Tonight I was dancing in front of the bathroom mirror in my underwear… sans all other clothing. Soft Cell’s “Tainted Love” was playing at max volume. I had the whole hip action going on; I had perfected the jazz hands; I looked good. (*Marilyn Manson couldn’t have done a better job.)
But enough about that, let’s talk about me. Blog writing is the Triple A level of narcissism. The only way to be more narcissistic, and professional, would to get my shitty writing published. No one is knocking on my door to offer me a book contract. I don’t assume you give a damn about what I am saying, because I am not saying anything. (*I write to hear myself… I enjoy screaming into the silence that is my head.)
No one has to listen to me. (*unless you, unfortunately, are one of my graduate students.) You don’t give a shit about what I have to say, and the only reason you are reading this is because you have nothing better to do. So, to ensure your time is adequately wasted I am going to now transition from me to a story about my first music purchase and SHeDaisy.
Buying music for the first time is a seminal event in a person’s life. It is when you free yourself from the shackles of your childhood, (*which means you stop listening to the crap your parents play) and you scrape together the leftovers of your allowance and buy your first music.
In 1982, while walking the aisles of the tiny post exchange (PX – Army’s version of Wal-Mart) in Bad Nauheim, Germany, I stumbled upon Iron Maiden’s “Number of the Beast” and Asia’s “Asia.” Both albums were bought because of their cover art… what 12 year-old boy doesn’t get excited by scenes involving demons and dragons? Buying my very own music was as new and fresh as the recently learned skill of masturbation. (*obviously I dabbled in D&D… yep I was a nerd… but a hard rocking nerd!)
However, buying music is never done in a vacuum. Even in the 1980s, when I was becoming a music listener, radio was the medium that provided the input for musical tastes. The output (my disgust) arrived 19 years later (1999) when SHeDaisy popped on the scene. (*I can’t believe me and the members of SHeDaisy are of the same generation… there is a special place in Hell … Dante, I believe named one of the circles “SHeDaisy”… for the Osborn girls – Kristyn, Kelsi, and Kassidy… damn their parent’s loved them some K names!) SHeDaisy may have had some “hits”… I can’t name one. SHeDaisy may have gotten paid. (*does SHeDaisy still tour? … DAMN they’re coming soon!) Basically, after 30 years of listening to music, as a real listener, I have come upon the following epiphany… SHeDaisy is the most horrible thing ever to happen to music… seriously. Radio gave us SHeDaisy, but…
Radio is what gave us Elvis, the Beatles, and Michael Jackson. There will never be another Elvis, another group like the Beatles, and Michael Jackson. (*please gyrate your hips, shake your mop top, and grab your crotch.) But there will always be Iron Maiden and Asia… but, unfortunately, there will always be SHeDaisy too.
There has always been “popular” music. There have always been generations of parents who absolutely hated the new music kids were dancing to. What we now call quaint (swing, be-bop, and all that other crap our parents and grandparents listened to) was once risqué. But everyone was listening to it. No one had access to new music unless a radio station played it. There was no music sharing, there was no iTunes, there was no Internet. You found new music because it was pushed on you from some corporate dickhead through the AM (and later FM) airwaves. (*yes record company dickheads still exist, but they only get those ignorant asses who still allow themselves to be swayed by the corporate definition of music… btw: “dickhead” seems to be a word that spellcheck determines as a misspelled word… spellcheck is wrong.)
Fortunately, there were other ways to get unheard music… it came in the form of cassettes. Square, thin wonders of plastic that could be used to record music that then could be handed to a friend. Little plastic wonders that opened up musical doors.
An older sibling also offered a way to new music… but unfortunately my sister failed at her duties. My sister’s musical influences on me included Joey Scarsbury’s “Believe It or Not,” a Genesis tape she didn’t like, and Pat Benatar’s “Hit Me With Your Best Shot.” Let’s face it… those are fucked up musical influences.
Now there are thousands of ways to get music and the listeners have no idea what the cover art looks like. Everyone had to listen to Elvis, everyone saw the stupid mass of girls crying for the Beatles, everyone loved MJ. Now you can like some specific sliver of a musical genre and never know what is being played on the radio. Now you can listen to satellite radio and relive every moment of your childhood (for me that is XM/Sirius channel 8 for 80s!).
Madonna, U2/Bono, R.E.M., and Lady GaGa want to think they are kings of something. They’re not… they’re popular and they’re played on the radio a lot… but their regal domain is baron/baroness at best. Now they have to compete with bands that do nothing but release their music on iTunes and get a bunch of horny 12 year-old boys to review and “like” them.
What’s unfortunate about all this: Today’s 12 year-olds will never have to hear such shitty bands as SHeDaisy. If you don’t ever hear shitty, you can’t appreciate Dokken.