Eye Candy (36)

By: Peggy Nelson
July 28, 2020

Rock and roll was youth culture when it first burst onto the scene, and has received regular infusions of young blood every year in the decades since. Its album covers, an art form in themselves, often tweaked Keats’ dictum that “all ye need to know” is actually beauty is youth, youth, beauty. A young Eye Candy had a time-slice of these images burned into its retinas, aspirational avatars as compelling as the music itself.

And yet.

By now, rock and roll has reached senior citizen status. As have many of its classic-era inhabitants, The Rolling Stones being a prime (perhaps the prime) example. Other artists have gone back out on the tour circuit decades after their initial popularity, to the delight of fans from back in the day, who bring along their kids (and sometimes grandkids) — indeed some, like the Grateful Dead, have never left it; elder statesmen from Johnny Cash to Robert Plant and Leonard Cohen, among many, many others, release late-career albums to critical and popular acclaim. The Elder Rocker is, as the kids say, a thing.

Over in England, launch point for recurring British Invasions, the kids are at it again. The senior kids, that is. To while away the time during the COVID-19 lockdown, seniors have been recreating classic album covers and the results are truly rockin’. Conceptualized by Robert Speker, the Activities Director at Sydmar Lodge Care home in the UK, the series features side-by-side compositions of the original with the “cover”; thus treated, artists from David Bowie to Adele achieve a depth-of-field that the temporary glamour of eternal youth and airbrushing could never hope to achieve.

Asked what those in the home thought of his creations which have since gone viral, Mr Speker said they “were really having a good giggle over it”. — BBC

Speker has smartly organized a GoFundMe to raise funds for the home on the basis of the project’s viral popularity. Eye Candy hopes, along with the commenters on Twitter, that the next release might be a calendar. Or indeed, a (vinyl of course) double-album.

As Dylan Thomas once advised, do not go gentle into that good night – rock on with your bad selves.


Robert Speker: Twitter
The Show Must Go On: GoFundMe
Sydmar Lodge Care Home: website