Select Page

i just have to say it. i love nick hornby.

So maybe what I said before, about how listening to too many records messes your life up . . . maybe there’s something in it after all. David Owen, he’s married, right? He’s taken care of all that, and now he’s a big-shot diplomat. The guy who came into the shop with the suit and the car keys, he’s married too, and now he’s, I don’t know, a businessman. Me, I’m unmarried – at the moment as unmarried as it’s possible to be – and I’m the owner of a failing record shop. It seems to me that if you place music (and books, probably, and films, and plays, and anything that makes you feel) at the centre of your being, then you can’t afford to sort out your love life, start to think of it as the finished product. You’ve got to pick at it, keep it alive and in turmoil, you’ve got to pick at it and unravel it until it all comes apart and you’re compelled to strat all over again. Maybe we all live life at too high a pitch, those of us who absorb emotional things all day, and as a consequence we can never feel merely content: we have to be unhappy, or ecstatically, head-over-heels happy, and those states are difficult to achieve within a stable, solid relationship. Maybe Al Green is directly responsible for more than I ever realized.

See, records have helped me to fall in love, no question. I hear something new, with a chord change that melts my guts, and before I know it I’m looking for someone, and before I know it I’ve found her. I fell in love with Rosie the simultaneous-orgasm woman after I’d fallen in love with a Cowboy Junkies song: I played it and played it and played it, and it made me dreamy, and I needed someone to dream about, and I found her, and . . . well, there was trouble.

High Fidelity by Nick Hornby, p141-2 (Indigo)