[15] Lloyd Cole & The Commotions, ‘Forest Fire’

Junior sat transfixed at the audacity of Lloyd’s wordplay and the shocking absence of dropped names. Not an Eva Marie Saint nor Norman Mailer in sight. As the song picked up, she livened up with an array of bounces, but there weren’t enough huge clanging chords to really get her excited. It’s a slow-burner of a record, aptly enough, and one for the more serious-minded teenager.

I thought it was romantic as hell back then, even though my closest brushes with affairs of the heart were limited to sending Valentines to girls I’d never met. Not so much stalking as a love as yet unspoken.

This didn’t even trouble the charts, but it’s a great song and quietly important to me. Lloyd was often at my shoulder over the next few years, helping me with my lovelorn poetry. Would’ve been nice if he’d exercised some quality control over it, mind you.