All The Young Dudes

The title above is that of a song written by David Bowie for Mott The Hoople.

Now Mott The Hoople are just a footnote in music history these days. Three albums from 1969-1971 failed to be much of a commercial success and they had more or less decided to break up. Enter David Bowie into the story – he was a fan. Music is a subjective choice and I can’t see why myself – in fact every time I hear a Mott the Hoople I track, it just sounds like a badly-done Bowie one. Ah, maybe that’s why!

Anyway, Bowie offered them the song ‘Suffragette City‘, which the morons turned down. Really, you idiots?

So he went around, sat in front of them and wrote “All The Young Dudes”. It was a hit for them.

It’s an excellent song and became quite an anthem, though over the years, you hear Bowie’s own version much more than you hear Mott The Hoople’s; though they are quite similar and sometimes it’s hard to tell in bits.

As it’s on Bowie’s “Hunky Dory” album, it’s often seen as a song about youth being disaffected by a previous generation; though if you slipped it onto his next album – the seminal  “The Rise and Fall of Ziggy Stardust and The Spiders from Mars”– you’d more easily pick up “and we’re all doomed anyway” vibe. And to be honest I got into it later: I wasn’t listening to much music in 1972, except for my parents’ sole Johnny Cash single (‘Ring of Fire’) and a god-awful album by Lee God-awful Hazelwood and God-awful Nancy God-awful Sinatra. (in 1973, Dad added Fleetwood Mac’s ‘Rumours’ and played it for ten straight years until I left home, whereupon he suddenly decided to acquire 1500 CD’s in two years. I think I can safely blame my lack of success as a rock star at my parents’ feet on this basis alone.)

At this point, like in so many of my blogs, you’re thinking “where’s the tea?”. Well, hold your horses. It’s soon.

Yesterday, I was engaged in short twitter exchange with Verity, also known as @joiedetea. And in it, she raised a very ugly subject.

It seems that her husband has done something appaling.

Now I’ve met Tennant, and prior to this shocking incident, I always thought he was a lovely chap. Now, I’m not so sure.

You see, Verity tweeted that she was low on good tea because Tennant had – time to cover your eyes if you have a delicate disposition spent money on a new TV that could have been spent on tea!

I know- shocking! I was saddened and stunned at this tragic turn of events and struck by how bravely Verity was handling this appalling state of affairs.

So, I thought, “A little aphorism here to brighten her day.”

I thought about quotes involving TV’s and tea, and off the top of my head, there aren’t any. But I recalled the famous line from All the Young Dudes : “who needs TV when you got T-Rex” and figured if you stopped the song just before “rex” you get “Who needs TV when you got T…”

So I tweeted that as a Bowie quote and added the helpful hashtag “#ifyouskillyfullyeditthewordrexoutofalltheyoungdudes”

Not much response from Verity. Huh? This is me at my brilliant best. What’s going on? She commented on another bizarre hashtag of mine, but this one was gold!

So I tweeted her thusly:

Why, @joiedetea remark on #tactfullyoverlookingtheshirt and not #ifyouskillyfullyeditthewordrexoutofalltheyoungdudes

And her response floored me

@The_Devotea because #imtooyoungtoknowwhatthehellyouretalkingabout ?

Yes, it seems I’d forgotten that Verity is in fact younger than me, by a considerable margin. And I then went on to realise that in fact, a large percentage of the people I talk to about tea are in fact younger than me. When did I get old? I must have missed the memo. Isn’t 47 the new 30?

I’ve said before that one of the best things about meeting tea people on line, or in person, is that age is not important at all. Nor gender, political persuasion, religion, skin tone or sexual preference. But this was a telling blow.

Now it would be easy for me to to have rattled at that this point, posting tweets about those young people and how they don’t get it. They don’t know their important 1970s glam era rock history. They wilfully ignore apostrophes in their hashtags and they probably don’t even know who T-Rex were.

But that would kind of start to sound like the song itself.

Instead, I decided to do some treadmill karaoke.

For those who don’t know, I set up a PA system, karaoke rig, flashing and rotating light systems and disco ball so that Lady Devotea and I would get less bored on the treadmill. She is much more diligent than me, but on this occasion I hit that thing in the belief that I could recapture the fleet-footed fitness of youth.

Except in my youth I was also overweight and couldn’t run more than 100 metres without calling for medical assistance.

