ADMITTING I WAS WRONG - Issue #25
Realising the strong opinions I had in my youth weren't always the right ones...
Hello again, dear, dear readers.
How are you all? Well I hope and enjoying seeing the Spring gradually arrive. Well, it is in the UK. I hope wherever you are you’re enjoying seeing the seasons change
So, the idea for the theme for this newsletter struck me when I was watching the film Bohemian Rhapsody about the UK rock group Queen for the umpteenth time. Don’t get me wrong, I’m not really a Queen fan, well not until recently, and I always used to get quite “sniffy” about Queen as they churned out diverse hit after diverse hit in the late 70’s & 80’s.
I wasn’t really old enough to develop strong music tastes until my late teens in the 1980’s and by then, I was very much one of “cool set” - or at least I thought I was. Through my friendship group at the time, I was exposed to bands such as Joy Division (early New Order), Depeche Mode, Japan, Talk Talk (they were a band before it was a phone brand), Heaven 17 - the list could go on. And I loved it all - the music, the fashion and the general vibe that existed following this genre of music.
There was a very strong electronic influence in my listening taste, and so for a “ rock band of ageing Queens” (to directly quote Freddie Mercury) churning out soft rock tracks that somehow managed to make it in the electronic heavy 80’s charts - well, I just didn’t give them listening room. They were always dismissed in my listening choices, and I probably often slagged them off when talking about the latest music releases with my “cool” electronic-loving friends.
Fast forward 30 years, and I’m sat on a plane watching Bohemian Rhapsody on the inflight system, out of curiosity more than anything else due to the accolades the film received - how many awards did it win, someone?
Well, if I tell you by the end of the film I was in tears (much like everyone else, I expect) and totally gob-smacked that I had lived through all this and hadn’t a clue about the back stories that had gone on over the years. Admittedly, in the early years I was only a young child, but by the 80’s when the band (and particularly Freddie) started falling apart I was a late teens/early 20’s woman who voraciously read music newspapers, but somehow must have skipped past those stories.
And, I realised that my film choice on that flight had shown I had totally (and possibly quite arrogantly) misjudged a band and their music (for decades). And it absolutely brought me up short. Through watching the film, I witnessed the fights the band had to get their anthems released and the hard times that went on behind the scenes. And, I listened to their tracks with a new understanding and insight.
But it made me think what else had I judged unfairly and not been open enough to see the back story? It was certainly a sobering thought and I’d like to think it’s made some change to my behaviour since. I’d hope that I’m learning to be slower to make judgements about everything, and to consider the people in the story, not just their music, business, or whatever their offering is.
Isn’t it odd that a film choice made in my leisure time could have such a profound effect?
I’m now the owner of the DVD of Bohemian Rhapsody, and it’s become my go-to film of choice when I need a boost. You know, those times when you feel fed up and things go wrong and snuggling up under a blanket on the sofa watching a favourite DVD makes everything better.
So, Messrs Mercury, May, Taylor and Deacon, may I offer my sincere apologies in misjudging you all these years and thank you for the contribution you made to the British music scene. Oh, and Mr Taylor - you always were a bit of a dish ;)
DOLLOP OF POSITIVITY
This issue, I’ve chosen a quote from 40-something supermodel and musician, Karen Elson. Karen had a fab career as an in demand supermodel, working for all the major labels who left it all behind for a quieter life and to try her hand at musician-ship. A Manchester girl through and through, she was brought up in the same town as me, but has used her fame to promote causes that mean a lot to her, including the treatment of mid-life women etc.
So, that’s a wrap from me. I hope you enjoyed this issue and something in it resonated with you. I’ll be back in a fortnights time.
See you then