I’ve often wished after watching a great film or reading a great book that I could wipe my memory and enjoy it with fresh eyes and ears, be surprised once again by the plot twists and shock endings and be left with that warm satisfied feeling all over again. Little did I realise that actually all I had to do was wait for the moth of time to chew great holes in my memory and I would be able to do just that. This occurred to me recently having watched a couple of films which I hadn’t seen for some time.
I’ll deal first with the obvious downside to this memory loss which was brought home to me when re-watching historical epic, Legends of the Fall, a film I vaguely remember not liking and thought might deserve a second chance. It did not. I have now wasted 266 minutes of my short time on earth watching Brad Pitt with long, flowing, golden hair prance around the beautiful American West (and, naturally, the mud-caked, lice ridden Western Front) like he is in some kind of shampoo advert. On my deathbed, I know I will resent the hours I spent watching Julia Ormond’s character fail to realise that, even in sparsely populated early 20th century Montana, there are more than three men and she doesn’t need to just move from one brother to the next, and back again, as one dies or abandons her.
Such misery was soon forgotten the following week, however, when watching High Fidelity. I had really enjoyed both the film and book, but somehow they had not made it to the ‘important stuff to remember’ part of my brain. There is so much to relate for any man of a certain age in High Fidelity, and there was plenty of comedy in the absurdity of a man’s ‘what’s it all about?’ moments.
For musicians and music lovers generally of course, it’s characters seem doubly relevant. We will all have met, (or may in fact BE), people who take their music a bit too seriously. People who can’t just pick of bunch of songs they like to listen to, but make selections which say something about themselves and which show anyone who may be paying attention their refined tastes. People for whom music is a form of religious zealotry and who view the choices of others with snobbish disdain, contempt or cries of heresy. It’s fair to say in this regard the three of us in Candi’s Dog have been both victim and perpetrator, abuser and abused over the years, but we hope that these days we may have developed a sense of perspective.
Equally the banal conversation of the three bored record shop employees would be more than familiar to any band who spends hours stuck in a car together traversing the length of the country travelling to gigs. However much the observations of High Fidelity may have hit the nail on the head, I did chuckle at the film ending where Rob dishes a few homemade fliers and posters around town for an album launch of an unknown act and produces a packed venue of adoring fans. If only it were THAT easy.
So if you are looking for a silver lining to getting older, besides that on your hairline; dig out an old album, book or film and enjoy it all over again. And if it’s been a while since you last heard Candi’s Dog….
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