The Infinite Jukebox: Simon & Garfunkel’s ‘America’

Every time I play ‘Bridge over Troubled Water’ on YouTube, it automatically leads on to ‘America’. And I let it play and I usually sing along with it, a thing that should only be done in private since I can carry a tune like a string bag can carry water.
I remember that I first heard the song at school, when two of my year-mates performed it on the stage of the school hall, a duet on acoustic guitars for some sort of entertainment the pupils were putting on, and I couldn’t make head nor tail of it because they seemed to flatten the tune out of it, nor hear what they were singing. I only remember it was ‘America’ because they’d talked about rehearsing it.
I don’t think I knew it was by Simon and Garfunkel, or even who they were. I have a vivid memory of hearing ‘Sound of Silence’ on the old radio at Brigham Street, and getting spooked by the lyrics. All this stuff passed by me.
But I love ‘America’, perhaps above everything else Paul and Artie did, except of course ‘Bridge over Troubled Water’. I love its slow haziness, it’s rise and fall, the sense of space between the instruments. Most of all I love the place I am taken to in the song.
It’s a road song, heir to Kerouac and forerunner to Springsteen. Where ‘Bridge’ is Art Garfunkel’s song, ‘America’ is Paul Simon’s. He and his girlfriend Kathy, of ‘Kathy’s Song’ and ‘Homeward Bound’, are on a Greyhound bus, travelling at night. They’ve picked up the bus in Pittsburgh and we never get to learn where they’re headed, two lovers with a pack of cigarettes and a joke about marrying their ‘fortunes’ together.
But where they’re going has no place on any map you could buy over the counter, because they’re all gone to look for America, and in that place and time, America was something you found in your mind, the great dream of what the country meant to you, and what you saw it could be, not what it was.
Paul and Kathy are travelling a road that will take them forever. They joke about other passengers, they smoke their cigarettes, he wakes from a dream, lost and confused as she continues to sleep, and we see her behind the words, long, dishevelled dark hair, head on his shoulder as he looks drawn, and cramped, the moon risen over an open field holding them in its cold light..
Everyone around them is on the same journey, that quest to find who you are and what you’ll be and where you are. They count the cars on the New Jersey Turnpike, counting them in to their quest. Though travelling in space, they are really travelling in their souls, which is what the song means when it runs out of words and it fades into that endless road to the sound of an organ wrapping itself around the melody, cocooning it against the inevitable.
Nobody found America, not that year, not since. Seventeen years later, Talking Heads took the same road, but by then we all knew that the destination was unattainable, and they called it for what it was, a ‘Road to Nowhere’.
Out there, the Pauls and Kathys still ride, still take the piss out of the weirdos who accompany them, still sleep fitfully and awkwardly, along night highways that maybe, one day, if we remember how to be better than this and to care for one another and write words that can penetrate to the heart of this need to reach a fabled land, we may finally arrive at that land of pride and hope and honesty and equality that each of us calls by a private name but that many call America, the America that has never been but still lies beyond our horizon.
Each time I let one song transition into another, I become a rider on the same lost Greyhound.


The Infinite Jukebox: Bob Andy and Marcia Griffiths’ ‘Young, Gifted and Black’

