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This page last updated
Mon, May 31, 2004 11:32 am)


2002: THE YEAR IN REVIEW
Ten Major Memories and a number of lists

INTERPOL in concert

JOE STRUMMER: A TRIBUTE

THE DECEMBER HITLIST:
5 ALBUMS, EPs, MIX CDS, COMPILATIONS and SONGS

the iJamming! Book Review
WHY TERRORISM WORKS
by Alan Dershowitz

CABERNET FRANC
The 'Other' Cabernet Grape Takes Root In New York
Part 1: The Basics/Regions
Part 2: New York Wines
Part 3: Loire Wines
Part 4: Conclusions

The November Hitlist
30 Albums 10 Songs

HOW MUCH WILL IT HURT?:
Tips for the marathon virgin.

FEATURED ALBUM

FEATURED WINE

FEATURED MIX CD

From the Jamming! Archives:
THE JAM
Interviewed in 1979

The iJamming! Interview: UNDERWORLD
NOW WITH LIVE PHOTOS

Coming and Going
Chapter 3: THE PALACE

The iJamming! Interview
RICHARD BUTLER Part 2

From the Jamming! Archives:
ADAM ANT
Interviewed in 1978

REMARKS REMADE:
Available Now!
The introduction to the new edition of my R.E.M. biography is here.

A Decade In Dance
BT & BANCO DE GAIA
10 Years (Apiece)

2 MANY TASTINGS:
The iJamming! Wine Round Up October 2002, including:
Sauvignon Blanc
Chardonnay
Pinot Noir
Rhône Rangers
Southern France
Zinfandel

HALF MAN HALF BISCUIT
The whole 1990s catalogue

From the Jamming! Archives:
PAUL WELLER
interviewed in 1978

The iJamming! interview:
CARL COX

GOLDEN SHOT hostess 'Lee Patrick' recalls her time as Keith Moon's amour

HEDONISM:
An intrigue of early 90s New York nightlife.
NEW CHAPTER now online

From the Jamming! Archives:
U2 interviewed in 1984.

iJamming! Wino/Muso:
JOHN ACQUAVIVA

The iJAMMING! interview:
DAVID SYLVIAN

From the Keith Moon archives:
the JEFF BECK interview .

The iJAMMING! chat:
MARK PERRY

TRAVIS.
Fran Healy explains why "you cannot own a song."

From the JAMMING! archives: The Story That Spawned Creation

The iJAMMING! interview:
BOY GEORGE.

The full iJamming! Contents


2002: THE YEAR IN REVIEW
Ten Major Memories
(And a number of lists)

Part 1 Part 2 Part 3


TOP TEN CONCERTS

R.E.M. @ Carnegie Hall, January 31
LUNA @ Brooklyn Musuem of Art, February 16 and Southpaw, August 23
JOE STRUMMER/STELLASTARR* @ St. Ann's Warehouse, April 8
CLINIC, FIREWATER, RADIO 4 @ Hudson River Park, June 26,
WILSON PICKETT @ Metrotech Center, July 25 (free lunch #1)
DAVID BOWIE @ Area 2, Jones Beach, August 2
THE WHO @ Madison Square Garden, August 4
WHITE STRIPES @ Union Square, October 1 (free lunch #2)
UNDERWORLD @ Hammerstein Ballroom, October 18
THE STREETS @ Mercury Lounge, October 28

The Streets...

...The Strokes

Bonus live experience for those who were invited: THE STROKES @ Milk Studios, August 29

4)THE WORLD CUP

It seems so long ago now, those four weeks in the summer when the world stopped worrying and learned to love the ball. (And to think it's another three and a half years till the next one!) I maintain that if you can't be at the Finals themselves to enjoy the multinational carnival, you may as well be in New York, where immigrants of every creed and color flock to their favorite expat bar or café to fly their flag. Where else, I wonder, could I have watched England beat its sworn enemy Argentina in an Argentinean-owned bar and still be invited to stay behind for a drink afterwards?

