A personal diary keeping people abreast of what I am working on writing-wise.

Tuesday, December 04, 2007


I have to admit, at first I thought nothing of the Spice Girls reunion, but now that early reports and photos are emerging from their concert tour, I actually wish they were coming to Portland.

I saw them back on the Spiceworld tour at the Rose Garden Arena, and it was a blast. It's the infamous concert where the mothers of several teenage girls banded together to get a security guard to come and ask me to sit down. I was pissed. I must have been the strangest animal in that particular zoo. I was wearing vinyl pants and a silver shirt. I was with a guy from Dark Horse who was also my age but was known for not getting out much. In fact, his mother came and picked us up at the show. She tried to talk the security guards into helping us get autographs, oblivious to the size of the event. She also had a cooler with Cokes and sandwiches waiting for us in her station wagon. Yes, a station wagon. We were in our mid-20s.

The Greatest Hits that the Girls just released is a good excuse to revisit their music. As bubblegum, it has held its flavor over the years. I'm surprised by how many of the songs are about the finite, about loss and saying goodbye. It's almost as if they realized that pop was intended to be disposable, and so each song was its own farewell, its own plea to the audience to hang on (no different than the Smiths' "Rubber Ring," though less on the nose; eat that, art-alt fans).

If you think about it, this is likely where that last Spice album went wrong. Forever. They had given up on the finite, were working to be more modern and serious. Sexual pop turned into sensual R&B, and the tease was over. Though they had previously had the song "Viva Forever," that "viva" implies a mortality. If you have to call for something to stay alive, the underlining sentiment is that it won't. Take that away, make it just Forever, and the seduction dissipates. We want what we can't have, and you just told us that you're planning to stick around. Ironic, no?

Granted, the new songs on the Hits disc are pretty much awful, but still, they'd be maybe seven minutes at a concert. I could live with it.

See a shaky live version of "Viva Forever" from just a couple of days ago, or watch the classic video:

(By the way, is that Jane Horrocks doing the voice over on that Tesco commercial?)

Current Soundtrack: Law & Order: SVU, special guest: Method Man!

Current Mood: nostalgic

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All text (c) 2007 Jamie S. Rich


Greg McElhatton said...

Ok, your Spice Girls concert story? I can't stop laughing. I think it's the station wagon with sandwiches that sends it wonderfully over the edge into super-hilarity for me...

And that has GOT to be Jane Horrocks in the Tesco commercial!

Marc Ellerby said...

Yeah that's Horrocks doing t' voice.

J.R.D.S. said...

Why would Jane Horrocks NOT be in a Tesco advert? She's been doing them for at least a decade here in the UK, and is about 10 times more famous for being "the woman in the Tesco adverts" than she is for anything else.

Adverts are like that, I suppose. They're the most prominent, universally known media within their own country (for people who watch TV, that is; me not being one of them very often any more) but are utterly unknown outside of it.