Thursday, January 25, 2007

My Melancholy Freak-a-thon

Freestyle - Don't Stop The Rock

It’s amazing the things that get lodged in your brainbox. My mind is stuffed full of weird, irrelevant moments that I can recall with absolute clarity, yet major events that should stick out seem hazy and irretrievable. The funny thing is, it’s often thanks to music that I am able to be transported back to exact moments from my past. It’s like a personal store of music videos based around my life, soundtracked by whatever tune I was listening to at that time. Perhaps this sort of thing only happens to acute music geeks, and the rest of the normal world is able to rely on proper emotion and memory, rather than songs, to piece their lives back together again.

Freestyle’s ‘Don’t Stop the Rock’ pops me in the time machine and hurtles me back to 1986. I’m 13-years-old, sat at the desk in my bedroom of the house on Arbutus Close in Dorchester, wearing a Chicago Bears T-shirt my Gran got me from America. It’s March, not long after my Mum’s birthday. I still have bunk beds, made of dark blue tubular metal. It’s dark outside and I’m supposed to be doing my homework but I can’t concentrate as I’m listening to a tape I borrowed off a friend. On one side there’s a radio show with too much talking and not nearly enough drums, so I use the auto-reverse facility to flip it over (how cool is that?!!?) and it comes straight in with a song with some fresh electro beats, an emotive synth melody and a robot on vocals. There’s something about the song that makes me feel like I’m missing out on something important. I don’t know what, but I experience a sense of longing for a world I’m sure exists but I’ll never be a part of; “freaks”, having fun, going crazy, partying. Girls. All of this seems a million miles away from me. I feel sad, which I know is stupid as it’s a song about a party, but there it is. I let it play until the end, then I turn the tape off and sit in silence for a while. I can’t shake the feeling of melancholy, so I go downstairs to seek solace from the television. The memory fades at this point. The moment so clear, yet remembered in complete isolation from the rest of that week, month, and even, year.

How would “Pretty” Tony Butler feel, knowing that his throwaway song about getting down and having a good time had caused a 13-year-old boy to have an introspective moment of regretful longing for something intangible that still resonated 20 years later? Even now when I hear the song, (one time at a club, living something close to the life I thought I’d never live), I feel a surge of confusing emotion that’s hard to suppress. Anyway, I don’t want to ruin the song for you. It’s a corking party tune, so let it rip loud, get freaky, go wild AND crazy!!! I’ll still be the one in the corner with the dreamy look embossed on my phizog…

Freestyle discography
Pretty Tony at My Space
Pretty Tony biog
Search ebay for Freestyle