Don't Stop Me Now (Ready, Mates?)
by Jazz Bass
There are very few things in life that bring real joy to a person. We go through the motions of our mundane existence, throwing out cliches willy-nilly (some of us). While both real and imagined glories pass through the cheesecloth of our minds as we ride the wheel to nowhere, I find that Denis Leary was spot on when he said that it is the little moments that add up to happiness. (Remember that bit? You smoke the cigarette, eat the cookie, have your orgasm and you're on to the next thing, whatever it is, blah blah).
In the moments of reflection, I'll usually put on some music. Something light like Slayer's South of Heaven or Coltrane's A Love Supreme(Pursuance!) or, as was the case this morning, a little Queen. Before the late Freddie Mercury debauched himself into an early grave (Pot, meet Kettle), Queen were a truly superb bunch of smarty-boots who started a little combo for the express purpose of thriving in the music business. They succeeded, even with Brian May's degree in infrared astronomy, in a long stay at the top of the charts and in the hearts of their countrymen, here and abroad.
There is something about taking a song and putting it in a movie as background music that changes one's perceptions, whether for good or bad, for the rest of your life. I can't hear Don't Stop Me Now by Queen without seeing the "zombie attack" scene set in the local pub from "Shaun of the Dead".
If you've not seen "Shaun", do so. I command it. While the movie is basically an apocalyptic horror comedy, it is, in reality, a love story between Shaun, the lovable (is he?) loser of a main character and his flatulent best friend, Ed. Ed, while not without a certain gaseous charisma, seems to be in the running with Onslow from "Keeping Up Appearances" and myself for Layabout King of the World. Still, defects notwithstanding, friends are friends to the end and in "Shaun of the Dead", almost all of the prats make it through the night and there is even a little twist at the end to ram home the point about this movie is really about relationships as well as the undead. 5 stars all around.
So now that I've enjoyed that movie way too much, I can never hear this Queen song again without seeing the scene where the jukebox comes on at a most inappropriate time (trying to be quiet to avoid zombie detection) and our reluctant heroes fend off the former barman with a bit of a round robin/free for all/get your licks in/balletic pummeling with (as they are known here in the southeastern United States, especially in courtroom testimony) "pool sticks". To the rest of the world, that would be a pool cue. Just imagine three people with pool cues beating on a fat old zombie in rhythm to Freddie Mercury's melodicisms. Change your perception too, I'd wager.
JazzBass is the author of It Baffles Science!, which appears here on Wednesdays.