There’s been a lot of flack thrown Maroon 5?s way for writing a song about a payphones. In the age of cell phones, they’re an outdated concept and among germaphobes there’s nothing nostalgic about having to use a public payphone. But when the guys explained that they had used payphones in Europe, because cell service was too expensive, it all started to make sense.
Maybe some practicality about payphones in Europe survives because Ellie Goulding confessed to 97.1 AMP/Los Angeles that she’s been known to use them in a pinch as well.
‘Times have changed,’ Goulding said, recalling her start-up days as a songwriter. ‘It could go back to it again, but I remember having to call up, from a payphone, the person’s house I was going to to work in the studio.’
‘My phone had been blocked because I couldn’t pay the phone bill and I had to get the person from the studio to send the car to pick me up. There were some interesting times when I was really first getting started,’ Goulding said. ‘I think that’s why I appreciate everything so much now.’
It’s doubtful that Goulding has to use a payphone because she can’t afford her mobile these days, but London red telephone boxes are still a popular tourist attraction. They’ve been a fixture in the city since 1926. In fact, the original red box telephone is on view by the public at Britian’s Royal Academy. In the last decade they’ve fallen into disuse in the light of new technology and been repurposed as art exhibitions, sold to private citizens who want to own their own red box and turned into mobile phone transmitters.