My friends, the dear ones, are obviously aware of the music I fancy. Many of my closest relationships over the years were sparked by having a passion for the same records and artists. These people know my collection. I’ve left some of them confused (and annoyed!) in the past, not by what is in my collection (I’ve mentioned the Jethro Tull Christmas Album…eeep) but by what it’s missing. Along with my long list of favorites I have a short list of bands and artists I absolutely dislike and do not have in my collection:
The Beatles – I love John Lennon. I even like Wings. I’m not a fan of the Fab 4. I remember being super sick with the flu as a little kid and, while watching an episode of their cartoon, vomiting all over myself. Never mind their being one of the most commercially successful and critically acclaimed acts in the history of popular music…they’re tainted.
Pink Floyd – Unlike many of my contemporaries in high school, I never subscribed to “Floyd”…sigh. I loathed the tie-dyed tshirts and pseudo-hippiedom of the crowd who listened to them and The Wall freaked me the hell out. What about the idea (of many) that they invented Shoegaze music, my tip-top, desert island genre of all time? Of course, I’ve listened and the claim is quite valid. Still, I just can’t get into them. Perhaps it’s rooted in memories of sweating on the elementary bus on my way home from the last day of school while the “big kids” screamed the familiar words of “Another Brick in the Wall”. Thought control? In the 4th grade? Come on.
Guided By Voices – They confound me. It’s bright music but makes me feel tired, like I am waking through molasses. I had a roommate who was a superfan. Hearing them takes me back to a time when my health wasn’t so hot. Ugh. My sister and my bff happen to think they are one of the best bands to have walked the planet. Sorry guys.
Ludwig Van Beethoven – A Clockwork Orange freaked my ass out 1,000 times more than The Wall ever will.
I could go on, but I won’t. My point has been made. I think.
For as many times as I’ve written positively about a tune transporting me to a special place, serving as a reminder of a lovely specific minute in life, it can also haunt a listener. It’s impossible to like everything. Besides, liking everything is terribly boring. You know that person you once met and never became friends with? The one when asked about their favorite band/artist/genre answered, “Oh, I like everything/The radio/A little of this and a little of that”? Poppycock. Grow a pair, raise your hand and stake your claim. It’s not ok for me to like Gavin Rossdale, but you can.
I understand the reasons behind my not owning and really studying the music of the acclaimed artists listed above are, on a whole, ludicrous, so hold your fire. I’m aware of the Beatles and Beethoven. I can hum along to a large part of their catalogues. I’m not stupid. I know I’m missing out on some incredible material. But what’s the point in suffering? That’s the beauty of choice.
[Abby’s Road is a Knox Road feature published every other Friday.]