Guess it’s all gone to Goop- the marriage that looked as if it might last forever and which, some of us, saw materialize during a Coldplay concert in Bangkok when Chris Martin sat behind his piano without his band members onstage and dedicated a song to “someone very special in the audience.”
He then launched into his own plaintive version of What A World World- and, with all due respects to Louis Armstrong, he made this song that has been copied and covered and turned into goop by so many, his own love song to someone who mattered.
After the concert, and at the obligatory meet-and-greet session, some of us noticed a very pretty, frail looking woman sitting at the corner of the room minding her own business- actress Gwyneth Paltrow.
When, the next day, after a presentation of Gold Records for Coldplay’s Sales in this region, my colleague Levin and I, literally, bumped into Miss Paltrow at the buffet table of the hotel’s empty Thai restaurant, my knees buckled.
She was just a natural beauty- and so nice- plus I was in love with her singing voice- not exactly Ella Fitzgerald, but charming.
When Chris Martin walked in and jollily asked us to join them, the reply was, “Thanks, but we’re having a meeting.”
The truth was, we were eating meat and the new couple were strict vegetarians.
Of today’s Rock stars, Chris Martin has always seemed the most normal, possibly because he doesn’t see himself as a “Rock star”.
A short conversation we had about our favorite Beatles track- me saying it was Tomorrow Never Knows and him ensuring I was at the Coldplay concert later that night as, before the band came on, this track was blasted out- proved to me that this was a good bloke who loved his music- and was interested in what others thought. Plus he was a huge Beatles fan.
Most Rock stars also don’t write such heart-felt songs like the very heart-on-my-sleeve, Fix You and all those brilliant songs on A Rush Of Blood To The Head and X&Y, which really seemed to be about the yin and yan of the marriage and parenthood of the unsophisticated British musician and the sophisticated Hollywood actress who came from a strong, posh movie family background.
This yin and yan seemed to work- that is until the recent Goopy descriptions that the couple have broken up with psycho-babble reasons given for it like, “conscious uncoupling”- and “transitions”- and being “more close than ever” coming across as usual Hollywood bollocks to play for time before the truth finally unfurls and a third person is named.
It’s sad as here was a marriage that looked- from the outside- like weathering all storms and an inspiration to those who still believe in writing songs like Fix You, holding hands, watching the kids grow up while growing older together on some remote island, and getting away from decades of being subjected to bullshit and those who wallow in it like those Piggies George Harrison sang about.
Somehow, when you believe a famous couple with their famous different schedules, famous different careers and famous different temptations are making it work, it usually fills ordinary folk like us with hope.
Usually. Kanye and Kim don’t count.
In a world of showbiz shambiz marriages that never last and those ten-year contracted Hollywood marriages to keep up false pretenses and ensure secrets are kept in the closet, the marriage of Chris Martin and Gwyneth Paltrow, somehow, seemed so normal.
Okay, let’s forget them naming their kids Apple and Moses.
To use Ms Paltrow’s favorite word, it’s now all become Goopy, loopy and just more showbiz with Gwyneth Paltrow seemingly in charge of feeding a voracious TMZ audience with tidbits of news about the split.
Away from this couple and because of their breakup, it reminded me that those days when our folks lived with each other through sickness and health and made things work out for them- and their family- are all but over.
For some very unromantic reason, once they reach a certain age, many women today start singing, Is This All There Is and start “doing the maths”.
It’s nothing personal, it’s just business, and many- too many- go through various insecurities- mainly financial- and crave the need to live a life to which they are unaccustomed.
Gawd knows, we see it everyday in Hong Kong where marrying for money and a well-known family name is all that’s important.
In return, produce the next heirs to the family fortune, have the mother-in-law move in and give her another apartment.
Whether in Hong Kong or anywhere, like nip/tucks and various face lifts, many relationships are, sadly, based on almost “Facebook lives” where no matter how long you’ve been with each other, it’s always precarious and where nothing is forever and the word, love, is as easy to say as adding kisses at the end of text or a heart-shaped emoticon on a tweet.
It’s no longer about talking things out, face to face, it’s nothing about making the time for each other to have dinner alone, and it’s nothing about writing a song like Fix You or Your Song, Our House, or Just The Way You Are, Skylark, Stardust or Moon River.
If divorced or single, it’s come down to watching your back, having options in your hip pocket, and putting up with lots of goop before it starts to suffocate you so much that you need to escape before The Goop People rip out whatever real emotions might still be inside you.
Whatever happened to marriage for all the right reasons and Love meaning never having to say you’re sorry?
Maybe it’s a “generational thing”, but, what have we done to Teach Your Children- and how ONE song can help, Fix You?
From where I sit and learning from my own many mistakes, not enough and which is why there so many families are dysfunctional as we’ve all taken things- and those who have loved us- for granted until it was too late.