Monday, July 18, 2011

Titanic Days

I just know
Though I can't see
But I can feel his hands all over me
His hot breath on me
I can't resist
His rope, My wrists
I never knew there might be days like this

Dream on he says
Dream on he says
Will I be saved
From these Titanic days?

A violent frenzy
In a none too cheap hotel
He says it's hazy
But I remember it so well
His arms, his face
The way my words got twisted out of place

Dream on he says
Dream on he always says
It's sink or swim
In these Titanic days

NoteHas there ever been anything like Titanic Days?  Or its creator Kirsty MacColl?  Reading Julien Torma's disturbing but funny writing over the past several days made me think of her and this song, although truth be told, she's rarely out of listening range at our house.  Caroline and I were lucky enough to see Kirsty perform live once, a year or two before she died, at Tramps on East 21st Street in New York.  The place was packed and the crowd exuded lively, palpable anticipation.  The band (featuring stalwart guitarist Pete Glenister) emerged and began playing Titanic Days. Kirsty, following close behind and clearly suffering from her famous stage fright, turned the performance into a rushed mess, ruining the rhythmic edifice of the song.  Conscious of this and clearly embarrassed, she immediately rose to the occasion by making a funny, self-deprecating remark, and with Pete and the band's help, completed a gorgeous, tough performance of the gorgeous, tough highlights in her music catalogue.  It only let down slightly at the very end when she performed The Ramones' I Wanna Be Sedated as her encore number.  No one can really cover Ramones songs, but the witty song choice alone made up for any deficiencies.  There is a link for the Titanic Days studio recording in the final line of lyrics above.  HERE is a link for an excerpt from a BBC television program featuring interviews with Johnny Marr of The Smiths and Billy Bragg discussing various aspects of Kirsty's art and life and their friendship and working relationship with her.

Beautiful.  Must have been fun!


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  2. I did read this one in its entirety but once again deleted it accidentally. I know now what I did. If you would care to re-post, I won't do it again. We love Caroline also. (I mean that Caroline and I love the song Caroline; I'll probably be listening to it shortly.) Kirsty was quite something. We won't ever see her like again. She had everything. I remember once reading a Dave Davies interview where he and Ray spoke about several occasions where she was invited to perform with The Kinks as a guest "artiste" on "Days". Dave said that he and Ray were both terribly concerned about her stage fright, which was an astonishing thing to behold. I'll never forget the day when I learned about her death. I was in Boston at Digital Media On Demand with musician and fellow Kirsty fan Ed Valaskus, bass player with The Gentlemen (longtime Boston faves), the Gravel Pit (ditto) and currently Graham Parker, among others. (Ed also runs Q Division, a quality recording studio and record label in Somerville.) We were crushed and speechless. Curtis