What with Autumn Rose putting an Iron Maiden video on her blog, I thought it was about time I shared my misspent youth with you. The Chamelelons are often referred to as "the best band nobody has ever heard of". They were doing their thing in N Manchester in the early 1980s and were a brilliant live act. Ah, happy days...The song here is "Monkeyland" and it still sends shivers down my spine. A tale about trying to cope with the "triviality of everydayness"...I'm still no better than I was as a teenager with "everydayness", it still feels like an optical illusion to me.
Listening again to all this did make some emotions come to the surface. What was so good about this band was their ordinaryness and blokeyness, they had no image and this is probably why they could never be a cash cow for a big record company, though some big names did try. Their songs were about the terror of being part of the machine (they were quite influenced by Pink Floyd) and back in the 1980s it was easy enough to relate to those fears. Those fears haven't gone away either. I did not try to find solace from it all in the cod philosophy of idiots like Morrissey and the Smiths. I just immersed myself in books and physics and walking for miles and miles round Manchester, trying to make sense of it all. I sometimes wonder if I was not far from some sort of breakdown, because I found solace in the buildings, the terracotta man leaning against the chimney stack with his axe, the carvings of animals and castles, the coloured tiles and marble, and the cast iron . These decaying Victorian warehouses spoke of a world where things did not have to be functional, where people did things because they could, to brighten up the dull and mundane. I'm still kicking against functionalism, I'm still kicking against the machine. Luckily I've grown to realise most people feel much the same, the isolation associated with being a teenager is horriffic and mercifully transitory. The anger about being fashioned into a working unit amongst other working units, the fear of becoming dehumanised; that is very real!