Sometimes you can be in the right place but at the wrong time for yourself.
As the Sixties was coming to an end, I was beginning my musical education, taught at first by Radio 1. Those first few years was a process of learning what I liked and disliked, and shaping myself for the rest of my life. Those first few months, until I started writing down the Top Thirty every week, are almost like a dream sequence: memories of songs heard at random, without any sense of structure or order.
Great things happened in that period of just under half a year, things that, only a short time after, would be fixed in my memory and given an indelible when and where. When and where did I first hear “Bridge over Troubled Water”? When did I first understand what a magnificent song it was?
That’s the most obvious example from that short but nebulous period. Another one is Bob and Marcia’s version of “Young, Gifted and Black”, a Nina Simone song. In Simone’s hands it was titled “To Be Young, Gifted and Black”, and Simone herself released it as a single, though it only got to no 76 in the American charts.
We didn’t get that version. Instead, we got this version, by Bob Andy and Marcia Griffiths, a duo of already successful singers in the home market. And this isn’t even the version recorded for the Jamaican market because Trojan Records sweetened it up with strings, dominant, sweeping strings for the UK market. A betrayal of everything reggae stood for, at a time when less than a year had passed since Desmond Dekker had hit no 1 with “The Israelites”, and reggae in the light, bouncy, jaunty form we had it then was a successor to the ska and bluebeat of the Sixties.
And, do you know what? It was brilliant. And it was more than brilliant, but that’s the part I didn’t understand in early 1970.
What I heard was the song, the voices. Unlike Nina Simone’s original, the arrangement was spare, open and light in touch. Bob and Marcia sang lines almost alternately, joining their voices for the title line and its various follow-throughs. They had one of the best vocal balances I’ve ever heard, the differences in pitch being small and the tones so similar that the alternation blends beautifully. In the Jamaican original, they sounded strong and confident, and the music takes a background role.
The UK version, which went to no 5, something I look back on with pride and no little astonishment, sweetens it up with the orchestra, playing counter melodies to the local musicians, leading the song gently towards the middle of the road. But somehow, and this is not just my memories of 1970 and hearing it on the radio, the song isn’t flattened. The arrangement is sympathetic even as it is intrusive, and whilst it drastically commercialised the single and probably played a big part in getting it the airplay, and from the sales, it adds a layer of melody an, yes, an anglicisation, that makes the song an uplifting sound.
How much that influenced sales, and how much people dug the message the song purveys I’ll never know, and I was too young, naïve and unknowledgable to tell. Because the song, like “A Change is Gonna Come”, is riding the wave of the future to be. Nina Simone made it a slow, rich anthem of hope, Bob and Marcia made it a pop hit, but the song remains the same, and for the same reason that Sam Cooke wrote his song of legend and immortality.
It was the Sixties, however late it was, and change was all around us, the change Sam Cooke sensed. Simone, Andy and Griffiths were all saying the same thing, that to be Black in a White World was not to be ashamed but to be proud. It was a message to believe in yourself, to stand up, to be whatever you were. To be Young, Gifted and Black was where it’s at. More than that, the song told you that your soul’s intact.
It was pride and defiance and determination all wrapped into one, an open expression that people of colour could, should and would be proud in themselves. It lights up the heart, even for those of us White Folk who believe that we are all one people, and that’s human. Bob and Andy lightened the mood, and the UK strings prettied it up even more but you couldn’t mistake, couldn’t ignore what the song said, and in 1970, just two years after Enoch Powell’s infamous ‘Rivers of Blood’ speech, at the end of a decade of prejudice, discrimination and hatred, my country took that message and embraced it, open-heartedly.
Except for me, lacking the understanding, the experience, even the musical sense to understand that what I heard was more than just a bouncy, simple tune, but a calling to colours that I had no hope of seeing then, and regret that knowledge only came in retrospect and not in the blinding flash of someone standing up in the face of the world and singing for what they believed.

The Infinite Jukebox: Laurie Anderson’s ‘O Superman’

