(posted by quarsan)
Number Five: Another Girl Another Planet – The Only Ones (lyrics)
Probably the finest heroin song of all time. Yes, I know the Velvet’s got there years before, as did many others, but there is something about this song that get’s to somewhere the others don’t.
What is it about heroin that inspires such a dogged determination. It’s not just the fact that it is addictive – cigarettes are a harder vice to give up – but heroin answers a need, and it is this need that is the core of this track. junk is another girl, another all consuming passion, the most demanding lover in the world and it does put you on another planet.
A planet where pain, of the physical, and metaphysical kind is far, far away.
The music epitomises the junk experience better than anything. The hypnotic, trance inducing melody, the dizzy little guitar riffs. for if it wasn’t so appealing, why would so many fall under it’s spell, for this is one commodity that doesn’t need to advertise.
And it was central to the Scottish experience in the early eighties. Suddenly it was everywhere and a generation discovered a hunger. It gave people an identity, a club they could join. A way of waving two big fat fingers at the whole world.
And then people started dying. Not just of overdoses, but of strange diseases. Hello HIV. And nobody cared. Long after people were being lectured about condoms there was a complete antipathy to needle exchanges. No, the poor junkies were the expendable minority group. They had no celebrity spokesmen, no charity galas. Nobody cared.
After a safe interlude, a film appeared. Trainspotting. It took place a good decade later – indeed it showed my old flat and made a reference to an earlier generation. This did show a picture of addiction close to what I saw, but it was sanitised. I remember watching it with a friend, one of only a handful that survived the eighties, we looked at each other in the darkened room and he just sighed and said “lightweights”.
This beautiful song is the saddest by far of the ones I will chose, but it is the one I find hardest to talk about. For me it is about poor forgotten and despised people, sitting in squalid flats, waiting to die. Waiting for an agonising, painful and squalid death.
And nobody cared.