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Drugs, Setanta & Rock 'n' Roll


By John Nicholson

In the UK, Setanta has started running ads for its new live Premiership coverage, clearly keen to get a whole hoard of new punters to stump up some hard earned wonga for their service. Fair enough.

However, the ads they are running have the song ‘Good Times’ by Eric Burdon and the Animals in. This is a big mistake. It’s is a classic case of someone, probably a coked up advertising exec who only listened to one phrase and not to the whole song. This often happens. One of the most popular songs to have played at your wedding is apparently The Police’s “Every Breath You Take” which, if anyone bothered to listen to it is a sinister song of obsession and manipulation. It is not a love song under any circumstances and yet still people waltz up the aisle to it. Surely it would be more appropriate to play Frank Zappa’s “The Torture Never Stops” from the excellent Zoot Allures album. Just a thought if you’re looking for inspiration for you big day.

Anyway, back to the Animals. Burdon was born and brought up in Walker-on-Tyne, which is an area of Newcastle in the north-east of England, a town built on coal and hard industry and strong drink.

Burdon, a terrific blues wailing singer, was a hard drinking, hard fighting sort of Geordie that places like Walker-on-Tyne specialize in. As a student I lived there in a flat on Walker Road which was so damp, the mould on the walls made it look like you had flock wallpaper.

After transatlantic success with the Animals, the band fell apart acrimoniously, with Alan Price going solo and Chas Chandler managing Hendrix and later, Slade.

Good this isn’t it. Keep up I’ll be asking questions later.

Eric kept the name of the band and in 1967 released a brilliant album, called Winds Of Change which is a document of his life after being exposed to west coast hippy culture at the Monterey Pop Festival (where the band played a mesmeric version of the Stones’ Paint It Black with a bloke called John Weider on electric violin, who later played in a brilliant rock band called Family who came from Leicester – the only decent band ever to come from Leicester and who had a man called Roger Chapman as a singer who sounded like a sheep singing the blues – he was, and still is, brilliant.

Eric had started smoking lots of dope and taking lots of lovely LSD. California blew his mind, as it is prone to do to impressionable heavy drinkers from the North East of England.

Good Times is on that Winds Of Change album. It was a hit single, reaching 20 in the UK and 7 in the USA as the ‘b’ side to Warm San Franciscan Nights – which is the better known song. In light of his drug experience, it is a paean to how he felt he had wasted so much time in his life to that point. Hence these lines – which all feature in the Setanta ad.

When I think of all the good time
that’s been wasted having good times
When I was drinkin’
I should’ve been thinkin’
When I was fighting
I could’ve done the right thing
All of that boozin’
I was really losin’
Good times

Setanta, clearly haven’t bothered to listen to anything in the song except the words “Good Times” and probably thought it was just about having a good time, but actually it’s really about wasting time, wasting your life and about deluding yourself into thinking you’re having a good time when you’re really not. It’s the sort of self-analysis that a lot of people go through after having their minds blown wide open by acid, as opposed to sitting in front of a television and watching Birmingham v Wigan.

It’s not exactly the vibe you want when trying to sell football on the telly to people is it? Ooops.

John Nicholson writes each week for Football 365 and EPL Talk. You can listen to John’s wonderful stories on episode 30 and 45 of the EPL Talk Podcast, as well as purchase his excellent Footy Rocks book and order one of his unique rock’n roll T-shirts.

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5 Comments

5 Comments

  1. Pablo Escobar

    November 20, 2008 at 10:24 am

    So you don't like the Beatles, Stones, Zeppelin, Hendrix, Prince, The Doors, Fleetwood Mac, Animals, Gaye, Mondays, Roses, Oasis, Blur, Alice Cooper etc etc??

  2. Drug treatment center

    November 20, 2008 at 8:28 am

    Some say that good artists are excused for doing drugs because drugs are their source of misery and thus their inspiration. I don't share the same opinion as I saw the destructive power of drugs, I see no inspiration or creativity there.

  3. Misanthropes for Jesus

    July 23, 2007 at 6:10 am

    Family, the only decent band to hail from Leicester? Pah… Prolapse, Cornershop?

  4. TarBabyJim

    July 21, 2007 at 7:58 pm

    I love animals! I grew up listening to their music.

    I hope you don’t mind my asking, would you sign this petition. It’s for one of the greatet stars to shine in Rock and Roll. Thanks.

    http://www.petitiononline.com/mssrrhof/petition.html

    Jim Baldwin
    Spokane WA
    TarBabyJim@msn.com

  5. tyduffy

    July 21, 2007 at 5:09 pm

    That was pretty bad. ESPN did a little better here using “Hello, Goodbye” for their Beckham commercial, although it is a cover.

    It reminds me of Reagan and Bush using “Born in the USA” as their campaign theme.

    While on the topic of music, I already miss the old Prem theme and the season hasn’t even started yet.

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