Read on to discover why there’s one burning question our king of retro cool can’t answer: where’s his confidence gone?
Every weekday morning at around 11.30 if I’m working from home, I’ll tune in to Planet Rock’s Anorak Quiz.
Presenter Rob Birnie asks the daily contestant as many questions as he can squeeze in to one minute and at the end of the week, the person with the highest score wins a coveted PR anorak.
About three years ago, I appeared on the show and ended up with a score of four.
Awful, you may think but that’s about average. Most weeks, the winner rattles up seven or eight correct answers though there have been times when four would have won it.
Nerves get the better of many contestants, the 60 seconds go by in a flash and of course the “wrong” questions come up.
I usually do OK with the “guess the year” questions and awfully on the lyrics question but I had been seriously considering giving the quiz another stab – until having second thoughts yesterday.
Like a lot of listerners, I’ll test myself on a daily basis and have found that these days, I’m finishing with a score of six or seven, sometimes even higher.
That state-of-the-art anorak could be mine, I thought. But then……
Monday’s quiz started off gently. When did Robert Plant release his first solo album, asked Birnie. I wrote down 1982, vividly recalling the day I bought Pictures At Eleven, in between lectures in my University days.
Question number two was even easier. Name which band Rick Parfitt’s in. Blimey, even my wife knows that’s Status Quo.
But then, I hit the wall, managing just one more correct answer – 1974 was the year Deep Purple’s Burn came out.
I hadn’t a clue who’s the only member of Marillon who’s been in the band from its birth, I failed to identify the opening lines of Lynryd Skynrd’s Sweet Home Alabama and not being a big fan of Tom Petty, failed two identify two of his albums.
Even in the relaxed sanctuary of my study, I notched up a paltry three. Live on national radio, it might have been even worse so all credit to Monday’s contestant who probably didn’t rattle up a big enough score to be contacted at the end of the week to be told the PR anorak is his, but he fared better than yours truly.
So Rob Birnie and the Planet Rock nation have been spared a call from me for the time being. I’ve bottled it, lost my confidence and appear to be a shadow of my rock quiz self.
For now it’s a return to reading back issues of Classic Rock and dusting down album sleeves to read the lyrics but mark my words, I’ll be back. That anorak will be mine.