Re: [thewire] Re: bring me the head of Nick Hornby
- As I said in my post I actually read it and bought copies for friends. I have the US version titled "Songbook" that includes a CD that has 11 of the 31 tracks. As I also stated I haven't seen the editorial I just put my two cents in about Hornby.
----- Original Message -----
Sent: Tuesday, March 04, 2003 6:02 PM
Subject: RE: [thewire] Re: bring me the head of Nick Hornby
please correct me if i'm wrong, but it's not clear that any of you in the thread have actually read '31 Songs' - though you've all read the editorial, of course.
all of which makes the whole discussion a bit one-dimensional ...
i haven't read 31 Songs either, of course, so i'll stop now.
Being a long time Wire reader I wonder with anticipation what Rob's piece is all about. I have yet to get my latest issue but now I can't wait for it so I can actually read Rob's point of view. Reason being I've worked in record stores most of my life. Mostly stores like "Championship Vinyl" the store that as most folks know was the shop Rob, the main character, owned in "High Fidelity". Before that book came out I read several essays Nick wrote for British Esquire. One piece titled "Collecting Records is nothing to do with our sense of ourselves, but to do with the ageing process" (or at least this was a quote from the piece) particularly grabbed my attention since at the time I was years into a very deep obsession with Factory records. This essay pretty much hit home with me and the collector mentality. When I heard he was writing a story that revolves around a record store I was excited. Most of the stuff from that original essay went into the book in one way or another. It became my duty to hunt down copies of the book, only available in Britain at the time, to give to friends. They immediately saw me in the book as I saw some of the obsessed folks that came into our shop looking for those "original Zappa albums and not the re-issues". Collectors from all over the world I still see to this day in the small shop I manage now.
Reading that his new book "Songbook (The US title with a bonus 11 track CD) was only available through mail-order I immediate ordered up a few to give to friends as holiday gifts. I found it an enjoyable read and there was allot that reminded me of the first time I read his essay on collecting records. Lots of stuff I was totally on board with. But then there were a few things I thought what the hell are you on? To me though that's what it's about anyway. You're always going disagree with certain things and agree with some as well as hopefully learn something new in the process. Kind of like when I read the Wire some stuff I feel like someone's reading my mind. Other times I think what the hell are they on. But I'm always learning something and feel like I'm part of that special club. Much like the record collector who thinks he's found the ideal shop nobody knows about. They always know they'll find something they didn't have before.
Since I haven't read Rob's editorial yet I will not comment since I made that mistake, unintentionally of course, before and heard from Rob. I will only state my opinion that Nick's book is basically his recollection of songs that he loves or loved IE:Suicide. Something I would love to read from most of the Wire writers. Seems like a good idea Rob how about essays by some of the writers about their favorite tracks? I found it more interesting as a reflection on what was in Nick's head when he wrote some of the words I so highly endorsed to all my friends. Sure there is some stuff I just think ???? The Bible? I mean who likes the Bible? Well he does because his connection with someone in the band. That doesn't mean I'm going to run out and pick up their albums, though it would be tough since they're all out of print in the US anyway. Though I may say to myself some time let me see what Nick Hornbys on about with these Bible folks. But I should talk as I'm typing I'm listening to It's Immaterial's "Life's Hard and Then You Die" album I just found in a shop for $1.00. It was either pop songs that would bring me back to the late 80's or listen to the Elaine Radigue "Adnos" box I bought because of the review in the Wire. I chose the pop songs for Saturday night. I'll do my Table of the Elements day tomorrow and add my Tony Conrad "Early Minimalism" box set.
Lastly I will say that the only thing that sticks out in my head is how happy I was when I first saw the film High Fidelity. In one of the first scenes in the record store we see the magazine rack next to the cash register and displayed prominently on the top row was the Wire. I felt I was part of such an exclusive club the writer who so captured my record store life had a copy of my musical bible in his fictional record store. And yes I know there are such things as "Set Decorators" but I believe if it's good enough for Rob Gordon's record store and myself then I was right about Nick Hornby all along.
I wonder how the Wire felt about appearing in a Hollywood film? Any sales spike from the wanna be hipsters? Should we say sell out? I think not we'll save that for the Godspeed folks who even though they rail against the corporate world Danny Boyle got them to let him use a track in his 20th Century Fox film 28 Days Later. Now what war mongers does that align them with. Check your Yanqui albums boys and girls that would be part of Rupert Murdoch's News Corporation. All I know is I don't care and I'll keep on being obsessed with the Constellation world and all thing Godspeed. I don't believe in the sell out it's the quality and getting the message/music out there.
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