For once, I was ahead of everybody else. Not everybody: nobody in the world, it seems, was ahead of John Peel. He had it first, an unusual, nine-minute long song on a 33rpm import single from New York, by someone none of us had heard of, by someone who wasn’t even a musician or a singer, but instead a Performance Artist. And what was one of them when it was blackleading the grate?
Her name was Laurie Anderson, and she had written/created/performed a gigantic multi-media piece entitled United States Live Parts I-IV that was so long it could only be performed over four night. The single that caught Peely’s ears was a section of Part II, a quasi-spoken word piece performed to a background of ‘hah-hahs’, running continuously throughout the number, as well as various electronic effects, rising to crescendos that marked three separate phases.
It was extraordinary. I had never heard anything like it before. The record was only available as an import from New York’s One-Ten Records, released in a limited edition of which most sales were orders from the UK, like me. I didn’t care. I loved it, and I didn’t want to rely on taping it off the radio.
But the remarkable thing was that the influx of orders from us lot in Britain led to Warner Brothers buying the rights to release ‘O Superman’ officially over here, as well as sign Anderson up to a seven album deal. The main thing was that ‘O Superman’ was now available in this country, to buy in Virgin Megastores, HMV Shops, and even in Woolworth’s.
It was still a nine minute long track, with a minimal tune and flattened, electronically processed vocals, an incomprehensible, symbolically-expressed storyline and no commercial element whatsoever. Radio 1 would never play it (not in the daytime) and no-one would ever buy it.
It entered the UK Top 40 at no. 16.
The following week, though it was October, cold and clear, I went away to the Lake District for a few days holiday, on my own for the first time, in my first car. I didn’t set off until the Tuesday of that week, and made a slow journey of it, up the A6, eventually winding up in Ambleside. By lunchtime, I was passing through Preston and looking for somewhere to get some sandwiches. I had the car radio tuned to Radio 1, for Tuesday was still the day the new Chart was announced, pre-computerisation, and I was still directly interested in such things.
I was waiting to hear where ‘O Superman’ was, this week. I waited a long time. Unlikely though it was, the single was basically selling as a novelty song, and though such things almost never happened, maybe it had dropped straight back out again.
It hadn’t. It had shot up to no. 2. No. 2. It hadn’t displaced Dave Stewart and Barbara Gaskin’s execrable cover of ‘It’s My Party’ and there was many a record inferior to ‘O Superman’ that I would have relished seeing do that, but this was ‘O Superman’, the most odd number 2 single in history until ‘Ding Dong The Witch is Dead’ was mass-streamed to celebrate Margaret Thatcher’s death. And Radio 1 daytime was playing this extravaganza, and I heard it several times those few days I was away, even if they were fading it out after about six minutes.
Of course it didn’t last. The single slipped one place only, to no. 3, the next week, then plummeted to no. 18, after which it disappeared from the radio, and from our lives after only one more Top Forty week.
But for a week in our country it was the second best selling single, all nine-minutes, 33rpm that it was.
Yes, of course it was a novelty. Not a novelty song as such, but rather a serious composition that was at a ninety degree angle from anything traditionally thought of as ‘pop’ music. The shock of the new, the appeal of the new: this is novelty. But it was a novelty in the sense that Kraftwerk’s ‘Autobahn’ was a novelty, yet that had more the structure of a song to it, and a more distinct melody. ‘O Superman’ was dry, minimal and excessively repetitive. It had nothing to strike a chord with the Great British Record Buying Public, yet it still went out and did so, and even now, almost thirty years later, I cannot understand why.
I mean, I loved it. I’d gone out and bought the import months before it was released over here but, well, I was weird enough to like things like this, and I was really not used to the idea that ordinary people could like something outré like I did in such massive quantities. It was a contradiction in terms.
And looking back from now, it seems all the more an act of collective, but glorious madness.

The Infinite Jukebox: 10cc’s ‘I’m Not In Love’

