From the first day I ever had to listen to this lousy song on some radio station I always wanted to write something about this piece of crap. I know this’ll be just my personal rant which absolutely will run into nowhere, because noone will even care about this as much as I do. And I know that people will just tell me to not even bother because it’s just some crappy piece of shit music, but then again I simply hate those stupid mainstream songs about subcultures. What am I talking about? Well, take a look at this first and give it a listen:
Sandi Thom – I Wish I Was A Punkrocker
Alright, recovered from your shock yet? The first thing that stuck with me was that stupid chorus line “a punkrocker with flowers in my hair”. What the heck?! I admit, I always have alarm bells set when I come across words like “punkrock” and so forth in the mainstream media. It’s toned done a bit over the past few years, mainly because the exposure of such words has been so frequent with the rise of all those bands from the underground scene. Maybe I react so heavily to the use of such words in such surroundings because I am really fond of what the “scene” (whatever the heck that’s supposed to be) gave to me when I was young. So just like some gang member I don’t like it when people make fun of things which are dear and precious to me. Sounds pathetic? Well, it might be, but I just can’t help it.
So, what do we have here. A girl singing about how she wants to grow up in a time when “revolution was in the air”. That’s tough. I know the grass is always greener on the other side and that from a point 30-40 years on in time things tend to have a certain glow to it. But hey, to me punkrock and hardcore always meant not to get stuck in the past but to move on and change the things you see in front of you. There’s no need to cry about spilt milk.
But here we are and poor Sandi is frustrated because she “was born too late into a world that doesn’t care”. Honestly, did people care more back then? Just because we know the pictures and TV documentaries doesn’t mean that was a mass movement. Which reminds me, a German coffee producer ran a commercial a few years back in which a young teenage girl talks to her grandmother about how she went to a festival and how cool that was and that they were crawling in mud the whole time. To which the grandmother replied that she did the same when she was young, only that she and her friends were naked while doing that. That’s fascinating and shocking at the same time. Shocking because the advertising industry finally is running “alternative” messages for conservative products such as coffee. Fascinating because the generation of grandparents isn’t the pre-war generation anymore. My grandparents had no relation to the music or the lifestyle I adopted while I was growing up. I always had to explain what things meant (and still mean) to me. The teenagers of today, so it seems, have a far stronger connection to their predecessors making it easier for them to talk to them. So much for “a world that doesn’t care”.
Now I’m not saying that everything’s nice and beautiful today, but it’s a lot different from what it was like back then. Which, to a certain extent, makes it way harder to rebel. When parents and children have contradicting opinions it’s far easier to have an argument than talking to caring and understanding people who’ve been through the same stuff before.
But let’s get back to the song at hand. The verse lyrics are just hilarious and show that there must have been some corporate songwriting slave behind this. Little Sandi is complaing about the advance in technology, the dictatorship of commerce and how video killed the radio star. She’s even sad that there’s no vinyl anymore. C’mon, have you been to a record store lately?! And I’m not talking about those big media outlets. But I guess what pisses me off the most is that she’s (or whoever is responsible for this crap) mixing up the 1960s and 1970s. To my humble knowledge punk exploded onto the scene because it was an answer to the lovey-dovey hippie shit which came before it. There’s only a slight connection between both subcultures in that they both want to change the world. But that’s it. The approach in doing that is completely different. Punk to me was always more interesting because there was violence and a force behind it. I never felt touched by the peacefulness of hippies. Heck, I was even sporting a Sex Pistols patch on my jeans vest saying “No Hippies”. I guess that’s what’s driving me crazy the most. “Punkrockers with flowers in their hair”. Get real!! There might be those occasional drunkards who just for the fun of it do stuff like that, but it just doesn’t have any meaning! It’s two different things…
Interestingly enough while doing some research about Sandi I came across two quotes on her Wikipedia entry. Robin Hawkins (The Automatic, some band I don’t know) said:
“If she was a punk rocker with flowers in her hair she’d get the s*** kicked out of her by other punk rockers, for having flowers in her hair. […] I haven’t found anyone who’s told me they like that song and bought it.”
Well spoken. And media commentator Charlie Brooker (who I don’t know but who makes a good point here) adds:
“I’ve not heard that Sandi Thom single all the way through yet, but I’ve seen the TV ad about six billion times, and the short, poxy burst on that is more than enough to convince me that if her sudden rise to stardom WASN’T the end result of a shrewd marketing campaign, the implications are terrifying. Because to believe the official story – that thousands of people voluntarily subjected themselves to this shit online, then recommended it to their friends – is to lose your faith in mankind completely.”
That’s exactly how I felt when I came across this piece of garbage for the first time. Thanks for your attention.