I was making a cup of tea alone in the office kitchen the other day, singing to myself and doing a dadlike jig, when someone came in and I hurriedly called a halt to my fun.
It struck me afterwards, though, why I felt I had to stop. I’ve often seen kids dancing in the street while holding a parent’s hand and singing out loud is hardly a crime – you only have to watch the wonderful video of Respect on the Underground to see the joy it can bring.
What is a ‘cultural norm?’
Society places an awful lot of cultural ‘norms’ onto us that can be hard to break and expressing yourself in public is one of them.
The British reserve is well-known, but by contrast watch the reaction of Winesi whose sight was restored thanks to a cataract operation funded by Sightsavers.
Mention the name Gary Glitter to most over-30s in the UK and you’ll usually get a look of contempt. Once one of the darlings of the 70s glam-rock music scene, he is now synonymous with his various convictions for child porn and transformation from a slightly manic-looking pop star to a bald-headed weirdo with a grey goatee.
In fact, you’ll rarely – if ever – hear one of his songs played on the radio. Radio 2 – the most likely outlet for his tunes – regularly overlook him in the likes of Pick of The Pops or their festive/bank holiday countdowns.
As I said before Glitter is obviously a disturbed individual, but his music should be separated from the man. Let’s not forget that his music was loved so much during the 1970s that he achieved 3 No.1s and another 8 Top 10 hits – no flash in the pan.
Now I like the Beatles (not obsessed), but as an average fan my first thought was: don’t most people own their favourite Beatles songs on CD already? If they don’t own the ‘red’ and ‘blue’ albums, then the relatively recently-released No.1s must have made its way into their collection.
And, if they do own any of these, then putting them in their CD drive and ripping them to iTunes sort of negates the need to download Hey Jude, doesn’t it?
Surely, there’s only so much Beatles you can flog to people. Yes, they were revolutionary in 1963, but most people are a little bored of ‘new’ Beatles now.
Also, the cynical X-Factor tie in was let down by the fact that most of the performances on Saturday were so poor, that younger viewers probably think the Beatles are about as relevant to them as Al Martino. Where’s the Elvis week – that’s what we want to know!
On a sidenote, it’s interesting that not all ‘modern’ reworkings of classic artists go unrewarded. Ellie Goulding’s version of Elton John’s Your Song (currently doing the rounds on the John Lewis Xmas ad) has stormed into the charts at No.3, just behind JLS and Take That.