But when I slipped on the “Glam Rock” karaoke disc and started belting out a tuneless version of All The Young Dudes, it took me back to a non-existent time when I was young and carefree and it was the 70s and those old guys just didn’t get it.

If you don’t believe me, I offer this photo of me: hatless, bathed in purple light and you can clearly see the disco ball in the background.

Five minutes later, I was off the treadmill and boiling the kettle.

 

 

Robert Godden

Certified Tea Nutter. Blender. Author of "The Infusiast" and Tea "Stories"

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10 thoughts on “All The Young Dudes

  1. I wondered what kind of response my own hash tag would get. I didn’t expected a whole blog post, though.

    I did work out that the song lyric must have been T-Rex, but given that my knowledge of David Bowie is limited to his role in Labyrinth, which I only saw at about the age of 27 (because despite being a child of the 80s, it appears that 90% of its popular culture passed me by) I had no idea what exactly you were on about.

    However, the sentiment behind the statement is 100% to be commended. Indeed, the only point of having a TV in the first place is to drink tea while you’re watching it.

    I shared this post with Tennant, and he was much amused though stubbornly unrepentant.

  2. David Bowie: Yes (tick)
    The motley hoppley people or whichever: no clue
    I don’t get it – the song is on Hunky Dory? Which song is it? I don’t see it anywhere. I wanted to drop in a link. I’m lost in translation.
    I know this:
    music & tea: good! (See Hiphopteashop’s blog too)
    tea connects all good folk: Great!
    I like your pic. Why didn’t you video yourself for a couple of minutes on the bike? Belting out the tunes. Were you wearing shiny, tightly hugging spandex? I hope you were.
    J. PS: @verity – Gosh, I’m not surprised you didn’t get it. Age (much or little of it) no matter. It was a bit of a stretch. Yes. Indeed. Shucks, that makes me think of Robert in spandex again.
    PPS: V’ you replied while I was still typing this. Now I have to see what you wrote.

  3. My apologies. I was relying on my obviously age-befuddled memory. “All You Pretty Things”, the song Bowie wrote to follow up All The Young Dudes for Mott The Hoople is on Hunky Dory, not the track itself.
    The Bowie version of All The Young Dudes usually played is the one form his 1973 “David Live” album.
    It’s been a while since I got my vinyl out.
    PS. I own no spandex.
    PPS. Nor will I buy any.

  4. I remember a time when David wore skirts. Jackie your visual is amusing and i’m glad to hear Sir Devotea has no plans to add the heavy spandex to his wardrobe. Verity so sad you are without tea but take heart when a tea commercial appears on screen Turn Up The Volume 🙂

  5. First, gotta side with Tennant on this one. A new TV will always trump new tea. But this probably has something to do with the fact that I get tea for free…and not TVs – so there’s a substantial economic differentiation.

    Second, there’s a reason people in their twenties and thirties don’t remember glam rock. It was *glam rock*. The vast majority of it beyond Bowie and a few choice other experimentals were shite.

    Third, music is subjective, as evidenced by my broadly-stroked (euphemism-intended)statement about most glam rock being shite.

    Fourth, I don’t consider myself a young dude. Actually, you act rather younger than I do.

    Fifth, get off my lawn.

  6. Here’s a little something to bring all the youngsters up-to-date (myself included, I wasn’t even born yet…). Good song, if you like ’70’s glam anthem rock.

  7. “Isn’t 47 the new 30?” That made me chuckle. I’ve been using that line for two years. Except, last year 48 was the new 30, and this year 49 is the new 30.

    I’m sure that next year 50 will be the new 30.

  8. Glam rock? We all know about that but I guess their hair cuts cost them a lot of their audience.

    Did they ever make a song about/on tea?

  9. Xavier, I accept your challenge with another Bowie Lyric:
    (from “Rubber Band”)
    Rubber band
    There’s a rubber band that plays tunes out of tune
    In the library garden Sunday afternoon
    While a little chappie waves a golden wand
    Rubber band
    In 1910 I was so handsome and so strong
    My moustache was stiffly waxed and one foot long
    And I loved a girl while you played teatime tunes
    Dear Rubber band, you’re playing my tunes out of tune, oh

    Rubber band, Won’t you play a haunting theme again to me

    While I eat my scones and drink my cup
    of tea

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