A few odd little things have conspired to throw Cliff Richard back into my life recently. Nothing important on their own but combined…. ugh.
A bit like Elvis Presley (like always), I got to Cliff when I was very young courtesy of my dad, who was and presumably still is, a big Shadows fan. I liked Cliff when I was five. I think ‘Mistletoe & Wine’ was technically the first record I bought myself – I didn’t fully realise that the Elvis-a-like of 1958 was not quite the same fellow – and I promptly composed some new, ‘better’ lyrics that involved the phrase ‘knickers on the line’.
I have the tiniest little soft spot for Cliff… it’s purely nostalgia for a time when the greatest tragedy in my life was Elvis dying in Love Me Tender. I repeat: I was very young. I liked the movie Summer Holiday, but a lot like The Magnificent Showman I watched the first bit lots of times but rarely saw the whole movie. I always loved the bit where they refurbish the Routemaster bus into a holiday home (I still have a secret wish to have one of those and drive it across Europe) but generally got bored by the time ‘Bachelor Boy’ started. I cannot tell you the end now unless I go to Wikipedia.
For that one tiny slice of nostalgia, there are some things I can’t forgive. In fact, in the case of the Wired For Sound video, not only can I not forgive I can’t forget: the memory of that man in leather trousers on roller skates in Milton Keynes has been known to give me nightmares. Really. And then there’s shit like this which just doesn’t bear thinking about.
STOP PRESS! WEIRDEST FUCKING TRUE THING: so, I’m writing this post and I have the TV on mute… I look up and I swear, Never Mind The Buzzcocks is showing a clip of the video of Wired For Sound! WHAT THE FUCK IS GOING ON!?!?! This really just happened. As the ONTD kidz say: trufax.
Back to my rambling rant about Cliff…
I guess that at some point, he must’ve just decided he wanted to be "An Entertainer" which is fine… but he can’t then turn around and say "Oh, I’m cool! I’m the most controversial rock star EVER!" It’s a bit like when Paul McCartney says "Look at me, I’m cool, I’m avant-garde!"
Paul, you ARE cool but precisely because you aren’t cool. Just shut the fuck up about being cool and you’re COOL! Now sit down.
Cliff… Cliff… I get angry just thinking about him sometimes because that music… ick. urgh. yuck. Just… so much of it is just so fucking awful, as if ‘Living Doll’ was the high point (and it is a genuinely good little song and is on my iPod) and the last fifty years (and it is that bloody long) have been just one loooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooong trip down into the nasty depths so brilliantly brought to us by way of ‘Saviours Day’ and that Lord’s Prayer thing.
Incidentally, I don’t give a flying one if the man is homosexual, heterosexual, pansexual, asexual, nonsexual or will only have sex if it’s with Hank Marvin in Bognor Regis during a full moon. Maybe that’s partly what annoys me, that these days it all seems to be either innuendo about the man (Mark Lamarr did this quite brilliantly during his days on Buzzcocks) or him/his fans going on about him being a Good Christian, cutting edge, better than Elvis etc etc blah blah blah.
He must have something of a sense of humour: he used to be on Kenny Everett’s TV show a fair deal, and he was even OK on Morecambe & Wise which is one of the things which pulled him back into my life (have been youtoobing M&W last coupla days)… but now he seems just a po-faced old entertainer who cannot accept that many of us have a different opinion of him than he does. Again, a bit like Paul McCartney…
It really doesn’t help that so much of his music is just so bloody awful. In some ways, he is Elvis, if Elvis had lived long enough to continue putting out rubbish in the 1980s. Elvis is NOT someone who would’ve come out of the Decade of Me with his dignity intact.
Sometimes there are people who die young and you think ‘actually, he might’ve really had some interesting things to say if only….’ and then there are people like Cliff who I just think "If only you’d retired in 1962."
There’s just no justice in the world and Sir Cliff Fucking Richard is the proof.