As I was reading other book blogs on the internet with BBC Radio 6 on in the background, my concentration couldn’t resist the chimes of The Ramones singing “Sheena is a Punk Rocker” - my head immediately started to pulse back and forwards! I’ve been doing this since I was a teenager – and that’s a long, long, long time ago! I love the idea of songs which worm their way into your consciousness and even sub-conscious and stay embedded there – and then any time you hear them you have an almost Pavlovian reaction as soon as the first bars sound out!!!!
Personally I think you need hair for that metronomic pulsing of the head if you are to “mosh” properly – luckily I still have plenty though it’s predominantly grey and white these days! (There’s a different debate to be had perhaps about the dignity of a 50 year old man moshing – but I don’t care really!)
About 10 years ago I was at the V Festival when the much younger brother of a friend invited us to join them in the mosh pit, commenting that I had the perfect hair for it! It was a great moment – firstly acceptance of a sort by a younger generation for us more at the “dad rock” end of the age spectrum and secondly at last all this hippy like hair I’d carried around for 20 years or more was finally “perfect” for something – I accepted the offer and had a great time in the mosh pit for a set by Placebo – mind you at the end of it I realised that the thing that had come in most useful in moshing with these kids wasn’t my hair but how I’d learned to make effective use of my elbows in a defensive capacity from years of playing football! Even then I was black and blue next day – but happy! Anyway I digress – back to songs that make you want to go……mosh.
Several of mine are from my early days as a half-hearted punk (half – hearted in so far as while I loved the music and the clothes I still wanted to keep my long hair and my fear of needles meant the only earrings I ever had in were clip-ons!) So from back then, to this day, songs that still make my head and neck pulse instantly include “Pretty Vacant” and also “Anarchy In The UK” by the Sex Pistols, The Ramones doing “Blitzkrieg Bop” in addition to the aforementioned “Sheena is A Punk Rocker!”, and “Kick Out The Jams” by MC5. Today my tastes are a bit different – some might say they have become mellower – I like to think of them more as having grown-up! However there are still so many songs that instantly make my head rock – I can’t remember what most of them even are but there are some I am aware of. It always happens when I hear the Arctic Monkeys “Fake Tales of San Francisco”, “Hey Scenesters” by The Cribs, “Take Me Out!” by Franz Ferdinand and the wonderful “New York City Cops” by The Strokes!
One of the things which other men of my age may be aware of is the plethora of hair products out there for us men to hang onto our hair for as long as possible – I use some ridiculously named and ridiculously expensive serum and shampoo stuff - and while there are lots of reasons for doing it (actually there may be only one reason – vanity – but I give it lots of different names!) – one of the reasons is definitely so I still have enough hair to get that instant surprise and pleasure and joy from suddenly realising that my head is off and moving to some song or other. Time for me to get a fix of The Strokes I think!