AT HOME WITH THE WALTONS: Daydream deceiver.
WHEN I was 22, almost a whole 12 years ago, I wrote the kind of song that only a 22-year-old with an entirely self-centred view of the world around him and distinctly average musical ability could write. It was my ``My Generation'' - except it wasn't any good and my generation - well, at least the lucky few of them who got to hear it - weren't even remotely interested in adopting it as an anthem. They wouldn't even have adopted it if it had been a big-eyed puppy chained to the central reservation on a busy motorway.
For six years I presented that song to audiences as if it was a lost scroll of ancient wisdom, an insight so pure and true, that if everyone took it on board, the human race would advance to a Utopian state and we would chart the furthest reaches of the universe in vast spaceships like cities in the stars. For six years I was ignored. I was ignored in Crewe, Rhyl, Liverpool, Lancaster, and St Tropez - a bad thing for a wannabe rock-star. I might as well have been a Komodo Dragon aspiring to be an Olympic ice-skater.
The thing that struck me as my i Pod randomly shuffled onto the song yesterday, catalysing the chain reaction of half-baked thoughts that has resulted in this column, was how deluded I must have been to have believed that I had what it took to clamber over all of the other clawing bodies on the crowded, upward ladder. I'm no Brad Pitt. As the wife takes delight in reminding me when I've provoked her, I'm not even a Coal Pit. There was no way I was going to find myself staring down from teenage bedroom walls. The budget to airbrush my pock marked moon face would have been too prohibitive.
And I'm no Paul McCartney either. Listening to the song, I realised I had probably, due to sheer fluke, stumbled across a lot of the right notes to craft a melody that had the potential to tug my generation behind me as I burnt in a mythical arc across the firmament. . . it's just that I had them all in the wrong order.
I was one hell of a pompous ass when I was twenty-two. I'm glad that life has beaten all of that narcissistic idealism out of me. . . otherwise I'd have become a (whisper it) hip pie . Flares look silly when you've got legs like Ronnie Corbett, and marijuana brings me out in hives. Instead of accepting my hippie tendencies, I became a mod. A mod without a scooter, and a mod who didn't want to fight rockers, or drink cappuccino, or wear a proper Italian suit because I already had one from Fosters; but a mod, all the same.
The song was called The Dreamers. It was a flatulent example of minor seventh chords woven under layers of smug bombast so thick, it would take an archaeologist with a pneumatic drill an eon to get to its vacuous core. Like many 22-year-olds, I was utterly convinced my world view was unique and right. My lyrics were the philosophical equivalent of those disenfranchised kids you see skate boarding in bus stations up and down the land, all convinced that they've opted out of the dull-witted, uniformed herd, and all dressed-up exactly the same in Lost Prophets hoodies covering tattoos that they daren't let mummy and daddy see.
In other words, my lyrics had the individuality of a Tic Tac.
``I'm building castles in the sand, daydreams getting out of hand, escaping from reality . . . I'm a dreamer, I believe, '' They're the opening lines. In retrospect, the irony is so strong it's turned the benefit of hindsight into something as seen under an electron microscope. My daydreams did get completely out of hand, and there was no one there to take me quietly aside and say, ``Get yourself a day job! Your songs stink like a dead rat on a sunny day. ''
Not that it's easy to take anyone ``quietly aside'' who claims that he has to play his Marshall amp at full volume so that the valves are working, and it makes the right sound.
So, I spent all of my teen and early adult years being that dreamer. The crux is this: what do I do when my daughter, Ava, starts to fantasise about what she wants to be when she grows up? I've indulged every flight of fancy a man could ever have in the name of avoiding a good day's work. It would be hypocrisy of the highest order if I told her to ditch her dreams and plan for a ``proper'' job. However, having gone through what I went through, especially that night I walked off the edge of the stage and fell flat on my face because I had rock `n' roll sunglasses on in a dark room, I know that allowing someone to indulge themselves in a dream that can never work out does that person no good whatsoever! It's certainly no good for your nose.
Anyway, I plucked up the courage to ask Ava what she wanted to be.
Even at two-and-five-sevenths I think it's important that she should be planning her career route. Her wide-eyed answer gladdened my heart, ``I want to be Scooby Doo!'' she said. ``Good girl!'' I answered, hoping that she would, one day, remember my unstinting support and share out her Scooby snacks, ``Don't lose your dreams, darling! Don't ever lose your dreams. . . ''
n You can download The Dreamers from http://www. adamwalton. co. uk/ dreamers. mp3 - just for a laugh, like. . .
Yours truly on stage with The Immediate showing all the unflappable self-confidence of a 22-year-old who's just written the masterpiece that defines his generation. In his dreams. . .