Hedonism vs joy. Should there be a ‘vs’? Shouldn’t it be an ‘=’? But, it seems in Ibiza, ironically you can’t have both. The music draws you back there but the quest for hedonism promotes a selfishishness that mars the joy the music can bring.
I wonder if there is something about the collective desire for a high that produces that effect – and what that means, as individually people are nice – charming even – like at Space: ‘That was a great tune you just played’ I said to the DJ in El Salon at around 3am. He put his arm around me and said in a Yorkshire accent, smiling ‘Oh! I’m so glad you appreciated it – it’s one of my favourites’. ‘Where did you find it?’ I said as I texted the name of the tune to myself. ‘I search in basements all over the world for stuff – that’s what I do. I found this in LA’.
At Blue Marlin as the sun went down, a woman in a short negligee drank champagne and danced as the man paying for it looked longingly at her and tried to kiss her. In the VIP area everyone was laughing, but no one was really smiling. The guitarist and drummer on stage were superb and the music was uplifting in the sunshine but it seems that when it costs this much to have fun – the heart disappears. Does it reflect society at large – the fact that people consider being able to spend obscene amounts of money the pinnacle of happiness and more is never enough?
I chatted to another gentleman of a certain age at the bar. ‘Do you come here often?’ I asked. ‘Yeah, I come out a few times a year with my friends. We stay in a mate’s villa’. He told me where he lived in the UK and I said ‘I know, Beryl Cook lives there – doesn’t she?’ ‘Not sure’, he replied, ‘Heston does though – he’s a mate of mine, sometimes he comes out here with us’. ‘That must be great; having someone who can cook in the party!’ I exclaimed, laughing. ‘Yeah, he’ll rustle up a good Welsh rarebit if he’s pushed’ he replied. ‘We do love it here but it is pricey – we spent £2k the other day on drinks and dinner for six at this place’.
I talked to Nate and Tory, friendly souls from Arizona and LA: ’24 hours to get here for us, but it’s worth it’ Tory said as she sipped her pink champagne sangria.
At the Defected closing party at Pacha as I enjoyed my favourite DJ – Bob Sinclar – from afar, I got chatting to Oliver – French and a DJ in St Tropez. He offered me a cigarette and a drink. ‘You can’t smoke in here – can you?’ I said. ‘I’m in Pacha, Ibiza, I can do anything’ he replied. I asked him how his ears were holding up – being a DJ. ‘I have a bit of tinnitus, that’s why I hang out at this bar – you can see everything but you’re not in the middle of it’. I talked to him about Bob. ‘Yeah, I know him; he’s a friend, we both have sons who are the same age; 13’.
I said goodbye and went up to the terrace to get a view. Bob looked up as he mixed the CDs, intent on the job in hand – checking to see that he still had it I suspect. We went downstairs and I danced until he finished at 5am. The last song he played was ‘Love Generation’. As with many of his tunes the melancholy riff tinged with nostalgia is the hook and one that always works – just think of Abba. Everybody cheered as Bob thanked them and cited Pacha as ‘One of the best clubs in the world’. But still, he never smiled.
I felt the music and the desire to have a good time but I missed the joy and the heart and I wondered where that had gone and why – and indeed if it had ever truly existed here. I thought about the lyrics of that song ‘We don’t have to take our clothes off, to have a good time, oh no’. Perhaps Bob should remix that old classic and bring us all back down to earth – in a good way.