The Grass is Always Gleener…
Updated: Jul 26, 2018
(First published April 2014)
The circle is the hardest part. There’s no judgement- we’re all here for the same reason- but still, knowing it has come to this….
The usual crew are present. Mostly young women; ‘soccer moms’ and career climbers, trying desperately not to gnaw on perfectly manicured nails; but also one or two middle-aged men like myself. In another setting, we could be poker buddies or on a team-building exercise.
The guy beside me has finished speaking and slumps into his chair. It’s my turn. I slowly rise to my feet; take a deep, shuddering breath and clear my throat-
‘My name is Brendan and….’ I pause, gather my strength, ‘I’m a Gleek.’
Glee, for the uninitiated, is ‘Fame’ for the Noughties. There are a few subtle differences: set in William McKinley High School in Ohio, it focuses on the antics of a ‘show choir’, America’s take on the humble school choir; it’s more camp and far less gritty but the essential premise- beautiful teenagers breaking into perfectly choreographed song and dance for no readily apparent reason- is the same.
Fanatics, such as myself, are labeled ‘Gleeks’, reflecting the perceived geekiness of show choir members. I have form in this regard though, I loved ‘Fame’ and am a closet musicals devotee.
But, for Dad Rock, Glee has been a godsend. While the show features stylised versions of songs from contemporary artists- Madonna, Adele, Lady Ga Ga (or ‘Gaw Gaw’ as they insist on pronouncing it), you’ll also find Journey, REO Speedwagon, REM and Van Halen (twice)!
This means that a whole new generation is discovering the power and passion of classic rock without having to associate it with their deeply uncool parents. This can only be a good thing.
Granted, the arrangements are designed to hold the attention of the average teenager with ADHD and often pitched so high that Alvin and the Chipmunks would struggle with some of the notes but hey, little apples compared with bringing these classic Dad Rock tunes back into the public arena.
Rock on Gleeks!