Whenever there's a gathering of friends or colleagues and someone starts talking about 70's or 80's pop music and everybody shares his or her favourite songs, groups or artists, I'm at a total loss. I know the Beatles, the Stones, Eric Clapton, and a few more - but that's it.
I cannot, like so many of the people I know, hear an artist's name and simply come up with several songtitles or even the lyrics. I do never know about changes in a bands formation, like, who was the initial bandleader of, say, Blood, Sweat & Tears, and in which bands did Jimmy Page play. I cannot come up with a list of all the albums of Boney M.
I know lots of tunes, and sing them, but whose? No idea, there's nothing, or as the British say "sweet Fanny Adams". You'll recognize this as a nice pun, if you hang on till the end of it.
I remember some of the groups' names, because the name-giving impressed me somehow, like Blood, Sweat & Tears, the Sex Pistols, Earth, Wind & Fire. I do remember Gloria Gaynor's song "I will survive" because one of my kids liked to listen to it at 7 a.m., at about 100 decibels. I've only recently got to know Waylon Jennings and Willie Nelson via DVD.
And every now and then somebody will shake his or her head unbelievingly at this ignorance and cry out: What the heck did you do then? You can't have failed this one!
Interestingly enough, I have no problems of coming up with a lot of more recent band names or artists and referring to their songs. British Seapower, Arctic Monkeys, Naked Lunch, Franz Ferdinand, Mando Diao, Adem Green, Mika, Rihanna - you name it!
Anyway, why am I writing this?
Last Friday I happened to have a very nice conversation with a man on a flight from Vienna to Berlin. Shortly before landing I found out I had talked to a member of a 70's band. The band's name: The Sweet. I nodded politely, when I heard it, but again, nil. All of the band seemed to be on the plane, by the way.
The punishment for this ignorance didn't take long. When I told some of my friends of this airplane-encounter they said: What???? You sat in a plane with "THE SWEET" and you didn't show some appreciation, even a little enthusiasm? You'd never heard of them???? And again: Where the heck have you been in the seventies? The eighties?
My friends give me little presents: CDs (The Sweet: Blockbusters), labeled: The Sweet for Newbies, they hum "Fox on the Run", when I enter the room. They're so educational.
Pete Lincoln, (lead vocals, bass) of "The Sweet"!
Although you're just "the new boy" in the group - I apologize here, publicly and with all my heart for this ignorance!
And of course, even I remember "Poppa Joe". Who wouldn't?
Here's a tribute to the old Sweet:
francessa, aka Fanny
Only after I wrote this I saw The Sweet's 2008 Tour name: "Sweet Fanny Adams". Unbelievable.