Tuesday, 6 March 2012

And so to seventeen . . .

17 Last Christmas Minuteman

The longer this song hangs around, the more it seems to mature into something more and more intriguing and impressive. Which is true of many things about George Michael. I happened to see the Club Tropicana video recently and I can’t imagine anything more, well, more, not just camp, not even gay but, well, homosexual. Bare chests, oiled-up etc etc.

And, with hindsight, Last Christmas seems imbued with the knowledge of loss and simple loneliness that were clearly (now, at least) always there in George but have recently become not just publicly obvious but taken him into a world of tabloid attacks, if not humiliation.

I reckon that his original version of Last Christmas is a harbinger of the dignity and honesty he displayed in the recent press conference in which he talked, movingly, about his near-death from pneumonia and thanked the medical team with simplicity and sweetness. He used his stardom — ie you or I can’t call a press conference and expect anyone to turn up while he can — to affirm a joint humanity. Which accepts the inevitable possibility of having your heart torn apart between one Christmas and the next.

This version is from a 2006 charity album for Shelter, It’s Not Like Christmas. I used another track from it, The Twelve Days of Christmas by Field Music and Kathryn Williams, on my 2007 compilation. This is by Minuteman, the most recent of at least three acts by that name — and nothing to do with the American 1980s punks, the Minutemen. As far as I can tell, Minuteman, was a solo electronic artist who made music for video games. There is a suggestion that he ‘reformed’ to record this track but that’s a joke, I think. He seems to have disappeared again, though.

Next It's Chanukah time, with the Brooklyn Diamond

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