You’re my heart, you’re my soul
Kashan (Iran), February 14th 2013 

It is difficult to argue about taste, because it is so personal; especially when the subject is music. Some artists and bands are immense popular and the band members became some kind of saints over the year for their fans. Other artists or bands never achieved to reach this heroic status, but their music never disappeared from the scene. An example of such a band is MT. I do not want to mention their real name, because I am afraid that readers will drop out as soon as they hear the name of the band. Deservedly or not.

The band I mean consists of two male singers, and they were ‘successful’ in the 80s. Their appearance was shocking, especially when you judge them with a 2013 look. It was not that they were vulgar or indecent, but they were just wrong. And I mean really wrong. I only judge them on their appearance because I do know nothing about their characters. I won’t try to describe them because that would probably take too long. All I can say is that they tried to impress their public with it. And I especially mean the ladies, because I can not imagine that any man would get warm feelings from the two 80s clowns. If it worked, I don’t know. You should ask the ladies.

But what the gentlemen managed to do, is to make a decent number of ‘hits’. This is not the moment to argue about the definition of a hit, but if you are forced to listen to a CD of them, or even worse, to see a DVD of them, you can’t deny that you know most songs of them. How do you know is what I hear you think. Over the last 6 years of travelling, Ivonne and I were several times forced to listen and/or look to them. It mostly happened on a long bus journey, and sporadically on a boat journey. The CD was played in the bus or the DVD was shown on the TV set in the bus. And to be honest, we eventually found it entertaining when we heard or saw them again. We don’t hear a lot of western music in Asia, so when you’re exposed to it once in a while, it is quite enjoyable … even if it is MT.

What we observed over the years is that MT is popular in Asia. We have seen and heard them for sure in India, Myanmar, China, the Philippines and Indonesia. We eventually became a little bit fans of them. We almost had the evening of our lives when we noticed that they were performing in Genting, a small gamble resort for Chinese gamblers in Malaysia. We saw big posters to announce the concert in several of Kuala Lumpur’s shopping malls. But unfortunately, the posters were out-of-date. The concert took already place. That was a big disappointment.

For a while we didn’t hear them anymore, till last week. After a long walk though Tehran (Iran’s capital city) we sat down for a rest and a cup of coffee in a small and exclusive coffee house in northern Tehran. These small and cosy coffee houses are popular amongst modern Tehranis to meet each other and to talk about subjects that are off-limits in Iran, like politics. Talking about politics is still a risky business in Iran and that is the reason why people search for dark corners in coffee and tea houses, away from the ears of the government. But these places are also increasingly popular among young couples who managed to escape authority of fathers or older brothers, to meet each other. They are dressed too modern in the eyes of the ruling religious elite and the hip teenagers are often recognisable by the small plaster on their nose, as a proof for a recent nose job to get rid off the much disliked little bump on their nose. These couples are sitting on opposite sides of the table, are bent over to each other, and are undoubtedly exchanging sweet words with each other.

And just when you are observing this coffee house culture, with a good cup of coffee on the table, it happens again. From the loudspeakers in the corners comes the sound of ‘you’re my heart, you’re my soul’, the unmistakably tunes of MT. Wherever you go in Asia, you won’t hear the songs of established bands like U2, The Rolling Stones, The Beatles or Queen in the public space. But what you hear is MT; even here in conservative Iran. So, this ‘world famous’ band deserves to have their band name mentioned: Modern Talking!

© copyright - / 2013