LostboysPosted: November 26, 2013
I woke bleary eyed today to the sounds of “We Are Godzilla, You Are Japan” by Lostprophets. I use it as my alarm song because it’s loud and kicks off well, and also because it’s a song that reminds me of my first stint at uni.
Whether I continue to use it, remains to be seen after today,
Today, the lead singer of the band, Ian Watkins, pleaded guilty to some truly horrible sex offence charges and is most likely to spend a considerable amount of time in prison. Which is exactly what he deserves.
The crimes listed are of a stomach churning level of vileness and I won’t link to them here.
In cases like this the first thought must go to the victims and I hope that they receive the help and support to put these horrific events behind them and that it does not leave lasting scars on them and their minds.
But the thing about a public figure like Watkins doing something like this is that it effects other people as well.
I must confess that I feel sympathy for Watkins’ former bandmates, who seem to have been completely unaware of what he was doing. They have faced abuse and vitriol online and, one can only assume, suspicion as well. While their ordeal pales in comparison with the victims, it can’t have been an easy time for them.
I picked up Classic Rock last week and read that the band had called it a day. I felt terrible for the other band members, who have had to quit a career they probably loved and had dreamed of since their youth, and now they will lose out because of the actions of one man.
Continuing without Watkins is out of the question, the name has been tarnished by association and I doubt they’d want it now anyway, but even re-forming as a new group will probably not be on the cards, because whatever they do the topic of conversation will always be Watkins. These guys find themselves washed up at a young age.
And then there’s the fans. In the greater scheme, they have it easy, but music is more than just sound, it’s part of our life. Like I said at the top, “We Are Godzilla, You Are Japan”, like many songs from the Start Something album is linked with my memories of university and my friends from that time. The ‘prophets were a band we played a lot, and so they soundtracked our lives, entwining with the places and events.
For a lot of people their enjoyment of these albums and the memories they had connected with them will be soured. “Last Train Home” and “Last Summer” will no longer be the songs you listened to on road trips or remind you of a festival, or party, or an epic night out. They’ll still be those, but lurking will be the shadow of what was going on and the guilt of having those songs playing.
From a personal perspective I have no idea what I’m going to do. Will I delete the albums from my iPod? Should I?
My initial instinct is no. Those songs mean something to me, something separate from Watkins. I mean, are the songs the men who perform them? Do the actions of the performers change their meanings or how you listen to them? Or are those songs mine now, and should I try and view them as separate from all this unpleasantness?
I can listen to “Thriller” without thinking of the Michael Jackson allegations, but “I’m the Leader of the Gang (I Am)” has been consigned to the bin of history, forever tainted by Glitter’s actions.
I guess I’ll know next time it shuffles to one of the band’s songs. Will it trigger the memories of my youth or of what Watkins did? I’ll have to find out.
Sorry if this post was a little serious, but I found out about Watkins this evening and been going over it in my head. Apologies if I’ve caused upset for anyone.