Saturday, 25 April 2015

live is life

You are in the living room of the high ceilinged Edwardian ground floor conversion flat belonging to your girl friend. You are kneeling on the smooth paisley fabric of the luxurious three-seater sofa. This is a sophisticated room, the style of which you had no hand in forming. You are essentially an archetypal musician who moved in with his bread-winning girlfriend. The black plastic hi-fi stack of record player cassette player and radio is tuned to BBC Radio 2. You have been told by your plugger to tune in and are now illegally recording the Simon Mayo show. His producer is talking, telling the disc jockey that he has found the most amazing song, which will surely be Christmas number one this year. Simon Mayo is not convinced and in a sneery voice announces that he finds the song to be similar to “Life is Life” (actually the title of the Laibach cover of “Live is Life”. You inwardly squirm at the absurdity of making a comparison based on the fact that both the Opus song and your own (I’m not even gonna try) contain the sound of a live crowd. Simon Mayo (now forever linked to the character of Pontius Pilot in your mind) decides to resolve the issue of whether this should be his single of the week by playing it and throwing out to the listening audience to choose between your record and another ersatz dance tune which is superficially pleasing and yet instantly forgettable. Simon Mayo is effectively washing his hands of a decision and simultaneously damning your record in the minds of the listener by not choosing it. The result is predictable and in January your softly spoken Irish accountant will once more enquire as to when you are going to release that song “I don’t think I’ll bother”. That’s a hit he’ll say. Somewhere in the attic of your semi-detached house on a crescent now in 2015 is a box containing the tape of the broadcast and one day you will rummage around, find it and relive that moment when it seemed that fate was in the hands of a drivetime disc jockey.

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