“Loneliness is a cloak you wear/A deep shade of blue is always there”. And then there was a break before one of those Phil Spector-like “Walls Of Sound” came crashing down along with the whole kitchen sink, and Scott Walker hit that simple, but big chorus- remember BIG choruses?- to “The Sun Ain’t Gonna Shine Anymore.”
It sure wasn’t rock and roll, but with three singles- the one mentioned above, “Make It Easy On Yourself” and “My Ship Is Coming In”- the Walker Brothers hit you where it matters most- the heart- with ballads that stood out like Hendrix dressed in full flower power regalia at a Ku Klux Rally, or that surreal- and disastrous-time when he opened for the Monkees.
In many ways, the Walker Brothers, despite being Americans, had won over British music fans and were what the Righteous Brothers tried to do.
Those Brothers- and none of the Brothers were real brothers- hair was all wrong at a time when hair mattered.
Scott Walker with his Pop Star hair, and whose real name was Scott Engel, became an almost accidental and reluctant pop idol.
Walker didn’t scream when he sang. He sang in a deep, manly voice that some on acid might have thought were wimpy burger songs, many written by “proper” songwriters like Burt Bacharach and Hal David.
Yet, in the midst of Rock Gods, foppish lead singers and bands of many techni-coloured coats raised in Itchycoo Park and fed on Rubber Soul, Scott Walker reigned supreme until he, too, flipped out, disappeared, entered a monastery, did a Greta Garbo, became a recluse, returned, and still has that cult following Kate Bush enjoys by bringing out gloomy records that were brilliant for their manic depressiveness that should have been released with either a bottle of sleeping pills or a pack of blades to help slit your wrists.
Pink Floyd might have taken many to the Dark Side Of The Moon. Scott Walker was just dark whose songs and covers of French chansons by Jacques Brel and Charles Aznavour added David Lynch-type cabaret to the music scene long before there was a David Lynch.
He was the living embodiment of being hip to be square.
Thinking back, music fans were far more open to accepting what some might have thought were their Mums and Dads music, and proven by the extraordinary popularity in the UK- the UK was where it all happened- of Dionne Warwick, who first appeared into the musical psyche with the extraordinary beauty of love lost in “Walk On By”, her voice being the perfect instrument for the songs of Bacharach and David.
It was a brilliant time when music had no labels, and where, for some reason, the UK was the breeding ground for taste-makers.
Lennon-McCartney were writing real SONGS for singers like Cilla Black and, as Macca was to do later, writing some gems for Mary Hopkin.
Jagger-Richard were copying this same strategy by writing pretty “un-Rock” songs for Marianne Faithful and the amazing looking Vashti.
Meanwhile, another American wunderkind songwriter- Jimmy Webb- was making a name for himself by writing the epic “MacArthur Park” for actor Richard Harris, the hugely underrated “concept album” that was “The Magic Garden” by the Fifth Dimension for whom he had written “Up Up And Away” when a teenager, and then became the man behind nearly every single Glen Campbell hit.
Perhaps it was the mood of the UK where the Beatles ruled the country, perhaps it was the early days and age of Camelot with JFK and Jackie Kennedy and when everything was all so beautiful, but there was the feeling that everything was possible, and all forms of music were welcome.
It was also the quiet before the storm.
With the assassination of JFK the Dream was over.
Cute pop stars grew moustaches and beards, hippies were hyped by a mainstream media adamant to label and glorify freaks, which eventually led to that Helter Skelter world of Charles Manson, Presidents Lyndon B Johnson and Richard Nixon, Vietnam, Kent State and Watergate.
It was the end of the innocence with the fallout continuing today.
Despite that initial euphoria of a black man in the White House, crappy songs by opportunistic musicians glorifying this unproven commodity, and naive and vague promises of Yes We Can and Change, it’s all been showbiz politics dependent on soundbites and teleprompters that has created a faked out world borne out of disappointment and a lack of any real leaders.
It’s a world where great beautiful songs have been replaced by beats and iPhones.
It’s where love doesn’t live here anymore as entitlement has taken over.
No one has time for anyone or anything other than con jobs and where it’s damn difficult for many on almost amphetamines with Get Rich Quick schemes wanting to horde billions overnight who couldn’t like straight in bed.
Music lives in karaoke programmes like “The Voice” where mentors who can’t sing offer career and musical advice to amazing talent like Judith Hill, who, seemingly needs to appear on daft television talent shows like these to be noticed.
It really is no longer all too beautiful. It’s actually all too much- too much clutter, too much greed, too few heroes, a long sad journey of broken promises where mediocrity is promoted against a background of political incompetence and a showbiz presidency created for public consumption by the likes of Oprah and Ellen.
The genie has escaped and is creating havoc through anti-social social media, hacking and a once brave new world now lost and without a voice and minus a song in its heart.
Chairman and CEO
We-Enhance Inc and
Fast Track Global Ltd