Ladies and Gentlemen, Let Us Rock Like Hurricanes.

I realized after last night’s post that I’ve been writing a lot about music, which makes sense because it’s probably the biggest entity scattered around and through my life.  So maybe this Guitar Hero thing isn’t so weird.  Since I picked up a guitar at 14, I’ve been in bands, written songs, and immersed myself in music pretty much nonstop, so this Wii obsession I have appears, in the calm light of morning, to be a fairly natural extension.

I always thought it would be cool to be in a band with my girlfriend/wife, so it’s a very cool thing for me that Catherine and I have a band.  Currently it’s a band in the “studio only” sense, since we haven’t played any of our stuff live yet.  We hope to do that soon and to finish/release our record by the end of the year.  It’s really good stuff actually, and I have to say that I honestly enjoy writing songs with my wife more than with anyone else I’ve ever written songs with, which is a nice feeling.  She has a beautiful voice but she also appreciates the power of the rock (hehe), plus she’s a great piano player and has an amazing ear for chords and progressions.  She can also read music and I can’t, which makes things easier at times and provokes arguments at others.  But if we’re going to be rock stars, that goes with the territory.  The important thing is that we bottle that energy so that we can use it later to trash dressing rooms (generalized legendary rock behavior) and pitch TVs or couches hither and yon from hotel balconies (KISS, 1976 – specifically, Ace Frehley on a drunken rampage.  If I’m citing correctly, I believe that Ace claims to remember Peter Criss actually sitting on the couch, and Peter barely escaping with limbs intact.  But this could be his wet-brain syndrome talking.  God love the man.  The solo in “Shock Me” is the greatest guitar solo of all-time.  So you can stop having that debate as of this minute.)

Having slaked my hunger for rock and metal with Guitar Hero these last weeks, I’ve been refilling my iPod with the classic metal of my youth that I haven’t listened to in a while.  Some of it was already there – Motorhead, Metallica, the first six Slayer albums, Iron Maiden, Guns N’ Roses – but there were a lot of gems I’d forgotten about that were as important to me as eating and sleeping when I was sixteen, so they’re making new friends on my playlists and rapidly filling my 80 gigs of space.  It’s like an Aqua-Net-pyro-groupies-n-makeup reunion that I’m more than happy to MC.  Britny Fox, Judas Priest, Lita Ford, Poison, Queensryche, Slaughter, Dokken, Jailhouse, Shark Island, Babylon AD, Enuff Z’nuff, Killer Dwarfs, and dozens of others are all along for the ride on my commute each morning.  It’s like a 24/7 state fair between my ears.

I’m also re-reading Chuck Klosterman’s Fargo Rock City, which, if you have any interest in pop culture and/or hysterically funny, pants-wetting humor, you should already be reading.  (I mean any of his books – they’re all hilarious.)  But I have to say, there’s something oddly poignant about Fargo Rock City that I’d kinda forgotten about.  The book is essentially his story of growing up in rural North Dakota as a kid obsessed with hard rock and heavy metal, and his analysis (for lack of a better word, it’s humor writing with serious undertones but it’s not academic, by any means) of the music he grew up with and still loves.  Maybe more importantly, though, it’s a look at how that music has aged and how he’s aged along with it, and for as funny as it is, it also really rings true.  As far as looking at a genre of music that’s considered disposable by a lot of people but was taken really seriously for what it was during its heyday, it’s a literary masterpiece. 

It’s funny, though, because I was a lot like Klosterman.  I was something of a nerd, grew up in a smallish Midwestern city with marginal access to new music and concerts (we drove to Peoria for the big ones), jammed with my metalhead musician friends a couple of times a week, and generally lived and died by reports of new albums and tours in Metal Edge magazine.   To have never really considered that any of the music I listened to would be worth a shit to anyone in ten years makes the fact that it’s seeing something of a mini-Renaissance via Guitar Hero pretty damn cool.

After all, not all of those guys were writing goofy songs for the sake of making videos laden with strippers and fireworks.  Some of them were, for sure, but some of them were really trying to write good songs, and some of them succeeded.  When I was a teenager, I always thought that maybe I’d be a rock journalist since I loved talking bands and finding out new stuff about my favorite rock stars.  I’m not that, not exactly, though I’m some kind of writer now, I guess.   So the combination of super-fan and writer in me has me mulling over something Klosterman describes in great detail: his favorite rock albums of all-time. 

It’s a daunting task, and I’m working on it, because I love lists.  Before I do that, I’ve promised my wife I’d do a bucket list, though, so that will be here sooner than the rock list.  But after that, my friends, and after I knock out another city on GH: World Tour, and after I get another venue unlocked in GH: Aerosmith, and after I have a sandwich, probably, because I’m always awaiting the opportunity to eat a sandwich, I will present my must-have, all-time, don’t-let-yourself-die-without-rocking-out-to these TOP ROCK ALBUMS OF ALL TIME. 

You’re dying with anticipation, aren’t you?  In fact, I’m going to make it a multimedia extravaganza.  I’m going to post a playlist of my favorite tracks from these albums as this week’s iPod playlist for your downloading and aural pleasure.

That’s AURAL.  But you’re thinking like a rock star.  Good on ya. 

Stay tuned.


~ by thismarriedguy on April 14, 2009.

One Response to “Ladies and Gentlemen, Let Us Rock Like Hurricanes.”

  1. haha, aural.

    hey writer guy, more of that book you promised me please.

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