Remember Lost? The event TV show that began like a big budget movie broadcast into your home every week for the best part of first decade of the 21st Century. Lost brought the world The Smoke Monster, then The Others, The Dharma Initiative, the bunker, 4815162342, “Not Penny’s Boat” and Charlie from Drive Shaft. Then it jumped the shark. The point it went horribly wrong varies for some. Was it the cogs at the center of the island? We have to go back? The final season? I have never seen the last episode. I. just. Can’t.
Drive Shaft were one hit wonders. From Manchester England and with their hit in the 90’s, an Indie band with one hit, carrying record company debt and a flopped second album (Oil Change). this sort of detail made sure they were a very believable part of the Lost-fandom. They’d already norsed it all up by the time the plane fell from the sky in episode one. Charlie was embarrassed that they struggled to make ends meet after the debut hit and lack of a successful follow up. When they agreed to pay the bills by recording a commercial for nappies (diapers in the US show, LOST on us back home) he felt they’d truly sold out. Charlie fell out with his brother Liam. Drink and drugs played their part. Charlie was flying to get the band back together when the crash happened. So imagine Liam and Noel Gallagher getting separated before Be Here Now… If only. Not that I’m wishing either of them away to a desert island (FWIW Noel’s done Desert Island Discs and Liam hasn’t).
Ironically it was the plane crash that led to the resurgence of popularity for the band. Losing Charlie in the sea lead to a tribute show, then a compilation album and a renewed interest in Drive Shaft back in the Lost version of the real world. Annoyingly trapped on this island that may actually be purgatory many of the flights survivors knew Charlie’s one hit. You All Everybody got sung at him by one member of the Lost crew or another every time his life as a musician got brought up. Big tough guy and ex-paraplegic John Lock even went so far as to point out he didn’t like Charlie’s second album much at all.
A couple of years earlier there was a TV show in the UK about a wanna-be pop band trying to make it in the industry. The ironic set up was the lead singers Dad was an ageing heavy metal obsessive always telling him to turn it up and to get louder faster and dirtier. While The Young Persons Guide To Becoming A Rock Star relied heavily on Danny Boyle style editing and shoe horned in gags that immersed themselves in the emerging trend for gross out humour of the age it was not without charm. The series is almost entirely forgotten now. Look it up if you fancy adding another fictional band (Jocks Wa Hey) to your fictional gig list. They’d make a suitable band for Drive Shaft to support. They could all open for The Commitments or drunk old Billy Mack from Love Actually and it would be a crushingly mediocre gig. Of course Billy Mack seems to have had a previous life in an old rock and roll band of the mind too, or at least Bill Nighy does. The movie was Still Crazy, the band Strange Fruit. The songs… lousy.
If you’re gonna imagine a band. Imagining a one hit wonder with ‘failure issues’ is quite the fun way to get everyone singing along. See also Hugh Grant’s Dad’s hit single in the film About A Boy. Santa’s Super Sleigh reveals the blessing and the curse of writing one song that pays for the rest of your life. Stay away from Music And Lyrics though. Unless your wife is a Hugh Grantophile it’s intolerable… Unless you’re a Drew Barrymoreaholic *ahem*…
What? She’s just so lovely!