Friday, October 17, 2003

KRETZMER KVETCH: Possibly the longest delay in blogging history between something happening and the comment appearing here, but Herbert Kretzmer popping up on Desert Island Discs today has given me the chance to get this out of my system once and for all.

Back in 1986 or 7, Kretzmer was eeking a living being The Worst TV Reviewer ever for the Daily Mail - I mean, really bad; making Peter Grant's Liverpool Echo TV guide look like Clive James. And, as happens from time to time, there was a belief that Pop Music was Dead - oh, how little they knew - so the editors had got him to knock up a piece about how this might be the case. (Presumably Linda Lee-Potter was busy simpering). Kretzmer's thesis was that Pop Was Dead because it's All Rubbish Nowadays, and to illustrate just how poor songwriting had become, he plucked a bit of a Janet Jackson song out the air:

I never asked for more than I deserved
and that's the truth
You seem to think you're god's gift to this earth
I'm telling you no way.

Now, even if you don't want to question the methodology of dismissing an entire generation of songwriters on the basis of a single Middle Eight, there's something slightly riling about Kretzmer picking holes in a song. For Herbert, it was, who wrote Peter Sellers and Sophia Loren's novelty hits. As such, his contribution to the popular culture rose to the heights of

It goes boom-de-de-boom
Well, goodness gracious me.

And to this day, that nobody stood up and screamed "At least Janet doesn't sing 'What have you done for me lately' in a shit Pakistani accent, does she?" has remained as my working definition of injustice.

Next week on No Rock, we'll be putting right some issues with listings from 1978 editions of the TV Times.

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