“Step back and watch the sweet thing. Breaking everything she sees. She can take my darkest feeling, tear it up ’till I’m on me knees. Plug into her electric cool, where things bend and break. And shake to the rule. Talking fast couldn’t tell me something. I would shed my skin for you, talking fast on the edge of nothing. I would break my back for you.”
Hopeless teens and angry adults, they all fell for The Jesus And The Mary Chain didn’t they. I fell in love with them when I was very young. Of course it happened by listening to John Peel. It was another dreaded night before school. Academically, I loved school. Everything else about it? Well, I truly hated. Maybe if I wasn’t bullied I may have enjoyed it. I don’t know. So, as usual I was staying up late to listen to John Peel and he played an old session by The Jesus And Mary Chain. I’m not sure which song it was that I heard, but I know it was off Psychocandy. I also knew that everything this band made me feel was terrifying. Terrifying because my young ears could relate, and the distorted sound freaked me out. It freaked me out in a way that made me feel less terrible.
The Jesus And Mary Chain covered me in darkness, but they did it in a way that didn’t make me feel low. If anything, they provided some kind of comfort. I’d much rather listen to songs that expose ugly and dark feelings than songs about how the sun is shining and how in love a person is. To me, those songs are depressing because they’re not real. You cannot compare someones eyes to an angel because you’ve probably never seen one. I wanted to use a different description, but I can’t actually think of one. So maybe that’s redundant? Who cares, no one is reading this anyway.
For me, they felt like every bad feeling was being poured out in every song. When I listen to It’s So Hard it feels like some kind of demon is being exorcised. I can pretty much describe all of Psychocandy as being like that- an exorcism. It’s a record that I can associated with things my mind won’t allow words to form. A thing, a person, something that has been unspeakable but that record just sums everything up. The Jesus And Mary Chain, as I get older end up meaning more and more to me. I notice different things about their songs. I find myself relating to them even more. I will ALWAYS regard Psychocandy as being the best debut record ever and probably my favourite record of all time. There is something about it that just makes me compare all I listen to, to how that record makes me feel. If I’m not moved by it like I was moved by Psychocandy then I won’t care for it. Maybe this is a horrendous thing to do, but I always want that feeling. I always want that dark, euphoric and intense feeling surrounding me. Although I’m a calm person (my ability to ignore most things around me is a gift and a curse) feeling something intense isn’t too bad at all. It doesn’t leave me biting at my hands at 4am because I’m an anxious mess. I’m probably likely to be reading at book at 4am..if I can’t sleep.
I know of two people who know of and LOVE The Jesus And Mary Chain. One’s a relative (my uncle) and the other is a friend. We’ll call them a friend as..well, that’s what they are. A few months ago I found a couple of 7″ singles of The Jesus And Mary Chain at a market. I don’t think I’ve ever been so happy. I rarely play them because I don’t want to ruin them. My records are my prized possessions. To find something like that over here truly blew whatever was left of my mind because well, I just didn’t expect it. I looked at the other records on the other side of the stall and they had Level 42 and Dire Straits, so you can see why I got excited and bought all of TJMAC 7″ singles. I go back every Saturday in the hopes more turn up. I may go look tomorrow, feeling quite rebellious on a Tuesday- why not? I’ll take my excitement where I can get it right now.
Bringing it up to date- I had a MASSIVE outburst when I saw they were playing SXSW this year. I may have cried. Obviously it was silly to get joyful over this as I live nowhere near Austin, Texas. But part of me kept thinking “they may do some UK dates…” I’m keeping that dream alive. If it gets to the end of the year and there’s been none, I’ll probably still keep a bit of hope aside for them. I have to. I sometimes think if I’d want to see them. It’s like my view on The Smiths reforming- I don’t ever want it to happen. The Smiths had the 80s. That was their time, not now. Morrissey’s solo career means more to me anyway. So part of me thinks, would The Jesus And Mary Chain still have IT(whatever IT may be) now? Well, I watched some live clips from their SXSW show and I’m going with YES. That fucking brutal, distorted and intense feeling is still there. That atmosphere I remember taking me over when I first heard them was still there.
The Jesus And Mary Chain made music that I can only describe as romantic. There’s more to it than that, but they let out a side of romance that I feel most are ashamed or maybe scared to face. Romance, love and lust all have different layers. Giving someone flowers isn’t romantic. Making them a mixtape/cd with songs that portray how you feel in the most open way possible or telling them how you feel in the most honest way possible-that’s romantic. Sharing the same ugly and worthless feelings-that’s love. Skipping about in a meadow is NOT romantic. Maybe because I have views like this is why I have shit luck with girls. That and my face is a huge failure.
They give you hope. Hope that even those who plod along with messy hair and black clothing may meet the light to their dark. My love for The Jesus And Mary Chain could be borderline obsessive. I play Psychocandy on a daily basis. Whilst working at HMV last Christmas, I served a guy who was buying the remastered version of their debut record. I spoke to him about how they are the best band ever, and he told me that he has their albums on vinyl. I’m pretty sure I told him he was my hero. He seemed stunned that someone my age loved them as much as he does. That’s the brilliant thing about TJAMC fans, you cannot spot them. You have to dig around and find them. You sometimes find them by accident. When you find them, hold onto them. They’ll probably change your life- like the band did, and still do.