Dan Flanagan is a 40 something tea drinking, hat wearing, ageing b-boy. After 20 years in the PR world, he quit his job to take a sabbatical to concentrate on starting a revolution. He is the Editor of Don’t Believe The Hype a blog that concentrates on “Stories About Fatherhood, Funk & The People Behind The Hype’. Made For Dads Who Like To Dress and Dance Like A Don and Laugh About Things They Really Shouldn’t”.
Keeping this to just five songs is bloody difficult. I have rewritten this post several times as I keep thinking ‘Oh shit I must add this or that song’.
I finally settle on five, all taken from different parts of my times in my life.
I hope you are sitting comfortably. Actually no I don’t hope that at all, in fact, I would prefer that you read this standing up. Go stand up, it won’t kill you…Press play on the videos and have a little boogie. Put down your cuppa pick up your small people and bug on out.
THE MESSAGE – GRANDMASTER FLASH & THE FURIOUS FIVE
This is where it began for me. I can vividly remember being about 8 years old and being in the back of my dad’s car coming back from a trip to family caravan one Sunday. We were listening to the Top 40 and singing along as we always did and this came on. It blew me away like nothing I had ever heard. I wasn’t sure what it was, or what it was called, but I was hooked.
I found is it was called rap and soon afterwards I was swept up in Hip-Hop fever. Now over 30 years later, I still am. So don’t push me cause I close the edge..( that’s the ‘edge’, not the ‘Edge’ the one that wears the stupid hat in U2. Mind you saying that I wouldn’t mind being pushed into him, but only if I could give Bono a swift kiss with a house brick, right on his smug self-righteous prick of a face at the same time)
GONNA FLY NOW – BILL CONTI ( THE ROCKY THEME TUNE)
This series of films ( let’s forget all about number five ) were a staple of my childhood. Most men my age are fixated with Star Wars or Marvel, not me. I remember watching these films endlessly and trying to practice the training montages in my mates Gab’s cellar with his dad’s old leather bag, the soundtrack echoing down the stairs from the front room Hi-Fi. Adriannnnn…..
ALL NIGHT LONG – THE MARY JANE GIRLS
This tune reminds me of so many wicked and funk-filled nights dancing the night away in my home town of Tunbridge Wells. Thurs, Friday & Saturday nights a huge sway of us would take over a brilliant little bar called the Grapevine and make it into our own ‘Club Tropicana’. There was no George Michael in white speedos. But there was enough fun and the sunshine for everyone. It mainly came in the form of getting pissed on shots and pints of San Miguel. In the background the DJ, the legendary Karl Quinn would keep the party rocking and this tune would always pack the dancefloor.
Years later quite by chance, it was also the song we had playing in the delivery room, the exact moment my son was born. In the years to come with fatherhood, midnight feeds and toddler nightmares, the term ‘All night long’ came to mean a completely different thing altogether
DON’T BELIEVE THE HYPE- PUBLIC ENEMY
Don’t Believe The Hype by Public Enemy has to be on the list doesn’t it? (This is taking from a post I wrote back in 2012.)
When I was looking for a name and brand for the agency I’d always dreamed of establishing. I followed the tried and tested method of consulting branding agencies, colleagues, friends and family. I explored a range of avenues, but like a lot of good idea’s, someone had got there before me.
So I scraped everything I‘d done. I went back to basics and looked at the things that had inspired my attitudes and beliefs. Inspiration hits in the most unlikely of places and a quick flick through my vinyl collection held the key to what I had been looking for. When I came across this dusty old 7” that I originally purchased as 14-year-old “don’t believe the hype” was born.
WHY DON’T BELIEVE THE HYPE FITS THE BILL
Don’t Believe The Hype fitted the bill perfectly. A great name, a solid sentiment, one that summed up exactly what I was about. The world of PR was once ruled by spin-master generals and air kissers. These days the balance of power has well and truly shifted, from the hands of the few to the many. Bloggers and Tweeters hold just as much influence as the old-style PRs and often have a wider reach than your average local journalist.”
As illustrated by the Arab spring, while the revolution might not always be televised but it is being tweeted, liked, followed, pinned and posted on YouTube in real time. It’s instant. We’re consuming the media in the way we want, when we want, how we want. The boundaries have been broken. Opinions are currency. Instant feedback drives business. We’re all journalists.”
We have more online friends than flesh and blood friends. Social communities reach countless thousands of people in seconds. And the people making the news are just as likely to be the people breaking the news. It’s with these sentiments in mind that I set up don’t believe the hype
This video was recorded at the Brighton Centre in 2012. In Chuck D’s hand, you will see a copy of a 7” single. My 7” that he took out of my hand during the show. I was fortunate enough to meet him later that night and get it signed.
If I was able to tell the 14-year-old version of me that 30 years later that this would have happened, I think I would have told you to lay off the Red Leb.
TO BE SOMEBODY – NEW STREET ADVENTURE
Most modern music sucks. The fact that I am a curmudgeonly old git with no time for X-Factor wannabes or hipsters in jeans, skinny enough to give them severe testicular blood restriction issues has nothing to do with it. Everything to me sounds awful or an obvious rehash of more talented influencers from a previous generation. Isn’t this what I am meant to feel once I hit forty? That is the law after all.
Can I Get a 45′ Rewind?
Back in March 11′, in the BC (before child) world when Er Indoors and I regularly used to pop along to gigs, we went to Komedia in Brighton to watch the obscenely talented James Taylor Quartet (JTQ) to relive a bit of soulful Hammond–organ–type vibes of our misspent youth.
Coming into the event, we caught the last 30 minutes of the support act ‘New Street Adventure’; this was something I wouldn’t forget for a long time.I could immediately hear the Paul Weller influence, which in itself was highly attractive to my ears. So, rather than going straight to the bar, as usual, I stuck around.
This wasn’t another Britpop renaissance rehash – the mix of Style Council soulfulness with a splattering of passionate Bobby Womack/Jam type lyrics and Northern soul dance-ability was distinctly British and new. Five years later I am still massively in love with them, much to the annoyance of my missus who regularly plays a fun game of ‘hide the bloody cd’. This is one of their songs called ‘Be Somebody’ I absolutely love the sheer ‘f”ckoffery” of the sentiment behind it.
I hope you enjoyed listening. For more of this type of nonsense grab a ticket to my latest venture TOTROCKINBEATS. It’s a family friendly rave taking place in a converted church on Father’s Day in Worthing. Soft Play, face-paint for the small people and a bar and six DJs playing music made just for grown-ups. Tickets are only £6 each and under 3s goes free. Available here >