Two happy memories - from before the Quarter Finals. The USA's Landon Donovan after scoring against rivals Mexico, and England's David Beckham after his penalty goal against Argentina

The 2002 tournament was memorable for me as the first time that I genuinely supported two teams – near-favorites England, land of my birth, and total under-dogs the USA, land where I live. Both nations made it to the last eight, only to each be beaten by the eventual finalists over the course of one extremely long and depressing Thursday night. When all is said and done, I think the USA made the better showing – especially considering their youth, relative inexperience and low expectations. They beat the highly-touted Portugal, held off hosts South Korea, saw off local rivals Mexico and in their quarter-final, threatened Germany right up till the final whistle. By comparison, England's progress appeared much less decisive. A penalty victory over Argentina, uncertain results against Sweden and Nigeria, followed by a surprisingly conclusive defeat of an appalling Denmark that invited false confidence for the big match against Brazil, against whom they were thoroughly outclassed. I ended up seeing the Final out on Fire Island, alongside a motley crew of Germans, Brazilians and several other nationalities besides in a truly global gathering. It seemed an appropriate setting. Roll on 2006.

TOP FIVE INSTRUMENTAL ALBUMS

RöYKSOPP – Melody A.M. (Astralwerks)
METRO AREA - Metro Area (Environ)
MIDIVAL PUNDITZ - Midival Punditz (Six Degrees)
BOARDS OF CANADA – Geogaddi (Warp)
LITTLE AXE – HARD GRIND (Fat Possum) Full review

5) POLITICAL PESSIMISM

Enough of the upbeat commentary. 2002 was the year when, globally and locally, socially and economically, militarily and pacifically, metaphorically and literally, right across the political spectrum, everything just seemed truly and irrevocably fucked.

The year began badly – when the American military hesitated to put its finest troops on the ground around Tora Bora to hunt down and preferably exterminate the last of Al-Qaeda, and instead allowed large numbers of these genocidal religious fanatics to escape. Many, myself included, hoped that at least Osama Bin Laden himself had been killed in the fighting, only to be proven grimly wrong many months later. Meanwhile, as the Taliban were still evacuating Afghanistan, George W. Bush, in his State of the Union address, shifted attention from international terrorism to an Axis of Evil, and in the process alienated half his allies.

I don't dispute Bush's terminology. It's easy to sneer at his over-use of such a simplistic word as 'evil', but pick up your thesaurus and look for alternatives – there aren't any. Nor do I question his choice of two of those targets. Until that State of the Union address in January 2002, the repressive dictatorships of Iraq and North Korea were not only being abided by the international community; you could say that they were being appeased. Bush made clear that in our increasingly inter-connected world, where stateless terrorists can bomb, poison and otherwise destroy entire cities, unstable and unelected leaders like Saddam Hussein and Kim Jong Il, bent on developing lethal weapons while starving and terrorizing their own people, presented a threat to us all - and that we were better off confronting that threat now, while we could, rather than later, when it might prove too late. (Iran, the 'third wheel' on the axis, is in a more complex situation and already undergoing great change, and I wish Bush had left it out of his speech.)

On a similar note, Bush's speech to the United Nations on September 12 will long be remembered as a wake-up call to the international community. Take away your inherent prejudice for the American President and put that particular speech into the words of your own favorite politican. There's barely a word you would dispute.

Yet the Bush Administration's inability to sell its policies, to package its ideas, to convince even its own nation of the validity of its military march could well go down in history as among the most fatal of political blunders. The Administation's belligerent, bludgeoning tone has provoked former allies to abandon the good ship unity. It's given new-found purpose to the anti-American camps both from within the USA and without. And while I have no problem with its grim sense of purpose and its willingness to tackle the big issues we all wish we could avoid, its methods frighten me as much as everyone else. I know nobody who will jump to Saddam Hussein's defense, and yet I know very few who back Bush's rush to war. (I've written more about this here.)

I believe that, in terms of recriminations and clampdowns, the USA has coped with the 9/11 atrocity remarkably well. And yet I believe that's only because the courts – those with judges and those of public opinion – have challenged and reined in the Bush administration's frighteningly draconian tendencies. And it seems like so much effort has been expanded by the opposition on ensuring our core principals of freedom and justice are upheld, that Bush's domestic policies, aimed squarely at benefiting the wealthy, the religious and the right wing (or preferably for Bush, all three) have sailed through with little challenge.

Two pictures taken at Ground Zero in May 2002. The first should be self-explanatory. The second is of what I believe is the Deutsche Bank Building, which stood next to the Twin Towers. Body parts and plane wreckage have been found behind that poetically protective black drapery. The future of the building remains uncertain.

