Boogie Nights, Always and Forever, Off the Wall, Rock with You, Thriller, Give me the Night.
What do these songs have in common? This man. Rod Temperton. He wrote them.
Born in Cleethorpes, Lincolnshire. An unlikely start for such a prolific songwriter of such famous songs.
To write a song which was one of the most successful tunes, of one of then most successful pop artists of the last 50 years is an amazing feat. Thriller by Micheal Jackson sold over 50 million copies and is the best selling album of all time.
What made a boy from Cleethorpes destined to work in a fish factory write such songs that defined an era?
He must have been very rich and never had to work again. Perhaps it was a huge talent and a wish to escape the North of England. A lot of British talent is motivated by artists wanting to run away from their past. Bowie out of Suburban Bromley, Morrissey out of grey Manchester to name two.
He also knew that he was not a front of camera guy. He was not pretty, not photogenic which he seemed to know. He took himself away from the stage to write songs alone. At a desk by himself. He was nicknamed the Invisible Man because of his low profile.
All Temperton’s songs were slick, polished, evoking LA. It was an escape from the small dark cold space of the North of England to the open vista of the sunlight of a big country. He did America as though he was a native.
R.I.P Rod Temperton
Copyright Adrian Scott North London Counsellor Blog 2016
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This article is designed to provoke argument and critique