David Fleming
It's All Academic   www.davidflemingsite.com   
Day 192: Love & Rockets (The Telephone Is Empty)

October 16, 2022

Here I sit broken-hearted,

Tried to charge, only red-barred.

(Surely you didn't expect a different second line, one that isn't a near rhyme?)

As I write this, I am suffering through one of those worst-case scenarios, cell phone, which probably should have been replaced years ago, is not charging, and I can't get to an open Verizon store for hours. My addiction to the damn thing all the more obvious.

I am trying to find some humor in this by listening to Love & Rockets’ "The Telephone Is Empty," a title which made no sense to me for 35 years until today. It's also a song I have not listened to for at least 20 years, given that I have not picked up Love & Rockets in any digital format. Perhaps, if I had, sniff, my phone would be less empty at the moment.

Hearing the song again, I am wondering how prescient Daniel Ash, who wrote the song, is. He could have been a time traveler coming here to my home in October 2022 only to return to Northampton, England, to write of my despair.

Future Daniel: Holy crap, future Dave (and how did he turn out so respectable?) has about 1350 songs on his phone? What will he do when it crashes?

1987 Daniel to the rest of the band: Not sure where this came from, but I got a good line to build a song around -- "Good music, it's a pure form, a pure form of sympathy/and if you break my system, I'll burn you down."

Future Daniel: Wait a second, the dude has no Love & Rockets, No Tones on Tail, No Bauhaus, on his phone, just some freaking Peter Murphy.

1987 Daniel: Hmm? Now I am not so sure. Pass the whiskey as somewhere I need to use -- "drinking to forget and remember nothing."

Current Dave: But, Daniel, please consider that I could give up everything on my phone except the music. I am not sure I can drive 5 miles without being able to play the music on my phone.

Future Daniel: First off, dude, what are you doing in my time traveling? You could screw up the whole time-space continuum? Second, the lack of my music still stings.

Current Dave: I know, Daniel, but there has always been only so much storage on the phone.

Future Daniel: You ever hear of the Cloud?

Current Dave: How the hell have you heard of the Cloud?

Future Daniel: You are side-stepping the question.  Boy, I bet people love working with you.

Current Dave: Sure, maybe I need to go back and revisit some of your great stuff. But, hey, I already recognized you in my song series.  "Twist" by Tones On Tails was Day 154. That puts you ahead of U2, Depeche Mode, and, hell, even Peter Murphy.

Future Daniel: I'm not so sure. You have already included The Cure and The Smiths.

Current Dave: You read them? You're that one hit I keep getting from England.

Future Daniel: Slow down, dude. I know of them but I haven't read them.

Current Dave: Wow, now I am even more depressed.

Future Daniel: O.k., I think there is something I can do with this. 1987 me has already got some lines started, references to loneliness, drinking, it should do the trick. All right, I'll write the line "but I'm so scared of driving down same old lonely roads."

Current Dave: I like that. The fear of having no music and the cell not working if I break down.

Future Daniel: Wait a second. I thought you cared only about the music on the phone.

Current Dave: I'm not an idiot. There are some very important calls that I still need to make. And it is sometimes my only timepiece.

Future Daniel: Now you acknowledge time? Your telephone is empty and now you realize the time?

Current Dave: Cut me some slack, there is a lot to my misery.

Future Daniel: If this is the future, I have no interest to welcome tomorrow. It must be depressing in 2022.

Current Dave: You have no freaking clue.

Future Daniel: It looks like we will all be waiting on the flood in 2022. How about if I throw in a melancholic saxophone break?

Current Dave: Could you?  Oh, that would so capture my despondency.

Future Daniel: Despondency? Over a phone?  Wow, but this will allow me to show off my sax skills.

Current Dave: Maybe one day you will understand the fear of not having your favorite music. I better get going to Verizon. Thanks, Daniel, you're the greatest.

1987 Daniel: "The greatest?"  Yeah, sure, I still don't see my stuff on the dude's phone. This is the last time I am catching another plane.

Love & Rockets. "The Telephone Is Empty."  Earth, Sun, Moon.  Beggars Banquet, 1987. Link here.

Day 191: 16 Horsepower "I Seen What I Saw"

Day 193: The Cowsills "Hair"

See complete list here.