My frustration is compounded by my location, here in New York City. We took the hit from international terrorism for the rest of the west, and we suffered throughout most of 2002 because of it. A horrible pall of depression hung over this city throughout the first eight months of the year, as we continued to count and honor the dead, excavate Ground Zero, discuss plans for memorials and new buildings, deal with the immense economic fallout, and prepare ourselves for the horrible first year anniversary. There are many overseas who saw us on 9-11-02 as wallowing in our tragedy, and I can assure them that we wish it was otherwise. But it had to be done. We had to wake up on September 11 2002, deal with our fears and our nightmares, honor the sacrifices made by those who lost their lives a year earlier, and somehow get through the day without returning to the frightening, sobbing, confused wrecks we'd been a year before. We had to find the positive from that terrible day. We could only do that by commemorating it. We could not deny it.

My overall political pessimism was hardly helped by my lone trip home back to Britain in the spring, when I found my old country's own dark sense of an irredeemable domestic slide aggravated by a disturbing rise of anti-American sentiment, itself matched only by a truly worrying onslaught of anti-Semitism. As I wrote last September 11, (Did Bin Laden win?), I can not understand how a bunch of intolerant religious fanatics could launch suicide attacks against a major symbol of the free west, proclaiming the USA and Home/SEP7-13.html#sep11 responsible for the world's problems even as they murdered 3,000 civilians - and how otherwise intelligent people in the free west could witness that and decide that, yes, the USA and Israel were indeed responsible for the world's problemS and that, in the Middle East at least, suicide bombing was an entirely plausible and honorable political tactic. Terrorism works, clearly.

Clearly. By the end of the year, al-Qaeda or its affiliates were massacring tourists in Bali, launching missiles at Israeli planes in Kenya while simultaneously blowing up hotels, attacking synagogues in Tunisia, and assassinating Americans in the middle east, all while European police were valiantly struggling to break one chemical warfare plot after another - and themselves being murdered in the process.

As if all this wasn't bad enough, and of course it is, the economy slid uncontrollably through 2002. I don't care desperately about the decreasing value of the money I have put away in mutual funds - it's a tax dodge and I can't get it out without penalties for another 30 years anyway – but I do care about mass unemployment and homelessness, and about the ripple effect of decreasing (inter)national confidence. I don't want a return to the Get Rich Quick pyramid schemes of the mid-nineties' technology boom and online trading; it only encouraged all those corporate crooks to their own greed. But I would like to see a sense of optimism.

Worst of all, I don't see any silver lining in all these clouds. I see anti-Americanism on the European continent continuing to increase. I see Americans continuing their gluttenous dependency on foreign oil. I see the Palestinians continuing their terrorist attacks even when they're offered their own State. I see the West in a war with Iraq that almost no-one wants. I see the Fundamentalists continuing to hijack the Muslim religion. I see another catastrophic terrorist attack looming on the horizon. I see the economy continuing to sit in the dumps. And I see Bush all but guaranteed re-election in 2004. Sorry. I was having fun writing this up till now.

THREE TOP MOVIES IN 2002 (I make up for it with music!)

24 HOUR PARTY PEOPLE, possibly the greatest music movie ever.
BEND IT LIKE BECKHAM, possibly the greatest female football movie ever
THE LORD OF THE RINGS Part 1, possibly the greatest epic ever.

6) WRITING ANOTHER (HALF) BOOK

In 2002, while an agent was out there selling Hedonism to American publishers, whose younger editors generally loved it but whose senior editors freaked out at its admittedly graphic S&M content and sprawling plot, I got back to doing what I can do well when I need to: writing music biographies. I agreed to update my R.E.M. biography, REMARKS and doubled the size of the original book in the process. The timing of its UK publication was somewhat suspect – in the middle of a year in which R.E.M. released no records and played barely a gig – but so what, I'm pleased with the results.

NINE OTHER BOOKS FOR 2002

GET YOUR WAR ON by DAVID REES
WHY TERRORISM WORKS by ALAN DERSHOWITZ
ANYWAY ANYHOW ANYWHERE by MATT KENT and ANDY NEIL
THE WORLD ATLAS OF WINE by HUGH JOHNSON and JANCIS ROBINSON
The FOOD AND WINE POCKETGUIDE 2003 by
EXPLODING by STAN CORNYN
HELL'S KITCHEN by CHRIS NILES
SKYWALKING by JEMMA KENNEDY
SPIRITLAND by NAVA RENEK

CONTINUED: 2002: THE YEAR IN REVIEW PART 3 BACK TO PART 1


iJamming! Site Copyright Tony Fletcher 2003