Welcome to 2013 errrrrrrrbody!!
So we’re back with a throwback that goes wayback. Well not that far back really but a good ways nonetheless. Anyway, we’re talking about Depeche Mode!
They put out a new single this week which I guess is fine. Old people still need to make music. I listened to it. It was ok I guess. You can check it out here. Honestly though I have not been a fan of Depeche Mode for like 20 years. And even back then ‘fan’ would be over stating it.
Don’t get me wrong, I like Depeche Mode. I just did not really listen to them that much. For my money, Erasure was more fun. but this is not about Erasure.
I have a couple of Depeche Mode memories. The first was my best friend Brett’s slumber party for his birthday in what I can only assume was July 1985.
I am guessing it is 1985 because he got a copy of Some Great Reward on tape as a gift and his birthday is in July. And while that record came out in 1984, it came out in September so this must’ve been the next year.
See, before the internet a record could still be ‘new’ for a really long time. I mean, in 1985 there was no Pandora station playing Depeche Mode nor any spotify mix to check out. None of that. You have a record player (or more likely your parents did) or a tape deck and you heard whatever cool music your friend who happen to have an older brother who may have known someone that went to college told you to check out.
All that communicating randomly between all those people takes a long time too. So that is why Some Great Reward can still be a hot new thing nearly a year later.
The good old days…
Anyway, we played that record and I still remember almost all the tracks off of it even though 1985 was clearly a very long time ago.
The only other thing I remember from this birthday party is that there was another kid there who got really scared when we were watching a horror movie and he locked himself in the bathroom and cried.
It was awkward for everyone involved and once we had ignored it for awhile and it still didn’t end, someone had to deal with it. I think his mom had to come pick him up. Poor kid, but crying at a slumber party is soooooo passé…
I hope that guy turned out ok. I have a hard time making too much fun of him because I remember crying on the first day of school in third grade and that was super embarrassing. But then again this birthday party was for a 13 year old kid and 13 a bit different than 8 as far as ages go.
Back to the music!
The b-side to the “Blasphemous Rumours” single was a slow and heartfelt little number called “Somebody.” Which brings me to my second Depeche Mode related story.
First a bit about “Somebody.” It’s a ballad about wanting “somebody to share, share the rest of my life” etc etc and whatever other super schmaltzy eye-rolling stuff you can think of. But man when you are a teenager and you hear this song and you think about some girl in your algebra class that you just KNOW would never laugh at your “innermost thoughts” and all your “intimate details” and would love you and stay with you forever.
And thusly, you put this song on every fuckin mix tape you made for like a year and a half straight. Which actually was not a high number of mix tapes because you never actually had anyone to give them to. Oh but one day you will, young Sharber. One day…
Anyway, check this shit out.
See what I mean?
The problem with this song and other songs like this is sometimes, some people never grow out of it.
I remember people I knew in high school who had great taste in music at the time and then at some point they stopped listening to new music. It is like they just lacquered over whatever music they were listening to at that period in their life and never moved forward. It used to bother me on some sort of existential level but the older I get the more I get it.
Music is about listening to what you like to get into the feelings and places you want to get into. If that means you listen to Songs To Learn And Sing over and over forever i’m down with that.
Or maybe it means you walk down the aisle at your wedding to “Somebody” by Depeche Mode…
No matter how old I get though I will never get this. And in case people were wondering, this was NOT my wedding. There was cringe worthy stuff at my first wedding but this story is not about me. Perhaps one day, kids.
This wedding I went to though was an old friend of my girl friend’s at the time. The wedding was weird and the couple was weirder and walking down the aisle to “Somebody” should’ve made sense in this entire sea of weirdness already going on but really it mainly served to underscore just how bizarre the whole thing was.
The wedding was in a metal shed.
That might be over-dramatizing a bit but it was in a VFW hall that was basically a metal barn-like building or rather a shed. One side was where the wedding was and the other side was the VFW bar. I am not sure about elsewhere but here in Texas all VFW halls also have a bar or rather they mainly just are a bar. Though some do also have live amateur wrestling as well…
The thing is though, they did not close the bar for the wedding! So the building is basically split in two with a bar in the middle and on one side, the wedding, and the other side, old World War 2 vets drinking and remember fondly how it felt to shoot Nazis. Except today between their coors light and dreams of nazi death, they get to watch a wedding!
To add some further color to this story, the father of the bride wanted to have an Elvis impersonator at the wedding (he lost that argument thankfully) and wanted to put BYOB on the wedding invitations (he did in fact do that). So you know we’re dealing with a classy affair.
The groom is a pretty solid guy who works at a porno store and listens to all manner of heavy metal music. At the wedding, he looks like a dude who works at a porno store and listens to all manner of heavy metal music but in a suit. The bride is a big fan of miller light and country western music. None of this makes any sense.
And then instead of “Here comes the bride…” we get “I want somebody to share…” as the bride walks down the aisle.
The capper though might be the painfully shy and awkward best man (of the porno store metal head) who followed my girlfriend around all night until at the very end he finally had the nerve to ask her out. This was after hours or muttering about how pretty she was. He was weird and creepy but probably not (yet) a serial killer.
Nothing makes any sense and everyone has terrible taste in everything. I proceeded to get drunk.
But I don’t blame Depeche Mode. It’s possible they never intended for their music to be used in such an obscene manner. Who can ever know? I am sure the makers of that horror movie my friend’s friend watched that made him cry in the bathroom never intended that either. Well actually though they probably did.
And so maybe Depeche Mode did envision some toothless yokels walking down the ‘aisle’ in a shed in Texas to one of their most meaningful and heartfelt songs. But god I hope not…
Dan Sharber does most of the throwback thursday on this site. He’s a dreamboat.