How sad must it be for people who peak early. By early I’m talking about fifteen to thirty years of age. I say this because I’ve never peaked and don’t plan to for at least another decade or so.
When I was at a rough and tumble high school in the steel city there were a couple of fellows who had the whole world bundled up. Golden Boys. One was a not too bright jock who was so far up his own arse that he could pass as a wiry hula hoop. The other was just simply a nice guy – good at sport as well as being academically solid.
Some thirty years later the jock was fat, bald and on his third heart bypass and Thai wife. The other just a poor sad divorced drunk fucker who was prone to periods of barking madness.
I thought of them both last night. I was cruising the free to air after the cricket chewing gum had lost its flavour (BBL) and I came upon one of the biggest indulgent loads of shit I’ve ever seen. Now I benchmark this stuff – I’d rate this turdinaire a solid gold star Five Allens. This is based on one Allen being the equivalent of an embarrassing sycophantic interview exchange between the Parrot and pick and lick James Junior Goanna Packer. The show was titled “British Icons” featuring a live concert from Sir Elton ‘Fingers’ John interspersed with soft sell questions from a fawning no name. Fingers was comfortably fat at the keys and welcomed on stage a guest to sing “Sad Songs” or to give it its full flaccid – “Sad Songs – Say so much”. You know the one with the chorus-
“Turn ’em on, turn ’em on
Turn on those sad songs
When all hope is gone
Why don’t you tune in and turn them on.”
The guest was the increasingly tuneless piece of Glaswegian cheek, Rod Stewart. Dodger Stewart’s thin voice clearly peaked on albums with Faces in the early 70s when they did such classics as “An old Raincoat will never let you down” and “Gasoline Ally”. But apart from a minor shit spot sugar smaltz with “Mandolin Wind” and “Maggie May” this chancer has toured on his past for decades. Apparently his concerts are now full of singalongs and soccer balls. Such a larrikin. A few years back he put on a tux and did shit-awful reheated, badly sung classics such as “It had to be you”. This project was titled “The Great American Songbook” and a second follow up featured more of Stewart slaughtering songs. It was a success of sorts. It had truckloads of women in trackies tweaking their love giblets and flanges while eating crispy creams as if they were gnoring on Rod’s wizenned love pump. But he’d become just a sad shadow of what he once was. A tuneless, hopeless joke.
Stewart’s performance last night was just as flat and smug and made me wish that he had been a co-pilot in John Denver’s Helicopter.
As in music, sport stars come and go but very few continue to defy gravity. Some however reinvent themselves after early disappointments. Stephen Smith the fidgety Australian captain and batting behomoth is one such rooster. As most know Smithy started off his cricket career as a spinner and a pinch hitter. He was a chubby little fellow that often let both himself and team down with lusty longhandle tactics. But now he is compared to the Don. Hopefully he spreads a quid or two on the bar from time to time. Don was a tight arse when it came to shouting his team mates. Ian Chappell tried to garner support from a retired Bradman for a player pay rise but Bradman wouldn’t offer the support. Chappell said it was as if it was the Don spending his own money. Bradman was a stockbroker of sorts and had a reputation for monetary meanness. I’ll go on record saying it doesn’t matter how many runs he scored, Don Bradman was simply a selfish stupid old cunt.
Speaking of stupid people who peaked early I note Nigella Lawson is at the the Opera House in a week or so talking about the deeper meaning of food. She will be interviewed by the alleged food journalist ‘Mmmmmmaive’ Omeira. ‘Mmmm’ is the only person I know who has made a career out of an utterance. But Nige Bites has for years defied all the basic tenants of good cooking by serving up fat riddled lazy recipes and subsequently soared up the charts. She could do this because she had a large set of Mudgee Mailbags and the mother/milk-soaked nanny English public were besotted. Bites only had to lick a chocolate laden spoon in front of her fridge and a thousand Grimsby pensioners would cum on their cushions. TV Cuisine has now moved on and she hasn’t. So now a more than ample Bites trawls the colonies flogging her suggestive recipes to fatties and fantasizers. It’s noted that her sad fare isn’t selling that well and you can now pick up half-priced tickets for this fat fandango.
I however have a solution to all of this. It will spare the hasbeens the embarrassment of acting out their downward flights in public. It will also protect us from them. It is the creation of a Republic. Not an Australian Republic. But the Republic of Yesterland. I’m suggesting it should be on one of those great islands the Chinese are building in the Pacific. It’s a place where your Nigellas and Rods can idle out their downward spirals. No new rising stars would be there. Faded politicians, sportspeople, singers, actors, jugglers and one-book writers could bore themselves shitless without raining on our present parade. While those who want to indulge somewhat sadly in someone else’s past glory or revisit a reheated classic can book a cruise and head to the Republic of Yesterland.
There will be no surprises as they’ll know it doesn’t get any better than this!