green lights

anonymous   –   autobahn

I’m riding in the back of a car. I can’t get you out of my head. the car is kylie’s car and we are gliding along the highway above a shimmering, shifting landscape toward a towering silver city of the future built of green light and dreams that is constantly becoming new. I am the passenger. the shining world we quietly rush through and the road we rush along first sparked into life some time back when kraftwerk turned the ignition in their car on autobahn. kylie-bot is driving and is confused that the car in front is always in front, no matter how often we pass it. the men in the red shirts in the car in front are kraftwerk. I am reading in the back of a car. all the lights are green. kylie-bot turns on the autopilot and turns to the back seat. ralf hutter has popped in to see how we are doing. we are doing fine ralf.  paul morley is still in the front passenger seat talking this kind of nonsense at ten to the dozen and pointing out billboards along the roadside. he wrote the book I am reading, the only one I’ve finished this year. words, written and spoken spill out from him. he also wrote the sleeve notes on the old vinyl album that ralf is holding. the cover features a nameless model in kylie’s famous gold hot pants. she is, indeed, looking good. it is a top of the pops album on which an uncredited studio band rework the hits of the day as closely as possible. ralf is fascinated by their uncannily accurate distillation of autobahn down to four minutes and considers that they probably did it in an afternoon. he is pleased by their utter anonymity and facelessness. as if they really were robots. like kylie. like he dreams kraftwerk will become. he reads from the sleevenotes.

1968 – ralf hutter and florian schneider meet at dusseldorf conservatory, philip k dick – do androids dream of electric sheep?, stanley kubrick 2001: a space odyssey, roger vadim – barbarella, john coltrane – a love supreme, the rolling stones – satisfaction, kylie minogue born.

paul morley : words and music


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