Wednesday, 6 August 2008


Great to see the book title on the front page of the Indie....

....but sad to see that they’ve got the wrong end of the stick about the whole idea. Maybe they should have read it first.

The Indie piece groans with brand names and references to hoity toity new rock bands, as well as the obligatory reference to Mick Jagger at 65. Groovy Old Men isn’t about that. The guys I spoke to over the past year or so are old enough and wise enough not to worry about labels or whether they are as fit as Mick. They may have a passing interest in the Stones but they’re old enough and wise enough not to see them as comparable to real people. Or to worry about brands. The real GOM treats brands and bands in the same way. If they like em, they’ll buy. They don’t give a stuff about what the Indie thinks is Groovy. Or what anyone else thinks, for that matter. Despite what the Indie claims, Groovy Old Men isn’t a “style bible.” It’s a spotter’s guide. Style bibles are so eighties.

Spotter’s guides are rather early-sixties. But unlike the old I-Spy books which encouraged kids like me, sitting in the back of the Ford Popular, to tick the boxes for a police box or a foreign motor car, the idea of Groovy Old Men is to get people to assess the older men they encounter. Treat them as real people with real histories and cultures. Work out how Groovy they are without too much reference to designer pants or name-drop rock.

The Indie also featured the obligatory online vote for the silverest fox, or some such nonsense. Entertaining, space-filling stuff, but nothing to do with Groovy Old Men. Vote for the punkiest punk, the gothiest goth or the rockiest rocker if you want, but the original conception of Groovy Old Men has nothing to do with top tens, lists of brand names, or celebrity haircuts. Groovy Old Men are too old (and too relaxed) to be swayed by upmarket shopping lists. That’s the whole point. For many, it’s a case of “When I am old I will listen to Deep Purple.”

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