Today, we’re marking the release of The Rats’ fourth single Like Clockwork – can you believe this record is now 45 years old? This song was a real team effort – co-written by Bob, Pete and Simon.
At this stage in their career, the band could have had no idea what was in store for them. Their chart history was good – with their first three singles reaching nos. 11, 15 and 12 in the UK – but still nothing in the top ten. Destined to reach no. 6, Like Clockwork was perhaps the breakthrough record they’d been after, but that No.1 hit remained a future dream.
With their heightened chart success, came fame for the band. It was around this time that Bob was asked what he wanted out of pop music? And we get one of his best quotes “to get rich, get famous and get laid”. Like a lot of the other things the band did and said, there’s a large element of humour here – but I guess not everyone has a sense of humour. Certainly, not everyone got the joke.
About ten years later in his autobigraphy, Bob reflected on the furore this quote caused, particularly with the music press. He wrote “If this society chooses to over-compensate some people for having the mediocre talent of being able to think up a few lines worth whistling, fine, take the money but don’t confuse the amount of money with the value of the work.”
I can’t help thinking that message, that sentiment, is still important today – perhaps more important than when Bob first expressed it. Is it just me or right now, are there are too many people of mediocre talent being taken far too seriously?