Me: "OH MY GOD LET’S NEVER FIGHT LIKE GRAHAM & DAMON! You know you're my BEST FRIENDS, RIGHT? Right?"
A & J: *blinks*
So My Chemical Romance's new album was released the same week that I finally got over myself and watched the Blur documentary No Distance Left To Run, and now the two might be forever intermingled in my mind. Not much else connects the two except MCR's obvious admiration of early to mid-90s British music, and, well, the comparison I'm about to make.
Watching No Distance, it's noticable how much trouble Blur really had with suddenly having 15-year old girls in the audience. It's kind of like the opposite from MCR who, when experiencing that same audience-switch, welcomed it whole-heartedly and happily. And while Blur seemed to sport the view of “Why the fuck are they even here?” MCR’s was more like “OK, being a teenager SUCKS, we know this, and if we can reach even one of them and save their lives than we will!” This has given MCR a certain flair of pretentiousness and overdramatic over-the-top-ness about them and their live shows. In contrast to Blur, who just seemed pretentious.
But I can forgive Blur now. They were middleclass boys straight out of Goldsmith’s college and had probably spent years only listening to the views of their peers. I mean. What did they know?
And Blur is still very much My Band. I loved Oasis and Suede was who I aspired to be and Pulp was like the hot alternative guys in school that I never dared to talk to, but Blur. Blur made me the person I am today.
And yes, I realise there were other bands than the six-seven obvious once, bands you probably needed to know if you were gonna go around and feel a part of something back then. But I never did. And never cared. All I cared about was distractions from real life. And good music.
Watching No Distance now it hits me how little I actually know the members of the band. Today clips and interviews of your pop stars are just one click away, but back then there was no youtube and our London flat didn't have a VCR and very crappy television reception and apart from going to live shows I really didn't see much of them outside pictures in magazines. So when I watched No Distance I was actually a little taken aback by the way they all sounded when they talked. Not Damon. He sounds like he does on the albums. But the rest.
Other things I noticed while watching:
- Graham's dislike of fame and the fans is painful to listen to and must have been even more painful to feel. No wonder he drank.
- In hindsight, the epic Oasis/Blur fight seem more like a silly pub-brawl between two men who were really full of themselves and had nothing better to do, than what it did back then. No wonder Graham drank.
- The question about who moved the single's release date so that Blur and Oasis ended up in competition for the no 1 spot, well, it's not really a question anymore, is it? It's pretty obvious that idea was hatched in Damon's brain and nowhere else.
- I've always been sort of hesitant about Alex but I do think he has a way with words and the comment about how Blur's demos sounded too much like drama school when it should sound like art school is just made of all kinds of awesome.
- All four of them at one point sporting black eyes. From each other.
- The comment that they wished they'd spent a little more time on the record contract they signed back then - because it's the contract they're still under. Well. Yeah.
- Dave's astute observation about how they all had sisters and no brothers and sort of became each others surrogate brothers. No wonder they split up and didn't talk for seven years.
We all grew up, me and A and J and E and the twin, all of us who went to London together back then. We're now in our thirties. We grew up and we no longer share flats and we have full-time jobs we actually have to be good at and careers to plan and partners to find and relationships to make work and children to raise into good people. It's all pretty...yeah.