Wednesday, August 18, 2010
Speed Bumps & Mood Killers
I was heading into Manhattan on the N train, and as per usual, set the iPod to shuffle. The first song, which lasted for 75% of my subway ride, was "Blues For Allah." I came to the Dead party very late in my musical life. For the record, I now love Jerry Garcia, his guitar playing and his sad and soulful singing voice. But, I still can't deal with Bob Weir or musical water torture like "Blues For Allah."
I know some of you may have just skipped the song and started over, assuming you either hate the Grateful Dead, or at least recognize a mistake when you hear one. But, I also know some of you, like me, would have let it play. (Just one of my many issues. Let's move on.)
I hate the subway. (Issue!) I don't care how far you can go for only $2.25, it's not worth it when the guy sitting across from you is clipping his nails, or the woman to the left of you has a clove of garlic under each armpit. "So get up and move!" (Yeah, but you don't.) The only thing that makes riding the trains bearable is that little pod with so many possibilities, 30,000 on mine. I guess "Blues For Allah" had to pop up at some point.
While this 12:45 piece of...music...played, I sent a text to my friend Harry. It should have been a reply to a question about Bun E. Carlos, legendary drummer for Cheap Trick---"Yes Harry, I do."---but all I could peck out was "I'm on the subway, and the iPod for the entire ride so far has been Blues For Allah. Gonna put my tongue on the third rail, now."
Harry then suggested this for a Burning Wood piece.
"Song that stops an otherwise going-along-great album in its tracks."
Well..."BLUES FOR ALLAH," for one.
But, I'd also like to vote for "A Quick One, While He's Away."
At almost ten minutes, Pete Townshend tested the rock opera waters on an almost perfect rock and roll record, where it just doesn't seem to fit. He is NOT forgiven. (Ok, he is, but...I couldn't resist.)
Okay, your turn.
But first, in case you're curious, this is the exact Dead song that turned me around and kept me going sometime in the mid-nineties.