Thursday, August 30, 2007

IT'S ONLY ROCK and ROLL - But I Like It

Let's Get Together Yeah, Yeah, Yeah We Can Have A Real Good Time

I grew up surrounded by and immersed in rock and roll, rhythm and blues, Motown, and Woodstock.

I had a booth at the Psychedelicatessan, dining on Blue Oyster Cult soup, a salad bar with Motley Croutons, Blood Sweat & Tear sandwiches with a slice of Todd Runion, while wearing my John Mellencap.

I slept with my first love at age 8: a 3-transistor radio with an 8 section antenna that I held against the pole lamp as I lay in bed, earplug snugly in my ear, trolling the AM band for new songs.

I still remember hearing "Its Only Love" from Rubber Soul when distant airwaves, aided by the atmosphere, bounced off something and got caught by the pole lamp. Nobody I knew had even heard about Rubber Soul. I was a grade school phenom!

Why this excursion in Dr. Peabody's Wayback Machine? The recent hullabaloo during our school board's team-building workshop has me thinking about rock and roll bands. It always seemed as though some band was embroiled in tension during transition.

Group creativity is not about consensus. Creative consensus brought us The Bay City Rollers!

Any group worth their salt had fights. Some fights involved fists, broken whiskey bottles and blood. The Davies brothers (Kinks) were known to fight onstage between beers. The Beatles fights were more "snippy" - Eddie Van Halen and David Lee Roth had some beauties that are still difficult to scab over - ask Sammy Hagar. Remember when Ozzie left Sabbath ?

Some fights were so brutal that the damage was believed permanent. There are still people who go to an Eagles concert in anticipation.

Remember the Chuck Berry / Keith Richards stare down in "Hail, Hail Rock and Roll"?

All this has been swirling around in my head since our School Board went into the studio for a preproduction session. This is where the band and the producer get together, decide on what songs to put on this year's release, in what order, who sings lead, who sings what harmonies - if any. Later, with the record company, decisions like: who gets the royalties, who does the promo interviews, what is the album's title, etc., will be addressed.

While "fans" everywhere were aware of some growing tension among the band mates nobody was expecting just how quickly the boiling point would be reached.

Apparently "Meatloaf", "Grace Slick", "Diana Ross", "Melanie", and "Sheryl Crow" wanted to continue mining the same vein the group has been for the last 10 years. They contended that their fan base wasn't ready for anything new or innovative and sited the dismal failure of their nationwide search for a new manager and fashion consultant.

New members "Salsa Spice" and "Chrissie Hynde" had joined the group with the intent of updating the sound and image.
("Chrissie" was a former rock critic before deciding she had enough 3rd person and figured she could do it nicely herself thank-you-very-much.)

Both felt they were not only losing their fan base but also were becoming complacent, dated, and approaching caricature. A fan blog set up by "Chrissie" provided a free flowing forum that allowed her to monitor the response to the group's changes. It even allowed the "roadies" and "support technicians" an avenue for expression. The crew could originally access her blog, read and send comments while on the job until management blocked the comments section. It wasn't like they had a lot of time since their job description was changed, their duties increased and their "break-time" cut in half. Most of the smart ones quit their union and are spending what they used to pay in dues at "happy hours" of their own making.

"Chrissie's" blog and use of technology as a two-way communication tool apparently began to piss off ( hey, this is a rock column!) some of the others who were having trouble adapting to the new technologies that were being introduced. "Meatloaf" was rumored to have completely destroyed a couple of laptops - out of anger over an Active Directory / S.I.L.K. conflict with his MySpace page. He is also believed to be the culprit who destroyed a few new flex-neck condenser mics with saliva salvos.

"Sheryl", who was in the middle of a divorce from "Lance", moved out of her region (in direct violation of her contract) into a trendy condo owned by a "friend" so she could cut down on living expenses, got caught lying about it, and was just aching to tee off on somebody before being fired or resigning.
She didn't have to wait long.

There continues to be a lot of background speculation about the others being in on the secret of "Sheryl's" move. Their silence came with the expectation that when the manager's contract came up for renewal "Sheryl" would join them in supporting renewal, which she did.

"Chrissie" was "Sheryl's" target-de-jour. "Salsa Spice" would be collateral damage.

Anyone who knows "Chrissie" knows she won't back down. "Salsa" likes to play nice. "Chrissie" will take her Telecaster and bat your ass flat.

"Sheryl" was lucky, only words were exchanged.
"Chrissie" decided she had enough. The studio door may have been damaged as she left.

Elvis would have "put a cap" in the TV.

How much damage was done to the members remains to be seen. Hopefully the others will finally recognize the "Winds of Change" blowing through the industry before it's too late. "Chrissie" will need to be sure-footed and determined. "Salsa" will have to get focused, succinct, and strong.

For "Meatloaf" it may be too late.
There is growing support to replace him with, who we believe is a New Kid On The Block: "Jordan Knight" -sporting a cleaned up collegiate look. Research into this is continuing.

"Chrissie" has increasing support from all segments of the fan base. Even those in demographics previously unknown to the group have begun to make themselves known.

