My 13 year old son happened upon a wonderful Tumblr site, This Charming Charlie, in which the proprietor replaced Peanuts dialogue with Smiths lyrics. The Smiths’ publishing company is demanding that the images be taken down, claiming copyright infringement, so I don’t know how much longer that Tumblr will last. Click on the link to see it while you can. It will mean nothing to you if you didn’t grow up with the iconic Eighties band. But if you did, This Charming Charlie is some kind of wonderful.
It prompted my kid to ask, “Dad, were the Smiths a depressing band?” Before I even began to formulate an answer, I froze, wondering if ever in the world, standing there in the late, lamented Bayou on Chimes Street, happy in the haze of a drunken hour, my bangs flopping asymmetrically over my left eye, my paisley thrift-store shirt half-soaked with beer, listening to Morrissey wail on the dive bar sound system — if ever in the world I could have imagined having a teenage son ask me that question. Or having a teenage son.
I’m less than four years shy of 50, and I still don’t quite understand that Generation X are grown-ups now. There is as much space in time between today and the debut album The Smiths as there was between The Smiths and Elvis Presley, the debut album by You Know Who. Where the hell did the years go? Answer me!