Celebrity Culture

I have never been much of a one for trashy celebrity culture. Morrissey described it as now something disgusting, nothing to do with the kind of celebrity he admires, that of, say, the late John Betjeman. Indeed, those who are famous merely for being famous strike me as symbols of a vacuous society. Every supermarket shelf is covered in a plethora of cheap, trashy magazines, fronted by people one could be forgiven for thinking, are no more or less important than the average person in the street.
But this all comes crashing down, when I read the story of Jade Goody, in, yes, The Sun. Photographs of her with her man document her recent swift decline into what she acknowledges is terminal cancer. And somehow, every barrier to love for that girl that I have felt is transcended. It makes me wonder, actually, how much rubbish we carry inside which blocks our love. Its frightening to address the issue, maybe you've just stopped reading, but then you wouldn't still be reading would you, so perhaps you still are...one thing I will say is, with music and style, they are an 'upper', aren't they? Throughout life's wilderness. You know, we can tend to imagine everyone else is having a great time, which can compound our oops
unhappiness. But its not like that, is it?

Jade Goody, anyway. I wrote a song about 3 years ago, about someone winning Big Brother, then falling from grace. Coming a Steve Cropper. In the song, the tabloid star ends up back being a dinner lady. But, it was partly Jade. I am sure everyone in Britain will be as touched as I am by what has happened.

I am facing my own challenges with family situations. I try to stay positive in my thinking, about matters which seem really bad. I try to accept things. I think doing music seriously, is a very positive line through life, it cuts a swathe through all manner of distressing things. and when the thing has passed, there it is again, the music is still here! And, the same songs, and some new ones.

This week I went in to record the finishing touches to Berkoff Give Me Something. I can tell you, it is the best thing I have ever recorded. To be honest with you, it sounds absolutely ******* fantastic. I would like to bring it out as a single, we'll see. Perhaps we ought to release a track from England's Dreaming Spires as a CD/download/vinyl single, ie as a main track with a couple of other tracks. Would people like 3 tracks from the album on an EP? Or one lead track from the LP, then a couple of new songs, I don't know.

I have done something mad recently and got myself into a most humiliating situation which I can't expand on here. I love to push the boat out, but I'm not always sure where its going.

Did anyone see that documentary on the Krays and that Tory Lord bloke? Now I know the true use of glass tables, but I wont be auditioning for the part.

Anyway music. I also recorded fuzz guitars for Psychedelic Ice Cream Man. Will scrap some and keep good bits. I am pleased to be chatting this week with Phil Istine (I am clearly not the only eccentric around here). He has suggested Village Green Machine play at his cool club, they're called Sweet But Deadly, I see its really a hip scene where everyone knows how to dress. Sounds great actually. They have people like Coffin Joe (or is it Spider Webb?) dj with the 45s. I have just been doing up one of my record players, my late '60's Ultra. It is an indestructible tank, and really kicks out the volume. It has been working 10 years without repairs, playing in excess of 500 45 rpm singles every day. If it were a slave it would have died a long time ago. I own several 60s Dansette record players, and 3 radiograms including this particularly cool one I got on ebay. I had always wanted one like my rich aunt's, where I first heard a 45 of Dylan's Rolling Stone. It sounded amazing on her 'gram', with its slide out deck, typical 50s gadgetry perhaps as the deck slid out on a sort of tray for you to load up the 45s and LPs. Anyway, ebay came to the rescue. An identical model came up for sale locally. Bidding was at 50, little did the seller know but I put quite a bit more on than that. I really wanted it, and got it for 52. Condition, really good apart from the odd nick. It has a padded cocktail cabinet backed with mirrors built into it, and other fab period features. And ofcourse it booms like nothing on earth, and I have to say The Kinks and The Monkees sound amazing on it up loud. It lights up all over the place. When I kick the bucket I want to be buried in it, like that American man who was buried in his '50's car, the tail fins lowered into the ground in a ghostly spectacle. I wish I hadn't said all that but I'm not editing out now.

I think I might have time for another little drink, and I might be very naughty and have a ciggie. I trust no miners are reading this.

PS today I listened to I Hear A New World by Joe Meek. I was trying to decide what the little space creatures he evoked actually looked like, and I had visions of these little pink metal ants all marching in unison, like on the advert For Mash Get Smash (that video has got to be on YouTube). The aliens all have Pinky and Perky voices, and sound like they mean business. In the background is the sound of waterfalls, and all manner of very period Radiophonics style noises. I would love to tell you what I actually think of it, please don't be offended if you are a Joe fan. I am myself. But I think it is the most ******* terrible thing I have ever heard in my entire life, a suite of b division kitsch of the first order, which ranks alongside films about man eating carpets (starring the producers wife) as the very peak of bad taste. Needless to say, this is precisely the reason I like it as much as I do. We produce in a flat exactly like Joe's, where the toilet is perilously close to crashing through the ceiling onto the poor downstairs incumbents head. What a way to go. We have a lavatory air freshener which smells far worse than anything it could possibly be designed to cover up. I promise I will not mention lavatories again. Sea Minerals, I ask you.

All the best

Mark Lemon - Village Green Machine

Reading Village Green Machine's ezine. Celebrity Culture
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