Category: Personal history

Cheerful songs, shiny happy normal people

Loud music calms me down Somber music cheers me up Happy music is just…happy music If you listen to cheerful music no one ever asks questions. It is as normal as being in a stable, heterosexual relationship, having a bank account or owning a car. No one will question your sanity, even though it is…


This is not a loss

Subversive as ever, John Lydon equaled (the art of) writing love songs to entering the domain of big business. Nothing more commercial than a love song. Only fitting that PIL’s biggest hit was ‘this is not a love song’. Shows the irony of life, for some people the humour of the bearded man above. The…


Am I living in this movie?

I’m living in this movie…is it…moving me? First there was music and then, all of a sudden, it became a quest for identity. First a song was just a song, couple of verses, a refrain, maybe a bridge, over and gone in just over three minutes, then it all got much more serious. During my…


I want to break free

With Bohemian Rhapsody in the cinema it is time to rethink and clarify my position on Queen and Freddie Mercury.I must have loved the band when I was young. After all, at primary school me and my friends imitated Queen on stage. I don’t remember which song we pretended to play. I only remember that…


On heresy and heredity

My father is a funny guy. I used to think he was a classic left-wing conservative; believing in the power of regulation, against free, uncontrolled capitalism and most of all, always longing for the ‘old days’, when things were better. Like music. He got stuck in the 60’s, introduced me to The Beatles, and believed…


Play for today (and yesterday too)

The other day I suddenly stopped in my tracks and did nothing for almost 4 minutes. The occasion…my Ipod decided to play an early Cure song, ‘Play for Today’. What’s with this song, why does it make me stop, do nothing and go back in time? The answer essentially is that ‘Play for Today’ defined…


Teenage Wildlife

Friends are like clothes, they are either in or out of fashion, they make you look good or not. As a teenager I defined style as the point where politics and music intersected.The Clash were the only band that mattered and after reading Orwell’s ‘Homage to Catalonia’ I ruled out communism in favour of anarchism…


The loss of my youth

In 1985 I composed my first poem under the friendly light of a lamppost after crashing with my bicycle in the middle of the night. I crashed because I was drunk, the result of spending yet another night at ‘De Boemerang’. It was a bit of a strange place. Mopeds parked outside, routine fights between…


Punk and Puberty in three episodes

Scene 1 – Iggy Pop playbacking ‘Lust for Life’ on Toppop. I was 8 years old. Toppop was our primary channel of (new) music in the 1970’s. I didn’t see at the time how drugged up Iggy was, nor did I notice how paper-thin he was or the sloppy make up on his body. I…


Ghost in the machine

When I was 17 I read Arthur Koestler’s ‘Ghost in the machine’ (1967). I didn’t understand half of the book, but it still left a big impression.Taking the relationship between mind and body as a starting point, Koestler tries to explain why people have a tendency towards (self-)destruction. According to him it all boils down…


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