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Thursday, December 05, 2013

What kind of world is it where Bob Dylan wears a tie and the weatherman doesn't?

The same day Tie Rack announced it was going into administration I went to see Bob Dylan at the Albert Hall. He was wearing a tie.

A few nights later I saw Dream Themes, Rhodri Marsden’s TV theme-tune band. They were all wearing ties. Even the guitarist, who threw himself to the ground during an emotionally wrenching version of the Panorama theme, was wearing one.

It’s funny that rock bands, who used to pride themselves on being morally above wearing ties, should now adopt them as a working uniform. There have been memorable rock ties. There was Bryan Ferry’s GI tie, which he would tuck into his shirt. Around the same time Bill Nelson had a nice line in bulky Rodney Bewes-style kippers. One of the things that made Doctor Feelgood stand out from other pub rock bands was they wore ties.

The wearing of a rock tie does two things: it helps distinguish the members of the band from the members of the audience and also makes them look as if they're going to work, like the gang at the beginning of Reservoir Dogs.

It's funny that this should happen just as ties are falling out of use in the real workplace. I don't have anything against informality.I simply feel that if you wear a suit without a tie, or without a collar that can said to be properly resolved, you look unfinished. That surely wasn't what you had in mind when you bought the suit.

At the end of last night's BBC news they had two weathermen, one wearing a tie and one not. I know which one I paid attention to.