By Hans Ebert

It’s not even a question anymore. It’s a fact. We’re over-complicating everything. Even the most simple things.

Unable to sleep the other night from sleeping too much earlier in the day after much too long an unnecessarily long night out, there was the idea to listen to one of those “racing and sports” radio channels. Mistake.

What came through- but not loud and clear- was an avalanche of dumbed down news about various changes for what really sounded like change for the sake of change. In horse racing, which is already confusing enough to many who don’t inhale it and enjoy the smell of napalm in the morning. In cricket which some might say has “reinvented” itself. But has it? Or has it become a sideshow with different coloured balls? Clutter.

It’s like music. Movies. Television. Life. It’s all about “reinventing” everything. But why? Why not actually go back? Re-learn to leave good enough alone. Not having to be like sheep and follow the herd. Return to individual thinking.

Many of our parents didn’t even have television. There was radio and vinyl records. That was enough. Listening to Ella and Sarah, Fats Waller, Errol Garner, Nat King Cole, Sinatra, The Duke, Count, Benny Goodman.

There was Tin Pan with all those great songwriters whose songs still live on. There was no need for beats and loops and “imaging”. It was enjoying the purity of entertainment. Of simply being entertained by comedians like Stan Freberg. Shelley Berman. Bob Newhart. On record. Funny funny clever clever stuff. Still is. Never grows old.

Going to YouTube, there was a wonderful journey of rediscovery of what my parents listened to and how they entertained themselves.

How by having his own radio show, my father was actually creating. Making music. Being happy.

How as a kid, there was the incredible enjoyment of actually going with your parents to see the Harlem Globetrotters. The Ice Capades. A cricket match.

Fast forward to seeing the Beatles in Hong Kong. Even if Ringo wasn’t with them. Jimmy Nicol was filling in for him.

Seeing a double bill featuring the Kinks opening for Manfred Mann with Paul Jones. Forming a band. Being able to finally own a white Vox Teardrop twelve string guitar even if you knew only three chords. It didn’t matter. It was about creating something coming from within.

Television was watching “Laramie” “Bonanza”, and “Highway Patrol”. Until 10.30pm. It was then Closedown.

We grew up with The Lone Ranger. Roger Moore as Ivanhoe. Robin Hood. Zorro. Cisco and Pancho. A few years later there was John Drake- “Danger Man”. “The Avengers” with Mrs Peel.

What made us think was “The Prisoner”. What were called Mini Series like “Rich Man, Poor Man”. “Dynasty”, “Dallas” came later. We didn’t miss even one episode.

We forget all this entertainment that was enough. It’s like meeting that person who you knew was right for you. You got together and made things work out. The money was secondary. It wasn’t love me Tinder. Online dating. It’s something that’s got lost in the clutter. Love. And great movies about love. Where’s the new Audrey Hepburn?

It’s probably why there aren’t any great love songs anymore. Who’s interested in being played some supposed original music and told, “This is what kids are listening today”. But have these “kids” know what’s come before? Not these formulaic and vapid sounds played to you that those who one thought would know better. They don’t. They’re busy trying desperately hard to be relevant when they’re irrelevant. Wanting to be seen as leaders. They’re not.

What’s the opposite of winners? Right.

We’re overthinking everything that we’re driving ourselves crazy.

#ShelleyBerman #StanFreberg #HarlemGlobeTrotters #TheAvengers #RichManPoorMan #music #love #AudreyHepburn #life