This blog is officially "retired," but my other blog,
"The Lair of the Silver Fox," is still open for business!

Tuesday, May 6, 2008

Musical Notes (A "Short Shorts" Entry with a Unified Theme)

This week's devoted to rehearsing for, and performing in, a theatrical production ("Just say 'a play,' you pompous ass!"), getting sleep, and getting...

Well, the last one's kinda personal... *ahem*

Anyway, I'm sticking you with a hastily-edited version of a post which appeared at my old blog address on June 21, 2004. Gotcha!

1) Almost ten years ago, when I was in my early forties, I met an adorable young lady of around 20 who gave her name as Layla. My response to "My name's Layla" was "I'm David, nice to meet you." She paused for about three seconds (waiting for the "other shoe to drop," I assume) before saying an enthusiastic "Thank you!" "For what?" I replied innocently, and she answered "For not singing that f**king song to me!" We hit it off immediately, and dated off and on for about a year.


It's always best to ignore the obvious remarks. Too many people think that they're the first ones to think of something that virtually everyone thinks of!

2) I love arguing with people who say "it's not an album, it's a CD," when I talk about some artist's latest release which is only available on CD, or on CD and cassette only, and refer to it as an "album." I explain the origin of the term "album," and how it is a "time-honored misnomer" (That phrase always disorients them!) hearkening (So does that word. It's an effective one-two punch!) back to the days when albums weren't 12" vinyl LPs (which didn't even exist yet), but rather, collections of brittle 78 rpm discs in a binder similar to a photo album. (That's even before my time, 'though!) Really messes their heads up when I point out that technically, by that logic, either everything is an "album," or nothing is, including Joss Stone's latest release, whether it's on CD, cassette, or both!

3) Speaking of albums (the 12" vinyl kind), I'm reminded of when I worked at a comic book/record/misc. collectibles store. This customer spent several minutes looking through the LPs in our extensive "M" section, and finally asked where we kept "the Morrison albums." "Jim Morrison, or Van Morrison?" I asked, and his blank stare when I said "Van Morrison" answered me better than any verbal reply could have. "Umm... look under 'D,' for 'Doors?'" He gave me a "Wow, never would have thought of that!" look, and off he went.

4) Don't you hate it when musicians' names (or anybody else's, too, as it's a trend I've seen with increasing frequency) are alphabetized by their first name? I mean, in that case, couldn't "Bob Seger" (for instance) be under "R" for "Robert," his proper given name? But then again, if one argues that "B" is correct because "everybody" calls him "Bob," how about Michael Jackson? Should he be under "M" for "Michael Jackson," or "J," since almost everybody (at least, in the tabloids) has been calling him "Jacko" for the past few years? However, if you did file him under "J," people may think that he's really there because his name is actually Michael Jackson, which means that he alone is being alphabetized by his surname, and...

I am so confused! Maybe Liberace, Cher, Madonna, and Beyoncé had/have the right idea, after all.

5) I had a friendly argument approximately 30 years ago with my friend & (then) bass player (I was lead singer in a few bands in those days) named Brian. He and I both organized our LPs alphabetically, but he filed Led Zeppelin under "Z," the Rolling Stones under "S," etc. I pointed out that those weren't the names of people, they were the names of bands. I said you should file David Bowie under "B," but Led Zeppelin should be "L," and so forth. Brian replied, "Well, people always say 'I just got back from the Stones' concert,' or 'Did you hear the new Sabbath album?' No one ever says, 'The latest Rolling Stone Magazine has an interview with Led...'" Good point, I suppose, but I wasn't convinced.

It gets worse.

"The Beatles?" Easy. File under "B." (Anyone who files groups like that -- or book titles, or song titles, whatever! -- under "T" for "The" should be shot and hung on a meat hook for public display like they did to Mussolini.) And Buddy Holly and the Crickets? Well, he was kinda/sorta the headliner, even before he went solo, so I'd file all his recordings under "H." But there are gray areas. Frankie Lymon and the Teenagers. Jay and the Americans. J. Frank Wilson and the Cavaliers. Without Frankie, Jay, or J. Frank, the nominal back-up groups almost didn't matter, unlike the Crickets, who continued on to their own career, as the Belmonts did when Dion left them.

And what about... The Dave Clark Five? Tough call! Under "C?" Well, if Buddy Holly and the Crickets got "H..." But wait. It's not "Dave Clark and the Five," it's "The Dave Clark Five." So, "D," then? (That's how I do it... )

Then there was that irritating tendency in the late '60s to take perfectly innocent group names like "The Supremes" and "The Four Seasons" and turn them into "Diana Ross and the Supremes" and "Frankie Valli and the Four Seasons." Thanks a bunch, guys.

I guess the easiest group to file (of those whose name mentions their lead singer) would be Herman's Hermits. (And of course I know that "Herman" was actually Peter Noone, but they really did call him "Herman!") Again, like the Dave Clark Five, it's not "Herman and the Hermits," it's "Herman's Hermits." But whether you file it under "Herman's" or "Hermits," you're still pretty safe. (I remember a band called "Mac's Mob." Would that be an "M - A" or an "M - O?")

