Friday, September 01, 2006
SONGS THAT ROCK - FIRST OF THE GANG TO DIE
I don't know why I like Morrissey so much but I do. His songs all seem to have the same sort of general attitude under the surface that is hard to describe. It's something like the melancholy attitude you would imagine to be in the air at a convention full of high school trench coat guys.
Dude, life sucks, I hate it.
On the other hand the music has so much energy that it carries the music up to a cool level. Morrisey was the driving force behind the band "The Smiths" which brought us the cool theme song to 'Charmed'. -How Soon Is Now - an awesome song. Listen to the guitar on this song. It's got an industrial, 'you're just a cog in a giant machine' British kind of feel. And yet, there is so much energy in the music. And yet 20 years later it still sounds as cool as it did when it came out. That's the difference between good music, and crapola. Notice how lame the video is, that's because it was made back in the eighties before anyone made decent music videos.
Morrissey is also responsible for bringing the band 'The New York Dolls' back together, before their bass guitar player died of leukemia. That story is found in a great documentary 'New York Doll' which my friend N told me I needed to see. And N was right, it was a teriffic documentary. On the DVD there is a 20 minute interview with Morrissey where his the raw emotion underlying a lot of his songs.
In that interview Morrissey talks about how he decided that being a rock star was for him when he was 13 years old. He went to a New York Dolls concert, and he was totally excited. But he never got to see the concert because somebody came and announced that the concert was cancelled because the drummer had just died. The drummer had taken drugs, and two groupies put him in a bathtub full of cold water and poured coffee down his throat. The coffee suffocated him and he died. From there the Dolls just kind of broke apart as a band. You'd have thought a successful popular band wouldn't break up just because the drummer died. But the band members were basically victims of their bad behavior, were all addicted to alcohol or other drugs and just couldn't get it together. The band broke up and none of the band members really had as much success again. When Morrissey got the band back together, they had all pretty much gotten their act together. After their reunion the bass player Arthur Kane died of leukemia. In the interview I saw, Morrissey called the band a cursed band. That kind of view of the world seems to be underneath all of the melancholy music put out by this guy.
First of the gang to die is still my favorite song by Morrissey because it lacks a lot of the melancholy tone, (its still there though) and has more of the energy.
I had it on MP3 on the computer I gave to you, but it got wiped out two summers ago when it got fried and I had to replace the motherboard and hard drive.