Clogs and Classical Music

I’ve never been “into” classical music.
Sorry but I just don’t get it. I’ve given it a try but it simply does nothing for me. It’s not the lack of vocals that do for me just the fact that most of it is boring and fucking crap!
If I’m going to listen to instrumental music at home then give me Kraftwerk and Neu! or hundreds of magnificent jazz artists any day. If I’m on a beach then some Balearic bliss goes down a treat but anything by Beethoven or Wagner, Tchaikovsky, Handel and a myriad of others is a complete turn-off.
I’ve tried but this really is music for that two minute round in University Challenge where you make a cup of tea while some specky oiks try (and fail) to identify obscure snippets of music by obscure 19th century composers.
It is music for posh dickheads – pure and simple.
As I say I’ve tried and for a few months back at school in the mid-seventies we used to go – once a month – to Preston Guild Hall to the classical concerts.
Now at this point let me state we went to this pure and simply as the bar would serve us alcohol and boy did we take advantage of this! The coach would get us there an hour or so before the performance and we’d throw down four or five pints of mild. Come the interval – and another two pints would be quaffed.
Needless to say we’d all spend the next 40 minutes trying to hold a piss in! Even with my weak bladder I normally managed to make it to the break or until the final symbol banging end but it has undoubtedly clouded my opinion of classical music. Even now I can’t listen to classical music without having that throbbing pain in my stomach that comes with a desperate need to go to the toilet when there is none to be found. It is quite apt in my view.
Classical music is the equivalent to dying for a piss. Absolutely excruciating with a surge of pleasure when it is over.
Of course I didn’t always make it through Beethoven’s 29th – or whatever it was – and I remember on one occasion it didn’t go down well with the hoi polloi of Preston society.
It was one of those quiet moments when you could hear a pin drop – if only that pin would drop to add a bit of melody to the cacophony but I digress… This night there was nothing for it and I had to make a quick exit to the toilet.
The problem was that the only route to toilet – at that time at the Guild Hall – was to go down the steps from your seat and then walk right in front of the stage.
I picked – or rather my bladder picked – a particular quiet moment in the work but a man’s got to do what he’s got to do. There was no choice. So up I got and down and across I went. Me in a luminous green cagoule, turquoise tie-dye tee shirt, flared jeans and slip-on clogs!
What was I thinking – I couldn’t have been more noticeable. Add in the noise from the wooden clogs on the wooden floor and it was quite an exit. The audience was aghast, the orchestra stared and the conductor combusted as I added extra percussion to the symphony.
The relief when I made it to the gents was heartfelt by myself and – I guess -the audience.
Needless to say I stayed in the bar until the end and to my knowledge the boys and girls of Upholland Grammar School never went again to the classical concerts at the Preston Guild Hall.
The experience has stayed with me for over forty years and to this day I have no idea why I – and many others – were wearing slip-on clogs in that spring of 1975.
They were the most stupid shoe ever conceived by anybody – and my God I’ve worn some stupid shoes. They were also shit at playing football in!


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