10 July 2010
Why they should have closed Six Music
They should have closed Six Music because young people today have far too easy access to tasteful music. Because of this, they don’t have the enriching experience of being deprived of tasteful music, like we did. We suffered poor music most of the time, and we became strong, better people for it.
Back in the day, when good music was rationed properly, you could listen to Radio One all day and not hear one decent song. During the Golden Hour, Simon Bates would occasionally play great music, but it was in no way pre-meditated – play random songs from a particular year and something shining will turn up. The Golden Hour was a bizarrely important part of my musical education. I think the Golden Hour should be brought back like National Service – and the let those youngsters mollycoddled by the Year Zero Radio One playlist experience the wonder and the horror that the Golden Hour could produce.
After the Golden Hour, Batesy would play generally very bad things for two hours, then Gary Davies would play generally very bad things for two hours, then Christ, Steve Wright, with the geese. I so hated those geese. But the wonder of it was that occasionally, very occasionally, something fantastic would be played. You hung on through the Radio One Road Show from Prestatyn just to hear if something good was played for five seconds on Bits and Pieces. And if something good came on, it sounded effervescent- not just pleasant and decent and tasteful – it sounded explosive.
In the eighties, good music was nocturnal, it hid away in the shadows of the radio timetable. Peel, of course, and those exuberant or despondent nights when Liverpool played in Europe, but also David ‘Kid’ Jensen, and the wonderful Annie Nightingale. Sunday nights, 7-9, was the time my dad took me out in the car, to aimlessly drive across the Shropshire countryside. Turning left at Craven Arms, heading over Wenlock Edge, or the forests and mines on the far side of the Long Mynd. And always, Annie Nightingale on the radio, with the signal coming and going, and erupting in bursts of static. Propaganda, New Order, the Smiths, as we passed through the Shropshire dusk. They were timeless moments. I would tape the show so I could listen when I got back. But when I put the radio on in the morning, normal service would be resumed.
Of course, I like Six Music really. Especially Adam and Joe. Put them on the Radio One breakfast show. But don’t let them play good tasteful music all the time. We need more rubbish music, so we can appreciate its opposite.