Sunday, June 14, 2015

We hear the playback and it seems so long ago

"They send the heart police to put you under cardiac arrest
 And as they drag you through the door they tell you that you've failed the test"

Max, who has very clear ideas about what he likes to listen to, asked for "Video Killed the Radio Star" and I was prompted by that to listen to the Buggles' first album, The Age of Plastic, and muse about Trevor Horn and what an unloved visionary he seems to have been. My sister and I bought this album together in 1980 and, as we did with every precious record we bought, listened to it repeatedly. Listening to it now the songs are prescient but also incredibly sad - particularly "Elstree", which was Claire's favourite and always makes me think of her. ("Video Killed the Radio Star" sounds a little trite to me now, but maybe I've just heard it once too often.)

Working for the BBC may actually be a pretty decent job - I know at least one person who works there and is considered highly successful by everyone else we know - but there is something elegiac about this song.

I think of Trevor Horn as being in the category of people whose fame and consequent wealth brought them strange tragedy, not least by changing their lifestyles and/or political views - Rik Mayall and his quad bike; Bryan Ferry and his terrible reactionary children - but Trevor's tragedy was stranger than most: his son shot Trevor's wife, Jill Sinclair, with an air gun in 1994 and she died 8 years later, without ever speaking again.

1 comment:

Claire said...

It still sends shivers down my spine! It was James Aitken who gave us the album - remember he was a DJ and used to get promos.