Thursday, 16 February 2017

Old Magazines

Oh the things you find in an old magazine from your parents' apartment. Those unforgettable, long-forgotten things. Your parents' apartment, where your old music magazines are scattered all over the place. Once, ten or maybe fifteen years back, you bought them all religiously in Dresden and in Gateshead and God knows where else. You memorised the lines and even entire reviews. And then you let them be, as you do with any old memory, habit or even dream, and currently there are dozens of them lying on the bathroom floor.  

You pick one up, you open it at page that is totally random, and you see a five-star review as well as an article going by the name of Crown Pretenders. Underneath, you see who this title refers to: four young Americans with defiant stares and unwieldy haircuts. They look great. It's 2003, they have just released a debut record everyone is excited about, the future's looking bright and beautiful, and the review has the effrontery to end this way:


I almost don't mind as the actual album is quite good. Not really some chain-smoking, housewife-shagging redneck classic as the reviewer claims, but the excitement is palpable. The name of the band? It's hard to believe it now but the name of the band is The Kings Of Leon. 

Yes, the very band that would in a few years transform into the worst band in the world (I'm exaggerating, but if you've heard their new album - you know exactly what I'm talking about). The band whose sleek, cheesy faces would send hideous shivers down my spine. The band whose music would walk the fine line between 'tasteless' and 'generic'. The band you would happily stuff with rock'n'roll Grammies or whatever it is that they are shooting for.     

Tragic, really. Try putting any of their current pictures against the one from an old music magazine and you will start questioning God. Because they have inflicted all the damage upon themselves or maybe (oh the destructive power of doubt!) they never had it to begin with? Because look at the bottom of the yellow page and notice the bizarre picture of hoop-wielding Patrick Wolf who also released his debut album that year

Patrick Wolf? Still bizarre. Still carrying that hoop (maybe another one, but a hoop nonetheless).

The Kings Of Leon are no more. Just a fading picture in an old magazine from your parents' apartment... Your parents' apartment. You rarely go there these days. In fact, you never do it the way that you once did - just dropping in, throwing yourself on the sofa with a bunch of magazines and memorising lines and even entire reviews. Long-forgotten yet unforgettable, and God knows what revelation a random page can bring. A dream from the past. A distant memory. A hope. Yes, that's the one. A new hope. A new hope from an old magazine.