I hear the question on anyone’s lips who wasn’t around or interested in the British music scene of 1973, it was our O level year, of course we were interested in the British music scene of 1973, it was the only thing that got us through those dastardly exams, was the one thing that bound the whole class of us together even though there was a huge disparity of flavour and style and taste and even fashion.
Clifford T Ward, 1960s musician of moderate success, thence into school teaching of English and Drama in Bromsgrove where one of his pupils was Trudie Styler, yes you do know who she is, Stings totty.
A writer of melancholy like no other writer of melancholy before or since, take a deep breath, take two deep breaths, release them slowly, settle back into a large cushion with a cup of strong black coffee and cake, have some “My Time” and just melanchol (new word).
There was a movement in the early 1970s when a writer of music and words could find fame while handing his fortune over to a promoter, it was called the “singer/songwriter” genre and it bestowed a halo of awe on the artist for with it came no preconceptions, no Jonathan King-like Svengali hovering in the background deciding which glittery suit to wear next or which stunt to pull or which radio producer to bribe or which music newspaper reporter to harangue to death until they wrote about them, the singer/songwriter just got up and did their stuff, they wrote the songs, they sang the songs and people sat down and listened to them and appreciated them as pure unadulterated talent, for no Jonathan King style Svengali could ever tell a singer/songwriter that they knew better for the singer/songwriter always had the ultimate response up their sleeve of “I wrote the fooking thing Mr King, don’t tell me how it should be sung”
And then just last night and by misfortune I happened upon an interview of Cheryl Cole and I despaired of the facade, of the farce of the music industry today – I’m sure that Ms Cole has a fan base and I’m sure they all think that it really is her that’s singing those songs and I’m sure they’ve all swallowed the lie that its not the song anyway, its the “performance” that matters, well kids, its not, its not at all, you’ve been suckered into a multi-million pound scam that is called “The Charts” and it doesn’t have to be this way…