Pandora recently me served up “Pictures of Matchstick Men”, a number from 1968 that I don’t think I’ve heard in 40 odd years. They certainly never play it on those boring-hits-and-crappy-memories FM stations, anyway.
Yep, that piece of psychedelia was from Status Quo, their first big hit. It took me way back.
Recently, however, you like me are perhaps being continuously appalled by the Quo’s latest refrain on free-to-air TV (to which I have sadly had to resort for Friday Night Football). This piece of musical self-mutilation has various permutations, the most annoying so far of which goes:
“Down, down, prices are down,
Coles mince, it’s staying down.”
Coles mince? The whole thing has thrown me into a grumpy old man over-reaction. It’s got me saying things like:
“Surely those dopey big red hand-shaped guitars beg the question – aren’t there some things you just wouldn’t do, even if it was for big bucks?”
Look, I don’t claim to know what kind of financial shape Messrs Parfitt and Rossi are in, but Status Quo have sold 128 million records and are still touring (soon apparently with Uriah Heep, which should be very ‘umble, very heavy). So maybe they are donating their fee to charity or something.
Or maybe they just want to stay in the public eye, and they are cross-promoting their records and tours.
Or, Brigitte posits over my shoulder while I am ranting, maybe they are having fun?
I’m a realist; I understand the pressure in your 60’s, as these boys are, to monetise your achievements. Hey, I was in investment banking in the 80’s, when everything had a venal tone to it. And people used to love telling me that joke about why science researchers prefer using lawyers to lab rats – because there are some things that rats just won’t do. But is Coles mince going a little too far?
The thought does occur to me, though, that maybe getting to 60 can seem like a licence to be judgemental and critical of other people’s decisions. That can be really boring for everyone who has to listen to the rants. So, Rick and Francis, you keep banging away on the big red hands, and I’ll chill out and stop pontificating. Anyway, the footy season is nearly over so I won’t have to watch free-to-air for the next few months.
Oh, wait, there’s the Ashes this summer ….
PS – the boys with real guitars, and a bit more hair. Didn’t you love 1968?
(Pictures courtesy of Google Images)