CND Song 30 Gowan

Gowan - A Criminal Mind, 1985 (Toronto, Ontario)

'I stand accused before you. I have no tears to cry...' Born in Scotland, Gowan moved to Canada as a child and later became the man you see here - theatrical performances, a nice sense of melody under all the prog-rock trappings, big sharp shoulder pads and a mullet that was widely considered to be among the decade's most memorable. He is now lead singer of the most recent version of Styx. Here, in his first video, the big G's marketers seem to have reacted to his (overly) dramatic style by pushing it further and making him into a living cartoon. It works - but don't forget that Larry Gowan wrote this song about actual career criminals and not comic book villains, and I get the feeling he meant every word.

My Gowan to read on...

Has anyone else experienced this? A silly nostalgic hit is playing - on the radio, on TV, on Youtube - and everyone's laughing and singing along, but you just can't join in, because ridiculous as it seems, this song is stepping on your most painful memories. It happens to me and my family whenever anyone plays Gowan for a shot of 'remember-when'. He's considered a goofy slice of the past by most Canadians, but to us he'll always be my sister Judy's teen idol - she loved him without irony, learned his songs for the piano, plastered the walls of her room with his picture. In fact, for at least a year our house was, to all intents and purposes, Gowan Land. This should be a funny story and something we might use to embarrass my sister at family gatherings. But Judy died in 1989 at the age of sixteen, and though she was well over her Gowan crush at that stage, I'll always associate these songs with her, and I think it's very sad that she never got a chance to grow up. Anyway, that's my Gowan problem. Maybe you've got a similiar one. Dipping into the past (or wallowing, as I frequently do here) is never without its complications. 

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