Thursday, July 8, 2010

The Last Song Syndrome 15: Ian, The Mac That Is More Edible Than Big Mac

"Seven seas
Swimming them so well
Glad to see

My face among them

Kissing the tortoise shell"

Echo and the Bunnymen, "Seven Seas"

From the moment I heard Ian McCulloch's voice back when I was still young and wet behind the ears, I became his willing captive. Long after Ian has lain low and his voice ceased to be ubiquitous, I remain his willing captive.

Sure, I was and still is intrigued by many male - and pseudo-male - personalities, most of them being the quirky types. The character of Six Million Dollar Man circa 70s (note: the character, NOT the actor, Lee Majors) was my first object of fascination. The character (again) of The Invisible Man circa 70s. Steve Armstrong of Voltes V. Boy George of Culture Club. Annie Lennox circa Eurythmics. Through the years my taste was getting a little fastidious.. I got to know Ian Curtis, Bob Dylan, Arnold Morales, Al Dimalanta.I thought Joe Strummer was grand, in fact too grand for my feeble capacity for adoration to contain. Robert Smith was awesome but that was as far as I can say. The list goes on and on. Can I just say, even Beethoven was not spared?

However, I can truthfully say that it was Ian McCulloch who truly gripped me. It is something I can never fully understand. Nor could Je, who would often shake his head in resignation whenever I played an Echo and the Bunnymen song on the turntable.

It is definitely the voice, the crisp enunciation, the mysterious timbre. The cockiness that comes with the voice. After all, he is not called "Mac The Mouth" for nothing. It must be he entire package: the funny shaggy hair, the deliberate gestures, the full lips. Ian can pass off as a gorgeous flirtatious woman, a coquinette you may say. (If you have seen the video of "Seven Seas", you would know what I mean.) It must be the intriguing songs as well. Echo and the Bunnymen, McCulloch's band, were sublime. Then again, it must be the somewhat ambiguous yet apparently masculine sexuality that Ian exuded whenever he took over the microphone.

Call it infatuation on my part, I do not care. I have already gotten many male friends wondering: Why Ian McCulloch?! Why him, even after all these years? That, in spite of above justifications. He may now probably look grotesquely aged in person. Probably has a beer belly (like Robert Smith) which he hides well. Probably has enormous jowls on his face (again, like my other favorite Robert Smith) manipulated in Photoshop. If that is the case it does not matter. Only one justification will be enough for me: the sensual voice.

I just have to listen, and close my eyes, and will myself to play the role of a willing captive, again, and again, and again.

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