Love your reversing truck ringtone, mate
by Giles Coren
LOOK, BRUV, I don’t care what old people say, I think it’s wicked that the Crazy
Frog mobile telephone ringtone is about to go straight into the charts tomorrow
at No 1. I mean, like, the news will probably have pop purists weeping for the
days when young men and women hunkered round the old crystal set to listen to
Radio Jemima, or whatever it was, broadcasting from a rusty old studio mounted
on a whale in the Irish Sea, to find out whether Love Me Do had been knocked off
the No 1 slot by the sound of an honest-to-goodness desktop, Bakelite, telephone
bell-ring. But that’s the past. And you’ve got to big up the kind of stuff being
achieved in the modern music scene today.
It’s no good sitting around talking about the 1930s, or whenever them Beatles
were around, and saying: “Aye, them were the days — when men were men, birds
weren’t afraid of a good snog and notification of an incoming telephonicular
communication was one hundred per cent acoustic.” That’s just so lame.
I mean, how different was it back then, anyway? Alan “Titch” Freeman was probbly
just saying fings like: “Hi there, pop pickers. This week it’s up, up, up, for
the corridor-tastic wall-mounted telephone hammer-on-bell ring, but no movement
at all for the boring old doorbell. Meanwhile, the red telephone box at the end
of my road has a cut a spondoolicious deal with Polygram and its first 45 is out
next week. Smashing.”
But these days fings are well more good. Personally, I fink it’s a brilliant new
departure for pop music, which was always going to come under pressure from the
online download zippy file mpeg iPod fing anyway, wasn’t it? Speaking of which,
I’d love to be able to get a record of that noise my computer makes when it
comes on, you know: diddle-ing-ding-diiiing!! It’s wicked. I often have mates
round on a Friday evening to drink a few beers, smoke some doobs and listen to
it repeatedly as we switch our ’puters on and off. Except my best mate, Baz,
he’s got a Mac, and it makes a different noise, so he can’t come.
Yes, music is wicked these days. I don’t know what the old folk are talking
about when they get all misty-eyed about Elvis and Donny Osmond.
I mean, could you have stored, like, about a billion songs in an Elvis record
and also used it to pay the congestion charge? Exactly. “King”, my arse. The
only one of Elvis’s that I know is Tie Me Kangaroo Down, Sport, but personally I
much prefer that noise that dust carts make when they’re reversing. You know:
“Meeeep . . . meeeep . . . meeeep.” It’s blat antly wicked, and you can just
totally trance out and stuff.
In America, dust-carts just go “this vehicle is reversing . . . this vehicle is
reversing . . . this vehicle is reversing . . .” which is just, like, totally
pony, but that’s coz American pop music is, like, way behind what we’re doing in
Another tune that I downloaded recently is from Camden Council Traffic Solutions
featuring a Couple of Blokes from Murphy. It’s the sound of an angle-grinder
cutting up an old speed-bump which they put in last week but have decided to
move. It’s wicked. I usually put it on when me girl comes round for a shag. We
also watch the video. The Murphy blokes have this wicked green van which they
spend most of the time sitting in drinking tea.
Old people hear the news that some bleepy noise from a stupid little plastic
thing which you have in your pocket for talking to your mates and taking photos
of your bum to text to your nan when you is pissed has got to No 1, and say that
it is symptomatic of the ruination of music and the end of culture, but to them
I say, you have to listen to it two or free times before you get into it.
And if you still don’t like it then maybe you should try something different but
similar. For example, you might want to check out the No 1 in the album charts
which is a collection of the almost inaudible little waltz-like tunes that they
play down the phone for about an hour when you call the gas company to say that
you can smell sumfink funny coming from the boiler and also your wife has
And they say the big hit of the summer in all the clubs down Faliraki and Puerto
Banus is going to be that bloke who goes “mind the gap . . . mind the gap . . .”
down the Underground.
Or perhaps what will light your fire is a new compilation from Mercedes-Benz
which contains no fewer than 23 different car alarms going off in suburban
streets at the crack of dawn on a Sunday simply because a sparrow has shat on
the hood from the branches of an overhanging tree.
Hang on, I think the bloke downstairs has got his iPod speakers on full blast to
play the new hit single from Topps Pizza in Tufnell Park, which is the sound of
a teenager on £1 an hour screeching a moped with a hole in the exhaust up my
road at four in the morning to deliver a Hawaiian with extra pineapple to the
stoneheads at No 23.
Can you hear it? It’s well wicked, it goes: “waaaaaaaaa Glonk waaaaaaaaa Glonk
waaaaaaaaaaa Glonk . . .” The Glonk is the sound of him hitting the speed bumps
which the council are coming round tomorrow with the Murphy boys to move.
No wait, I tell a lie, he hasn’t got his iPod speakers on at all. It’s the
actual bloke from Topps Pizza coming down the roads on his moped.
Wicked! I love live music.