Jackson Carlaw MSP: Political Spin
What was the first record that you ever bought?
I bought three albums more or less at the same time: Alice Cooper’s Billion Dollar Babies, David Bowie’s Diamond Dogs and Elton John’s Goodbye Yellow Brick Road. I probably bought singles before that, but I have no idea what they were now. Back then, an LP was a big deal; you remember the sleeve and everything that went with it. Both Bowie and Elton John I still have as downloads and listen to in the car.
What record will always get you on the dance floor?
I don’t dance – I have a pathological hatred of dancing. My wife and I did not have dancing at our wedding. I absolutely loathe dancing, and I have two left feet. Despite the fact that like every politician, I am a frustrated actor – I’m afraid dancing is beyond me.
What is your karaoke song?
I’ve never done karaoke. Even though I got lots of parts in school productions, I always made sure they were non-singing parts because I absolutely have no singing voice. I avoid going to anything where there is a karaoke machine, especially when I was leader of the party. I had this fear that I would be goaded to get up there to sing.
What songs do you want played at your funeral?
I’m quite anarchic about that – I would like The Jam’s Going Underground. There’s also a piece of music I’ve always quite liked which is one of Chopin’s études (op.25 no.1). I think that when people go out you need something anarchic. I certainly don’t want Robbie Williams or any of those ghastly things that people like.
What songs/music is guaranteed to make you cry?
I’m quite sentimental when it comes to that sort of thing. Elgar’s Nimrod or some of these national tunes that get played at sentimental patriotic occasions. There’s a piece of music that my wife and I both associate with each other which is Jerome Kern’s The Way You Look Tonight which Fred Astaire sang to Ginger Rogers but has also been sung by lots of other people since – Tony Bennett, Rod Stewart, Michael Bublé. It’s a favourite.
Carlaw with Ruth Davidson former Prime Minister Theresa May
What music would you always associate with your childhood?
Childhood was Ed Stewart’s Junior Choice on Radio 2 every Saturday morning. I still remember all the words to the Teddy Bears’ Picnic, but other than that it was just the tunes of the 60s, things that were also on TV like The Monkees, The Beatles and The Seekers. Needless to say, I then inflicted that on my own children when they appeared, so they would have the Teddy Bears’ Picnic repeatedly played to them.
What record do you absolutely hate but can’t get out of your head?
There is one I absolutely loathe which is Happy by Pharrell Williams. Every time that comes on, it then lodges itself in my head for the rest of the day and I hate myself for it. It drives me up the wall – the artificial sentimentality of it.
What record would you be embarrassed to owning up to having in your collection?
Probably anything by Cliff Richard. He actually had one or two not bad songs in the 1970s but he’s become such a caricature that it’s just embarrassing to have any association with him. He represented all the decades at one point – the poor man’s Elvis in the 1950s right up to those bloody awful Christmas songs in the 1980s.
What was the last band you went to see and who with?
I saw The Eagles at the Hydro with my son. He plays in a band but I’m not saying which one – he wouldn’t want me to!
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