The Critics Dissect the 80s

26 Jan

Charlie Watts looks rad behind the black Gretsch. Even though he’s wearing a yellow shirt and white pants.
-Fucking white shoes…
-Fookin’ pastels…
Still. He just looks cool. Doesn’t give a shit about the camera. There’s a part if you watch him in the background where he’s talking to Bill Wyman and they both start laughing. What a gas. In the middle of the thing, too. Talking to Bill Wyman right up there on the drum riser. Like, hello Charlie…we’re shooting a video here. But he doesn’t care. He’s like that in Rock-n-Roll Circus. And Cocksucker Blues too. He’s just rad.
-What’s that?
-A double guitar.
-The hell is that?
-Like the top is a six-string and the bottom a twelve.
-Get outta here.
-Seriously, Jimmy Paige played one first. And then that guy from Rush. That Alex Lifeson guy. And then a whole bunch of others. The dude from Cheap Trick?
-Rick Nielsen.
-Yea. He’s got one that’s like six guitars in one.
-Get outta here.
-I swear.
-What a gas.
-I want you…
-To want… ME!
-Live at Budokan.
-Great record.
Mine wasn’t all that Casey Kasem long distance dedication shit, though. That top 40 junk. I mean, I grew up with the pastels and flaps on your shirt and OP and parachute pants and popping and breakin’ and shit, but mine was different. When you talk about music, then, for me, it was The Clash and Costello and Blondie and Nick Cave and Nick Lowe. Bow Wow Wow and The Specials and X and the Damned, the Cure and Smiths and The Pixies and Tom Waits and John Lurie.
-There was the metal,too.
-Fuck off you.
There was, though. Sabbath and Priest and Maiden. And later there was Queensryche. Zep was good, but I didn’t dig the hippie and bluegrass shit so much. And I liked Bonham, but he couldn’t stand up to Peart or Copeland. I mean, he could, but not on tunes. Bonham was the son of a bricklayer. You can hear it in the way he played his pocket. Heavy on the one and the three with the bass drum. Like he’s putting down the mortar. Peart was out of this world, like Chaucer on the kit, and Copeland was a wiz on the hi-hats and splashes. Ever hear him do Walking on the Moon live? He’s playing fucking thirty-second notes on the hats! Anyway, Dio was good too. I went to see Ronnie James Dio and The Killer Dwarves opened…oh and Ozzy. He came down on this giant, stone throne; the fucking thing was three stories high. He was about three feet from touching the stage when the fucking cables snapped and the throne came crashing down. It wasn’t much, but it was funny still. This little fat man. Got up and started clapping in time with Carmine Appice, who handled the kit back then for Ozzy.
-Was that the one with Randy Rhodes?
-No. This was later. The Ultimate Sin tour.
-Fuck, and Journey.
-Jesus Christ, they’re so fucking gay.
-In ’86 they toured with Randy Jackson, the American Idol judge. The black guy?
-Fucking fat fuck. Was wearing spandex and had a box philly.
-Are you serious?
-Kid-n-Play box fucking philly hairdo.
-Steve Smith…
-No I know. Steve Smith is excused.
-Ever hear his jazz work with Vital Information?”
-It kicks.
…and Maiden just blew me away. Blew everyone away, even if you didn’t like metal. Aces High and Run To The Hills and…
-Seventh Son of a Seventh Son.
Right. There were all kinds of offshoots too: Anthrax, Fishbone, Bad Brains, Fugazi…
-Fucking Fugazi!
Fugazi. Always played free shows in D.C. Then, later, Jane’s Addiction, before all that Been Caught Stealing crap. I mean Jane’s. Pigs in Zen. 1987.
-Fucking Pigs in Zen.
Or Mountain Song, or …
-Ted Just Admit It.
-Fuck yes.
Ted Just Admit It. Everybody, everybody, everybody, everybody, every ba a a aaa a daaaay. And Queen, too. Freddie Mercury. Best voice in Rock-n-Roll. Hands down.
-Top three rock frontmen.
