Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Extremely High Fidelity

Here’s what I’m wondering... Does anyone ever click on the song links I put in this blog? I hope so. If you clicked on the link yesterday, you’d have found out (if you didn’t already know) that Bob Dylan is a fantastic poet, and kinda funny:

Oh God said to Abraham, “Kill me a son”
Abe says, “Man, you must be puttin’ me on”
God say, “No.” Abe say, “What?”
God say, “You can do what you want Abe, but
The next time you see me comin’ you better run”
Well Abe says, “Where do you want this killin’ done?”
God says, “Out on Highway 61”

Donny Osmond,
my first love...
If you don’t click my links, you've missed Wanda Jackson – both young and old - completely shakin’ it, David Johansen of the New York Dolls singing a hymn and Weird Al getting jiggy with Donny Osmond. I guess I just throw in the music because – well, I think it’s entertaining... I use it to add dimension to what I am trying to say – because I’m nothing, if not multimedia... and to share parts of myself with you, because for most of my life, the music I love has been a big part of my self – or at least my self-image.

I remember being 8 years old and following my older sister’s lead in falling in love with the Osmonds – particularly Donny. I moved on, but this affection did allow me to get the extremely obscure joke in a Late Late Show with Craig Ferguson sketch in which Craig and his robot Geoff, on a trip to Vegas, seek help from a bartender guru played by Donny Osmond. I wonder how many people knew that the song was playing when they arrived in town was by a particularly raucous Osmonds song, “Crazy Horses. 

Two of my faves: Elton John 
and John Lennon
Later, I was a die hard Elton John fan. Ask anyone. Ask my eighth grade teacher, who told me that I was not, under any circumstances, to write any more papers about Elton John. I just loved him – he played the piano – like I did, he dressed in wild and beautiful clothing, and he was hard evidence that a chubby person with glasses could go far in life. 

In college, I became obsessed with the Beatles – right before John Lennon died. Weird, right? They were, of course, great... but I’m pretty sure I don’t have to tell you that. I also loved Bob Dylan because I read a book about him that I checked out of our small-town library. Then I discovered that I didn’t have to go far to hear good music. There were local bands that we could follow - like Arrogance, and later, Let’s Active, the Pressure Boys, the Bad Checks, the Flat Duo Jets, Snatches of Pink.... I could make a much longer list of the local bands and musicians I followed ... and the non-local bands we followed. It was an exciting time in Chapel Hill, the early eighties. 

One of the bands I loved in 
1980s Chapel Hill
I don’t know what it is that attracted me to pop/rock and roll music. I was just taken by it, and the people who made it... Maybe I saw them as something I would never be: popular and COOL. Pre-college, being so into certain music didn’t really help my popularity – it just made me seem weird – like in that scene from Almost Famous, where young rock enthusiast William Miller is shunned by his classmates for being who he is, and even in college, it sort of set me a bit a part... but this is where it also turns good. While it made me an outcast among the Carolina girls who lived in Granville Towers, it cast me right IN to an circle of people that actually existed in Chapel Hill – where I lived!

A good read
For the first time, I at least appeared cool! I actually dated a guy who quizzed me on what music I liked before he asked me out. I guess I passed the test... but I sort of wish I hadn’t, in retrospect. It did not end well. In Nick Hornby’s novel High Fidelity, the protagonist uses this same strategy to vet girls. Sometimes, I’m still tempted to judge people this way. I try to nip it in the bud, though. Some extremely awesome people have much different taste in music than I do – or even, shockingly, no interest at all!

And I am still tempted to see myself as a person who knows a lot about music and loves a certain kind of music. Which is stupid. I mean, I’m not even the one making the music! I’m just sitting at home or in my car listening to it! And in the end, it’s not what you know and love, it’s WHO you know and love. And WHO I love has given me a new perspective. Now music is something I love, but I’m listening to it through a filter of the Divine. People have been praising God with music since... forever... i’m just using the music I already love to express who God is and who I have become. 

1 comment:

  1. You are amazing. I love your depth, your humor and your unflinching willingness to be you. You are a true gift to all of us.