Lament of an Aged Rocker
I don't go to rock shows anymore. I stopped going a long time ago actually, but I was still in a rock band at the time, so I had to go to the ones I was playing. That lasted a decade or so, and then I just quit the entire endeavor altogether. Shows are just too late, too dirty, too drunk, too cigarette-y, and too dominated by bearded kids to bear anymore. Although I still have dreams of recording music in a cozy studio on a weekend afternoon, I do not attend rock music events as a rule. One of the last straws for me was a Pierced Arrows show at Backspace that held one of the most ridiculously pretentious audiences I've ever seen, with a few of the worst parents that ever birthed a child, combined with aged rockers that deserve better and Old Town Portland at its worst, full of loud posers and drunk homeless. Yuck. Or Fuck, to be more exact.
After that I truly felt too old to be at a show, too irritated, too un-drunk, and too totally turned off by the music scene in general to bother. Don't get me wrong, I still love rock and roll. In the snarky words of some bitchy girl in Bratmobile who once said about me, "She's kind of a rocker." Snarky or not, she was right. Nailed it actually. I am kind of a rocker, I just can't help it. Though fairly prim and proper most times, I just can't seem to help but bang my head when Sabbath comes on the radio, I feel transported with real joy when Led Zeppelin reaches those screaming, bombastic crescendos, and yes, I actually cry a little when doing the dishes to Queen's clear, perfectly-produced rock and roll operatics blasting full volume. I love the rock so much that at age 46 after watching an amazing three piece metal band (of teenagers) play in the parking lot down the street I emailed my friend Joe to see if he would start a metal band with me immediately. The next day I came back to my senses, but for a 12 hour period I was totally ready to do it. Yes, Allison I am kind of a rocker.
It's quite possible that, being as aged as I am, and my youth having been spent in the 80's and 90's which was a totally different world, I am stuck somewhat in the past. I seem to love classic rock mostly these days, it's the stuff that still delivers. I will always love the revolutionary punk rock greats from the past, but I've heard it so much, that I can't listen to it anymore. (Ok, a little Bad Brains now and then, somehow that never gets old) But I can't listen to the Wipers, the Ramones, the Clash, Crackerbash, Oswald or any of that stuff anymore. Sadly, old punk rock reminds me of commercials now, of the new Disney, of celebrities who don't know anything about the Cramps but wear the shirt to be cool, of babies dressed in Ramones onesies by their aging rocker parents. It's lost its tooth, a bit, it's very long tooth at this point.
These days I don't know of many bands that can really write GREAT songs. Nothing has any balls anymore, or real song writing skills. Or they have one mediocre hook that they repeat over and over until they pretend to go "crazy" at the end and kick over their drums. Yawn. Been there, done that. In the words of John Lydon, "That's boring Sidney."
It's also quite certain that, being as aged as I am, and never going to rock shows anymore, that I am just simply OUT OF THE LOOP. Perhaps there are great bands out there full of young people with brains and balls and great song writing capabilities. But I'm not so sure. I hear bands that others recommend and it's all....gimmick. It's the Emperor's New Clothes syndrome, in my opinion. Everyone says they're great, so they must be great. I saw someone on some late night show recently who is a nw darling with a reknowned guitar player who hangs out at the coffee shop down the street, and it was....so boring. Just a lot of posturing in flannel shirts and hats, with rugs on the floor and a lamp onstage to make it "homey" cool. It was bad!!! BAD! The Emperor is Naked! The Emperor is Naked!!!
Ironically, I would still love the chance to write and record music again someday, (and not go to rock shows). As stated in my previous post I am otherwise involved at the moment, so it would have to be in the future, but I can't deny that it would be really fun to find a soundproofed studio, write some songs, and just...ROCK. I have dreams of buying an electric guitar and amp and taking a few lessons so I could really shred instead of being just the rhythm guitarist or bass player. Maybe when I'm 50 I can find a couple of buddies to help me make a great rock album. Rob Jones are you listening? Joe Preston? Dan McClure? Nick Tucker? My top four dudes, fer sure! I'll let you know if I get that guitar when I'm 50, you let me know if you want to start a metal band. XOXO