"CLUB 45 - 90 songs from the Pop Age for mods and jetsetters", Written by Álex Cooper
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Extracted from the introduction to Club 45. By Alex Cooper
“This book is not trying to reflect the whole mod universe, it is only focused on my devotion to the white 60s groups (…) It comes from the need to talk about what I’ve learned, with the hope that others will enjoy it as much as I do. I’ve been really lucky. As I’ve never felt nostalgic for an era I never knew, I’ve lived my life without being envious of other people’s lives. I have great memories of past times, and those memories aren’t borrowed, they’re my own. But it’s also true that other people, famous and anonymous musicians, who have excited and inspired me all these years, have marked my path. You will find some of them when you turn this page. I hope you enjoy yourselves in your visit to Club 45.
Prologue by Álex Oró [Chelsea Publishers]
Álex Cooper, one of the Spanish pop scene’s fundamental musicians as the front man of such emblematic groups as LOS FLECHAZOS, and most recently as COOPER, presents his first editorial work, titled Club 45. In it, and with 90 songs that serve as a pretext to portray people and an entire effervescent era of pop culture, Cooper serves us up a sixties session that covers 1964 to 1968. Along with the representative protagonists and diehards of that emerging scene (the collection begins with The High Numbers, and their I’m the Face, and ends with Los Iberos and Hiding Behind My Smile), on this highway, at the speed of 45 revolutions per minute, each stop is a historic single or a single that made history. In Club 45 there will be stops for people who transcended their era. For various reasons. But they will always have the right to drive on the left in the English style or on the right, in the continental.
From THE ROULETTES (Bad Time) to Rod Stewart (Good Morning Little Schoolgirl). From THE KINKS (All Day and All of the Night) to Georgie Fame (Something). From THE BIRDS (Leaving Here) to, moving from 1964 to 1965, THE SMALL FACES (Watcha Gonna Do About It), reaching 1966 with THE REMAINS and their Don ́t Look Back. And, in between, even though it’s after, a special stop to rescue Small Faces and their Shalalalalee again, which Álex claims personal weakness and the potency they put into the song are to blame. And then, The Creation or a certain David Bowie (“Well, yeah, Bowie was mod too”, to quote Álex) fronting THE LOWER THIRD. This is Can ́t Help Thinking About Me. THE TROGGS, THE END, THE ATTACK and their Anymore Than I Do. And to save the national pride, LOS SALVAJES, the previously mentioned LOS IBEROS, or LOS CANARIOS of Teddy Bautista.
All of these songs, ninety in total, are in the book.
To give it a certain order, the book, after Álex Oró’s prologue, is divided into three separately sealed sections, with meaningful titles. Let’s see, three free tolls: 1.- In the Club. Rhytm ́n ́Blues, Beat and the Flamingo Sound. 2.- Living in the Pop Era. Modbeat, Pop-Art and Blue-eyed Soul. 3.- Rainbow. Freakbeat, Soul and the beginning of Psychodelia.
And what story does Alex tell with each song he presents? An era’s substance in text form. Personal and third-person anecdotes to get all the way inside the story of those bands and artists. Photos, clippings, covers, tickets…starting moments and amazing occurrences that happened in presentations and concerts and more or less marketing situations in an incipient industry that, like a record player, to this day, has not stopped spinning ‘round.
The History of a Book
Alex Cooper changes to books for a while, not forever, but as a means to, in some way, tell a story through songs and to exercise his memory. As memorabilia, you could say. But the RAE (the official Spanish language Academy) does not register this word. Complicated? Not for him. Complicated would have been getting ready for Club 45 if he had had to start the selective operation of rescuing 90 songs from the Pop Era for mods and jetsetters, as the epigraph from this independent and sentimental publication reads, from zero. But as it turns out, Álex, while his musical career grew with LOS FLECHAZOS which is today COOPER, though he followed other personal creative paths that are different from mod, he still maintained mod essences as a collector. The shelves of his house couldn’t hold anything else, and they had been packed full for a long time with magazines, clippings, posters, covers, singles… the music history that follows the mod movement and everything related to it, which are a vital part of his world. It could be called a physical backdrop and there is as much musical memorabilia here as there is musical furnishing. Club 45 is the best way to tell songs in a book, to explain the evolution of an era through the individual artists that, together, form a historical and personal puzzle.
When someone decides to submit themselves to the discipline necessary to complete such an exercise, they must think about who the audience is. It could be a catalogue in the style of a personal inventory. But Club 45 is more than that. It could be aimed exclusively at newcomers to the subject or to those already specialized. Club 45 could be directed at that if it weren’t about songs and people who have exceeded the specific mod styles and continued to become a part of popular music. The documentation in images that accompanies everything that Álex Díez talks about is, in the end, a sixties delicatessen that interests all fans of music that has transcended its time.
Come and see. I’m sure you’ll find yourself singing along.
+ informatión: http://www.club45.es
picture: Alex Diez
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