steve harley; cock ‘n er..bull


I’d kind of forgotten about old Steve Harley to be honest. I’d occasionally caught his evening radio 2 show ‘Sounds of the 70’s’ but I found it a bit too self-indulgent – all that me and Charlie Watts were best mates stuff, grates very easily. Tell us something fascinating or even mildly interesting about the characters you’d met or don’t bother and just play the music is my attitude. I’d even caught him being a tipster on some radio show – he’s a big fan of the horses by all accounts. So why this posting? Well the Independent did a 5 minute interview with him this morning – he gets a free plug out of it for his and Cockney Rebel’s upcoming UK tour. It was very short but knee deep in bullsh*t.

Well we learn that Steve’s a little upset by the fact that ‘half of the world’ (as much as that?) believes he’s only written one album. He’s actually written 12 don’tcha know. Ooh. Maybe the rest were utterly crap and forgettable Steve. Obviously not; he was given a badge of merit (wow) from the British Board of Composers about 3 years ago for his contribution to music. Er…what contribution was that Steve? A no 1 with ‘Make Me Smile (Come Up and See Me)’ and some lesser hits with erm.. Judy Teen and Here Comes the Sun. It’s hardly an oeuvre to rival Lennon and McCartney’s is it… or even the Bay City Rollers?

He goes on to say that it’s a common mistake for people to think he lacks humility. Really? Surely not Steve. Don’t you know he lives by the creed of TS Eliot who said that ‘the only wisdom we can hope to acquire is the wisdom of humility, humility is endless’. Umm. Do you suspect Steve’s favourite Mr Men book might be Mr Pretentious ? No? Well he goes on to tell us that he’s recently performed a Beckett play and do you know the ‘words are good enough to eat’. Umm sounds yummy Steve. He adds ‘the more you perform the words, the more – in some bizarre way – it makes sense’. Which is more than you do, son. I’d just about had enough when he signs off with the thought that he wishes he had the talent (obviously to match his prize-winning song-writing skills) to be an artist. Whoa, to be as good as say Ronnie Wood? Good god no. Steve wants to be as talented as a Turner or Picasso or Caravaggio. Ah, genius level then. Well it’s a reasonable ambition for someone who wrote Mr Soft. Mr Prick.

p p

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2 thoughts on “steve harley; cock ‘n er..bull

  1. Hmm – sounds like you don’t like Harley much. Fair enough. However, there are some great albums by him: The Human Menagerie is one; The Psychomodo is another; The Best Years of Our Lives is another; The Quality of Mercy is another.

    Steve Harley has been around since 1972, writing and performing extremely good songs: Ritz; Sebastian and Death Trip being (in my opinion) three of the best songs ever written. I saw Harley last year and he was excellent; a stunning performer, a fantastic singer, a brilliant songwriter and a great entertainer. For me, that’s quite a lot of talent for one person.

    He may be an ego-maniac; he may romanticise his part in music history; he may exaggerate – I don’t know if he does or not – and I don’t really care. All that matters is the music and the gig. And they are always great. Have a read of http://rjdent.wordpress.com/category/music/harley-steve/ and have a listen to the tracks that are provided. You might like some of it. It’s quite good.

  2. hi rj

    and many thanks for checking in. good comments. i do actually like some of his music but just can’t abide people with ok talent who regard themselves as truly great artists. shouldn’t that judgement be for others to make? anyway you’re clearly a fan and i respect that. have been having a read through your postings – some really nice pieces rj, and far more appreciative and complimentary than my hyper-critical rants and ravings.

    you’re welcome any time. i’ll keep checking in to your site.

    pp

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