Sunday, 12 March 2017
March #7: Memories Are Made Of Jake
So I was listening to Cerys Matthews on 6Music a couple of weekends back and I heard a song which sounded instantly familiar... even though I was convinced I'd never heard it before. One thing was certain: I wanted to hear more by this artist.
One of the many great music blogs I often frequent via my sidebar is Badger & SWC's When You Can't Remember Anything. I'm not entirely sure why they call their blog that, but it's a title which sums up so much of my life. My memory is not the greatest thing. I drive my significant other insane by writing notes to remind me of even the slightest little household task, because I know without them I'll forget. And yet... I can remember the lyrics of a song I haven't listened to in 25 years when it pops up on the radio. The mind is a cruel, cruel mistress.
Occasionally in the comments section here, someone will commend me on my musical memory. To be honest though (despite what I said above), I don't really think it's that great. Yes, I can remember lyrics. But I can't remember where I bought the LPs of my youth (like Brian can) or recall entire conversations I had 20 years ago that revolved around obscure novelty records (like Jez can). I certainly can't bring back the kind of heartwarming musical anecdotes that Badger, SWC, Alyson, and others manage to regale us with on a regular basis. Half the time I feel like I've forgotten more than I'll ever remember about the music of my past...
...which brings us to this:
7. Jake Thackray - The Blacksmith & The Toffee Maker
If you're a year or two older than me, you probably remember Jake Thackray from his many television appearances in the late 60s and early 70s. Having done my research, I now think I do too. I recognise his voice (notable as it's local to me: he's from Kirkstall, a half hour drive away, but a place I have visited since I was a teenager as it is home to the first and oldest multiplex cinema round these parts) as well as his wry, minutely detailed songwriting. Morrissey & Jarvis were both early fans - and you can hear his influence on their witty lyricism. According to iffypedia, Jake fell out of favour in the 80s as his songs were seen as both bawdy and occasionally sexist... nothing wrong with the former, and as to the latter, well... as I'm now the proud owner of a 4 disc collection of his work*, I say: bull. (I could write more about that, but this post is already going on way too long.)
The point? I'd forgotten Jake Thackray completely until Cerys played the song below. And now I feel like a long lost friend from my childhood has come knocking. Except... could I be imagining that? Could I actually not remember Jake Thackray at all? Could it be he's exactly the kind of amusingly erudite wordsmith I adore, and I secretly want to claim him as mine when really we're complete strangers? I just don't know.
I can't remember anything...
*I had to buy the digital collection, sadly, as the OOP CDs would have set me back a couple of hundred quid.