Tuesday, February 14, 2012

[My Music, Not That You Asked] - Sadie Sings' Wombats

[Decades hence, I will be celebrated posthumously as one of the great songwriters of the last quarter of the 20th century, and of the first quarter of the 21st. But I see no reason why we shouldn’t begin a detailed consideration of my oeuvre right now, while I’m still around and able to comment.]

Not long after moving to the UK for the first time, in the summer of 2002, I resolved once more to become a famous producer, a dream I’d entertained briefly in 1973, with the Reform School Girls. I ran an ad somewhere or other and heard, among others, from Sadie Sings (I’d changed her last name, because changing singers’ names is a time-honoured tradition), an extremely pretty young theatre student who also happened to be a real sweetheart. She had a theatre school vibrato, but reminded me a bit of Ronnie Spector.

I wrote the posh girl's rap Wombats for her, about the unlikely fashionability at the time among London and other UK nymphets of jungle combat trousers. This was a rare case of my writing the words first. I got the missus to sing background vocals, and, as ever, did the balance of the backing track myself. I also got Sadie to sing I Hate My Audience, which I’d written on my honeymoon after reading about Roger Waters' penchant for literally spitting in the faces of Pink Floyd audience members. Let me know if you'd enjoy hearing it.

I thought of making a video with Sadie. I thought it might open with her dressed as Alice in Wonderland, and that the camera would pan down to reveal that she was wearing white dominatrix boots with eight-inch heels. But my computer at the time wasn’t powerful enough to edit video very effectively, and dominatrix boots aren’t inexpensive. I contented myself with designing a Website on which I made up an elaborate story about her being the erstwhile scion of French aristocrats. It made Sadie giggle.

I leaned on the famous English producer Chris Thomas, who decades before had produced my own group, Christopher Milk, to give me some English record biz names and contact details. The only one he coughed up was Geoff Travis, at Rough Trade. Geoff wasn’t remotely amused, but at the same time Rough Trade was pushing The Libertines with all its might, and I found The Libertines horrid. I hadn’t much liked The Smiths, his earlier Big Discovery, either.So there.

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