These last few days I’ve been transported back to the 60’s. A nostalgic trip back in time that has ended up with me spending a stupid amount of money and also ending up with my ‘going off’ someone who I used to be crazy about. It began as it usually does with me surfing the Internet looking for something entirely different. Either that, or I planned to do something else. A quick visit to YouTube, probably to set up my credentials or something, ended up with me listening to The Walker Brothers singing ‘Love Her.’
I was instantly transported to those heady days of ‘Ready Steady Go’ black and white TV, skin tight skirts, trousers and skinny rib jumpers, Mary Quant hairdo’s and my first crush on a pop star.
Scott Walker. What a guy! The way he looked at the camera, you felt as if he was singing those words directly at you. You and you alone. Every female in Britain fell in love with Scott Walker. He was heaven on legs. And that voice! There has been no one before him or since who’s voice sounded anything like Scott’s. Deep. Melancholy. Sad. He sang as if his heart was broken, and you felt as if only you could mend it. I went to see them live of course when they came to our vicinity. Probably didn’t hear a thing mind you. I suppose in common with every other female in Britain, I hoped they would never stop singing or making records.
But like all good things, it came to an abrupt end. Scott went solo but strangely enough, I can’t remember much about those records he made, I probably wasn’t too keen. Travelling around the Internet on my nostalgia trip listening to some of their old hits brought me to Amazon.co.uk where in a mad state of something or other (can’t have been teen hysteria, is there such a thing as Gran hysteria or nostalgic hysteria I wonder?) I ordered two books, The Walker Brothers No Regrets and The Impossible Dream. I also splashed out on a five CD collection of the Walker Brothers hits called Everything under the sun. Finally to end my spending spree, I also ordered the blue ray version of Scott Walker, 30 Century Man.
Now I know that none of my readers know me personally and therefore aren’t party to my spending habits, but I can assure you that this personal indulgence is simply not usual for me. It’s very rare that I buy anything for myself, especially CD’s. This is usually K’s domain. I suppose in hindsight I was caught up in a ‘nostalgic bubble’ where I wanted to immerse myself in those wonderful days when music was actually listenable and the words of songs could bring you to tears. Of course at the time our parents didn’t agree, though I can remember my Mum, bless her soul, had a bit of a crush on P.J. Proby. It was such a wonderful time, when your favourite pop star would definitely tour around your area so that you could actually see them live. I can’t remember where I saw them, I think that Lulu was on the same tour.
Anyway to return to the present, when the books arrived on Tuesday I read the first one ‘The Impossible Dream’ first. It was very enjoyable bringing some wonderful insights into those tours and the nightmare they must have been to do for everyone concerned. Then yesterday I watched the Blue Ray DVD. As I watched it, I began to see Scott Walker in an entirely different light. An only child, he had been obviously very spoiled. He joined the Walker Brothers and came to Great Britain to seek his fame and fortune, yet when it happened he shunned it. Sure it must have been horrific to have all those screaming teenagers and fans tearing your clothes and trying to get a piece of you, but it was they who were ultimately your bread and butter. Without them buying your records, you were stony broke.
In Scott’s particular case, if he hadn’t come over here and become famous, he would have been conscripted into the Army to fight in the Vietnam war. He might have been killed. Yet as I watched that DVD listening to him talking about how he should have been creating his choice of music and that he had wasted all those years being a pop success instead of fulfilling his dream and wishes, I couldn’t help but think to myself how self indulgent he was. There was no mention from him about his fans, those who had worshipped every dulcet tone he sang or every stare he made into that camera. He had simply dismissed those years as wasted. Not what he had wanted to do. Now he could fulfil his dream on making music that he wanted to do.
And frankly as far as this ex fan is concerned it was awful. All of it. Horrible. The look on Lulu’s face in the DVD as they played her one of the current songs he has done said it all. HE might feel its the best thing since sliced bread, and of course other musicians who were interviewed on the DVD saying they all thought it was fantastic, but they don’t bring the money in do they? They might all enthuse about what Scott is producing now but who buys it? Where is the money coming from to finance all of it? What about your fans Scott who probably braved rain, hail and snow to queue up to see you at your concerts, or bought your records. Would you be able to indulge yourself in doing ‘your own thing’ if you had never EVER done those things that you state you now regret wasting your time on all those years ago?
He has also changed his voice as well. Made it go deeper and darker, but its gone. The magic. A voice like Scott Walkers comes along once a decade. It’s a gift. A gift to be shared. If not you wouldn’t be blessed with such a voice. He could have been as big as Elvis. He had everything, the looks and that voice. What a shame that instead of being an open person who considered and thought about others, especially those who kept him from serving in Vietnam and from starving, he was a self indulgent individual who once he had made his money and his name has abandoned all those who provided him with the opportunity to indulge himself in the first place.
I know it won’t bother you Scott as you do your own thing, but you just lost a fan.