Too many moons ago in the personal-outlaw 1980s I was haring around London on my motorbike looking forward to seeing Sinead O’Connor at the Dominion Theatre that weekend.
It didn’t happen, somebody opened their parked car door and I broke my leg, despatch-riding didn’t come with sick pay, I had to sell the tickets and missed her singing the angry and explosive Troy, her companion piece to the ‘sad’ Nothing Compares 2 you.
It’s an extraordinary live performance that can be seen on YouTube and was the first thing that came to mind when I heard of her tragic, and yet terribly inevitable, death. She was ahead of her time, was utterly human in her existence and will be long, long remembered.
Her song Black Boys On Mopeds is one of the most searing things I’ve ever heard when describing the facade of ‘England’ and the realities of poverty and the ruthlessness of London.
I did get to see her live a year later when watching Jah Wobble at the Marquee playing out his seminal Rising Over Bedlam album. She wandered on stage, an anonymous backing-singer until she opened her voice on Visions Of You.
One of the best gigs in my life, the only time I ever saw a band change its rhythm because of a belly-dancer’s movements. And, of course, like Sinead O’Connor, the Marquee doesn’t exist any longer.
Nostalgia is easy when it comes to music and realising that there was very little fomo in your life, because you did everything you could to understand joy and live music (and motorbikes). If you know, you know.
Sinead O’Connor’s uncompromising stance is one that will be honoured more in her passing than at the time and one, you know it’s coming, that could also be applied to the crypto industry.
Uncompromising, attacked on all sides, misunderstood, ahead of its time, sick of a corrupt status quo and wanting to change an industry forever.
O’Connor famously and fatefully undermined herself on a US chat show when she tore up a picture of the Pope to protest about the sexual abuse in Catholic churches and was ostracised for it.
I may have missed it, but I’m sure somebody from crypto must have done that with a dollar bill on a US talk or business show. If not, I’m happy to be the first.
The old ‘she’s a mad woman’ trope dogged Sinead for years and she was forever banned from the NBC network, two more stretched metaphors that could be crypto-descriptive for those who hate.
But, O’Connor held on for dear life for her beliefs and finally the world realised what a beautiful soul she was after that world had finally changed to her previous rhythm. Maybe she, too, learned, from that belly-dancer at the Marquee.
So, be more Sinead, never compromise, believe in yourself and believe that you’re ahead of your time before, as Sinead once sang, you, too are stretched on your grave.
RIP Sinead O’Connor, long live crypto.