And then you turn the key on the car, the radio kicks in and the absolute perfect driving song has just started on the radio. You forget about everything. You barely remember where you are going. You just put it on autopilot and you drive. That happened to me last night when The Cult's "She Sells Sanctuary" appeared like magic on the radio just as I was pulling away from the curb.
I was a big fan of The Cult back in the 80's. Their Love album, the one with "She Sells Sanctuary", was a classic of that particular period. A little harder than the whiny 80's crap that was mostly playing on the radio at the time, and a little less goth than they probably wanted to be. The follow-up, Electric, was an even bigger hit even if the band moved a bit away from their goth roots to become Rick Rubin's power pop/rock band of the moment. It was all so very easily accessible for most radio listeners.
Their lead singer, Ian Astbury, was a combination of a dandy vampire and a foppish pirate. Strutting around on stage like an upper-class peacock doing his best Steven Tyler impersonation. And Billy Duffy was ever the workman of the group. Pounding out power chords on his classic Gretsch White Falcon.
I remember reading an issue of SPIN soon after Electric hit the stores. It contained a minor criticism of the band by some artist I can't quite recall. Wait...hang on a minute, lemme see if I can find it.
Holy Shit! I found it!
It was from an article about the critical darling band That Petrol Emotion (remember them?), and one of its members was talking about the sad state of what was passing for popular music in 1987. Steve Mack, their American vocalist, spoke of the following:
I was at this gig last night and I had a revelation. I was watching a band. They were trying real hard. The singer was really manic and he had this great pair of manic brown eyes. He was running all about the stage and I thought "What's missing?" I started listening to the music and I thought "He can't be serious!" You can't sing "Baby, baby, baby, baby, baby, baby, I was born in a shotgun shack in a one-horse town." I mean, let's get real here! It just turns into a farce. It's really important that people say what they mean.It was plainly obvious that he was talking about The Cult and songs like "Love Removal Machine" and "Lil' Devil". And he was right, I guess. Even if he did use the word "manic" twice in one sentence to describe Ian Astbury. But mostly I remember The Cult being something that I could turn on, turn up and tune out. They never made "art", I guess. But what they did, they did very well.
And for 4 minutes and 23 seconds on Monday evening, I was happy that they did.
Note: Remember to play the Bug-Eyed Trivia Challenge every day. Oh the Texas sun, makes my back burn.