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I don't remember if I cried when I heard about his widowed bride

by anna at 07:29 PM on May 05, 2003

Linz's post got me to thinking about concerts. I attended many in my youth. This started in 1972, when I saw the Rolling Stones. The emcee hailed them as "the greatest rock n roll band in the world." And although they performed a ragged 45 minute set and whizzed off in their helicopter without an encore, who was I to argue at the tender age of 13?

I also caught Pink Floyd, Led Zeppelin, Boston, Bruce Springsteen, Paul McCartney and Wings, Bad Company, the Allman Brothers Band, the Who before half of them died, the Eagles, Pretenders, Cars, Steely Dan on their only tour, Aerosmith in their prime, Lou Reed, Bob Dylan, Elvis Costello and Pat Benatar. I was there when Jackson Browne recorded his classic Running on Empty and when Little Feat recorded Waiting for Columbus.

I attended a Crosby, Stills and Nash show. Stephen Stills got so tanked he fell off his piano stool. David Crosby disappeared halfway through a set, presumably to toke on his crack pipe. I saw Eric Clapton before he became a benefit concert staple. Oddly enough, he let a sessions man handle most of the lead solos. Likewise, I caught Carlos Santana before he became a rent-a-guitar-legend prone to slumming with the likes of Michelle Branch.

I saw the Dead play many a time. In fact, the last show I attended was their DC swan song. It was also the only show I'd ever been to straight. I was struck by how monotonous and tedious their music was in that condition. The crowd seemed like a bunch of scruffy ragamuffins. We couldn't wait to leave.

All these ancient acts are staples of classic rock stations these days. Some have even been relegated to oldies status. Yes, as trite as much of their material was, it has shown remarkable staying power. Which is a helluva lot more than you could say for much of today's forgettable output. Case in point: Hootie and the freaking Blowfish. Just a few years ago they were all the rage. Now I'd defy anyone to name a single one of their tunes.

For years all you heard were the mechanized stylings of corporate-sponsored artists like Britney Spears, Christina Aguilera, Ricky Martin, N Sync and Backdoor Boys. Then along came the White Stripes, the Hives and such. Rolling Stone declared that raw, raucous, rebellious rock was back in vogue. Yet to listen to the radio is to realize that little has changed since then. PMS queen Alanis Morisette is still whining about every guy who ever used her and then discarded her scrawny ass like a soiled tissue. She's got one hand in her pocket and with the other she's gouging some ex-lover's eyes out. Jewel is still cranking out her childish poetry over simplistic acoustic riffs. ("Between the fight and flight is the blind man's sight and a choice that's right." Sure there is.) Matchbox 20 (I think) is still dispensing their sappy, unsolicited advice. ("Do you best, in everything you do... Live right now." Oh shut up.)

Despite my advanced age, I strive to remain semi-hip. And that means keeping up with today's tunes. That said, I doubt you'll hear much of it on tomorrow's classic rock stations. These are the tunes I believe stand a chance of defying all odds and standing that crucial test of time: The Wallflowers' Sixth Avenue Heartache, Garbage's I'm Only Happy When It Rains, the Offspring's Come Out and Play, Green Day's Time of Your Life, Vanessa Carlton's 1000 Miles, the Goo Goo Dolls' Broadway, the Indigo Girls' Closer to Fine and Sheryl Crowe's I'm Gonna Soak up the Sun.

Did I overlook anyone?

comments (17)

Vanessa Carlton's 1000 miles? Highly unlikely. If that survives the test of time, radio definitely will not. And you overlooked the Goo Goo Dolls' Iris. Thats a classic if ever there was one.

by Tomiwa at May 5, 2003 7:40 PM

Dad, you old coot, you must be either losing your memory or just ignorant. It's Jimmy Eat World that made that song, and it's called The Middle. However, it's an honest and logical mistake. It does sound a little like Matchbox 20.

by Ian at May 5, 2003 7:52 PM

I would just like to say that as a long time Green Day fan, I think that they have already logged a lot of time in teh flight books. Warning was their 7th album by my hasty count (not including the one comp. album that they put out). The first of which, 1039 smoothed out sappy hours, they put out when they were 17 (based on what it says on my CD insert). If you listen to this album you will also realize how much their music has matured and grown. They have been around 10+ years and I think that they are one of the newer bands with staying power.

by D-Money at May 5, 2003 8:01 PM

Actually I agree. They went from a kind of post-punk sort of act to a versatile one. Time of Your Life is so cool. And I love the way they screwed up that guitar part at the beginning and left it on the album. Classic indeed.

by Anna at May 5, 2003 8:06 PM

Why do people lump the White Stripes in with the Hives?? The Hives are GOD AWFUL. Revolting. I can't listen to it.

Queens of the Stone Age and the White Stripes are the only new bands that I like. What I mostly listen to are bands that have been around for a while: Faith No More (the most underrated band ever), anthing Mike Patton does that isn't ambient noise, the Dismemberment Plan, Sleater Kinney, Sunney Day Real Estate, Devo, Red Hot Chili Peppers, Tool, Pink Floyd, Smashing Pumpkins, Pearl Jam and Guided by Voices. I'm sure there are a lot I'm fogetting.

As for who'll make it on the raido in the future, I don't care. Who listens to the raido? The only classic rock they play in the midwest is Guns and Roses, George Thorogood, Pink Floyd and Metalica.

And remember, MTV is for teenagers. Who cares what MTV says?

by MrBlank at May 5, 2003 10:36 PM

I don't listen to the radio anymore because the machinery behind it is too corrupted by money (by machinery I mean, of course, politics and payola and so forth). Partly as a consequence of that, just about every band I listen to has been around for a while, or has broken up already-- Jawbox, Burning Airlines, Pavement, Guided By Voices, XTC, Skeleton Key, Soul Coughing, Talking Heads, Radiohead, and Yo La Tengo. The only relatively new groups I've picked up on are System Of A Down (and that was through file-sharing), and the White Stripes. Other than that last one and a few of the others (eg Radiohead), I doubt you'd hear much of that on the radio. Or MTV, I think. But I don't have cable so I'll never know.

It'd be easier to stay 'current' if there were better bands out there... or, at least, if the good bands were publicized better. Of course, if the good bands are underground / indie, their fan bases would revolt if they got big. Which is a whole other stupidity unto itself (for example Jawbox went to a major label and took heat for it, and then released the best damn album of whatever year it came out).

by Adam at May 6, 2003 9:28 AM

Songs that will last (or already have):

That Breakfast Club song.
That Faith No More song (sorry but I mean the popular one).
Yellow by Coldplay (just cause I want it to).
If any Wallflowers song would it's gonna be One Headlight Anna, that's my prediction. Though I honestly love that whole simple, depressing album.
Iris by Googoo dolls: I second that.



Where the hell has Lockheed been? I miss that crazy mother.

by Linz at May 6, 2003 3:35 PM

i read an article recentnly about Pink Floyd's album, Dark Side of the Moon, and that it was on the billboard top 100 for nearly 20 years, and still to this day manages to sell more than 250,000 copies a year. I'd say with almost complete certainty that not a single album produced this year will still be selling 1/4 million copies 30 years from now. I don't want to be one of those people who say that everything has already been done, but when the Beatles and Elvis head up the list of top selling artists in any given year, 30 years after releasing new material, I feel confident saying music today will never match that level of cultural saturation.

by mg at May 6, 2003 6:03 PM

Linz that is so cool to hear i.e. about Lockheed. And I too love that whole downer of an album. What ever became of them? And Adam I totally agree about the indie-band-hits-it-big paradox. Their fans might scream sell-out, but I've got to think the band members would welcome the money.

by Anna at May 6, 2003 6:05 PM

Bob Dylan and Johnny Cash are still putting decent stuff out, but do old fogies who already have songs that qualify as classic rock (or other) get the chance to have their new songs considered? Although the only station I can think of offhand that might play their new stuff is your local NPR. In my fantasy world, pop radio would have played Nick Cave's "Where Do We Go Now But Nowhere," Bally Sagoo's "Dil Cheez," Belle and Sebastian's "Legal Man" and "I Don't Love Anyone," and Leonard Cohen's "Woke Up This Morning," among others, and would be playing it in 10 years as classic rock.

