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Blog: Six Ages Of Rock +1

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Like most people too grown-up/busy/knackered to go out on a Saturday night, I've watched most of that Seven Ages Of Rock programme on the telly, and for the most part, it was ACE. OK, it glossed over all sorts of FACTS and it wasn't exactly DEFINITIVE nor nothing, but I really liked the way it (mostly) stuck to one or two particular people and showed loads of clips about them. I ESPECIALLY liked the way they did the sixties with Jimi Hendrix, which not only made a nice CHANGE, but have us a chance to have a TON of high quality JIMI MOMENTS. Show me a person who doesn't think Jimi Hendrix is GRATE and I will show you a person who just hasn't heard ENOUGH of him, and really, that's another Quite Nice thing about his OUVRE in that it hasn't really been played to death like many of his CONTEMPORARIES. Also, the bit where he's playing live on The Lulu Show and goes "WOOAAH!" and re-tunes his guitar mid-song, THAT is the MOST COOL THING IN ROCK: EVER.

So yes, I was rather enjoying it as it went along, especially the PENULTIMATE episode with Nirvana and REM and ESPECIALLY Kim Deal's Bass Class (which Frankie didn't see but which the rest of us were able to recite IN FULL for him at our subsequent practice: "Fancy bass players go DUM DUM DUM DUM, DUM de de DUM DUM - they can't help it!") and all the inevitable REMINISCENCE that went with it. I used to have a pair of jeans with a big rip in the knee, but it happened one afternoon by ACCIDENT when I got particularly sweaty, knelt down, and the KNEE stuck to me and TORE, but NOBODY believed me.

THUS I was quite looking forward to the INDIE episode. "OK, " I thought to myself, "I know how this works - it's NOT going to be exactly how it happened, various things will be missed, glossed over, got wrong and so forth, and it's only going to be a COUPLE of the proper bands, but that'll be FINE." And LO! for the first half, all was WELL. Johnny Marr was lovely, the music was ACE, and the lack of non-Smiths bands was just the way they were doing the programme. FINE.

I WINCED a little as we moved on DIRECTLY to The Stone Roses, but HEY! I knew we were going to get to see EITHER Suede doing Metal Mickey on Top Of The Pops OR Suede doing Animal Nitrate on The Brits, so that was FINE, and then found myself feeling NOSTALGICALLY WARMED by Noel Gallaghers OLD ACT of being a bit of a knob, especially when placed alongside Damon Albarn's OLD ACT of being a bit fey and daft and not going on: WE DON'T BELIEVE YOU DAMAN. Yes, they missed out Pulp and Radiohead, who i THINK might JUST have been FAIRLY IMPORTANT to Britpop and, actually, could have been covered INSTEAD of the bit about Noel Gallagher shaking hands with Tony Blair, but they DID at least interview Bonehead, which again, made a nice change and was Lovely. Who'd've thought him and Jimi Hendrix could turn out to be so similar?

HOWEVER. After Britpop they decided to CARRY ON: DANGER! Doing a historical treatment of something that only ended 8 years ago is a bit DODGY, carrying on to try and do the same with something ONGOING is surely a bit daft? "Be calm, Hibbett", I thought, "I'm sure it will be fine. But what will they cover? The long lasting influence of Belle & Sebastian, The Velvet Underground of Indie? Perhaps they'll talk about how the Internet has radically changed the way bands communicate with their fans and are bypassing major labels, thus recreating Indie? Or maybe they'll just pick up a cover of Heat and see what useless spud-faced junkie will do interviews for crack?"

THE LIBERTINES?!?! WHAT? Things became SLIGHTLY clearer when the Expert Witnesses turned out to be That Pillock Who Used To Edit The NME, That Pillock Who Edits The NME, and Anthony Who Took Over NME.COM from Pauly And Is Apparently All Right. Does anyone else see a pattern?

THE LIBERTINES?! YES, that first album was dead good, but COME ON! I'm sure Stupid Hat Manufacturers think they are THE BEES KNEES, and yes, dopey Pete is in the paper all the time for being a POSH TWIT, but IS THAT ENOUGH? Once again, I SIMMERED DOWN, ready to be persuaded, but then THE INTERVIEWS began. "Oasis and The Stone Roses were the kids from the Council Estates, we were the kids found in the bins round the back of the estate", said posh son of an Army Major Peter. AARGH! Call Tim Westwood, SOMEONE IS STEALING HIS ACT.

The MOST ANNOYING bit tho was when they got on to "Guerilla Gigs". These are ANNOYING ENOUGH as it is: "Hey! Let's be INSANELY RADICAL and do a GIG, right, but WITHOUT getting our record corporation to pay for advertisements, and not even flypost! AMAZING!" ARGH! The FACT that the programme, like band acted like THIS was something SPECIAL and UNIQUE, rather than WHAT EVERY BAND EVER ALREADY DOES, was a LITTLE annoying, the FACT that The Media at the time and this programme AGREED rather demonstrated how LITTLE they knew of ACTUAL BANDS, Indie or otherwise. NGGG!!

But even as the narrator said "they played in ever more outrageous venues, such as the back rooms of pubs and people's houses" (NGGGG!!!!) WORSE was to come: just as I'm thinking "OK, OK, let's be calm and FORGIVING here, they were after all playing gigs for THE FANS. That must count for something?" came the ABSOLUTE BOMBSHELL. I was not aware of this at the time, but apparently they CHARGED people a TENNER to get in to these gigs!

A TENNER?!? Charging people AT ALL is bad enough - you can't really say it's an equal relationship between band and fans when you personally are forcing them to PAY OUT for the HONOUR of coming round your house for a singalong - but TEN QUID? It was at this point i FLEW INTO A RAGE, KICKED IN the TV screen and THREW IT OUT OF THE WINDOW.

Well, I would have done, but I was a bit tired and i'd bought the telly as a GIFT for The Audience Of My Gig, and she wouldn't have been too pleased with me so instead i HARPED ON about it a bit until it was time to go to sleep. THAT is how annoyed i was! GRR!!

Still, the rest of the series was dead good, and it DID cause what MAY be one of the BIGGEST CHANGES in the History Of The Validators: Tim has bought some HOT RODS. They appeared in the Nirvana episode, when Dave Grohl was talking about how he needed something to enable him to play QUIETER but without having to change his playing style to MIMSY. HE was raving about them and, in select areas of London and The Midlands, Validators Various were suddenly thinking "Hey! TIM!" (or "Hey! ME!" in one case) After YEARS of us JOKING about him getting brushes to TEMPER his MIGHTY ROAR these have suddenly appeared in our lives to do a SIMILAR job, but in a ROCK/non-JAZZ way. He's taking them with him to Indie Tracks so's we can have CAMPFIRE SINGALONGS, and after that, who knows? Just keep me away from Neil Young Records!

posted 6/7/2007 by MJ Hibbett

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'course, you know why Pete used to charge a tenner on the door of his at-home gigs, don'tchya? Mucho crack rocks!
posted 9/7/2007 by Charlie

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