I know it’s been a while, but some of you may recall my heart being broken not long after seeing Roxy Music play. In a subsequent post, I explained that a friend, Zim, was very supportive at the time, leading to us going to a gig which strengthened my enthusiasm for live music. After writing about that experience, though, I realised there was another worth telling that isn’t music related.
It was the summer of 1981, which was significant for a couple of reasons, the first being the release of the latest Bond movie. By this time, having been brought up on a diet of The Saint and The Persuaders, and subsequently introduced to Bond when Roger Moore took over the reins in Live and Let Die, I was a committed fan of the series. The previous film, Moonraker, had raised the bar in terms of spectacle, particularly with its pre-title sequence involving skydiving without a parachute. There had also been the improbable (what do you mean, “they’re all improbable”?) outcome of 007 in space. So there was a sense of anticipation about For Your Eyes Only: what were they going to do to top Moonraker?
As it turned out, they went back to basics and produced a movie about drug smuggling and the Cold War instead of plots to destroy the Earth. And they did it well, even if Rog was beginning to look his age. For the first time, he looked more like my dad than a world-saving hero. Sadly, I’m now older than he was at the time, so I’m guessing I look more like my dad now as well!
What, though, has all this to do with my heartbreak? More importantly, what has it got to do with Zim?
Well, the movie had opened the previous week in London, and there had been something of a stir caused when it did. It was a royal premiere with funds raised for charity, the charities being the National Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Children and the Royal Association for Disability and Rehabilitation (RADAR), both worthy causes by anyone’s estimation. The inclusion of the latter charity seemed to have added weight as (and this is the second significant thing about the year) 1981 was declared the International Year of Disabled Persons by the UN. Hold that thought…
Aware of my enthusiasm for Bond, and the fact the film was now on general release, Zim suggested we go to watch it to help me take my mind off things. So we caught the bus into town and headed for the cinema.
The significance of the charity premiere and why there had been something of a stir became apparent within the first few minutes of the film starting. In case you can’t remember, I’ll give you a few minutes to refresh your memory.
It’s fair to say my mind was well and truly taken off my troubles. For me, it was probably inevitable that the rest of the film would be just as entertaining, and I felt better by the time we came out of the cinema.
We all go through difficult times, and they can weigh heavily on us, draining our energy and diluting our focus. Sometimes, they overwhelm us, stopping us from functioning effectively. We make bad decisions, and we don’t look after ourselves properly. In those times, it’s good to have a friend. And it’s also good to escape, whether by watching a fun movie or a rock concert or whatever other entertainment distracts you. That distraction won’t cure your ills, but it will help you start to feel human again. It reminds you life can still be fun and there’s light at the end of the tunnel.
A few months ago, I accidentally amended that phrase to: “Life at the end of the tunnel”. Perhaps there’s some truth in that too.
PS In spite of the alleged stir caused by the appropriateness of the sequence, reports from the premiere suggest RADAR’s disabled patrons were among those who laughed the loudest as Blofeld made his exit.