Saturday, 29 August 2009

It's...the TRUTH!

A while ago I wrote here that one of my reasons for abandoning All Haste is from the Devil was that I had reached the conclusion that some of the poems in that book were lies? Well, the poems that were lies were about a subject extremely close to my heart. A subject of great import. A subject which I feel, just possibly, may be the single most important thing in the world.

I speak, of course, of rock 'n' roll.

Or, more particularly, the peculiar mix of goth, metal, rock, grunge, techno, industrial, etc which I, and most of the other misfit weirdo kids around my way grew up listening to. Time was, Newcastle had the most awesome rock club in the world, the Mayfair. I loved going to that place, and so did thousands of others from far and fucking wide. So of course Newcastle Council decided to tear it down and replace it with The Gate, a soulless mall of a place full of chain bars and restaurants topped off with a bloody great multiplex cinema where people can take their mewling, screaming kids to shriek at Disney flicks. Bastards.

I wanted to commemorate those wild nights at the Mayfair in a poem, and I had a bash at producing a couple, and they went down well with audiences. So well that it took me a long time before I realised they were lies.

They were lies because in writing them the way I had I had created the impression that going to the Mayfair was fun. That it was a good laugh. That it was all just some kind of crazy happy joy joy funny time. This, of course, wasn't true.

In my youth, when I used to go to the Mayfair, I was, to put it mildly, going out of my fucking mind. Of course I was: this is what being young is for. And the reason I enjoyed going to the Mayfair was because it was a place where I could dance along to the soundtrack of my own mind unravelling. In 'Bittersweet Symphony' (a song which surely has to be a candidate for most FAILed video ever), Richard Ashcroft sings 'I need to hear some sounds which recognise the pain in me'. That's what the Mayfair - and the subsequent revival nights which Newcastle's rock resistance put on after its demise - meant to me. Thrashing to Nirvana, moshing to Limp Bizkit, miming depraved sex acts to Nine Inch Nails, even leaping about like a loon to 'Just a Girl' by No Doubt, these were the ways in which I, and many other beautiful, confused little freaks who were just like me only in the sense that they were totally, wonderfully different, dramatised the pain we felt in a world which told us to be good girls and real boys, and which tormented the shit out of us on a daily basis for refusing to do so.

The first poems I wrote on this topic didn't capture that feeling. To be honest, they were more like Tenacious D songs. And I've got nothing against the D, but while I have been told on a couple of occassions that I look like Jack Black, I don't want my poetry to sound like the fucker.

So I junked those poems. And today, I decided to try and write something which better describes what it was to be young in those days. What you see above this entry is the first draft of that poem. I'd appreciate anyone's thoughts on it.

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