The moment's gone (a tribute to The Wedding Present)

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The Wedding Present by Tim Quirk

issue 42 of Raygun, Dec96/Jan97

Gedge's narrator sounds most glorious when he's being a bastard. Of course, it would be simplistic to assume all these songs are about Gedge himself, if only because no one can lie and cheat so winningly without a little artistic embellishment. Still, one can't help but wonder just what kind of a checkered romantic past he's got. He certainly can't keep a band together: The Wedding Present line-up--never famous for being stable--changed not once, but twice between this LP and their last.

So Raygun could hardly pass up an opportunity to play a little parlor game with Gedge and his paramour of eight years, Sally (who doubles as his roadie--you don't need to be a therapist to analyze the dynamic of that relationship). Armed with nothing more than a pop-psychology quiz torn from a teen mag and our complete willingness to pester them about their private life, we convinced David and Sally to take the test: Will he make a good boyfriend?* Sally had a little trouble with the lingo, but gamely answered all the questions.

(* If you're a teenage girl or a copyright attorney, you know this quiz was written by Jacqui Deevoy and appeared in the September 96 YM Love Special.)

First question. What do you like most about him?

A. He's considerate--a real sweetie
B. He's outgoing and a total crack-up
C. He's stylin' and a social stud
Sally: He's what? Stylin' and a social stud. Sally: Stylin'?
D. He's supersuave and sexy
Gedge: Supersuave and sexy.
Sally: D.
Gedge: Yayy!

How often does he compliment you?

A. Whenever he opens his mouth
B. Pretty often
C. Whenever he wants something
D. Never
Gedge: She shouldn't hear this. C.
Sally: Yeah.

What was his last girlfriend like?

A. Who knows? He never mentions her
B. From what he says, she was nice--it just didn't work out
C. She was a nightmare--he always harshes on her
D. According to him, she was a goddess
Sally: Well, I know her. She's a friend now, so. It didn't work out.

Why do you think he's into you?
Sally: Into me?

A. Because you've got tons to talk about
B. You don't know, he just is
C. You're not that sure that he is
D. Actually, he doesn't seem to be
Sally: What was B? You don't know, he just is.
Gedge: It's just an animal, magnetic thing, innit really.
Sally: Chemical, isn't it? Yeah.

What is most important to him?

A. You
B. His friends and/or family
C. His car, sports, or job
D. Himself
Sally: Himself.
Gedge: Hah; that's wrong though, anyway.
Sally: That's true for everyone, though. The most important person to everyone is himself. Is that what you would have said?
Gedge: No, I would have said my job, actually.
Sally: That came a close second.

Does he have an inflated ego?

A. No, even though he's totally hot
B. No, and he shouldnt--he's cute, but not that cute
C. Sometimes it gets out of control
D. Totally--he thinks he's the world's biggest love god
Gedge: Uh, I'm cute, but not that cute.

Is he the cheating type?

A. No, he seems pretty faithful
B. He cheated on someone once, but he learned his lesson
C. Yes, and you hate that about him
D. Yes, and it somehow makes him even more attractive
Gedge: I think it's probably the last, to be honest
Sally: It's probably the last.
So these lyrics are all based on real life stories?
Gedge: Well...
Sally: He hasn't, though.
Gedge: She thinks she can change me, you see.
Have you been faithful in a relationship? Before this one, of course.
Gedge: Yeah, I think. Can't remember now.
Given the lyric content of his songs, do you ever worry they're drawn from real life?
Sally: Of course they're made up.
But if they weren' you ever wonder?
Sally: No, I know where he spends most of his time. He's not out gallivanting with mysterious women. He's up in his office working.
Gedge: This is not the image I want to foster, actually.

Did he get you a birthday present?

A. Yes, and it was perfect
B. Yes, but you had to hint heavily
C. Yes, but it was crappy
D. No
Gedge: No!
Why not?
Gedge: Because. It's stupid. Because we share the same bank account, so all I'd do is, get a load of money out, buy her a present--which she might not like--and I've wasted her money. So it's better she just gets money out herself and goes and buys something she really wants. Its practical, really. Not very romantic, though, is it, I suppose
Sally: You haven't got the time to wander the streets.
Gedge: Life's too short, isn't it?
Sally: We're always away on tour, you come back like a week before Christmas, and you've got so many things to do. The last thing I want to do is spend like a day wandering around looking for something for him.

Have you ever busted him in a lie?
Sally: Have I ever what?
Have you ever caught him lying? It's written for teenagers.
Gedge: Oh dear.

A. No, he's incredibly honest
B. Only the occasional white lie
C. Yes, but he calls it "being creative with the facts"
D. So often that you're not sure when he's telling the truth
Sally: I've caught him doing little lies, but never anything important, he's so transparent.
Gedge: The big lies I've gotten away with, obviously.
What's a little lie?
Sally: I'll say something like, "Have you posted the letter?" And he'll say, "Yeah." And then he'll kind of look sheepish, and I'll say, "You haven't, have you?"

Since you've known him, how many of the following has he done?

A. Introduced you to his closest buds
B. Made sure you got home safely after a date
C. Let you cry on his shoulder
D. Laughed at your jokes
E. Gone shopping with you
F. Done something sweet for you as a surprise (Obviously not)
G. Called just to gab
Sally: He's done all of those, even the surprise.
What was the surprise?
Sally: When I went home once and I got ill, so I couldn't go back, and he just showed up, it was like 250 miles away, he just appeared. With a bunch of flowers.
Gedge: There you go. See. That's pretty nice, isn't it? That makes up for all those presents I dont get.

Despite the flowers, we had bad but unsurprising news for Sally when we tallied the results:
Gedge turns out to be Bad News Boy, which is slightly better than Devil Dude, but not as good as Could-Be Cutie.
YM's assessment? "If you're really into pain, this guy is perfect for you. Find another love object, pronto."

Uh-oh. This says you're the Bad News Boy. It tells Sally to "keep searching."
Gedge: Really? Oh dear. They're rubbish, those things, anyway.
Sally: That's it, then.
Gedge: It's over.
Thanks very much.


©2005 Chester Severien ([email protected])