Tuesday, August 23, 2005

Not really a Stones fan, but...

WARNING: THE FOLLOWING POST CONTAINS OPINIONS WHICH MAY CAUSE SOME FANS OF THE ROLLING STONES TO INVOLUNTARILY SPEW VITRIOLIC COMMENTS. THE OPINIONS BELOW ARE GIVEN AS SIMPLE CONJECTURE EXPRESSED FOR HYPOTHETICAL PURPOSES ONLY. IF RASH DEVELOPS, DISCONTINUE USE.

What's with all the "old" jokes concerning the Rolling Stones? Since when do you lose your ability to play music as you get older? You never hear jokes about how old B. B. King is. Or Earl Scruggs, Dave Brubeck, Ravi Shankar, Elmer Bernstein, or even Paul McCartney for that matter. So why the Stones?

Actually I think I have a very good idea why the Stones get singled out for ridicule. The music the Stones made famous was the beginning of a long line of rock acts whose attitude and style were always of equal or greater importance than the music itself, it seems to me. If you make the stylistic choice that your music is to serve as a rallying cry for disaffected youth, then you basically create a shelf-life for your credibility. The older you get, the less people will take you seriously. So the Stones make an easy target for humor, much like the skit on the Chapelle Show which featured a blind black man involved in the KKK. It's the same exaggeration, isn't it? A black man shouting "white power" and a 60 year old multi-millionaire singing "I can't get no satisfaction" - they're both laughable. Am I wrong? Maybe I am, but before you click the "reply to this post" button, please read the warning again.

Sunday, August 21, 2005

For my father

As I have stated before here, I have a rule about discussing the music of the Allman Brothers, or my father, too often. Not because I am not a fan (I am!) but because I think it might seemed biased. Well, today I have to break that rule.

Here's the thing; as you can probably imagine, I've been listening to my father's drumming since I was very little. I'm so familiar with the music of the Allman Brothers that it is second nature to me. It's like a Monty Python sketch or Warner Brothers cartoon that you've seen too often. You know all the words, all the moves, all the notes, all everything about it - but you still love it.

When I got my iPod and my iTunes account, one of the tunes I knew I wanted was the Johnny Jenkins tune "Walk on Gilded Splinters" from his album Ton Ton Macoute. The main reason was so that I could play it for folks and explain that my father is actually the drummer for the Beck song "Loser". (That's where the loop came from, you see). Well, the song is not available on iTunes. Not from Ton Ton Macoute or from the Duane Allman Anthology Volume 2. So I began obsessing about the song - looking everywhere I could to find a way to downlad just the song withoug having to resort to the P2P networks. Finally I ordered Anthology Vol. 2 from Amazon and got it just yesterday, along with Sin City. (great movie)

Well, it is not too often that I get to hear my father's music with fresh ears, so this was a really interesting listen for me. I'd of course heard the tune, but it had been a while since I owned a copy and I don't know that I ever listened to it critically. This tune swings like a f%$#kin pendulum! So now, let me just say a few kind words about my father's musicianship.

Butch Trucks has mastered the shuffle the way few drummers ever have. There's also a density to his playing, and an intensity. Under no circumstances would he be caught dead doing the "beeee... boooo... dit dit weeeee....." percussion parts of certian other jam bands, who will remain nameless here. If something's not happening, he'll MAKE it happen. And always, ALWAYS, he swings like no other drummer in the jam band set, except maybe Jeff Sipe.

So, this one's for you, pop. Hope the tour goes well. Hope Moogis is as big as we both think it will be. We'll be seeing you soon.