Three: Geddy Lee.
Two: Robert Plant.
One: Freddie Mercury.
-Fucking Geddy.
-Sounds like Plant, only on acid.
-Top three most despised bands.
Three: Styx.
Two: Genesis.
-Peter Gabriel Genesis?
-No, Phil Collins.
One: Huey Lewis and the News.
Oh it’s true…I’m so happy to be
– …stuck with you. Brilliant!
Top Three Corporation Rock Bands:
-Journey. REO Speedwagon. Boston.
Oh there are many others. Glass Tiger, Wang Chung, J. Geils Band, Mike and the Mechanics, The Hooters, Richard Marx, Color Me Badd, Air Supply, Asia, Starship…
-We built this city…
-Marconi plays the mambo…
-Listen to the radee-oh…
Awful stuff. Kenny G, Michael Bolton, and don’t even get me going on the hair bands. There’s no time to list those.
-Frankie say Relax!
-Choose Life!
Here’s what worked for me: General Public, old Police
-The shit from the 70s.
Right. Outlandos D’Amour and Regatta de Blanc. Pistols, Ramones, Wendy O.
-Fucking eh!
Wendy O., Skinny Puppy, Fields of the Nephilim, Boomtown Rats, Dead Kennedys, Suicidal Tendencies, The Jam, Marley, Tosh, Steel Pulse, Black Flag, Ultravox…
Fine. And. Old U2. Everything up to Joshua Tree, but nothing further than that. But old, old U2, really. Shit most people now have never heard. Gloria, in te domine.
Right. Shit from the October album. I Will Follow. And shit from War. 40.
-Brilliant! 40 is brilliant.
And it is.
And now it’s mostly shite. Mostly. All offshoots. All independents. Tangents of tangents. And you’re cool if you name some bloody emo chick no one’s ever heard of who plays a giant Rickenbacker guitar or some shit like that, and every now and again you and your buddies spot her in some laundermat separating her skivvies from the darks. Because no one’s ever heard of her. And that’s just cool.
-Oh the vitriol.
You’re a fucking snob obscurantist, is what you are. And the minute your little pet project gets popular you move on to the next mediocre folk singer. No one fucking knows anything about the history of this. No one can trace anything back to Ani DiFranco. Costello. X. Sonic Youth. Even Kate Wolf. Joan Fuckin’ Baez, for chrissakes. Offshoots of ofshoots.
Fuck Radiohead. No one traces them back to Roger Waters’ Radio KAOS. Radiohead’s been done. Radiohead was done in ’83. It’s Waters’ “The Final Cut.” And it is Waters, Cut is. No matter what Floyd fans’ll tell you. Besides, if I want to get into something complex I’ll go read Rousseau or Kierkegaard or Sartre, for fuck’s sake.
-Oh, Pablo-Honey….
-Oh, you so phrazy, chile…
-Voodoo Chile!
-Hendrix. Brilliant!


3 Responses to “The Critics Dissect the 80s”

  1. Kunstemaecker 26/01/2008 at 9:06 PM #

    haha, good conversation, except for the reference of how that musician played like a bricklayer. That didn’t come across the way it should have.

    Then again, I told myself, this time I’m going to find something I don’t like and tell him.

  2. Slyboots 26/01/2008 at 10:59 PM #

    Actually I can hear in my head Bonham laying the bricks on the one and the three. Think about “When the Levee Breaks”….yeah.

    All I can say about U2 is An Cat Dubh. And that makes me happy.

    Well, Alex, you have summed up plenty about the modern history of rock/pop music. And the dialogue doesn’t read like Nick Hornby. Which is good. Very, very good. Though I would like to see Jack Black play it once, just because he makes me happy too. And you did leave out Angus, et. al. But that is forgivable, as you included so many of the others.

    Peace out.

  3. (S)wine 27/01/2008 at 1:14 AM #

    Angus, Bon, Malcolm and the boys were resting and didn’t want to be included. They said they didn’t need any more press. Not from me, at least. That’s what they said.

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