Yeah he comes up a lot. Yeah Ginger Wildheart is probably my favourite living rock and roll star. He’s my Bob Dylan, he’s my Bruce Springsteen and he’s the front-man of the band I often describe as the English Guns N’ Roses. Ginger Wildheart may not be Noel Gallagher rich and famous, he may not be Angus Young iconic and he may not be Iggy Pop revered. And yet, you could poke me in one eye and call me a pirate if he’s not all over my record collection, my memories and my friendships like the greatest of rock legends.
“With my legs around my tail and an ill wind in my sail, I was out before the daylight to the caravan. I could have said goodbye but I didn’t even try, I’ve always been a solitary Man”
2018 was a wild one for the wildest heart of all but he did several outstanding things. He pulled himself out of a slump. he got the classic Wildhearts line up back together, he released three albums and he called me ‘a fucking wonderful human being’ in person. So Y’know…
The Pessimist’s Companion dropped in the now traditional way a Ginger related record drops. With online pledges, a listening party and intimate live shows. This one felt so much more immediate and direct to me than Ghost In The Tanglewood. Not that there’s anything wrong with that other (first) folk acoustic album but I wasn’t ready for it when it came. I wanted the punk metal hybrid still of The Wildhearts and Silver Ginger Five back then. It was a lifetime ago in early 2018 and I found my Ginger fix in G.A.S.S instead.
“Woah you are the reason it’s true, I didn’t have much to do with it its’ true, Way Aye oh you”
Now G.A.S.S Mark II is about to drop and I find myself finally coming around to the idea of unplugged Ginger being the one I need right now. I was home alone from a tough week the night the album dropped. I joined the listening party on-line and it hit me like a hammer. This album is about personal struggle. About letting people down and coming back around.
“I’ve been drinking every night I’ve ending up in fights,causing trouble left and right just like I used to do, Any Tom or Dick or Dave I’d send them to and early grave if they ever did behave that way to you”
One thing about remaining a fan of an extreme noise merchant who is obsessed with splatter gore movies and Hüsker Dü for 30 years is, it becomes hard to share it with your Wife. She wasn’t there in the Camden Underworld in 1991 when Mondo Akimbo A Go-Go was the hot new EP and Metallica fans freaked at the time changes in Liberty Cap. Nor was she particularly interested when me and the boys from work went off to see them play The Wildhearts Must Be Destroyed shows in the early days of out marriage. She may have used my 555% T-Shirt as nightwear a few times but I’m pretty sure she doesn’t care that In Vino Veritas didn’t make the commercial release titled 100% despite being one of the finest pieces of instrumental rock since GTT almost a decade earlier.
“I’m still brash and I’m still bold I still don’t do as I’m told, I’m just getting far to old to be a Batchelor, I’ve got fewer friends around, they’ve either died or settled down It’s about time that I found my better half”
So when I’m playing The Pessimists Companion in the kitchen while cooking pasta one night. It’s a week or so after the album came out. She comes into the kitchen to take the spoon from my hand and have a little dance. I’m taken aback.
‘I like this song’ she says.
“It’s Ginger Wildheart” I reply
‘I know’ she says like she’s Han Solo or some shit, ‘you like him don’t you’.
And we do a little boogie while the pasta boils. That’s it! That’s all it takes.
It’s going in the blog.