When I finished my GCSEs I celebrated by going to see the Dandy Warhols. It was around the time that Bohemian Like You was on that Vodafone ad, but as I was not yet 16 and was deeply pretentious, I made sure I told everyone that the Dandy Warhols had been my happy band ever since Not If You Were the Last Junkie on Earth. Because that was the kind of teenager I was. I wanted everyone to know that I’d spent 1998 leaping about to an actual band, rather than the Spice Girls.
I don’t remember huge amounts about that gig, but I do remember bouncing about like an idiot. And I do remember being happy. And I do remember that Get Off brought me huge amounts of joy both then and for years to come.
Until a few years later, when I ruined the Dandy Warhols for myself almost entirely.
It was one foolish afternoon that did it. I was right about to graduate from uni, and had just been dumped by the bloke I’d been on/off with for the previous two years. Which in and of itself wasn’t a particularly new experience – I’d become oddly fond of taking a complete emotional kicking and so had managed to get dumped by him at least once a term since the start of the second year.
But this one felt quite final, probably because we were graduating and going our separate ways and I could no longer rely on bumping into him all round campus. So once my housemate heard him leave, she came down and informed me that since I clearly needed a great big cheering up we could do whatever I wanted and she was not going to complain.
And what I wanted to do was watch Dig!, eat an entire six pack of Mr Kipling’s bramley apple pies and drink two thirds of a box of wine. After which I was, rather unsurprisingly, really quite thoroughly sick.
And then I couldn’t listen to the Dandy Warhols again without feeling both a bit miserable and an awful lot vomitorious.
Two years later, I found myself being dumped via text message just at the point where I decided that hey, I actually wanted to make a go of it with this guy if I could. And since I’m both a creature of habit and a bit of an idiot, I got Dig! out of the DVD cabinet and briefly considered a repeat of the apple pie disaster of 2006. But then I remembered the sickness and put it away again.
So instead I spent the next three days in bed watching all the House I could get my hands on. I think I made it to 16 episodes in one day, leaving the comfort of my duvet only to get a loaf of bread from the kitchen which I proceeded to consume slice by slice without even any butter (the logic being that bread did not have the same sickness potential as an apple pie).
And then I couldn’t watch House. At all. I developed such an aversion to it that I’d see it on TV listings and shudder and have to skip straight past it. And I couldn’t even remember why; I just knew I had watched lots of it once, but then I had stopped, and I did not want to start again.
But a few months back I caught an episode from series 3 while channel-hopping, and it all came screaming back to me – the intense bitterness that Chase managed to convince Cameron to go out with him after all, the losing touch with reality slightly as I reached the 14th hour of straight consumption, the alarming crush on Hugh Laurie that struck me at 5 in the morning.
And I just sit there, and looked at the TV and went “man, that was a bad time”. And then kept watching.
A few weeks after that I was boxing up my old CDs to put in the loft and came across the Dandy Warhols. So I put it on and did a bit of a leap around and spent a good couple of hours entirely flummoxed as to why I’d stopped listening to them in the first place. And then I went to Sainsbury’s while still humming Godless and I saw the Mr Kiplings and I remembered.
I’d like to say I bought the pies, and that it is all done and resolved and I have complete closure over everything that has caused me pain to the point of aversion. But I think, if I’m honest, the memory of pie sickness is so strong that they may be ruined forever.
But at least I have my happy band back.