Paul Morley on superb form, I thought, on BBC4's Pop - What Is It Good For? Tho could have done without The Smiths, Sugababes and fucking Kylie again...but the songs themselves were beside the point, almost irrelevent - it was the exploration that was important; the sense of wondering around the contours of some topological culture-map (tho none of this is new terrain for Morley; in fact, "Can't get You Out of My Head" has almost become the theme-tune for his own brand of pop archeology). Still, he became particularly animated when he recalled buying Bolan's "Ride a White Swan" in '71. I had a similar experience with a pre-recorded cassette (still got it!) of "Electric Warrior" that same year.
Later on, I thought: why is it I can remember exactly where I was when I first heard The Kink's "Lola"?
When Morley started deconstructing the song the image came flooding back (the garden in Wyndham Street, bright late sunday-afternoon sunshine; I'd taken my mum's radio outside; Alan Freeman's Chart run-down playing...I can see the shape of the radio, its colour, the brittle texture of its build-in speaker, the little carry-strap on top, the big dial...my mum's flower-beds, the leaves of the cherry-trees moving in the breeze...), then a few minutes later Suggs talking about how his own mother had worked in supper-clubs in Soho in the era defined by "Lola", and how the song and his life and also his memories of his life had completely commingled and were now inseparable.