If Music Be The Food Of Love…

… then at least so far as Karma Chameleon goes, I’m a Monkey’s Dutchman or whatever the expression is.

The year is 1983. The Textiliste and I have moved into a flat in Tooting, a early century, purpose built maisonette, our first purchase. We’d scrimped and saved (well, she had) for the deposit, we’d spent about a year hunting and being gazumped a couple of times (as you are, if ever you try and buy in London – probably most places in the UK to be truthful) and had settled into our little love nest, just off Tooting Broadway and near Amen Corner – which may or may not have something to do with this 1960s pop combo

Don’t you just love those cutesy haircuts and suits?

There we were, enjoying our own space when the new tenants downstairs moved in. They were a young couple – just 20 or so, compared to our ancient 25 – and seemed perfectly fine.

Until just before Christmas, when they split up. The boy – for that is what he pretty much was – was devastated. I have no idea whose fault it was, what the reason for the split might have been. But I do know the consequence.

He took to drink. Not the quiet, maudlin-self-pity-at-home drink but the boisterous roustabouting I’m-still-a-man pissheadery down the pub. From which he would crawl home after closing time at 11 pm, put on dear Boy George and his Culture Club supporters and let it play… and play. Back then a turntable could be set to repeat a 45 ad nauseam which is exactly what happened. Our lovelorn hero would pass away from his pain on his shag-pile sofa, dribbling into Auntie Mabel’s antimacassar which Karma Chameleon played… and played… and played. Night after fricking night.

I’d toss and turn; I’d go downstairs and hammer on the door, the walls, the windows. Occasionally, whenย  the hops had been less effective as an anaesthetic he might stir and appear, red eyed and lacking a certain grace under pressure as I explained, not for the first time how his neighbourly skills could do with a little bit of an upgrade or I might have to indulge in a game of split your anus with the offending single as I rammed it when the sun most certainly was not shining.

I didn’t really like Karma Chameleon before my patience was tested to destruction; afterwards I loathed it with a passion I normally reserve for other people’s dog turds and those stupid medicine bottles whose tops you cannot remove without the grip of a steroidal anaconda.

I can’t think of another song that, even now, so many years on, acts like a combination of fingers down the blackboard, a dentist’s drill and Prince Andrew when it comes to aural offensiveness. I heard it today, at a homeless refuge where I volunteer. I inadvertently crushed some toast I was making, grinding my dentures with a low level hatred.

Do you have such a song on your anti-playlist? Does a tune have such a dire association that playing it is up there as an excuse for murder alongside provocation, self defence and accidentally ingesting Marmite? For your sake I hope not.

About TanGental

My name is Geoff Le Pard. Once I was a lawyer; now I am a writer. I've published four books - Dead Flies and Sherry Trifle, My Father and Other Liars, Salisbury Square and Buster & Moo. In addition I have published two anthologies of short stories, Life, in a Grain of Sand and Life in a Flash. More will appear soon, including a memoir of my mother's last years. I will try and continue to blog regularly at geofflepard.com about whatever takes my fancy. I hope it does yours too. These are my thoughts and no one else is to blame. If you want to nab anything I post, please acknowledge where it came from.
This entry was posted in humour, memories, miscellany, music and tagged , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

34 Responses to If Music Be The Food Of Love…

  1. davidprosser says:

    Jamiroquai, virtually anything they do is fingernails down a chalkboard to me but one called ‘Virtual Insanity’ is likely to induce that condition in me and who knows what you might do when the balance of your mind is upset.
    Hugs Geoff

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Mary Smith says:

    I am the Lord of the Dance said he. Loathe it because it becomes an ear worm I can’t get rid of for days. Thanks for making me think of it ๐Ÿ˜ฆ Oh, and The Little Drummer Boy. I rather like Karma Chameleon but my enjoyment would pall if forced to listen to it all the time.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Ritu says:

    I can’t say any song provokes a reaction quite so strong His Geoffleship!!!

    Liked by 1 person

  4. I quite like Karma Chameleon………. I remember being fascinated by the Boy and his outfit and not being at all sure if he was a boy. So naive!! I don’t think there is a song i loathe as such – there’s certainly many I skitter past or turn off to, but none that sets my teeth on edge or hammer hunting for. Poor little broken hearted fellow!

    Liked by 2 people

  5. willowdot21 says:

    I broke my back at work in 1999 , the night before I had been at the works Christmas Party and been dancing to Abba’s Dancing Queen.
    I then broke my back in 2009, but it was greatly more serious needing three times surgery. I had been out the night before at the works Christmas do dancing to Abba’s Dancing Queen. … So yes I am not particularly enamored with afore mentioned song!

    Liked by 1 person

  6. trifflepudling says:

    Joe Simpson, on his epic crawl/hop/ass shuffle back to base camp with a smashed knee and so on after the drop into, and escape from, the crevasse (Touching the Void), got ‘Brown Girl in the Ring’ by Boney M stuck in his head and thought he was going to die with that less than pleasant, banal tune stuck in his head.

    Now I’ve got Andy Fairweather Low stuck in mine, thanks to you! Occasionally my sister and I break into that song above from our youth, imitating his peculiar flat style, cue much laughing. I must remind her tomorrow …

    Liked by 1 person

  7. Charli Mills says:

    Earworms are bothersome, but it’s discordant music that sets me on edge. I’d rather listen to hours of Boy George than 10 minutes of music lacking a beat or rhythm.

    Liked by 1 person

  8. Great writing, Geoff. Anything that comes out of a machine with one word or phrase constantly repeated mechanically in order to stimulate an hypnotic trance

    Liked by 1 person

  9. Oh freddled gruntbuggly,
    Thy micturations are to me,(with big yawning)
    As plurdled gabbleblotchits,
    On a lurgid bee,

    Mine’s a schmaltzy church song, sung schmaltzily by young people at a church camp who ignored me most the week -even when I was down recovering from the wrong contact solution for a day.

    That, and the over-played Christmas songs.

    Liked by 1 person

  10. urbanantenna says:

    Anything by Paul McCartney makes my ears hurt

    Liked by 1 person

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