Yesterday I mentioned, cheekily, that Mrs Villain was now just a year away from her bus pass. I suppose I should have provided a translation for those of you who have no reliance on public transport nor any knowledge of rules/regulations here in the UK, but you qualify for free travel on our buses when you reach 60 years of age.

Rachel (to give Mrs V her proper name) is a very sprightly and active person. She also has retained a degree of youth in terms of looks and could easily pass for a decade or more younger. But it does feel weird that she is close to hitting a number that, when I was growing up, seemed to mean you likely didn’t have that long left to live. It didn’t help that my childhood neighbourhood was an area that has historically been a statistical time bomb for early deaths in Glasgow that that no academic study has ever really gotten to the bottom of. My family does seem to be defying the stats – dad is 82 in a few days time and mum is the youngest 77-year old on the planet in terms of her wonderful attitude to life. But we all, and I include myself in this, increasingly suffer from the aches and pains of bodies whose halcyon days have come and gone.

Aside from thinking about people’s ages, the other thing that makes me realise that time is marching on at a scary rate is looking at the year a song came out and refusing to believe what the number adds up to. Like this tremendous Top 30 tune:-

mp3 : Sugar – If I Can’t Change Your Mind

It remains the only time that Bob Mould has ever cracked the singles charts here in the UK, and he did it in 1993. The year I became a 30-something and thought I was middle-aged. I’m in total denial about what I am now. I’m certainly not thinking I’m old.

I bought this on CD and you’ll see that the sleeve calls it a limited edition. Not that limited as you can still get it on Discogs for 39p; having said that, the non-limited version is going for 1p. Nobody seems interested in CDs nowadays, so expect them to become hip again in 2029. Here’s tracks 2,3 and 4.

mp3 : Sugar – The Slim (BBC)
mp3 : Sugar – If I Can’t Change Your Mind (BBC)
mp3 : Sugar – Where Diamonds Are Haloes

The BBC tracks were recorded for a session for the Mark Goodier Show that was broadcast on 24 August 1992. Yup, more than quarter-of-a-century ago.



  1. Surprised you resisted the urge to title this post “The passing of time and all its sickening crimes… is making me sad again.”

    Yes, the definition of “old age” really has changed since we were young (fortunately!). My mum is 89, dad 88, and I don’t think either of them expected to reach that age. Mum says “89 is much harder than 88” though. My dad’s best friend and mentor (from when he was an apprentice joiner in the 50s) died a few years back having reached 101.

    That said: I feel knackered now, and I’m only 45…

    Great tune anyway.

  2. Its weird, age. I never in my wildest dreams ever imagined what things would be like aged 46 when I was in my 20s. I kind of denied I’d ever get that old, remaining forever 20-something. I panicked when I reached 30 as I’d been made redundant and had a young family to support. I thought my life was over but then Wales came a-calling and we started over.

    Like you, music is my gauge of time. It frightens me when I work out how old a song is and realising I bought it first time round. Yet, unlike many of my peers I haven’t given up. I don’t live in the 80s, I don’t listen to commercial radio stations and I don’t go to a gig once every few years only to see reformed 80s acts or tribute shows. Right now, Im listening to the new Nadine Shah album and and getting goosebumps at how good it is. This is how I stay young. That and a couple hours playing football every week, though the latter hurts a lot more nowadays…

  3. Completely concur with all you say and the above comments too. It’s a weird thing, ageing, but I do get great comfort from knowing I’m in very good company here! (And also when I think of musicians and artists I admired in my youth getting older with me… that always makes me feel better too.)
    I’m going to make a mental note about the CDs becoming hip in 2029 too, sounds about right! So if I’m still around and still have my wits about me I’ll be looking out for the CD revival.

  4. I’m just back from a few days in London catching up with visiting relatives. While I was down there my cousin, her kids and I took a walk along the River Lea towpath, exactly as she, I and our own parents often did 50 years ago.
    We did a lot of reflecting on the passing of time over the weekend, so this post is very apt.

  5. At 51, I’m feeling more nostalgic than ever. actually took in a day of Rewind North this year with Mrs G, as it was only 6 miles up the road. A mate’s 50th will also see me taking in an Icicle Works gig in October (although technically they are now Ian McNabb and the guys he’s been playing with for the last 10 years or so, and who appear on his most recent album). Once my own blog gets started I fully plan to write about these events….
    I rarely listen to any radio so my exposure to new music is pretty limited. If I had a digital radio in the car, I’m sure I’d be a 6Music listener, but instead I rely on recommendations from blogs, free magazine CDs and just randomly picking things on iTunes.
    Like Robster , I still play footy every week, something I didn’t expect to be doing at 41, let alone 51. No longer the tricky winger, but more the barrel-chested centre-half these days. The age range is 17-60, so I’m still not the oldest, but it does seem a bit weird playing alongside a couple of my son’s mates.
    Anyway, time for a random pick before I head off to work and a boring team meeting….

  6. The thing to do is embrace your age as a number but not as a reflection of who you are. I certainly don’t. I haven’t worked for a superior for over 15 years that’s older than me, yet when I chat with my 20 and 30 something coworkers, it blow’s their mind that I am the age of their parents. I travel more, have more knowledge of all things current events and culture and still don’t act “old” in their words… I’m 54, but that number hasn’t really mattered since I was 30 – the year Loleatta Holloway sang Love Sensation for me at my birthday do – that one was for you SA, if you’re reading…
    As for Polly Jean, it took me a decade to really appreciate her music. I will admit I just wasn’t paying attention to her in the early years…she was just the daughter of a well known Rolling Stones groupie that had a band. But I’ve come to appreciate her work and what she has attempted to do with her music.

  7. Great though it is IICCYM is probably the most over exposed Bob song. The Official Chart site reckons that Your Favorite Thing reached no 40. Remarkably, given that it was only released on 7″, Tilted still reached #48.

    It’s always worth remembering that all 3 Sugar LPs made the Top 10 in the grown up charts and that Beaster (Beaster!) reached number 3.

    Bob’s another artist enjoying an Indian Summer, his last three LPs have been a serious return to form. Interestingly the last one Patch The Sky gave him his second highest chart placing ever for a solo record #54, compared to #52 for Bob Mould/Hubcap (the first post Sugar record) I’m sure though that Hubcap sold lorry loads more!

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