Saturday, December 04, 2010

The Hucknall apology

This scattered itself round the internet yesterday, and I suspect accounted for a large portion of how unwell the entire world felt by the evening.

Mick Hucknall's public apology.

Now, there is much for Mick to apologise for. The cover of the Stars album, as a starter, screams the need for the sort of penitence only hitherto exhibited by the medieval saints. But it's not that which has him saying "sorry":

'I regret the philandering," says Mick Hucknall, a man who, by his own estimation, had sex with more than 3,000 women in a three-year stretch in the mid-80s. "In fact, can I issue a public apology through the Guardian? They know who they are and I'm truly sorry."
That's one of those 'sorry's that isn't really. Like "well, I'm sorry if my career earning thousands of pounds and allowing you to keep a roof over your head meant I missed the Christmas play at the school", it's much more about showing off about what you've done, and then trying to make yourself look better by 'regretting' it.

It's actually a shame that Hucknall had to drag up the thousands of presumably still traumatised women he claims to have left in his wake, as the glittering hook it provided the paper to hang the interview on obscured a lot more interesting things going on Rob Fitzpatrick's piece.

Essentially, if Hucknall hadn't made Simply Red records but done the other things he did, he'd probably be regarded warmly as one of the UK's foremost musical enthusiasts, winding a tale from Eric's, through Punk, and releasing and revitalising long-lost reggae tracks on his small label. It's Hucknall's curse that none of that ever really came through in his public face of soupy ballads and fairground lite jazz. It's broadly similar to what happened to Elton John, who still has much of the bloke who used to pop behind the counter in small London record shops to riffle the new releases trapped in the body of the bloke dripping out paeans to dead Princesses.

It's more healthy to reflect on that, than the supposed strike rate of one woman every eight hours.