It's goodbye to garage and hello to shed music

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An Eric Sykes lookalike from Nottingham has made my day. Thank God for Ray Cooper, 73. He has filled me with hope and rekindled aspirations I thought had died a long time ago. For Ray Cooper, ladies and gentlemen, after six decades of trying to make it in the music business, has finally secured a record deal. Fantastic. I say we get behind this man now and give him the support he so urgently needs - and I'm not talking a truss here. I'm talking about changing the face of an industry that's been going downhill ever since Geri and Robbie and Britney and all those other baby-faced kids first began warbling their immature notions into a microphone. Grey power is now where it's at - or it would be if we could remember where we left it.

An Eric Sykes lookalike from Nottingham has made my day. Thank God for Ray Cooper, 73. He has filled me with hope and rekindled aspirations I thought had died a long time ago. For Ray Cooper, ladies and gentlemen, after six decades of trying to make it in the music business, has finally secured a record deal. Fantastic. I say we get behind this man now and give him the support he so urgently needs - and I'm not talking a truss here. I'm talking about changing the face of an industry that's been going downhill ever since Geri and Robbie and Britney and all those other baby-faced kids first began warbling their immature notions into a microphone. Grey power is now where it's at - or it would be if we could remember where we left it.

I used to think that it was shameful that at my age I still harboured ambitions of rock god status; but no, I was doing the right thing. Biding my time, you see. You can't make it in pop music unless you've got a good 70-odd years under your belt. As Plato once said: "When the mood of the music changes, the walls of the city will shake." Up until now, I've been doing all the shaking on my own. But, finally, my time has come.

Once we get Ray Cooper to the top of the charts, the rest of us wrinklies can jump on the bandwagon; well, not jump exactly. Get a couple of children to give us a sharp push from behind more like. And then look out. You can say goodbye to skimpy tops and studded navels - it's moth-eaten cardigans and hearing aids from here on in. When my first album goes platinum I won't be splashing out on a stretch limo or a Harley - it's a customised stair-lift for me, mate.

Forget your dinky little scooters that young kids and city gents are pootling about on. Ray, my hero, drives around in a motorised wheelchair. Good for him. I've had my eye on one of those for ages. Get me behind the wheel of one of those mothers; speeding down the highway at a heady 12mph, passing young kids in tight trousers, staring wistfully and muttering, "I wish I was in line for a carriage clock."

Rock'n'roll madness - I can't wait. Out on the road, performing to hordes of demented grannies tossing their incontinence knickers on to the stage; then back to the hotel, staying up all night (well, 10pm to 10.30pm), freebasing cocoa and snorting Sanatogen. Taking the knobs off television sets and flinging them into the swimming pool. Jamming with Keith and Eric on electric ukuleles, laying down some heavy duty riffs, man. But not too heavy, Eric. Not with my back.

The songs, of course, will write themselves: "I Get Around (but not as quickly as I used to)", "The Answer, My Friend, is Hobbling in the Wind", and "Hey! You! Get Off My Couch".

"All Day and Part of the Night", "Blue Suede Slippers", Glad to be Grey", "Born to be Mild". All performed by artistes such as The Great Grandmothers of Invention. The Grateful Deaf. The Who-What-Where? The Specs Pistols. S Club 77. And you can say goodbye to Garage music. It's shed from now on. And no more hip hop. Hip replacement, that's the coming thing.

God bless you, Ray Cooper. I haven't had ambitions like this since I was a 15-year-old. You've made the phrase "Top of the Pops" take on a whole new meaning. I'm going to back-comb my widow's peak and spray the Zimmer frame silver. I may not have a tattoo, but the varicose veins are pretty impressive. I'm going to lay down some demos (after I've had a lay down).

Then I'll get myself a manager. Someone sharp and ruthless and in their 80s. Then we can plan our campaign, using tactics such as, "What was I saying? It's on the tip of my tongue. Was it something to do with Sony? No, it's gone." I fail, hail rock'n'roll. Not only is it here to stay, but it's brought its own hot-water bottle.

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