I don’t think Superstar Tradesman quite qualifies for inclusion as a song lyric making for a great short story, but there is a very clear message being put across:-
Superstar tradesman, stand at the bar
Get a trade son, you will go far
You have a house in The Ferry and a new guitar
That’s never been played before and it never will
Never been played before and it never will
This was the second single to be released by The View, a band from the Dryburgh area of Dundee, Scotland. It’s not the most salubrious of communities but has long enjoyed a strong working class/blue collar tradition in which the most important thing for any young lad leaving school was to get himself a job, and preferably one in which he could learn a trade, such as electrician, plumber, joiner, bricklayer/builder or heating engineer, that would ensure a comfortable(ish) life in years to come.
The boys in the band were no doubt hearing this, if not from their parents then certainly from other members of their extended families. They might have talents in singing and playing of instruments, but it was no guarantee of success or a decent income. Much better to take the well-trodden path and once you’ve got your new house in Broughty Ferry (a very salubrious community on the eastern fringe of Dundee), you can buy yourself a decent new guitar and have another go at making it as you’ll have something solid to fall back on.
The boys, however, know that once you give up on the dream, even if it’s in your best financial interests to do so, it will never be realised; and while the trappings of a comfortable life might enable you to purchase a new Fender Stratocaster, it will just sit in its case rather than be put to good use.
The song crashed high into the charts in late October 2006, straight in at #15 on the back of what had been some four weeks of advance play across radio stations, including the accolade of ‘Record of the Week’ on a BBC Radio 1 show. The following week, however, it had dropped out of the Top 40 altogether, indicating that while there was a large and dedicated fan base, there was little evidence of them reaching a wider market.
The b-side was a cover, and an absolute stinker at that:-
It had been recorded for a Radio 1 session in August 2006 and the label decided it should be utilised for the 7” vinyl and CD single. It was a bad call……………