Unknown pleasures

I just found out that my oldest co-worker, the one closest to retirement, used to be a drummer in a postpunk band around 1980. This soft-spoken expert in government data had a secret past, I found, while I was looking for his research online. This was like discovering that Queen Elizabeth played baritone sax behind Little Richard on “Tutti Frutti” in 1955. 

In the ten years before this, the only time he and I talked about music was when he had gone to see Wagner’s Ring Cycle, an opera production so long that it takes four nights to see the whole thing. “My tastes have changed,” he admitted when I brought this up. 

His band had originally been punk, playing in the style of the Clash and Sex Pistols, he said, but they dropped their entire set list and switched to a Joy Division kind of sound just to attract a better-behaved audience to their live shows.