Then again, if you have so many LPs that you get all the way past "H - E - R - M" and it still matters whether you file according to the "A" in "Herman" or the "I" in "Hermits," you have so many damned albums that you're never going to get your whole collection organized anyway.

Thanks for your time.


  1. Thankz, Rantz! Most excellent. The whole stuff about alphabetizing albums brings my sister vividly to mind. She'd dither over the exact same alphabetizing conundrums you neatly capture here.

    Ya know, I don't think you're a pompous ass, but whenever you say "a theatrical production," I ALWAYS think of "Godspell" or maybe something by Andrew Lloyd Webber. I was relieved to hear it is "12 Angry Jurors." Which angry juror are you (thinking of the original movie)?

    It HAS to be helpful to play an angry juror this week! Good timing.

  2. Thank you for agreeing on the "album" thing, no matter what format the recording it is, the collection of work is an album, like a photo album. Sorry for the lack of humor.


    Yeah... I know, this dead horse has been beaten.

  3. Redbeard:

    Yay! Someone agrees about the "album" thing!

    And talking about boobs is beating a dead horse? Hm. That can't be right. After all, you can't beat boobs!


    Juror #7. Jack Warden in the original film, Tony Danza in the 1996 (1997?) remake. (And Danza actually wasn't too bad, either.) The play is nowhere near as fleshed-out as the movie. Warden's character was much closer to my own real-life personality, kind of a smart-ass. I mainly get to read angry lines. My reading, voice-wise, is two parts Tony Soprano, one part Archie Bunker, and a dash of Jackie Gleason. So far, I've gotten some great compliments from audience members. And yes, the events of the past week or two has fueled my characterization's anger level.

  4. >>>>>It's always best to ignore the obvious remarks.<<<<<<<<<

    So I shouldn't make any gay remarks about a single man with cats doing a "theatrical production", huh?

  5. At least it's not a musical.

    And there's just one cat.

    And if I were to tell you how my then-roommate "convinced" me that I should let her bring home a kitten (which I inherited when she moved out), you'd understand and approve completely. And Sparkle would applaud, as well. (Wink, wink, nudge, nudge.)

  6. I thought I'd replied on this already. Perhapz I'm going inzane?

    Anyways, I agree whole-heartedly on the album thing...on all counts. I refer to all my CDs (and iTune collections) as just seems neater, somehow.

    Though I've fallen down on the alphabetizing, I'm afraid. I agree with your arrangement, in theory (Rolling Stones under "R," etc)...but after an unfortunate accident where I knocked over a whole row of CDs...ummm...well, my music collection is currently very unorganized. *gulp*

  7. Cake:

    1: "Perhapz I'm going inzane?"


    2. "Though I've fallen down on the alphabetizing... "

    I assume you mean "I've fallen down" literally?

    3. "[A]fter an unfortunate accident where I knocked over a whole row of CDs... "

    Referring to 2 and 3, were you drunk again, naughty girl?

  8. Applauds! Hey, if it takes getting a kitten to get a little pu-. OOPS! Is your other blog up yet? If not, I'm leaving that just as it is.

    Okay. Let's check out your album collection. OOH! It's The Who! I love The Who! Here it is, nicely filed under "W," very good, good to see. Let me select this album (which is actually a CD) to look at! HEY! Look! It's my favorite song!

    Ooooh. "Won't Get Fooled Again." What a great song! Here's my favorite line:


  9. "...were you drunk again, naughty girl?"

    You know what's really funny about me and infrastructure? I haven't had its acquaintance much over the last few weeks for this, that, and the other reason. Last night I got into a bottle and drank about 2 1/2 glasses...wrote a stupid (unposted) whiny Cake blog...and then fell asleep.

    To sum up: I was always a pretty cheap date but now I'm practically a dollar store date.


  10. Sparkle:

    First things first. Thanks for the applause. [bows]

    It is not up yet. The new blog, I mean. *ahem*

    Hey, how about if I recycle some old sh... I mean, reprint a classic blog post from my old blog address, and at the very bottom put a very personal P.S. just for you, with that "open in a new link" HTML? I'll delete it as soon as you tell me you've copied it!

    And... Hey, would you like to go to a prom?

  11. Hey, Cake, watch what you say about you! I won't let just anybody call you a dollar store date, you know! Besides, your "dating" days are kinda/sorta over anyway, aren't they? Or is the so-called institution of marriage different in Canada, too?

  12. I've been known to call it a date if I go out for a drink with a friend...I don't think it's a Canadian thing, I think it's probably a quirky Cake thing.

    Cuz I am nothing if not quirky, y'know.

    ~Dollar Store Doll

  13. lol Oh my! I elminate that problem by arranging all of my music (records and cd's alike) by genre and order of importance to me within that genre.


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