Monday, November 2, 2009

It's the things U took 4 granted that U wish U had back....

I had an older woman (late-50s/early-60s) come in2 the store 2nite & ask if we carry either Royal Crown or Diet Rite colas. She's only the 2nd person 2 ask 4 either of those brands in 6 yrs. & I haven't Cn either brand sold NEwhere in YEARS.
Which is odd, cos both brands were everywhere in the late-'60s & in2 the '70s, along with another brand, 7-UP, which at least still advertises nationally. All 3 of them useta B a pretty big deal back in Idaho where I came from, & now if they're even still available out there U C them little, if at all.
I told the woman her request took me back 2 around 1970 & she didn't want me 2 get nostalgic. So she got nostalgic instead, talking about driving around in Texas at age 15 & going out 4 a snack of Fritos & an RC or a Diet Rite; getting a $5 allowance each wk, & that Bing enuf 4 her 2 drive her car 2&from school all wk long. (I can remember back 2 1970 when a gallon of gas was 28 cents 4 regular & 32 cents 4 premium; 2nite at work we sold regular/unleaded 4 $2.85/gal & the supreme stuff 4 $3.05/gal.)
That got me thinking about how much has changed -- how all the things I took 4 granted while I was growing up R either long-gone or worth a lotta $$$ now. I'm sure my father kicks himself every time he thinks of all the great cars he fixed-up & then traded-off -- '57 powder-blue Chevy, '62 Cadillac, '66 Barracuda, '65 Mustang, & MANY others. At 1 point while in high school I had a '62 Impala & 4 the life of me I can't remember what happened 2 that car.... ALL old cars look cool now, even those ugly old boat-sized early-'60s Fords with the trunks big enough 2 stash a coupla bodies in.... All old cars have done nothing but acquire coolness over the yrs.
But that wasn't the 1st thing I thot of. The 1st thing I thot of 4 some reason was console stereos -- the old kind built in a cabinet that was both record-player (turntable), stereo, radio, & a piece of furniture 4 yr room. How come nobody makes those NEmore? How & why did they go outta style? I'd B happy 2 have 1 that actually worked, now. But 2 find 1 I'm gonna havta hit a lotta garage sales....
Music formats have changed, of course. When my girlfriend's daughters 1st saw my stash of 45-rpm singles, they didn't know what they were. The term "45's" meant nothing 2 them. Vinyl record-albums they could figure out, but then they nodded their heads as if 2 say "Not CD's -- old technology." Yeah, old -- like 8-tracks. THAT's REALLY old technology....
Then somehow I started thinking about the 1st nites I was ever out during highschool, cruising thru Nampa, Idaho, with my old friend Jeff Mann, 1st in his Mercury Capri & later in a tiny little MG -- his car cassette-player (more old technology!) blasting Queen's NIGHT AT THE OPERA, Paul McCartney's VENUS AND MARS or BAND ON THE RUN, or tracks from 1/2adozen diffrent Elton John albums, especially GOODBYE YELLOW BRICK ROAD or DON'T SHOOT ME, I'M ONLY THE PIANO PLAYER. This stuff would motivate us pretty good. I especially remember Jeff pulling up 2 a stoplite Bside an old couple probly on their way home from church or something, Elton's "Love Lies Bleeding" blasting out the windows of R car, & Jeff hanging 1/2way out the driver's-side window 2 scream "ROCK AND ROLLLLLL!!!!!" & then take off when the lite turned green. I'm sure the old couple had a heart attack or at least wondered what kinda heathens had invaded the wilds of Southwestern Idaho.... But that was fairly normal Bhavior 4 Jeff....
I'm sure there's more I could go on about cos I can get nostalgic 4 no real good reason at all. I'll bet Jeff wishes he still had that MG. I've got all those albums listed above, & every time I play "Love Lies Bleeding" (can't remember the last time I DID), I think of that little stop-lite incident....
I'm not sure where this is coming from or where it's likely 2 go. I'm not letting it go 2 far 2nite cos I've got stuff I'd like 2 read & then review here. Have started Lewis Shiner's SAY GOODBYE, which so far is almost like a dry piece of non-fiction about a singer-songwriter who didn't quite make it -- but I'm sure it'll get warmer. (BTW, Shiner has a long autobiography posted at his website, www.lewisshiner.com -- not sure how this'll sound, but it's comforting 2 know that some1 who can write as brilliantly as he can (his amazing rock novel GLIMPSES) has had just as messed-up a life as mosta the rest of us....
Am also skimming the rest of Ian MacDonald's 2007 edition of REVOLUTION IN THE HEAD, a long critique of the Beatles' recorded work. As MacDonald himself sez in the introduction, there isn't a whole lot of info that's new in the latest revision of the book, but the WRITING -- whoo, if yr a Beatles fan, U'll hava good time. MacDonald also isn't afraid 2 point out their weaknesses -- he identifies "slovenly," "lazy" work & songs that overstay their welcome, he has a rather higher view of McCartney than most music critics, he nominates "A Day in the Life" as the Beatles' outstanding achievement (no real argument, tho I'm still a sucker 4 Side 2 of ABBEY ROAD), & he even sorta likes "Revolution 9" -- tho not, I was grateful 2 C, "Mr. Moonlight." & summa the writing is just fookin hilarious -- NE Serious Music Criticism that can make me laff out loud (sevral times) must B doing Something Right....
Also re-read Hipgnosis/Storm Thorgerson's original album-cover portfolio WALK AWAY RENE. The '70s-era photography is still just as amazing, & Thorgerson's writing is still just as funny. The book includes the tale of the infamous Pink Floyd/ANIMALS flying-pig fiasco, the photogs' adventures crawling across the Moroccan desert 4 a cover 4 the Nice's ELEGY, hanging off the side of a French canyon 4 a good cover-photo 4 Wishbone Ash's ARGUS, how they came up with the photo package 4 the Floyd's WISH YOU WERE HERE, dishing the gossip about meeting McCartney & Jagger (while Thorgerson drily notes that of course HE thinks gossip is disgusting)... Great stuff, obviously, funny stories & lotsa striking photos. I hadn't Cn a copy of the book in 20+ yrs, so looking thru it was like having an old friend back in the house.
More soon....

