January 5, 2011
So there I was, post Christmas, post visit to ghastly garden centre with Mrs Anorak’s maiden aunt in deepest, darkest Kent. Sitting in the saddest sub Harvester, definitely non-gastro, pub imaginable. The grim background muzak grinding away – Abba, Eagles, you know the score. Heard it in a thousand similar joints up and down this septic isle.
Then, as I worked my way through the most miserable pie imaginable, Nick Drakes’s beautiful Northern Sky drifted down, not from heaven, but from the tinny speakers in the corner of the room. Oh the irony. Should I laugh or cry that a man who sold less than 5000 records in his lifetime, who struggled to earn £20 a week from his music and whose lack of success led to his depression and ultimately his tragic suicide, is now condemned to an eternity of background music for an army of eat as much as you can for a fiver gluttons. It makes me weep that someone, somewhere is getting fat from the royalties poor Nick never earned.
Is there no end to this democratisation of our culture? What next – Throbbing Gristle’s Hamburger Lady in Macdonalds? Actually that I would like to hear.