Monday, October 08, 2007

Oh, if Slash says it's important...

The curious attempt by the NME to put right what once went wrong - like a balding punk Sam Beckett, they're trying to fix the chart for the Sex Pistols - continues to run, despite the awkward truth that McClaren's men did anything other than fail to make the number one spot and then spent the next thirty years imagining a conspiracy orchestrated by the Palace and the BBC which even Al-Fayed would reject as a bit far-fetched.

They've discovered that Slash, the man who pulls off the surprising trick of being the cartooniest of the cartoons who make up Velvet Revolver, is supporting the 'campaign'. You or I, finding Slash supported out aims, would almost certainly recalibrate our desires. Not so the NME, who wave the endorsement around like a two-bit politician who's suddenly got a letter of support from Nelson Mandela:

"If you can pull that off, that will be fucking huge," he declared. "Of course I'd [buy a copy to help the cause]. I don't know how you buy a copy these days. You have to go online to buy one?"

Perhaps it would have been better to have left out the last couple of sentences, as they hardly do much to dispel the sense that this is some sort of old fogey's outing. ("Off the internetwork, you say? And where does one go to find a branch of this internetwork?").

And why would it be "fucking huge" anyway? Ooh, a record from thirty years ago at number one. Yes, that really would turn our sense inside out and use our synapses as scatter cushions. Just like when Elvis Presley was number one in 2005, you mean?

It's not that it's just irrelevant - in an age when BBC One will happily trail its autumn season with a pop at the Queen, and be castigated for inaccuracy rather than a lack of deference - but it's astonishingly irrelevant. It's as old now as 'I'd Like To Get You On A Slow Boat To China' was when 'God Save The Queen' was released; any impact it may have had in its context has long since been diminished and the song exists solely as a moment on the K-Tel soundtrack of old men's memories.

What is its role today? It's warm up of choice for Oasis tribute band Kasabian:
"We always have it on in the dressing room before gigs, we listen to it just before going onstage. I'm backing the campaign!"

The really sad thing is that we don't recall the NME getting this excited about any song made so far this decade. If we must have a campaign, how about sweeping Ting Tings to number one, rather than something from Simon Bates' Golden Hour?