Done Before ?

… I met you
Before the fall of Rome
And I heard you say
The past was much more fun
You go your way
I’ll go mine
That I’ll see you
Next time
It’s all been done
It’s all been done
It’s all been done, done, done before

(Steven Page – Barenaked Ladies ‘It’s All Been Done’)

Do you want to watch the Wham documentary on Netflix ?

“But you didn’t even like Wham ?” My Soulmate reminds me.

I didn’t not like them a lot though, and it’s supposed to be good.

“I’ll pass.”

So, I watched it on my own and was transported back to 1883 , when I was 15, and knew everything and nothing with great conviction. It’s quite good, nicely nostalgic, but she was right, the only things in my life that were influenced by Andrew and George were oversized Katherine Hamnett logo tee shirts, that were done better by Frankie Goes To Hollywood, diamanté brooches , that were also done better by Frankie Goes To Hollywood, and neon coloured mittens…which in hindsight , shouldn’t have been done by anyone.

The genuine friendship between Andrew and George is the best thing about the whole show.

But the thing that really put me off Wham was ‘Careless Whispers’ which was played at each slow set in the Hillgrove and led to spontaneous, mouth to mouth resuscitation, while swaying slowly and manipulating each other’s buttocks. This was great if you had a partner, but not very pleasant to witness, broken heartedly from afar.

I also watched all of the previous Indiana Jones movies this week in preparation for a rare cinema visit to see the new one. And to really get up to speed I also listened to last week’s two ‘The Rest Is History’ podcasts on the Ark of The Covenant , and the Holy Grail, for good measure.

I watched the movies with Elliott and his comment was that the first one’, Raiders Of The Lost Ark, was the best , as all of the others were just episodes of The Indiana Jones Show. I tried to argue that The Last Crusade was clearly the best, but he just glared at me. We both agreed that ‘Crystal Skulls’ was definitely the worst.

It’s been a nostalgic week, full of new things.

Alanis Morissette’s ‘Jagged Little Pill’ was released 28 years ago last month, but I only realised it this week, after my brother John mentioned it. As soon as he did I was cast back to a Sunday evening in Naas all those years ago when we were having dinner with a bunch of Eileen’s Peter Mark Grafton St. friends in one of the hair stylists’ houses and that album was blaring and all the girls sat on the living room floor in a circle roaring out the lyrics to all of those songs and all of the partners , most of whom were meeting for the first or second time, chatted nervously in the kitchen about Jack Charlton, the shocking price of houses, the new traffic lights in Clane, and Father Ted.

Forrest Gump was released 29 years ago this week. I have always loved this film, and I always cry at the end when he sits on the bow of the tree and talks to his son about Jenny…Jesus, I’m even welling up now just thinking about it.

One of my proudest possessions, which is now one of Jake’s possessions, is the red Bubba-Gump baseball cap from the movie. I love that Forrest’s line in reply to Bubba introducing himself, “My name’s Forrest Gump. People call me Forrest Gump.” was adlibbed by Hanks. I love that Paramount cut the budget by US$10m and didn’t want the running scences, so Hanks put up the money himself, and that Paramount didn’t want the old songs from Elvis, Joan Baez, Aretha, The Beach Boys, The Doors, they were too expensive, but Zemekis left them in for the screen tests and everyone loved them , so Paramount agreed to pay up for them.

My friend Baz recommended a Louis Theroux podcast on Spotify where he interviews Nick Cave, and I’ve listened to it twice already and recommended it in turn to several people. One of the people I recommended it to was by accident. There is a lovely chap , Stephen Dalton, who is a counsellor, and gave us a talk in Crocus Cancer Care a few months ago about our own well being and our own story. I saw him earlier this week at Bogue’s garage and said hello. He popped into my head when I was listening to the podcast, and then yesterday while out running/walking/chatting with Ray in Rossmore Park, he ran past us and was gone before I could say anything. Later in the Park , after Ray and I had had our CoffeeDoc post marathon training coffee and gourmet sausage rolls, we spotted him doing the post run stretches that we should have been doing instead of going to the Coffee Doc.

I called over to him and said “Hi Stephen, I’ve got a great podcast recommendation for you.”

He looked a bit surprised and said “I’m Adrian…but what’s the podcast, I’m intrigued now.”

It was Stephen’s brother Adrian, who had been Elliott’s careers guidance teacher at school, and someone he held in high regard, which is quite the honour, because I can’t think of a single other person he holds in high regard.

“Sorry Adrian, I’m such an idiot…it’s Louis Theroux interviews Nick Cave…on Spotify.” And then , thankfully the heavens opened again, so we had to head home.

Anyway, in the podcast they discuss life and death, music, writing , and religion. Nick talks about leaving Australia with his band at the time, ‘Birthday Party’ to get to London and the punk scene, but arriving just as it died to be replaced with the New Romantics. He felt that it had all been done before.

Sometimes I read something brilliant like ‘The Dictionary of The Khazars’, or ‘One Hundred Years of Solitude’, or ‘Breakfast of Champions’ and I think “What’s the point of trying to write a novel at all, when it’s all been done, and better than anything I could come up with ?”.

And then I think of music and movies, and yes lots of great things have gone before, but there is always someone thinking in a new way, with a new vision, a twist, a set of circumstances that come from a life lived like no other.

And I smile.

And I think , I will write something.




P.S. This is the cool new choon from Monaghan’s Post Party’s first EP ‘We’re Not Getting Any Younger’ which was released yesterday and is a new vision, a twist, a set of circumstances that come from a lives lived like no other.

P.P.S. We should be heading to London today to see Blur play in Wembley, but it didn’t work out , so our nephews Barra and Naoise get to go instead with their friends…the jammy bastards. If you’re looking for me tomorrow evening I’ll be sitting at home watching Blur Live in Hyde Park 2012…

Author: paul

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