Thursday, December 31, 2009


As I’ve said, I’ve really been enjoying Nick Hornby’s book “31 Songs”. Here’s a wonderful extract on “dancing” which completely sums me up – especially after my recent “clubbing” experience(!) - and also makes me laugh:
“If you are a white male – especially a white male aged forty-plus – the chances are that you are sadly and predictably deficient in one particular area: you can’t dance for toffee. Indeed, not only can you not dance, but you are also unwilling even to try unless you’re drunk or near-drunk, and unless you’re surrounded either by complete strangers (especially complete strangers who are older and/or even more disastrously uptight and stiff-limbed than you are) or by people you have known for a minimum of a quarter of a century, who are also drunk or near-drunk. I would love to be able to say, at this point, that I have shattered the mould; that despite my age, gender and nationality (because Englishness, I fear, is hardly helpful in this regard), I hit the dancefloor with all the enthusiasm and lack of self-consciousness of a three year-old (and a three year-old girl at that) and the fluidity of a young Baryshnikov… But of course, I can’t. The dancefloor is still, to me, the social equivalent of the North Sea during English seaside holidays – something to be treated with the utmost fear and caution, something you walk towards and away from over a period of several hours while battling with your own courage, something you plunge into briefly and uncomfortably while every corpuscle in your blood screams at you to get out before it’s too late, something that leaves lots of important parts of you feeling shrivelled”.
Hornby is writing this on the back of his experiences of “The Locomotion” club in the mid-eighties and, in particular, his fond memories of The Velvelettes’ song “Needle in a Haystack” – which he’d never come across before - but which I, somewhat embarrassingly, remember when it first came out in 1964!
You’ve just GOT to watch this clip – but, crucially, you need to turn up the volume. Be careful, it just MIGHT make you get up and dance (surely not!).
Photo: The Velvelettes.

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