Friday, April 22, 2011

Just Kids

(stalker edition 2)

I forgot about Patti Smith.  I also have her book. The one that I am perhaps most interested in reading after the ones that I already have.  The rock books, I mean.  I mentioned them the other day.  Her book is entitled, "Just Kids" and it documents her time in the late 60's and 70's in New York as a struggling and emerging artist, her relationship with Robert Mapplethorpe, her development into one of the early punk icons in the music scene of the mid to late 70's.  My wife read it and would relay passages to me while we read in bed together.  She has always struck me as a good story-teller, through her music, but she's an equally good writer.  

An old friend responded to my post from yesterday about baseball and he took point with one of the things that I said, that sports are where excellence meets insignificance.  We had quite a good conversation on Facebook, something many people consider unlikely, if not impossible.  But it's true, I swear to it.  I asked to relay the entire conversation here but he said that he would rather wait and have me relay the upcoming conversation we're going to have about Pete Townshend and a comment I made recently about him having only written 5 or 6 songs.  What I've said is, of course, quite true.  And I will defend it with the same misguided verve and enthusiasm that I have all my other ridiculous errors.  

So, let me start by saying this: It was only 5 songs that he ever wrote, maybe 4, and he just kept re-writing them over and over again.  In fact, he kept recording the same album over and over again, but it simply got worse as time crept on and eventually past him. He kept re-composing the same old tired-assed show tunes, that is except for when he was blatantly stealing musical themes and lyrics from other artists. He sat somewhere between Ray Davies and Ozzy Osbourne in terms of content and tone. From The Who Sell-Out to Quadrophenia it was just one long bad acid trip, ever recurring, ever spiraling in on itself.

No, I'm half kidding.  But I figure that's a good starting point for the conversation.  I like to start at a disadvantage because it brings me immense personal joy to even make it back from that precipice to some middle ground. For me, that is victory.  Perverse and wrong? Perhaps. I'll let time be the judge.  Speaking of time, here is another prediction:  Pete Townshend will be remembered as the one that got away.

Ok, clearly I'm only causing myself problems here.  I will have multiple arguments to keep me busy for days.  I had avoided writing about music on this blog because it has caused me nothing but trouble.  Between boredom and trouble I guess I choose trouble. That line has caused me more problems than just about any other through the years. We'll see where it gets me this morning.  Maybe I'll have an extra coffee.

(stalker edition 1)