Sunday, September 18, 2011

On Being Opinionated

My ex and her friends used to poke fun at me, insisting I was incredibly closed minded about music. I spent years trying to turn them on to Bernard Hermann, Ennio Morricone, John Barry, Kurt Weill, Prokofiev, Grieg, Stravinskiy, Radiohead, Doves, Spike Jones, Louis Armstrong, Talking Heads, Miles Davis, John McLaughlin, Judy Collins, Roland Kirk, Captain Beefheart, Woodie Guthrie, Hank Williams, Leo Kottke, The Bonzos and many others.

It blew their minds that I hated Rush, Foreigner, Styx, Journey and Kiss.

I’ll never forget our friend Laura showing me a lead solo by Eddie Van Halen. I said something like, “Yeah, it’s okay.” She said, “Oh yeah, show me something better!”

I played Adrian Belew’s solo from The Great Curve on the Talking Heads Remain in Light LP. She laughed and said, “Sh#t, I could play that!” Man those were lonely years.

I’m not denying I’m opinionated. Why is it I love Captain Beefheart, but find Frank Zappa cynical and pretentious?

One night Kim’s friend Sandy was visiting. I was listening to Buddy Holly. Kim said something to the effect of, “Do we have to listen to that crap?” Sandy asked if I liked normal music, like Country. I said I loved Country music. Kim said, “He only likes that old sh#t.” I never considered cowboy hat wearing, bare chested, pop, baritones filtering their accents through Auto Tune being anything like Country music.

I like to brag that I partied with Roy Acuff, Hank Snow, Grandpa Jones, Little Jimmy Dickens, Porter Wagner, Boxcar Willie and others in Acuff’s dressing room after having sat in the church pews on the stage during a live radio broadcast at Opryland.

My son is into Dub Step. I really can’t hear the difference between it and the Industrial Disco that was popular in clubs in the 80s. It has good visuals, but no dynamics or sex. There doesn’t seem to be anything beneath the surface.

I feel the same way about Lady Gaga. She’s a Hell of a performer and I think she has a lot to say, but the music has run its course.

My buddy Fran loves Yes. He always had a hard time understanding why I didn’t. After all, I love King Crimson and Art Rock in general. Yes has always felt like family though. Their arrangements are incredible, they’re all virtuosos and they’re sincere. I believe they’re great guys. I just don’t like their music.

I have guilty pleasures too. I’m embarrassed to admit I like some of the Moody Blues records. I like Tom Sholz guitar work even though I don’t like Boston.

I think I could fill a book on this subject. Maybe I’ll make a list of likes, dislikes, and guilty pleasures.

Joanie and me partying with Roy Acuff and Grandpa Jones


Anonymous said...

I have to confess, I was amazed when you and Joanie turned up with these photos. My personal country music preference is the really old mountain music, except Patsy Cline, of course. I also like some songs written by Willie Nelson. I just don't particularly like his sound.

I guess what I dislike about so much country music, and some other music, as well, is the pandering and whining.

Your Mom

Dominic said...

I feel your pain. It reminds me of the moment we were in the basement at LaClede Court listening to Trout Mask and the girls were all over, Susan and Marge and... i think it was Susan said: "Why don't you play some real music?"

it never got better from there. heheheh

Dorothy said...

Well, I love the Moody Blues, so don't feel too guilty. They are so lush. It is easy to feel cynical about the very 60's lyrics, but they still ring true. Just beautiful music is what it is.

Anonymous said...

Maybe it's because i grew up with a father that loved it, but I can't understand why people find it so hard to understand and listen to Trout Mask
RIP Cap'n