When I was younger, as in between 1973 and 1976, I was a fervent 10cc fan. They were my favourite band in that time, I got to see them live four times (they weren’t really a live band, let’s be honest, no-one whose main concern is duplicating the sound of their records on stage is really a live band), and I had all their albums and singles. I even liked the b-sides.
This included the band’s first two number 1 singles, ‘Rubber Bullets’ and ‘I’m not in love’ (‘Dreadlock Holiday’, which I disliked, and found patronisingly racist, was by the post-Lol Creme/Kevin Godley version of the band which I always thought should have re-named itself 5cc). Three number 1s and only four weeks total at no. 1 in all, the extra week going to ‘I’m not in love’.
Funny, or perhaps not, but in all the years since that it’s been a classic, I’ve never even considered the possibility that anyone had covered it. I mean, why would you? How can you improve upon it? How could you change it without destroying all the things that make it what it is?
The short answer is that you can’t, but that hasn’t stopped an awful lot of people, including those who really should know better.
Amongst these is Petula Clark, who recorded a disco version that co-writer Graham Gouldman nominated as the absolute worst version, and, you know what, he was right. More reputable, and potentially more worthwhile, was a version by Tori Amos. Amos turned the song into a thing of slow crawling menace, in a tone of voice almost grated out, added to the change in perspective inherent on putting this into a woman’s experience, makes ‘I’m not in love’ more appropriate to a stalker.
No, thank you, at that point let me condemn this as a shallow and unwanted exercise and go back to the original. A song by a four piece band of four songwriters, four singers, three multi-instrumentalists, a song with the sound of 256 voices.
That’s not 256 singers, but rather four of them – Creme, Godley, Gouldman and lead singer and co-writer Eric Stewart – who individually recorded each note in the whole of their ranges, and mixed the same into a wall of sound completely unlike anything produced by Phil Spector, a sussurration of sound that in places mimics the effects of the early synthesizers, and which surrounds both Stewart’s vocals, his hazy electric piano and the minimal percussion for six glorious, and dreamlike minutes.
The thing about 10cc was that everybody knew they were a quirky band. They were oddballs, whose music was different, unconventional, tricky. In many ways, because of their success, they were the archetype of the Seventies band, the anti-pop decade, the musicians who would deliberately distort and twist songs, drop in time-changes, so as not to do the pop obvious, spoiling some bloody good songs in the process.
10cc were better at this than most, as their commercial record shows. I loved them at the time, but even when I was at my most passionate, a lot of the things they did struck me as forced cleverness, cleverness for the sake of cleverness.
‘I’m Not In Love’ stands out, now and then, for its simplicity, for how it avoided avoiding directness and naturalness. It’s plain, it’s clean, it’s melody is minimal but it develops naturally. The instrumentation is actually sparse, the swirling voices, Stewart’s electric piano, played with a warm, slightly over-produced sound, subdued, an almost subliminal rhythm, and some bass melody in the middle-eight. It’s an enveloping sound, six minutes of gentle glow wrapped around the ears, sweet, beautiful, affecting.
But of course this can’t be 10cc without some quirkiness and that is, and always has been, in the words. I’m not in love, so don’t forget it, it’s just a silly phase I’m going through.
The great anti-love song that, almost 45 years later, no-one has ever really decided just who is being put on? Is the girl to whom Stewart is singing a victim of a con-artist, a guy whose only interest is in how often he can get her knickers off, or is he fooling himself about how much she means to him?
Most of us prefer to think that he’s putting himself on, scared of admitting his real feelings. We think that because the song slants itself more in that direction, and because the music’s warmth and envelopment leads us to want a scenario that can change for the positive. I’ve talked often enough about the fruitful juxtaposition of opposites in art leading to an additional tension, but we don’t want that here. For the guy to mean what he says makes him into a cold, callous monster, an exploiter, a heartless bastard, and that is too much of a contrast to the music for us to want that for our song.
The closest, musically, 10cc come to being 10cc in this song is in the middle eight. The piano stops, the voices quieten, Gouldman plays what can only be taken as a bass guitar solo, and a female voice (the Strawberry Studio receptionist) tilts the balance even further towards our preferred response by speaking/intoning in an almost mechanical whisper, ‘Be Quiet, Big Boys don’t cry, Big Boys don’t cry…’ It’s a moment of contrivance, but it’s a moment of genius, as we step outside the song, step outside the mind of the singer. She’s a smart girl, the one to whom this is sung. She knows far better than he does what he really thinks and feels.
But there is no resolution, for him or her. Stewart’s voice rises in despairing emphasis for his last repetition of his statement, the thing he’s clinging to, and the music and its aura of voices slowly winds down into the distant tinkling of fairy bells over a slowing, closing hum of sound. In some ways, the emptiness of silence is fuller and warmer than the emptiness of the singer.
We will always return to listen again.

The Infinite Jukebox: The Smiths”How Soon Is Now?’

