time, I took nothing. Listening to the song now, I love its damnation of the corporate rat race. Well, that’s how I see it. Apparently, and unfortunately, when PIL wrote it they were actually (so the story goes) trashing the city which was but one more dead-end, boring, tour stop.
Really, nothing to do with the corporate rat race at all.
That’s fine. As I said, it’s what we take away from music that matters. It’s like literature…a novel can symbolize something entirely different to another person…something which may seem laughable and completely nonsensical to your discerning mind. We are so presumptuous as an intelligent race as to believe our interpretation of anything is gospel.
And listening to this song on a Sunday night before heading back to the rat race tomorrow seems so deliciously rebellious.
Shoeboxed around the rifle range
Have all your functions rearranged
Your mind and body gagged and bound
On a new familiar playing ground
The ordinary will ignore
Whatever they canot explain
As if–nothing ever happened
And everything remained the same again
What in the world
-Written by Dias, Edmonds,
Lydon, McGeoch, Smith
Prod. by Gary Langan & PIL