jump to navigation

One of the things that are wrong with me August 2, 2009

Posted by caveblogem in Other, Rock.
trackback

It is a time of transition for me (as Warren Susman once wrote, “It’s always a time of transition”). I’m finishing up my second-to-last class today, and last night I was listening to the radio (all night) and reflecting upon early influences on my way of viewing relationships–the stuff that crept (slithered?) into my head during my formative years, circa 1980.

For those of you who were not there, or don’t remember, this was the time when in the suburban US, there were at least two bands whose music was ubiquitous to the point where, for a teenager, it was unavoidable: Journey, and REO Speedwagon.  There were good things, musically, about that time period; they are not the subject of this post.

The subject of this post is the way that the music you listen to (or even hear) shapes you in ridiculous ways. I’m going to paraphrase these two examples from REO Speedwagon so that I don’t ruin any young lives through exposure to the actual lyrics.

Take away the sappy music and here’s the basic message of “Take It On The Run” (from Hi Infidelity, 1980, for those of you who wish to play along at home):

I heard a rumor from someone (let’s face it, one of our local liars) via a process similar to the game “Telephone,” that you are cheating on me.  I believe wholeheartedly and completely that it’s not true.  But if you go out tonight it is over between us–frickin’ over.

And the basic message of “Keep On Loving You” (from Hi Infidelity, 1980):

Look, I tried to tell you that I’ll love you for ever, but you were cold and hissed at me like some kind of snake and basically ignored me.  But really, I’ll love you forever, you cold, evasive snake.

As someone who was a scholar of American Culture in a previous lifetime, I could drone on and on about the function of contradictory messages in blues and pop music, and the necessity to appeal to different audiences within the same song, hidden meanings, blah blah blah.  But I won’t.  All I’m going to say is WTF? WTF—ing F?

I’m sorry I’m so screwed up, hon.  I really am.  I am trying to get over these early psychotic influences.  Maybe we all are.

And I don’t know why this post is in such tiny letters, if that’s the way it looks published.  I can’t figure out how to fix it, if it needs fixing.  Oh, I could tweak the html, but I’m not getting paid for this, or course credit, for that matter, and there’s always the chance that, since I don’t know why it got small in the first place, if it is small, it might just revert to that state.

Today is my 19th wedding anniversary.  I got my wife a nice gift, but because we are both so busy right now, we’ll probably actually celebrate in a week or two.  But it is a time of transition for me (as Warren Susman once wrote, “It’s always a time of transition”) and I’m being reflective today about early influences on my way of viewing relationships acquired during my formative years circa 1980.

For those of you who were not there, or don’t remember, this was the time when in the suburban US, there were at least two bands whose music was ubiquitous to the point where, for a teenager, it was unavoidable: Journey, and REO Speedwagon.  There were good things, musically, about that time period, but they are not the subject of this post.

The subject of this post is the way that the music you listen to (or even hear) shapes you in ridiculous ways. I’m going to paraphrase these two examples from REO Speedwagon so that I don’t ruin any young lives through exposure to the actual lyrics.

Take away the sappy music and here’s the basic message of “Take It On The Run” (from Hi Infidelity, 1980, for those of you who wish to play along at home):

I heard a rumor from someone (let’s face it, one of our local liars) via a process similar to the game “Telephone,” that you are cheating on me.  I believe wholeheartedly and completely that it’s not true.  But if you go out tonight it is over between us–frickin’ over.

And the basic message of “Keep On Loving You” (from Hi Infidelity, 1980):

Look, I tried to tell you that I’ll love you for ever, but you were cold and hissed at me like some kind of snake and basically ignored me.  But really, I’ll love you forever, you cold, evasive snake.

As someone who was a scholar of American Culture in a previous lifetime, I could drone on and on about the function of contradictory messages in blues and pop music, and the necessity to appeal to different audiences within the same song, hidden meanings, blah blah blah.  But I won’t.  All I’m going to say is WTF? WTF—ing F?

I’m sorry I’m so screwed up, hon.  I really am.  I am trying to get over these early psychotic influences.  Maybe we all are. Happy Anniversary!

Comments»

1. Rob O. - August 2, 2009

I’m also a product of those early ’80s music and it’s funny ‘cuz it’s true!

Oh Lord, don’t even start me on the lyrics of Bon Jovi’s “Blaze of Glory” or Def Leppard’s “Pour Some Sugar On Me!”

2. SilverTiger - August 2, 2009

Thanks for the eye test. You’ll be glad to know that I passed. But I knew that before I even tried because I went to the optician’s on Friday and he didn’t even see the need to change my specs.

I’ve never been into “bands”. I remember once seeing a newspaper cutting about the Beatles on the wall of a cafe we students used to go to and wondering who they were. Now the Beatles are no more.

The cafe’s gone too.

Silence has always been one of my favourite sounds.

3. prairieflounder - August 4, 2009

I think you should expand on this line of thinking. Upon reflection strike that, it explains too much; especially my obsession with Oingo Boingo and Rush. I also seem to recall you had a fascination with Cheap Trick about the same time. WTF indeed!
-pf


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: