The King Is Dead, Long Live The King!

On the 16th August 1977 the world lost the greatest Rock ‘n’ Roller that it has ever or will ever see, Elvis Aaron Presley.

There are too many songs devoted to and inspired by the great man to list them all but I thought I’d give my top ten here.

1) Kate Bush, King Of The Mountain. From one of my favourite Kate albums is this very Kate tribute:

2) Alannah Myles, Black Velvet. We all need a big power ballad to blow off the cobwebs. This’ll do nicely. Black Velvet if you please.

3) The late, great Kirsty MacColl, There’s A Guy Works Down The Chip Shop Swears He’s Elvis.
Tenuous but brilliant. Kirsty is here because I bloody love her and this song is a genius smear on the lack of trust a woman has in a man (second only to “don’t come the cowboy with me Sonny Jim”)
4) Scott Walker, Jesse.
A musical list from me would not be complete without the mighty Scott. This is on “The Drift”. It’s a fucking scary song, creepy little details, unbelieavble sound and is about Elvis’ twin. Bloody amazing.

5) Elton John, Porch Swing In Tupelo.
This is a much more basic tribute to the King and feeds the weakness I have for Sir Elton

6) Depeche Mode, Personal Jesus. This had to go in. Being a child of the 90’s I don’t know how often I’ve danced to/sang to/listened to this song. I love it. And the original version is still the best.

7) George Michael, John and Elvis are Dead.
My second watford delight had to make it and I really do love this song. I actually think it’s quite a beautiful song. Good religious questioning!?

8) Scouting For Girls, Elvis Ain’t Dead.
I’ve always had a soft spot for boys and guitars and this song is cute.

9) Mark Cohn, Walking In Memphis.
Predictable but a great tribute song that actually gives me shivers, despite the cheese!

10) Belle & Sebastian, A Century of Elvis.
Oh that we all might see Elvis in our every day lives!

And a bonus one: Pet Shop Boys, Always On My Mind.
Ok, so it’s a cover version rather than a tribute but it’s a bloody great cover version.

Viva Las Elvis!


Sex In The Psyche

I’ve been pondering a lot lately the state of being sexy. What qualifies as sexy and, if it is just a state of mind, is sexiness something that we can all achieve?
What is deemed physically attractive, especially in women, seems to ebb and flow with fashions. In the 1950’s we had the hourglass figures and the blonde bombshell, in the 60’s Twiggy was the aspiration with her lithe limbs and doe eyes, the 70’s brought glamour, the 80’s brought the power bitch & the 90’s were the days of heroin chic. There was always a thing. Of course this thing was never the only thing and there are always different tastes but there has been an archetypical sexiness for each decade. An archetype which I’m not sure exists today. I think sexy today is a state of mind, an expression of confidence.
Alternative modelling is a huge industry at the moment, plus size, tattooed women stepping away from the societal norms having just one thing in common, that gaze down the camera lens that exudes a confidence that can’t be made up by any hipster filter. Even away from models, amongst my friends and peers it’s the ones who ooze confidence, the ones whose manner shouts ‘I think I’m sexy and that’s all that matters’ that smoulder sexiness.
I know it isn’t easy. We are all plagued by insecurities but perhaps if we promise to not judge each other cruelly and to see the sexiness in everyone then we can start to push our own insecurities to one side and feel sexy ourselves. Make like Frank N Furter, don’t dream it, be it; and without the pressure to meet a certain dress size or have a particular body shape.
I’m not sure of my point other that I’ve realised I’m going to try and worry less about my mummy tummy or my too short hair and think more about my attitude. If I can put that spring in my step then I can be Marilyn Monroe. We all can. And boop boop be doop to that.


Listen to Doctor Dumbledore.

Of course it is happening inside your head, Harry, but why on earth should that mean that it is not real?

I love that Dumbledore quote. I try and keep it as a mantra about my own mental health, to help me to see that what I experience is valid and real. Trying to view a mental health disorder in the same way I view physical disorders is still difficult for me. There is something of the stigma that trolls me about it. And yet right now I’m facing the closest thing to definitive proof that I’ve ever had. A medication that works.
I’ve been on my new pills for a couple of weeks now. I was wary of them as they are atypical antipsychotics and sounded a little hardcore for little old me but their effectiveness has been undeniable. I have more energy, I have clearer thoughts and I feel happier. So. Much. Happier.
My psychiatrist had said to me that the therapeutic/self help element to my getting better couldn’t start until biologically things were more stable and yet I’d still lost faith that they could be. I still kept thinking that I needed to try harder, needed to be better.
We need to stop thinking mental health is about strength and trying hard and realise it’s complicated, often biological and very very real.
You wouldn’t start physio on a limb that was still snapped in two so why attempt therapy on an unstable brain?
I’m very glad I have a medication that seems to help. I’m now faced with fear that it will stop and the unease I get at needing medication to stay well (more stigma trolling me) but at least I know there is hope. That it is real. And that there is a place for (the right) medication.