Magic Jewball

all signs point to no


Running through my head secretly

Filed under : Depeche Mode,Music
On March 18, 2011
At 12:30 pm
Comments : 4

I tweeted about this already but just to flesh out the story and to tell you what was actually the funniest part, I was in Starbucks with my cooperating teacher today (although I will probably post this not today) in the middle of telling some story, I think, about The Killing Fields, when a lady remake of The Cure’s Love Song came on. If you know me, you know I am terrible about this, just terrible. I will interrupt you, your friend, your mother, or even myself when a song I can identify comes on the speaker in a store or restaurant. I did this a few weeks ago to Alex the Intern (Alex is no longer an intern, I am an intern, but whatever) about eight times while we were at Joe, the Art of Coffee, because they like to play a lot of music I can identify. Poor Alex. And it’s worst when I am interrupting myself because I speak a little like I post, that is, kind of rambly with lots of parenthetical asides, and it’s hard enough to follow without me interjecting out of nowhere, “I think this is Animal Collective!”

But I am glad I did this because it led my CT to interrupt me (burn!) with a story about how he had had Dave Gahan’s stepson as a student and the phone calls Dave would make to him. He’d had some live encounters as well, but I think I had already fallen out of my chair by that time and my mind couldn’t handle any further revelations after the “It’s Jimmy’s Dad, what happened to Jimmy’s computer?” story. (Another interjection, after doing some Googling, I now see that Dave adopted his stepson, but he was still officially a stepson at the time.) Isn’t it great to hear that Dave Gahan, after whom I named several of my own computers (shut up), is such an involved parent?

But in hindsight, the freakiest part of this story is that at first my CT made the mistake of thinking Robert Smith had called him (thus, the Love Song connection) and I was able to prove through a truly stalkery collection of facts in my possession that this couldn’t be the case and that it had been, rather, Dave Gahan. Because, at least twenty years after my prime fan years, I know that Robert Smith has no stepson, that his wife could not ever have been in a previous relationship because they got together at 14 and never broke up, that he has no children at all, that he lives in the UK, that Dave Gahan lives in New York, that he has been married/partnered several times and has several children from those relationships, and that his wife has also been previously partnered in a committed fashion. My CT had to check his set of facts on iPhone Wikipedia, whereas with me, there is an ever present and actively edited wiki in my brain where 80’s artists still live, and it contains a repository of knowledge on their current personal lives. I found myself saying with utter naturalness, “yes, Dave Gahan lives on the Upper West Side and I keep hoping to run into him at Fairway.” Also, I am a mature adult woman.

In conclusion, I may have to reconsider this whole “working at a private school” thing.

Title comes from:
Depeche Mode – Ice Machine

By the way, if you are a scholar of Depeche Mode, you will be as excited as I was to learn that early, pre-signing DM demos are available – they’re real and they’re spectacular. You can find all three in the stream of this YouTube user under Composition of Sound, their original name. Ice Machine is one of them.

This song always felt like a hidden treasure to me because it was a B-side to a single I didn’t own and so when I found it years later, it was like discovering a secret panel in a familiar room. Nowadays, we just find any track by Googling on our iPhones at Starbucks. Back then it was different.

This is the demo version of Ice Machine and Dave Gahan would have been about 17 or 18 years old when it was recorded – and kind of sounds it. It’s a bit different from the final version I linked to above and it’s insanely, unbelievably great.

Relatedly, and also tweeted by me this week, the first mention of Depeche Mode 30 years ago in the legendary UK music magazine, Smash Hits, has been posted on Flickr. The blurb ended by announcing the release of their first single, Dreaming of Me, backed with, of course, Ice Machine.

Finally in This Week in Depeche Mode, Thursday marked the 25th anniversary of the release of Black Celebration, still my favorite DM album and sounding just as good to me now as it did then. 1986 was one of the best years of my life and the majority of that was personal events and such but another part was the great, great music. I saw Depeche Mode for the first time that year, at Radio City Music Hall, almost missing the meet up with my friends (I was at my sister’s wedding, and, well, we didn’t have those handy cell phones they have now) but finally making it to an amazing show. I went with The White Whale and a couple of other people… maybe this will be the year I find her again.


4 Comments for this post

  1. North of the City says:

    No way!! This just goes to show that NY is the center of the universe…

  2. Becca says:

    I KNOW! I almost called you right from Starbucks. I think that would have been too much, though.

  3. Elena says:

    That sounds like me and baseball, knowing just a little too much about some of the players’ families [like which ones have vegan wives], and the first base coach’s wife’s name and how many grandchildren he has back in Canada [when I didn’t even know my own brother had a grandchild til my niece saw it on her cousin’s Facebook page–brother’s own fault for not telling us]. Did you say something about rambling and speaking parenthetically?
    And can you believe Opening Day is next week??

  4. Becca says:

    No, I cannot believe it! Especially because it’s supposed to snow here tonight. I fear they’re all going to want to stay in Florida and Arizona.

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