Saturday, July 4, 2015

We Had The Same Intrigue As A Court Of Kings

First things first.  This is important.  And good.  If you do not find it good, you are wrong.  I cannot be persuasive about it, but it is so.  Trevor Rabin!!! (Or is it Nigel Tufnel?  They look a lot alike).

And obviously, the glorious departed Squire.  The second-best rock bassist ever??

I love this song unironically and unabashedly.  This video I also love, though I'll confess to a small smidgeon of irony in that love.

At what point did rock musicians decide that wearing wristbands and/or headbands was a good idea?  Forgetting all the other assaults on fashion manifest in this video, the headbands and wristbands--they stand out.  Especially because many, if not all, of them seem to involve glitter.


But no more on that.

What of my car wreck?  

Well, it was a wreck.  My first, as it happens.  Never before been in a car accident.  As they go, this one wasn't bad.  I was driving, a car ahead of me stopped--rather abruptly, I'd say--at a crosswalk (relevant because there's no light or other signal to alert people that a stop is imminent).  I stopped about two feet behind him.  

BAMMM.  A car behind me slammed into my back, ramming me forward into the car ahead of me.  Both ends of my car were deeply crumpled, the back especially.

Cut forward through various non-thrilling parlays with kindly-enough Insurance folks and the result was: Insurance decided my car was a total loss.  The amount of damage done was about 9k and the car was worth 11.5k.  So, I got a check for 11.5k, and I had to get a new car.

Now the story of me getting a new car--there hangs a tale.  I mean, I want to go into that.  I do.  But at this very moment I'll put that off.  The summary is: I have a new car.  A McLaren SX.  Retail: 450, 500.   And it can teleport!

No no.  I have another Honda.  But the thing that's funny is--I love it!   I's not really funny, but it is, to me, surprising.  How much I like it.  I loved my first car, deeply--a Honda Accord (LX 1990).  Probably, though, that was because it was my first car?  But I deeply loved that car.  Then, after it logged about two million miles, I replaced it with another Honda.   And that car…I thought I loved.  Or at least liked.

It turns out I did NOT love that car.  It's like, if you've spent all your life drinking Kendall Jackson Chardonnay, and then one day you drink a 2002 Mersault--that's what it's like with my new car.  Well, maybe it's not a 2002 Mersault.  But a Macon Villages, at least.  

Which is another way of saying that, I didn't realize how mediocre my last car was.  And, not realizing that, it's been wonderful to see how great cars these days have become.

Because I had no interest or desire for a new car, viewing this whole thing as nothing more than a massive hassle.  I was perfectly happy with my last car (I thought)--a 2005 Honda, which served all my necessary needs.

But, as it turns out, it did NOT serve my necessary needs--or at least, not as well as I thought.  Because driving this new Honda I find myself so unexpectedly happy.  I mean, it's a great car!  It handles well, accelerates, brakes--it has real zip.  And gets great mileage.  And has a bluetooth system!  And, can decrypt classified Nazi codes!  

Also, now that my entire iphone is suddenly available to my (much-improved) speakers, that's...just, a new frontier in joy.  Being able to instantly go to any album I've ever owned, in the car, or to talk on the phone, to all my brokers in Hong Kong and Sri Lanka--it's incalcuably great.

But now as I write this, the familiar darkness comes on me and I think: who cares?  Vanity, saith the preacher, all is vanity.  And I am drinking a mediocre Grenache, and the river's tent is broken: the last fingers of leaf clutch and sink into the wet bank.  The wind crosses the brown land, unheard….

Should I go watch that Yes video again?  I think so!

BONUS SIDENOTE: As some of you may notice, I change the quote in the header every time I post. Usually I pick a fairly well-known song.  This time I did not.  Anyone who can identify the song from which the quote above is taken will win....a million dollars!  And my respect!  Or, one of the two.


Dezmond said...

Yes, Trevor Rabin is the man. I understand the utility of the wrist bands for musicians with instruments. The wrist bands that Squire is wearing in the video, for instance, would help stop the sweat from dripping onto his hand and impeding his playing. But singer Jon Anderson has a wrist band on each arm, and he is playing no instrument. Is he trying to stop the sweat from dripping onto his microphone? Ridiculous. So, wrist bands on Squire, Rabin, White and Kaye? Fine. On Anderson? Stupid. The best part about that clip is that the clothes are so absurd, yet in the 80's we watched those videos without blinking an eye, as if that was perfectly normal. My favorite from the era are the Police outfits in the "Synchronicity II" video. I think I have a poster in the garage somewhere of them in those outfits.

ANCIANT said...

People have made music, on bass and guitar, for many years before and after Yes. Almost none of them required the use of wristbands. I don't care if they are playing an instrument or not, musicians should not wear glittery wristbands. They. Just. Shouldn't.

JMW said...

I'm really here to say that it sounds like we must drive that new Honda from L.A. to Vegas. We must. Together.

But also: The Yes thing is so funny. It's like a Lake brothers genetic weakness. We could locate it in your DNA somewhere, precisely. Because otherwise you would realize how bad that song is that you posted here. It's bad.

ANCIANT said...

Oh my god JMW! How can you say it's bad! HOW??? I am not joking! It's so good. It's so so good!

Here are three REM songs it's better than:
Standing on the Shoulders of Giants
Everybody Hurts

Saxo Philologus said...

That was totally, unreservedly awesome. I need an outfit like the one Chris Squire (respect) was wearing. God, to have seen that tour live.

John, your comment hurts me in so many ways. And you are so, so wrong. The only REM song even half as good is E-Bow the Letter.

ANCIANT said...

But also, I will drive to Vegas with you and listen to a mix of REM and YES--half and half--at the drop of a hat. And at the end we will both of us know. And be wiser. And Stipe, you shall die.

Dezmond said...

JMW, you are ridiculous. It may indeed be genetic with the brothers ANCIANT and Saxo, but it is no weakness. The lesser species (or, non-Yes listeners) are near the end of their genetic line. It is not eugenics exactly because each of us has a choice to make, JMW. You either choose to love "Leave It" (glitter wristbands and all), or you choose to be a lesser being.

Dezmond said...

And look at both bands. REM is dead and gone. Yes endures. Yes was born over a decade before REM and has lasted long after. Yes endures in part because it is bigger than the individuals. Like Spinal Tap, Yes has had about 52 members through the years.

ANCIANT said...


JMW said...

You guys are awesome. I like that you enjoy outtakes from "Starlight Express," I really do.

ANCIANT said...

I'll see you in hell, Williams

JMW said...

I'll have a drink waiting for you. We'll laugh about Yes and R.E.M. together. Can't wait. Really.

Cartooniste said...

1. I'm glad you're okay, and it was only your car that was hurt. Because unlike your wry correspondents here, I really care.

2. Headbands and wristbands belong on my father while he mows the lawn, circa 1984, and nowhere else.

3. My grandmother used to drink Kendall Jackson Chardonnay exclusively. With ice. I have lately discovered that ice improves 9 out of 10 white wines that I can afford. I am, essentially, turning into my grandmother. The point is, of course you like Yes. We cannot help but be the people we are born to be.

4. John, do you want an advance copy of my next novel? It's all about abolitionism, the contingent nature of memory and time, obscure film history, nostalgia, loss, and the fleeting nature of life. All really popular themes in contemporary YA, which is why it's getting such a huge push from the publisher. You probably saw all the banners at BEA. I begged them not to put them up, but you know, there's no stopping them.