When it came to having a cavalier approach to singles in the Eighties, New Order were the unashamed masters. It wasn’t that they took unconventional steps, but sometimes it was like they were deliberately anti-commercial. Eventually, they either learned better or they got fed up playing games, but for a while there they were the kings of doing the nonsensical thing.
I can think of only one contemporary band who ever pulled off a stunt to rival New Order, and that was The Smiths, with ‘How Soon Is Now?’
I was an eager Smiths fan for a few years, packed inside my years following New Order. It began with dear old Peely playing ‘This Charming Man’ one night, which I immediately thought of as the Postcard sound, done right (you’ll understand what I mean if you were there too) and ended less than halfway through the only time I ever saw the band live, during the all-day G-Mex gig, the Festival of the Tenth Summer.
But for that few years, I was indeed enthusiastic. I bought the singles as they came out, quickly enough to capture original picture sleeves, like when Morrissey had to stand in for Terence Stamp, I think, to duplicate an unauthorised still on ‘What Difference Does It Make?’ The fifth one was the disappointingly nondescript ‘William, It Was Really Nothing’; not just nondescript, but also short, at 2 minutes and 10 seconds. It’s b-side was even shorter, a mere 1 minute and 50 seconds, though every second of it was lush and gorgeous, because this was the achingly wonderful ‘Please Please Please (Let Me Get What I Want)’.
Still, a total of four minutes of music spread across a 7” single was not really value for money in most people’s books.
But I was a fan, and fans bought everything, and besides, there was a bonus track on the 12”, and my Lord it was 6 minutes and 50 seconds long, and it was called ‘How Soon Is Now?’
First of all, how insane was that? That’s three-quarters as long again as the other two tracks put together. Who does that?
And then I listened to it. And listened to it again. And again. Who, in their right mind, throws away something like this on the bonus track on a 12″ single? Are they all completely deaf to what this is? Or are they setting out to out-perverse New Order, because if they are, they’ve done it.
I now know that ‘How Soon Is Now?’s placement was down to Rough Trade label-boss Geoff Travis’s aversion to it being released at all, it being such a compete contrast to the rest of the group’s music. So the answer was that Travis at least was completely deaf to ‘How Soon Is Now?’ and if it had been up to him it would have been a secret known only to the group itself.
Given how widespread people’s musical tastes are and can be, I rarely say things like this, but I am genuinely flabbergasted that someone like him could not recognise that here was a monumental, magnificent piece of music, an epic. Who cares that it was totally unlike what had come before it?
Cribbing a bit from Wikipedia, I can report that the song is built around the use of a single chord, F#, and that Marr wanted a swampy sound (the track’s working title was ‘Swamp’). But interesting though that is, I concern myself with effects, not causes. And ‘How Soon Is Now?’s first impact came from the contrast between its shimmering effects, the multiple guitar licks built upon the base of Marr’s sustained, growling, crawling, almost grinding rhythm, the guitar riff that isn’t a riff, that sustains and multiplies throughout.
The song peals in on a higher guitar lick, but the rumble takes over. Andy Rourke and Mike Joyce maintain a complex yet simple beat, metronomic in its crispness yet lacking any element of a dance-beat, as Marr crosses and criss-crosses the slow chugging rhythm with layers and layers, and Morrissey slides across the face of the song, singing melancholy lyrics of shyness and vulnerability that were, in many ways archetypal Smiths, but which, in their self-pity were in complete contrast to the solidity, the complete self-confidence of Marr and the implacable sound he’s built.
In the end, like Morrissey’s crippling introversion, the song has no ending. The music has formed itself into a barrier, an unscalable wall. It has no ending, the riff is perpetual motion, the guitars play and dance and the song has to be faded out because it cannot be stopped. The song could last forever – one take was apparently fifteen minutes long – and who would care?
‘How Soon Is Now?’ is the thing that The Smiths will ultimately be remembered for, a hundred years from now, no matter how separate it is from the rest of their music. It was thrown away as the extra track on a 12” single. It became the band’s sixth single, in a version edited down to 3 minutes and 41 seconds, a song already released on a single, released as a single, but only got to no. 24, after three Top Twenty hits. We’d all bought it already. On reissue, seven years later, it reached no. 16.
But it’s still an amazing song, an amazing performance, a thing of tensile strength and extraordinary daring that, despite the decision of some people to condemn the guitar-based rock track as a passé remnant of the Twentieth Century, still sounds as vigorous and magnetic as the day I first heard it, and will remain so.
Not bad for something they threw away and wasted.

The Infinite Jukebox: Marvin Gaye’s ‘What’s Going On’

