Like many people born in the Sixties if you'd told my younger self that, in later life I'd spend many a quiet Saturday morning sitting peacefully in the living room in the hazy fug of a hangover listening to Radio 2, I would have thought you'd lost the plot (Well, I would have believed the bit about the hangover, obviously - but Radio 2??) But there you are. That's the ageing process for you. I used to find the whole ambience of Jimmy Young and David Jacobs and two way family favorites (or "vomily favourites" as S.'s late father Derek would have called it) as oppressive as the heat from my paternal grandmother's real coal fire when we we used to visit and be subjected to that quiet, euthanasia-inducing bubble from the - as we called it then, younger reader(s) - wireless.
But now I can see what previous generations saw in the idea of being wrapped in the sonic comfort blanket of the past. I've always loved Sixties music and there's nowhere better to get a fix than Brian Matthews' (I nearly typed "the late" before that, for some reason...) Sounds of the Sixties. Where else could you hear a selection including Cream, a bit of Trojan, The Four Tops, a rare Animals b-side and P.P. Arnold without once having to zimmer frame it across the living room to turn the sound down/off? He is without question the greatest living Englishman (well, after Brian Eno and Patricia Routledge, at least) and I think the Queen should start thinking now about including him in her next honours list before it's too late...
Matthews played The Beatles 'Yes it is' and I've just consulted The Tome (Revolution in the head by Ian MacDonald - he really is "the late, btw) and here's what The Greatest Book Ever Written in English has to say:
Though Lennon was often brusquely unfeeling with women, his behaviour hid an idealist who believed in destiny and the One True Love. His most yearningly romantic song, 'Yes it is' is positively 19th Century in its haunted feverishness, its Poe-like invocation of the colour scarlet, and its hint that the lost lover of its lyrics is dead
It's Mother Love then, apparently, one that became "finished business for [Lennon] once he had found fulfillment with Yoko Ono" (I never thought I'd ever type the words fulfillment, Yoko and Ono in the same sentance...)
Then there's Ross who always makes me laugh and does a great skit about a German pensioner caught shoplifting who's forgotten to put his dentures in and tries to gum his way free from his captors. He also plays a very toe-tapping and catchy Magic Numbers' song that we both like. And The Flaming Lips' 'Yoshimi' which reminds me of the surreal beauty of hearing the Japanese language version of it on shuffle as our train passed at snail pace through the English countryside for ages just outside Swindon. "Excessive heat on the line" - I kid you not....
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