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Thursday, May 29, 2014 

Spectators of suicide.

Visitors to our house can be left in no doubt as to which pop stars my daughter Jessica likes.

Drinks are taken from a Suicide cup, their age-worn faces blearily staring out at us at breakfast, lunch and dinner.

The band's debut album, also titled Suicide, is on permanent loop, while at weekends Jessica deafens all and sundry with the lo-fi recordings captured between 1977-78 of their live shows.  Posters of Alan Vega (64) and Martin Rev (age unknown) stare down from her bedroom wall.

Alan is her favourite, she tells me on a daily basis.  She believes he can do no wrong. Last week, when my wife calmly suggested the late Sid Vicious was a better singer than Alan, World War III broke out.

Tears were shed and in the fallout, I found myself under attack for claiming, months earlier, that X-Ray Spex were more successful than Suicide.

I'll admit this makes my daughter rather strange.  While all her friends are devoted to the likes of One Direction, she delights in the ten minute long Frankie Teardrop, a song about a Vietnam veteran who kills his wife and child in despair.

And you know what, I'm glad she likes an obscure proto-punk band who despite their lack of commercial success have been highly influential.  I could be the type of father who is so devoted to the well-being of my daughter that I'm willing to write about her for a national newspaper, pretending to feel let down by her heroes appearing to smoke cannabis.  I could be the type of father who denies taking his little girl to a concert by her favourite group on the basis she's too young, despite knowing full well 8-year-olds are the prime audience for One Direction, and now feels smug about it in light of the shock revelation.  I could be the type of father who finds the fact young men in a beat combo are liable to get tattoos, have pop-star girlfriends and occasionally sample "Mary J" an example of their lack of responsibility, a betrayal of our trust, as proof they are unworthy of my daughter's loving affection, just as other men also will be in the future.

But I'm not.  Mainly because I'm not real, and am just a device to weakly mock a Daily Mail article.  If I was though, I'd be glad my daughter is already at a young age discovering what real life is like.  At times it will feel like you're having axes thrown at you, as happened to Suicide at a gig in Glasgow.  The sooner you learn that, the better.  It might also stop my daughter from rebelling against my overly protective, 19th century values by getting knocked up when she's 15 by a kid called Spud.  Your choice.

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