by jean at May 7, 2003 3:39 AM

To expand on MG's comment, I read how record label honchos lament "Nickelback Syndrome." While their How You Remind Me is one of the most played songs in modern rock (whatever that is) history, few can identify with the band members or even pick one out of a lineup. So we wind up with some drivel by Kelly Clarkson @ #1 on the charts. Harrumph.

by Anna at May 7, 2003 6:20 PM

Um. i don't listen to current rock, so it befuddles me when somebody didn't really 'remake' Dobie Gray's Drift Away, but simply covered it, and somehow it's on the radio a lot. That's like playing Fantasia(moonlight sonata), and well, actually, I guess there aren't any original recordings of beeth, whatever, but you know what I mean, I think, I think therefore I'm frustrated... one of these comments in this post killed lockheed due to its heartfelt nature... not sure if IAN is really Anna's son, or daughter or whatever, but it says something like, "Dad, you old coot..." That kills me. Your child is reading some blog you write on... and commenting all kiddingly and lovingly, this, this stuff makes things seem so sad, some really goofy looking girl in Central Park was climbing on the alice 'n wonderland statue, and her father was watching all bored, and he knew she was developing into a dork, and I guess she asked him if she could go to the park and he took her(this was yesterday, it was nice), because she clearly had no friends and was clearly picked on, and I kept watching her and then looking at her father, and I wondered, and I made sure that she didn't fall off the statue, because that would have killed me on the spot. Sincerely, Unlockyheed.

by LOCKHEED at May 8, 2003 8:14 PM

Is the role of Lockheed now being played by Holden Caufield? But, I totally have felt the same way. Sometimes the funniest things really move you in a way its hard to understand. I'm trying to think of something off the top of my head, but I can't.

by mg at May 8, 2003 8:20 PM

Holden Caulfield reminds me of the working man's version of Amory Blaine in This side of Paradise(fitzergerald, f. scott). Lockheed might be marrying someone of white trash descent, but he sure ain't white trash... instead, he's reduced to watching Phantasm IV on Sci-Fi channel right now while eating quiche. 925pm est/may 08, 2003ce, that just goes to show how much free time I might have soon. It also goes to show how I'm officially dumb as rocks now.

by Unlockedheed... at May 8, 2003 9:27 PM

Yes, Ian is my pride 'n joy. He is allowed to look at selected posts under my supervision. I don't want him reading about post mortem lovin' or people getting bent over ottomans.

by Anna at May 9, 2003 7:45 AM

mg, agreed.

There was this old guy getting out of a pickup at Kroger, and I think he purposely parked next to a cart drop-off spot. It took him about 2 minutes to lumber out of the giant old rusty truck. The truck was a lot like him. He was a big man, worked with his hands his whole life. His face was so proud and defiant. He walked tiny little steps til he reached a cart and pulled it out. He was using it as support to walk with though I'm sure he wouldn't say so. He really was struggling but he was refusing to acknowledge it.

Yesterday Shannon got a freaky voice mail from a weird area code that sounds halfway between a child singing and a child asking for help. In an instant my quiet surroundings at the gas station stripped away and my mind flashed a million possible scenarios of all the people on this planet, right now, who are being held captive, abused, etc. I felt like my peaceful life was pretty hollow.

Sorry to hijack.

Anna, you assume Ian is not checking this site in your absence? How old are your kids?? I hope they take after their mother. heehee...

by Linz at May 9, 2003 9:04 AM

Linz---they are 22, 20 and 12. And unless Ian signs on as me, which he does, this site is blocked. Your mention of Shannon's experience reminds me of what happened to me last week. I dialed a 1-800 number I dial all the time. I must have accidentally hit 1-900. Despite my company's strict firewalls, this S&M chick starts berating me and telling me all the awful, violent action she had in store for me. I put it on speaker phone so everyone could enjoy her foul-mouthed abuse. Bad idea.

by anna at May 9, 2003 6:43 PM

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