Public appearances are still scheduled for Tuesday's at The ROSSAC which is more intimate than The FORUM but may still host a hockey fight, so get there early - it's festival seating.

The start time
used to be 5PM. It has been changed to 3PM. Fan pressure could force a compromise. This time and format change was apparently made with the hope that critics will be caught in Crosstown Traffic - particularly "Lester Bang's" mom.

Lester (may he R.I.P.) was one of those critics who demanded every song, every album be the absolute best the artist could release - anything less and he would be mercilessly and justifiably scathing. He got the best of his mom's DNA. True fans loved and trusted him until he discovered cough syrup.

The performances are still broadcast on Channel 18. Sound checks are still done privately. Any critic must still sign up ahead of time and adhere to strict time limits. "Meatloaf" is still apt to trot out that tired demo "Your Time's Up" at a moment's notice. Ironically, the fans just might beat him to it.

Stay "tuned" fans!

IT'S ONLY ROCK and ROLL - But I Like It


Anonymous said...



The names! the names!


The Special Ed Concierge said...

Great stuff! A pontificating pool of pleasurable pertinent prose .

The Vacancy sign is still open at my motel, and check out the adjacent PRO on HCPS site.

Oh, that's the way, uh-huh uh-huh,
I like it, uh-huh, uh-huh

Anonymous said...


Anonymous said...

I'm dying laughing. Thank you! This was very creative writing and I will think of it to help me stay in the room.

Maybe our meetings would run smoother if some found paradise by the dashboard lights.


Sisyphus - The Rock that Keeps on Rolling... said...

Great work, enjoyed it very much! Love your choices in music. Thank you for the levity.

Anonymous said...

I truly did't get the full meaning until I hit the links!
the third time through was better than the first

Anonymous said...

This is the funniest and most creative post I've read.....this parody is the best! thanks for the great humor!!!

Goader said...

Suzie Creamcheese, you are Twisted, Sister!

tommyduncn said...

nicely done...

Anonymous said...

The depth of meaning is second only to the truth dressed up as humor.

Is this Don McClain on coffee?

Thanks, Suzie


twinkobie said...

Did Wall blog founder Ms. Creamcheeze write this?

If so, she has a brilliant mind that grasps far-fetched analogies and writes like a house afire.

Teaching extra classes to get Elia out of financial straits is too mundane for Creamcheeze's brain power. Her kind of talent should not go to waste trying to deal with lower-quartile Faliera and Power-mad Elia.

That guy up in the Canada tundra jumping on local the fellow who saluted Griffin for what the tundra-hugger calls bias doesn't know his ass from his elbow in this discussion. He's way too misinfomed about HC Board pathology to weigh in with his soupcon of data. He's just trying to get a date with one of the female--or maybe male--protesters. He should concentrate on getting a haircut instead of maudering about something he doesn't know diddly about. He looks like a hay field of grizzled hair follicles.

Author Susie refers to me as somebody's mother. I don't know who my son is whom she cites. I don't recognize that name. I am Wagner, not rock 'n roll.

But this I do know: Susie is one smart cookie; her destiny should not be refining a blog on the misdoings of the Hillsborough County School Board thuggery midgets but holding forth in some outlet like "The Rolling Stones."

Or she should write a book and use a male name like George Elliot to be taken seriously. Women are still in that situation. Jack Keroac was no smarter than Susie--not as smart, in fact, and wrote a cult book. I read enough of it to see the worship is misplaced.
I agree with this guy's assessment of "On the Road" on Amazon: "Almost as bad as Catcher in the Rye......, September 27, 2007
By C. Brandt "I gave the propina to Guy." - See all my reviews
This book is a mediocrity. It is readable and fluent, but there is no real substance, either intellectual or historical. Its appeal puzzles me, but I guess I can see how it might "speak" to non-athletic lower-middle-class white kids from small towns, with 115 IQs and nose-rings, who like to sit in diners late at night, smoking cigarettes and talking about poetry, tattoos, and Tom Waits.

Kerouac is a competent writer, not a good one. (Tom Wolfe--there's a good writer.) He displays no real creative well in this book...he simply recounts his various (rather boring, often drunken) interactions with his coterie of artsy-fartsy pals, and their frequent road-trips.

The adventures are lackluster--Kerouac goes to "Frisco," and goes to Denver...then goes back to "Frisco"...then goes back to Denver--and the friends are, for the most part, pretentious, uninteresting, drug-addled hipster douchebags.

The fact that this middling book is listed on the MLA 100 is a travesty...were there any justice in the world, its slot (#55) would be occupied by The Electric Kool-Aid Acid Test."

This savvy critic is wrong about "Catcher in the Rye" but right about Keroac. I heard Keroac died from his drinking excesses, living out his life with his mother in St. Pete. That's the way with these pretentious rebels who get cirrhosis of the liver on the road: they always go home to mom. Deep down, they're always mamas' boys.

Susie gets an A for this essay, and I am a tough grader.I wish she would introduce herself the next time we appear in tandem at a board meeting. I am the lady with the white hair with whom Dr. Lamb is enamoured.

lee drury de cesare, somebody's mother who is not conversant in rock 'n roll but knows The Ring Cycle inside out