Whoever said “nostalgia ain’t what it used to be” was living in the past. Nostalgia, dear friend, is where the big bucks are. Everywhere you look there’s a movie or a tv show set in the recent past as that mythical beast, the Baby Boomer and his offspring, relive their youth. The new Star Trek movie is filmed in that stark, 60’s style of the original series. Ashes to Ashes— the follow-up to Life on Mars—is a tv show in which, from where I sit, the idea is how many Austin Princess‘s they can prang in any given episode (I don’t watch this load of old tosh, of course, but I’ve seen the trailers).
Last night the Beeb aired the story of George Best‘s relationship with his mum, and hers with a bottle of Sherry. The attention to detail was perfect, from the grubby state of the Belfast boozers, the thick wooly Man Utd shirts Georgie Boy wore, to the depth of the gusset on his dad’s trousers—could have got the whole team bus in there. Turns out that Mrs Best enjoyed a sharp single-or-three long before her son was lapping champers out of beauty queens’ navels. Who’d have thunk it?
At the weekend I watched the movie The Baader-Meinhof Complex: a rip-roaring romp of the 70’s left-wing German terrorist cell and their attempts to blow up the Fatherland, grow ridiculous facial hair and shag each other senseless. If you like your period drama with a lot of blood, guts and sideburns, this is the film for you, thoroughly recommend it.
On stage Mamma Mia, Jersey Boys and Grease are packing them in up West, and I’m sure I read the Pete Townshend‘s giving Quadrophenia the theatrical treatment for the first time. He probably had to do a hell of a lot of internet research for that one.
Music fans also have plenty of old stuff to feed on: I’ve been watching Madness comeback concerts for nearly 20 years, me and thousands of balding, bloating clones, that is. Next month I’m going along to Brixton next month to see the Specials on tour, and I suspect the crowd will be of the same stamp: 40-something blokes reliving their past. The good news is Terry Hall now looks older than I’ll ever, ever be. I wonder if these bands care about the age of their followers? Are they looking for a new audience or content to take the money from the old fan-base? (Chas Smash looks as if he’s eaten a few dozen stragglers from Madstock). I keep force-feeding my daughters my old music (in scenes reminiscent of the IPCRESS File), but I fear they’ll be listening to McFlea and Justin Timberland the minute my back and ipod are turned.
Spandau Ballet announced they were reforming and to embark on a world tour, Duran Duran‘s attempts at similar last year kinda got off to a bad start when Le Bon forgot the words to “Hungry Like a Wolf” (I bet Chas Smash knows them) causing the bassist to throw a hissy fit and storm off stage.
I would include Chas n Dave and Status Quo in this list, but as you know, dear reader, they’ve never gone away and their careers go from strength-to-strength.
So it’s official: The past is here to stay and all the while us old fatties chuck money at them there will always be 70’s and 80’s band lining up to reform and tour again (though Mel and Kim are gonna struggle). So dust off your staypress, box jacket and winklepickers, dig out those legwarmers and bore another hole in that boogie-belt; slip into that cable-knit and wear that titfer at a jaunty angle: we’re gonna work til’ we’re muscle-bound in this ghost town and there ain’t no stopping us now cos we’re the wild boys. Or something like that.
ASTRID PROLL Arrested in 1971 suspected of various robberies she was sent to a sanatorium on the grounds of declining mental health. She escaped to England in 1974 and has published a photography book of the Baader-Meinhof gang, Pictures on the Run, and has worked as a picture researcher for the Independent newspaper in London.
When I was on the Telegraph she would occasionally ring up for a favour. We gave her anything she wanted.
She worked with me for a while & I have never had so little trouble from the back bench – it was a joy
I hear she’s applied for a teaching job in Dartford
I still remember that pic TC shot of her for the Review!
HR must have had a laugh when they looked back at her C.V. in hindsight… in a hectic newspaper office environment its completely understandable to miss a simple word like ‘fire bombing’ when its sandwiched between ‘experienced in Microsoft Office’ and ‘full clean driving licence’.