It came to me in a video game of all things. Prior to my unnatural obsession with the swinging 50’s, I had been intrigued by the 80’s. Their overuse of neon colours, big poofy hair and the awesome music which provided the backdrop to some of the most legendary films of all times. What was not to love? It’s where the mullet originated for crying-out-loud.
However, my secret love for the X-box introduced me to a game – which would forever revolutionise everything from my music taste to the way I perceived the world and the family unit. This game, known as Fallout 3 – is based on a post-apocalyptic America where the world as we know it had not progressed in mindset, further than the fifties. However, technology advanced, as did war – but their lives and values remained simple and about survival. The backdrop to this brilliant game was complimented by the most glorious musical score I had ever experienced. Initially it was all too bizarre… It didn’t seem fitting. But whether by indoctrination through means of repetition, I found myself at one point singing along and feeling quite jovial – even in instances where I was mauling radiation-mutated beings into a pulp with my SMG. For the first time in my life I had found music which truly made me feel happy and ‘jumpy’ and could put me in an awesome mood simply by tuning in.
Since then, and with the help of the internet – I have subsequently managed to track down the now digitised versions (CD’s) of most of the listed artists whose music guided me through one of my now favourite games of all time. Having loaded my i-pod and i-mac to the max with music from the likes of Danny Kaye & the Andrews Sisters, The Ink Spots, Roy Brown, Billie Holiday and Ella Fitzgerald – I now too have ventured further afield and discovered that I also really enjoy Frank Sinatra, Dean Martin and Jerry Lewis. Every day is bliss and far more enjoyable. These were times where music was entirely original, it was also about love and family and far simpler times. It stemmed primarily from around the time of the 2nd World War and the time shortly thereafter – where people realised that it was people who mattered, and that senseless killing and war was to pushed to the back. In it’s place should be the far more important things, such as life and living.
If you listen closely you’ll hear the beauty and simplicity, as well as the sarcasm and irony and even sometimes – especially with Roy Brown – some really ‘naughty’ undertones. Danny Kaye known especially for his humour and using this as his primary weapon against all things deemed unpleasant at the time, such as the atom bomb and the irony of people in society going about their daily lives, in complete support of the war and the atrocities that it brought to the forefront – all the while being an atrocity itself – and claiming how they were civilised.
“I looked through a magazine the missionary’s wife concealed,
(Magazine, what happened?)
I see how people who are civilised bung you with automobiles
(You know you can get hurt that way, Danny)
At the movies they have got to pay, many coconuts to see,
(What do they see Danny)
Uncivilised pictures that the news reel takes of me
They hurry like savages to get aboard an iron train
And though it’s smoky and it’s crowded, they’re too civilised to complain
When they’ve got two weeks vacation, they hurry to vacation grounds
(What do they do Danny)
They swim and they fish but that’s what I do all year round…
They have things like the atom bomb
so I think I’ll stay where i am
Civilisation… I’ll stay right here”
Danny Kaye – ‘Bongo, Bongo, Bongo’
(Album – Beatin’, Bangin’ and Scratchin’)