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The right soundtrack

May 11, 2020

A few years ago a friend on Facebook asked for some recommendations for good window washing music. The consensus was that Bob Marley was definitely fit for purpose. And indeed I have employed Mr Marley for that job on more than one occasion.

I’ve known for a couple of weeks that something else was required when I finally got around to those windows that (alas) weren’t going to wash themselves. I knew after I watched this.


I have no idea what it’s like to be a teenage boy growing up in a Pakistani home in Luton in the late 1980s, but I do know exactly what it’s like when that charge of electricity shoots through your body the first time you hear the music of Bruce Springsteen.

For me it was the Palladium in New York. My friend Mike, already a huge fan, had bought the tickets. I’d heard some Springsteen songs on the radio and was inclined to like his music, but nothing had prepared me for that jolt when they started playing. Don’t ask me what the first song was. I have no idea. What I remember most clearly was the pure, unadulterated joy I felt when they performed Rosalita. Oh, my god, I thought my head was going to explode. And Clarence Clemons’s sax solo! Holy shit. That was what piqued a twenty-one year old’s interest in jazz.


I defy you, I absolutely defy you not to fucking love this song.

Back in London I went to every Springsteen concert that all too infrequently rolled in. And what shows they were: three, three and a half hours long, multiple encores. Holy fuck. There was one show at Wembley that ran so long a large number of fans missed the last tube out of the station. (Happily I was on that last train.) There’s a moment in Blinded by the Light when Rob Brydon, playing the father of the young hero’s friend, waxes lyrical about being at The River concert in 1981 and I thought so was I. In fact I suspect that was the one that stranded fans at Wembley station.

1985 was a particularly good year. Wembley stadium in July, then Exhibition stadium in Toronto six weeks later. Holy moly.

Anyway… Good call. The windows almost did wash themselves, I was bouncing around so much.

The Boss is definitely the bomb when it comes to window washing. This is now an annual event.

Oh, and, by the way, I do recommend Blinded by the Light as a fun way to get through a pandemic evening.

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