Memories are a funny thing. Triggers like songs, films, people and even smells can transport you to another time, another place from years ago. It’s amazing to think how strongly memories and emotions are re-called over something so fleeting.
Music is a powerful reminder. We all have certain songs which instantly spark a memory of what we were doing or where we were and who with.
Here’s just a few songs which bring back instant memories for me:
- Groove Is In The Heart by Deee-Lite and Rhythm is a Dancer by Snap – These songs always makes me think of driving around in a battered car with my school friends after we had passed our driving test.
- The Look of Love by Dusty Springfield – Was the first dance at our wedding and always makes me smile.
- Time to Say Goodbye from The Phantom of The Opera – I always found this song emotional but will never be able to hear it again without shedding a tear as it was played at my father in-law’s funeral.
- That’s Not My Name by The Ting Tings – This reminds me of the summer before I got married and how it was played constantly at the festivals I went to as well as on my hen weekend in Bath.
- Anything by Billy Joel’s An Innocent Man album – This CD was played continuously on family holidays to Devon and Cornwall. They bring back happy memories of us on holiday as well as fighting in the back seat of the car with my sisters!
Making a Comeback
But what happens when these hazy slightly rose-tinted memories are brought crashing back to life, when they are forced upon us? What happens when the original artists want to resurrect these memories for you in the form of a comeback?
In the past few months, I’ve been hit like a bull-dozer by various Comeback Kids, some evoking good, and others not so good memories. And it raises plenty of questions too. Will their revival be a good thing or a bad thing? Will they be as brilliant as you remember them or will drugs, booze and partying hard have taken their toll on the original creators?
And then there’s the question of why they are making a come back now. Is it because they genuinely miss the creative work of writing / singing / performing or is it because the money has dried up and they need to make a quick buck to pay for their survival into and beyond retirement? I can’t help feeling sceptical. I worry that the Comeback Kids will make a fool of themselves and mess up the rosy memories I have of them from 20 odd years ago. I worry that they’re going to look old and be crap and in turn make me realise that I’m just as old (and crap).
Fresh-faced Bros in the early 1990s
Apparently Bros are reuniting for a European tour 24 years after they split. When I first heard this I was stunned. It brought back a barrage of memories of my sister and I worshipping the fresh-faced good-looking twins. I can remember discussing who would get which brother (As the eldest, I got to choose Matt and my sister had Luke). We spent a long time trying to work out how could we get hold of some beer bottles (we were 13 and 11) and how could we fix them on to our shoes. Another memory hit me – of my sister and I having a heated discussion with my parents about how Bros were just as good (if not better) than The Beatles and trying not to lose our rag as mum and dad simply laughed at us. The memories of us singing along to their “Push” album and posters up on our bedroom walls didn’t stop spilling out of my head.
Not so fresh-faced and approaching 50. Can they pull it off?
My next thought once the memories had subsided was – Surely NOT?! They’re no longer young boys. They must be approaching 50! Will they still be able to get up in their leather jackets and belt out “I Owe You Nothing”? Or will they be hobbling around the stage with bad knees getting out of breath?
They’ve been out of the public eye for so long that they can’t possibly make a comeback can they? And yet, we’ve seen it before with the likes of Take That who admittedly didn’t leave it quite so long to reform. Their comeback was hugely successful and the reason is because they relied on their original fans – armies of 30 and 40 year old women to go and see them on tour. And it worked. Will women in their 40s and early 50s turn up to cheer on Bros when they haven’t seen them for 25 years? The answer is yes, they probably will.
Trainspotting 2 is being released into cinemas on Friday. And I have a mixture of feelings about it. I think this comeback will work because the storyline along with the actors have all moved on to show what’s happened 20 years after the original film. I would like to see it. But I’m scared about what memories this film will fuel.
When I first watched the trailer a few weeks ago, I was in shock. I didn’t realise that a sequel was on the cards so when the advert played out on TV I was again hit by powerful memories.
I was transported back to early 1996. I’d met a bloke at a party and we’d got on well. He suggested taking me out on a date to see Trainspotting. All went well but at the end of the night when he went to say goodbye, disaster struck! He turned out to be the worst kisser I’ve ever known. He was literally a pigeon pecking at my face. And as I tried to escape from his clutches (or should that be claws?), I realised that I couldn’t possibly see this guy again as he made me feel just like a packet of bird seed.
The memories from watching the trailer alone made me squirm with embarrassment. Those excruciating feelings of being uncomfortable in your teens and twenties when you go on a bad date, actually make that any date. So who knows what memories and feelings might be unleashed if I go and watch the entire film?
I could go on listing these Comeback Kids. The 90s pop group Steps are due to reform in the summer. Rick Astley has popped up again recently aged 50 with a new album 30 years after his first hit. Pop band KLF are set also to return and U2 are this year touring to celebrate 30 years of their Joshua Tree album. All of them bring back memories for me from different eras. And I’m still holding out for The Spice Girls and Oasis to get back together so that I can re-visit my memories of being at university.
Why We Love The Comeback Kids
Whatever their reasons for reuniting or trying to make a go of it again, you can’t knock the Comeback Kids for their bravery in doing it. The potential for it all to go wrong is huge and so publicly humiliating.
And yet, whilst some of us may have bad memories linked to these comebacks, there are so many more of us who will remember the good times associated with these Comeback Kids; our original idols. Does it really matter if they have lost their hair, can’t sing as well or struggle with their fitness?
No, because in truth, we love to feel young again. We love to remember times when things were so very different. When we had a carefree life beyond babies and nappies and mortgages and bills to pay. For one night at the cinema or at the O2 stadium, we can belong to a different era and a different place when all that mattered was trying to fix beer bottles to our shoes and avoid being pecked at by a boy like a pigeon.
What do you think? Do you love or hate it when your idols make a comeback? Who are you most hoping will make a comeback. I’d love to know your comments!