We’re on a musical journey in this house. I mean, music is an important part of the education of Tiny-Small so we discuss it at great lengths sometimes. The problem is, Jim and I have very different tastes in music. We like some of the same things, but then there is the whole, wide-world of differences we seem to have. Some of those differences we can blame on our age gap (14 years), or the whole East coast versus West coast arguments we seem to have. Some of Jim’s arguments just don’t make any sense at all. At least, not to me. He is much more obsessed with his hometown than I am, but maybe that’s because I don’t really have a hometown. As a child, my family moved too often for me to adopt one location and hold it up with undying pride. Jim lived in one place for almost his entire childhood. His parents still live in the house he grew up in.
We have many humorous arguments revolving around musicians. For instance, Jim can’t stand Elton John, Billy Joel or Phil Collins. “Never mention Phil Collins to me. Just his names makes me nauseous.” he says.
I’ve never figured out why. Why is Phil Collins so horrible? I’ve never gotten a satisfying answer from him. What’s wrong with Billy Joel? I mean, this is comfort music. This is what I grew up hearing. Just like Michael Jackson and Madonna, these musicians sort of mark the moments of my youth. They are my old friends. The people I looked up to as a kid.
Jim found a Journey CD in the bargain bin and bought it for me because he loves me and he knows I love Journey. He hates Journey, but he knows all of the words to all of the songs. Every single one. So, I think he pretends to hate them more than he really hates them. Either that, or someone in his past tortured him by playing the songs over and over again while he was trapped in a car with them. I’ll probably never get the whole story on his experience with Journey.
This morning I played the new to me Journey CD and he sang along. So did Tiny-Small, although her singing was more like moaning and whaling, with a lot of twirling until she fell down. She hasn’t heard these songs for years like we have. She’s a novice, but then after listing to Journey all morning I can see why she thinks the moaning and high pitch whaling are appropriate.
Then this happened:
Jim: I don’t know why I didn’t like Journey before. They aren’t really that bad.
Me: You seem to know all of the words.
Jim: You just don’t understand. I spent hours of my life arguing against Journey. I spent hours complaining to people about Journey. I hated Journey.
Me: Really? You spent that much time talking about them?
Jim: Yes! Journey was the decline of the San Francisco music scene. They ruined it.
Jim: Yep, The Grateful Dead were so much better, but everyone kept talking about Journey.
So, here is where we diverge. I like music, but I’ve never had any in-depth, deep conversations about a band ruining any sort of music scene. I mean, I am interested in music. I like to sing along to the radio and dance in my living room. It makes me happy. The thing is, if I like a song, I just like it. I’m not too worried about it beyond that. Jim, on the other hand, takes music very seriously. He knows the band member statistics like they are on baseball cards. He remembers details about them I can’t even be bothered to learn. Also, no matter what kind of discussion we have, it always ends with The Grateful Dead. A band that I am, of course, familiar with. I mean, I like their Greatest Hits Album, but beyond that I couldn’t say much more about them. I missed the whole “I wish I were old enough to be a hippie” scene by almost two decades. I just don’t get the appeal of The Grateful Dead like he does. The live albums are almost torture to listen to with never-ending songs and off-key vocals. I am often incredulous that one song could go on and on and on and on and…oh, it’s still playing? Oh, please, shut it off, I need a break or something new….please! I’m also amazed that they sold so many albums and that people actually quit jobs to follow them around to attend every concert. There must have been some serious drugs involved. That’s the only way it makes any sense to me at all.
So, nothing beats The Grateful Dead in my house. Not even Prince. Not even Purple Rain. I don’t always know what to say to Jim, but at least I will always have Billy Joel and Elton John to keep company…and Journey.
The wheel in the sky keeps on turnin’
I don’t know where I’ll be tomorrow…
Have truer words ever been spoken? I think not. Beat that, Grateful Dead.
You’ll never replace my beloved Billy Joel.
East Coast RULES!