I'm still standing

Shaheen and I grew up on a steady diet of music videos. I've mentioned "Top of the Pops" before, mainly because we had so many recordings of what I presume was a very popular British music show. It used to feature the biggest hits of the week or the month and have a mix of videos and live performances. My dad was a great collector of music and in a time of no instant downloading or big music store chains, you had to work hard for your music collection! From his travels abroad and through people like my uncle in the merchant navy he used to get a hold of some of the latest music. I think it was in Iraq that he built quite a solid assortment of recorded music shows and music videos and we devoured these, letting every ounce of them seep into our beings. My dad would load a tape up for us of an assortment of sounds and theatrical images. From Eurythmics' "Sweet Dreams" and Dexy's Midnight Runners' "Come on Eileen" to Spandau Ballet's "Gold" and Shakin Stevens' "Cry just a little bit" and so much more used to fill the room. I used to feel so sad when Abba's "The Winner takes it all" played as I watched the sad blonde, or sway along to "Sweet Caroline" with my dad while a concert of Neil Diamond played, or argue with Shaheen as we play acted along with the videos. She always wanted to be the blonde girl and gave me the dark haired one to imitate! Through my life I've taken dance classes, sung in choirs and played in my high school band for a short while. My huge love for performing definitely stemmed from this early "Top of the Pops" phase! The flamboyance, confidence and absolute fun that was conveyed through these videos is something I will never forget. My dad always recognised and appreciated this passion and was hugely encouraging of me to go to dance classes, sing, and whatever I wanted. When I had my first job in Bangalore, I used to go for about three or four hours of dance classes after work almost every day and he would come to pick me up at 10 at night every night, no complaints! And it all started with that little jig in front of the TV 
It would be hard to pick any one video as there were so many, but one that always stood out for me was Elton John's "I'm Still Standing". Flamboyance, colour, theatricality - it was all there! If you think I'm a drama queen, blame it on my dad 



Popular Posts