A heavenly dose of reality

« I loved how the Smiths cnnected with their audi­ence and I enjoyed watch­ing their emer­gence. One rea­son for my delight was the way they chal­lenged the main­stream ver­sion of what great pop music was. To me, they seemed like the antithe­sis of the likes of Duran Duran. As in every era, episodes of Top of the pops fea­tured a mix of music and you’d occa­sion­ally get a real gem, per­haps two, but gen­er­ally in the early 1980s, the pro­duc­ers and the pre­sen­ters turned each episode into a head­less, over-lit and cheesy office party. In this con­text, when the Smiths were on the show per­form­ing ‘This Charm­ing Man’ or ‘What Dif­fer­ence Does It Make ?’ they were like gate­crash­ers from another planet, bring­ing with them a heav­enly dose of reality.

When I inter­viewed John Tay­lor of Duran Duran, I told him all this, even though I felt a big mean doing so. I did know that when he was a teenager in the 1970s, he’d liked a lot of the same music Mor­ris­sey and Marr had, includ­ing Bowie and Mick Ron­son, of course, but their tastes and their bands had diverged. I told him that every time I got a glimpse of a Duran Duran video, with the band and a load of half-dressed women all aboard a yacht in the Indian Ocean or what­ever, in an era of ris­ing youth unem­ploy­ment and the min­ers’ strike, I just couldn’t cope. It was a weird jux­ta­po­si­tion. I told him there’s a lot I like about Duran Duran now, but back then we needed the Smiths. John was very under­stand­ing and very gen­tle­manly about it; ‘I know, Dave. I appre­ci­ate what you’re saying. »

Sonic Youth Slept On My Floor, Dave Haslam, 2018.

Plus de Dave Haslam ici.


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