6 comments:

Gardenhead said...

Aww Tad I fucking love revolution in the head and totally agree with McDonald on MacCartney. Your posts stir up an idea of Idaho in my head. If I ever pass through, I'm going to look you up (not impossible - I once hitchiked Canada).

tad said...

Thanx, G. Of course I'm not in Idaho NEmore, now living in Washington, the only state in the US where I can hold my current job & still keep up w/ my bills.... I trust there will B more nostalgia coming soon, of course (there always is), along w/ full-length reviews of everything I've bn reading/hearing lately.... -- TAD.

rastronomicals said...

Hey Tad

Ever read a story by Lewis Shiner called "Jeff Beck?" It goes greatly recommended by me; let's say it sort of explains why Messr. Beck destroyed his guitar the way he did in Blow-Up.

I was always a big McCartney guy, and always try to focus on his bass parts, he always rewards you for the effort, even on Wings songs. Heard "Goodnight Tonight" the other day and ya know, the song is kind of a throwaway, but even so, Mac's bassplaying is phenomenal on it.

I remember I went to a show on his late '80's (?) World Tour, and they gave away a big full color book to everybody who walked in through the gate. Now I don't know if what Paul said in the book was true, but in reading it, I definitely saw that the interpretations of Beatles history most often drawn elsewhere are NOT those come to independently by Paul himself.

Also, saw your comment (and your question about my "vacation") at my Electric Wizard/Alastair Reynolds post.

I think I'll not address questions of my own productivity onsite at my blog--I'll let the "when I can" in the masthead and the frequency of the work itself speak for itself.

But you're, like, one of my blog's only supporters, and you are deserving of an answer, so I hope that you will forgive me for being so offtopic here.

Bascially the reason why I went from April to August between posts was that I had a kinghell case of writer's block. The groundrules I've set for myself--don't talk about band histories, or who met who, or how they got their big break, just talk about the songs, makes it difficult, 'cause I am purposely eschewing the easiest copy, and the copy I can fall back on when I can't think of anything substantial to say.

Plus, let's face it: I'm not a guy with a lot of ideas. I like to think that once I have one, I can execute it as well as most, but if I (for example) play with this thing about how a certain Killing Joke song is the most ironic thing EVAR, and then in doing my research find out that well, not so much, I may not be struck by anything to replace it for weeks thereafter.

It's why I changed the mast from "twice weekly" to "when I can," because I don't need pressure even when I know it's probable no-one's reading, and because the only tasks I want to give myself are the ones I'm able to complete . . . .

Thanks again for caring enough to ask the question. I came across the question because I'd visited my blog to post something new, maybe you'd be interested. It's not about the Beatles, but rather the Stones, and one of their greatest, most messed-up tunes, and a couple of bands who have covered it.

You might wanna check it out here.

tad said...

Rastro! Thanx 4 visiting! U'll find Shiner's "Jeff Beck" mentioned further down this pg in the bonus-list of short-stories included under "Some pretty great rock&roll novels...." & I'm just about 2 review Shiner's SAY GOODBYE, which I stayed up 2 LATE last nite so I could finish.
U didn't really havta do the long Xplanation -- nobody sez NE of us havta write EVERY DAY, but I was suprised when U were so quiet 4 so long.
Bsides, I think U R 2 modest -- some of yr writing is really AMAZING, & I think summa the folks who visit here would really Njoy yr work (at least 1 of the guys who reads me has already visited yr site).
Would it B adding 2 much pressure if I included yr site under the "You'll Like These" list above? LA MUSICA would already B there, but I thot U'd vanished.... I've raved about yr work on-line B4, tho not lately....
NEway thanx, & glad 2 C yr still at it.... -- TAD.

rastronomicals said...

Tad

I don't think it adds any pressure at all if you add my link to the You'll Like These thingy, and I would be thankful if you did . . . .

tad said...

R: It's done! Keep crankin out the great work! Even when I don't know the music U write about, I still have a great time readin yr stuff.... -- TAD.