Some records you have to grow into.
I was just turned 14 when I first seriously began to listen to music, the beginning of the Seventies, 1970. A year of naivete, lack of knowledge, lack of background, and trying to work out what my tastes might possibly be.
One of the Top 10 records I heard that year was Marvin Gaye’s ‘Abraham, Martin and John’. I had no idea how uncharacteristic of Gaye’s recordings for Motown this song was, nor that it was a cover of a successful Dion single of two years earlier. Probably I’d never heard or heard of ‘I Heard it through the Grapevine’, though I did know Gaye’s name from his duet with Tammi Terrell at the end of 1969, on ‘The Onion Song’, whose simple, catchy melody I’d liked even as I struggled to reconcile it with the similarly themed ‘Melting Pot’ by Blue Mink. Did I like ‘Abraham, Martin and John’? Between then and now, I can’t remember.
One of the other things I didn’t know was Tammi Terrell had died at the age of 24 years within only a few months of ‘The Onion Song’, dropping out of our charts, of a brain tumour that had resisted nine operations, or that this was first diagnosed after she had collapsed on stage whilst singing live with Gaye in 1967. Gaye had held his partner’s voice in high esteem, and was devastated by her death. Because he was her friend, he was the only person from Motown to be allowed to attend her funeral, at which he sang.
Terrell’s death affected Gaye immensely, driving him into depression and drug use and into a deep rethinking of what he wanted from his music. The result of this was ‘What’s Going On’, as a song and an album. Berry Gordy hated it, thought that a song about Vietnam would kill Gaye’s career. Don’t forget that Motown was a commercial label, a hit factory, a production line, just one with incredibly talented musicians and singers. In Gordy’s eyes, ‘What’s Going On’ was anathema. Motown didn’t do politics, didn’t offend. I believe that Marvin Gaye responded to this by refusing to sing for six months, until Gordy gave way and agreed.
I heard it in the early part of 1971, a year on from beginning but not yet even beginning to form my own tastes. It was the follow-up to ‘Abraham, Martin and John’, but it didn’t chart, it didn’t get much airplay, and in my naïve way I blamed it on the contrast between the smooth surfaces, the easy, flowing vocals, the sweet music, and the busy, fussy percussion, bubbling beneath the surface of the song.
Every now and again, through the Seventies and beyond, there’d be Best Album polls. The New Musical Express came out with the first I saw, in 1973: their writers nominated 99, and a competition was set the readers to write 100 words nominating the 100th, with the winner getting the whole 100. Except that it was a Moody Blues album (my then favourites) and I had to pare my initial draft down from 200 words to exactly 100, I don’t remember my entry, but I didn’t win.
And the winner was What’s Going On, an album I’d never heard, that I’d never heard of, that seemed totally alien to the rock coverage of the NME. And every succeeding iteration of that Best 100, in that paper at least, was always won by Marvin Gaye and this album.
I was a white boy whose tastes started in pop, diverged into rock, with unwilling exposure to prog, and no interest in soul or disco, except for very odd things here and there (I was the least likely Jimmy Ruffin fan you could imagine). I’ve no idea now when I finally did listen to What’s Going On, but I was a long time past the Seventies, I had broadened my tastes in many unexpected directions (and I hadn’t had to listen to prog for a very long time).
And I was ready. Ready to listen with ears wide open to something that I at last understood was a masterpiece. To an album, to a song, that a man with things on his mind, looking at the world around him and seeing so many wrong things in it, seeing both his people and their people driven and riven, and speaking out, asking people to see and hear and and not keep on this path because of where it went.
First and foremost was this song. Musically, now I’ve discarded my stupid ideas about the clash between the voice and the percussion, I am in awe of it, as a relaxed, whole experience, that brings together Gaye’s assurance as a singer and his uncertainty as a man. The lyrics are simple and straightforward, couched as addresses to those around him as members of a great family: mothers, too many of them crying, brothers, far too many of them dying.
It speaks to the times, of a stupid, needless, cruel and draining war that too many rich white men avoided too easily and too many poor black men fought. Gaye sang from within the destruction of the Vietnam War, seeing the loss around him, asking for the tide to be stemmed, for the people to see each other as people. War is not the answer could be said in 1971, and increasingly many were saying it, though they were loathed and screamed at by the ones who weren’t at risk of dying.
Only love can conquer hate, in another’s voice, might have been a pale reflection of the hippy dippy trippy Flower Power of 1967, but in Gaye’s vision it was a reminder that we all of us must live together and that love was the only thing that worked for us all.
By the time I was old enough to hear these things, and to understand them outside of their being words, I was cynical and mistrusting, but I was old enough to hear this music and understand all it tried to do, and that its spirit was real, was whole, whole enough to overtake me.
America is no longer at war in Vietnam. Marvin Gaye was murdered by his father in 1984. But just as Sam Cooke saw what was around him, and put what he knew into ‘A Change is Gonna Come’, Marvin Gaye looked about him and sang ‘What’s Going On’. It too has not aged a nanosecond. It wrapped its time around itself, it was bold enough to make a statement, not a question, and it will forever speak to us of what we are and what we need to do and be if we are to extend our time on this planet.
Mama mama, there’s too many of you crying, brother, brother, brother, there’s far too many of you dying. Still.