Back in the mid-80’s, Primal Scream weren’t the tripped-out ecstacy heads than made Screamadelica. No. What they were was a poor man’s MC5, churning out sub-stones nonsense to a Britain that couldn’t care less.They slogged around the toilet sized gig circuit, playing their Detroit infused boogie to basically themselves and their mates. And even their mates weren’t all that interested.
Anyroad. One evening in ’86, they found themselves in Leeds. No one in Leeds really gave a shit. It was a poorly attend gig, and no doubt The Primals were rubbish.
However. As they shambled onstage that night, something had changed. Bobby looked immaculate. Beautiful. Drop-dead cool from the floor up. Winkle-pickers, leather trousers, black n’ white striped long-sleeved tee, Raybans and a bowcut.
They’d played a few turgid numbers, when between songs someone shouted “You’re shit”. Bobby, without breaking stride, leaned into the mic, and quite simply said “underachiever” in the hecklers general direction. Quite possibly the greatest put-down in rock n’ roll ever.
I’d love to say that was the turning point in rock history, but no. They remained shit for another three years, and then they discovered acid house, and the rest…. Well, you know what happened next. But at that particular moment, it was perfect. Shut the loudmouth twat up, and hopefully made him feel a tad foolish in the process.
But what’s this got to do with MK Dons I almost hear you cry? Well more of that later.
It was with tremendous sadness that I heard of Krobbo’s sacking last Sunday afternoon (and let’s not play semantics here, he was sacked). I was genuinely moved. And those that know me will attest to how unusual that must’ve been. Certainly felt a bit strange from where I was sitting. Which was watching Rangers v Celtic. Also more of which later. But like I said, cynical old Gers, feeling something for someone else. Weird! Obviously his sacking wasn’t unexpected, but just filled me with a general feeling of sadness. I’ve had a bit of a turgid year, and this just seemed like yet another shit thing that 2016 insisted on throwing my way.
Over and above everything else that surrounded his departure, what’s actually at the heart of it is a nice guy has lost his job. I’ve had the pleasure of meeting him on numerous occasions, and it was always a pleasure. He was engaging, interested in what you were saying, always appeared to be listening to you, and most importantly went to great lengths to try and make you understand his point of view. Obviously he could occasionally be an idiot, like the time he tried to convince me that Neil Lennon was actually a human being, and not the hobbit sized creature that he actually is. But that apart, Krobbo’s a nice guy, who’s just lost his job.
The meeting that I remember with fondness is somewhat of a incongruous event. My wife and son insisted that I’d ‘really like’ Hairspray The Musical, which was playing at the theatre in central MK. They were obviously confusing my love of John Waters with my love of Tarantino, because the version I witnessed that evening bore little relation to the Iggy Pop, Debbie Harry indie movie I loved. I endured it, and breathed a sigh of relief when the final curtain came down. As we were walking out, a felt a tap on my shoulder. Turned around, and it was Krobbo.
“Alright mate, enjoy that?”.
“Err, yeah. I suppose. Didn’t have you down as a lover of musical theatre”
We had a chat as we walked out, he shook my son’s hand, had a chat with him. And off into the evening we went.
Now, he didn’t need to do that. And if I’m being honest I doubt he’d even remember it. But I do. And it’s a mark of the man that he did it. He was having an evening out with his family. As I was. But he did do it, and I’ll never forget it.
We, unlike Mr Brando, did have him as a guest on our radio show. We asked him one question, and 50mins later he’d answered. In actual fact it was difficult to get him to shut up. As mentioned elsewhere, we took the piss out if him in the fanzine. We took the piss out of him on the podcast. We took the piss out of him on-line. Basically we just took the piss. But he always seemed to take it in the spirit in which it was intended. Piss takingley.
As most of you that follow these blogs know, I no longer see fit to give my hard earned to the Winkleman estate. I’ve beaten around the bush concerning the reasons, but over the last few days I’ve come to realise that the main reason is the support. I’ve subconsciously come to the conclusion that I no longer want to be associated with the sort of people who’d hound someone out of their job for fun.
Now, you know there ain’t no devil, that’s just God when he’s drunk. But if there is a devil, I really hope that he’s reserved a circle of hell especially for certain members of an online MK forum. And within that circle, I really hope he’s reserved a special place for the poster who thought it was a laugh to conduct a campaign against Krobbo. Thinking it was a laugh to put online polls up asking if he should be sacked. Putting more polls up asking who should replace him. Before he’d even been sacked. But most of all just doing it because he thought it was funny. A bully is a bully. Whether he’s pushing you down some steps and nicking your dinner money. Or waging a comedy campaign against you online. And that’s the sort of person I’d rather not share air with.
But he wasn’t the only one. In-fact far from it. Obviously I wasn’t at the Southend game, but I did see a video of The Cowshed singing that Krobbo should go. And do you know what I wish Robbo had done as he walked off for the final time to a chorus of boos? Turned around and merely mouthed “underachievers”…