Sometime in the ’80s, I was at the dentist’s. As the chair reclined, and my feet heaved into view, my middle-aged dentist greeted my shoes like long-lost friends:
“Winklepickers! Good God, I haven’t seen them in 20 years!“, he exclaimed, surprise, nostalgia and happiness all jostling in his expression.
Winkle-what? I was disgusted – to my youthful mind, I was wearing “pointy shoes” (all the way by mail order from Melanddi* of Carnaby Street, London (the small indie store where the indie popsters and fans alike all got their daft shoes), via the small ads in the New Musical Express), they were the most happening thing around, and how could this middle-aged guy possibly know anything about them?
*Melanddi’s “shops were crammed full of high fashion shoes and clothes for men and women. It was also crammed full of the pop groups of the time. Most importantly, it was crammed full of “The Dedicated Followers of Fashion”, our customers.” Link <here>.
Of course, The Beatles had been wearing winklepickers from before I was born. Bit of a lesson there, for my arrogant younger self.
Nothing new under the sun.
I’ve long thought that, in pop music, there are no new worlds left to conquer. Pretty much everything had been done between 1920 and 1990.
Don’t knock recycling though. If it’s good, it’s good. In 1985, the post-punk thrash of “Wipe Out“, a very short “song” by The Stupids always put a smile on my face – you can always trust a song which starts “1, 2, 3, GO“:
Last week, on <Dandelion>, I was just as cheered to hear an echo of the Stupids in a “I am not a machine”, a song by South Korean band, the Drinking Boys and Girls Choir:
Pandemic or not, the future is good if bands are still making noises like that.
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