Part 24: Musical Embarrassment

Some record store peolple had shady musical pasts.  In the effort to appear cool, they would conceal any musical sins of the past.

Now, my musical sins are well on record.  Thanks to my sister, who emailed Craig Fee at 107.5 Dave FM on the Friday of LeBrain week, the entire region knows my musical sins.  But I don’t embarass easily.  She thought I’d be embarassed by:

  • Melanie C – I don’t own it anymore.  It was her “rock” album produced with Rick Rubin.
  • Hilary Duff – I liked one song called “The Getaway” that happened to work really well on a CD I made (cross-faded into “Somebody’s Out There” by Triumph).
  • Avril Lavigne – I still stand by her second album, which is really guitar heavy.  If it had solos and nobody knew who she was, it would have been considered metal.

Craig ended up spinning some New Kids clips in her honour.   She was a lot more embarassed than I was.  I wish I’d told Craig she also liked Rick Astley.  (hint)

Anyways, I don’t embarass musically.  I did have a misguided period in the 90’s when it was hard to find good new rock music, where I’d listen to anything.  I’ve since realized that there was a difference between albums you’d listen to at work, and albums you’d listen to at home.  Not necessarily the same thing.  I got rid of everything that I never listened to at home.

Some people at our store were not quite like me.  There was one guy who was a massive Barenaked Ladies fan back in grade school, but never admitted it.  My sister went to school with him and distinctly remembers that BNL was his favourite band one year.  Now that he’d moved on to the Grateful Dead, he didn’t want anyone to know his dirty secret. 

This is me in grade 9, baby.

Another had a massive crush on W. Axl Rose, and used to love Guns N’ Roses — she shall remain anonymous, since she doesn’t like people knowing this.   I don’t know how she fell out of love with Axl, but I do know that she hates stuff like GN’R now, both lyrically and musically.  I have a hard time understanding how you can swing from one side of the spectrum to the other like that!

And there was another who thought that Limp Bizkit was “#1”!  The following year, she was over Durst and onto the next one.  I can remember pictures of Durst being taped up everywhere from the counter to the bathroom.  Our store was a Shrine to Durst.  I also remember one guy stroked out his name on one of the posters…

Fred Durst Worst!

Meanwhile, I thought it would be more scenic to put up a giant poster of Kittie in the office.  I think I was right. 

I got made fun of pretty hard during my entire tenure for the music I liked.  The same guy who used to like BNL used to call me Cheese Metal Mike.  Cheeser, for short.  Well, at least I still listen to Iron Maiden.  Another made fun of me for buying Tesla.  The last album I got from Tesla was their recent covers set, Real to Reel, which I consider easily in my top five cover albums of all time.  Still love the band.  They kick a fuck of a lot more ass than, say, Mnmnmickelback….

There’s not much that embarasses me, certainly not music.  Girls I used to have crushes on, yeah.  Absolutely.  We won’t go there.  I already mentioned Sporty Spice and that’s enough from me.  If my sister had emailed Craig and had him broadcast the names of all my old celeb crushes, she could have really embarassed me.  Don’t get any ideas, Kathryn.

(OK one more.  I really liked Elizabeth Hurley at the time of Austin Powers.  Something about that accent.  (I ended up marrying a Brit, a girl of Sunderland heritage.)  A year later it was Kate Winslet, and a couple years after that, it was the lead singer of Scratching Post, whatever her name was…Scratching Post had one good song.  I wish I could remember the name of it.  I saw them live a couple times and they were really good live.  Shame their albums sucked so bad. )

To me, the most embarassing thing has to be coming in and selling every CD by a band.  If you have every CD, it means you really liked them.  I’ll never forget the guy with the Motley Crue tattoo who sold every Motley Crue CD when Vince was out of the band.  You’d also see the odd guy here or there who found God and unload a massive amount of music that they find distasteful.  I got a lot of my metal collection that way. 

I’m cool with anybody who finds God, no problem there.  But don’t tell me I’m going to h-e-double-hockeysticks for listening to Ozzy Osbourne.  That happened, in the store.  This one guy told me that Ozzy was the pathway to hell. 

I responded, “Have you heard his song called ‘Killer of Giants’?”

“No, I won’t listen to him at all,” said the guy.

“Well, ‘Killer of Giants’ is an anti-nuclear war song.  All of his old Black Sabbath lyrics are also anti-war or anti-nukes.  I would say that Ozzy and God have a common agenda when it comes to peace among mankind.”

He had no answer for that one.

In short, I’ve never been embarassed about anything I’ve listened to, be it the worst Mike Patton album I’ve ever heard (Adult Themes for Voice) or be it Puff Daddy’s remake of “Kashmir” with Jimmy Page and Tom Morello.  I don’t give a crap.  People have been making fun of my listening to tastes since grade 7, ever since I found Kiss.   (see Part 3: My First Kiss)

I got called out in grade 8 for wearing a Judas Priest shirt to school, in front of everyone.  It was a Catholic school.  How the hell was I to know that “Judas priest!” was a swear word back in the 1950’s or something!  I was embarassed for the moment, but my love for the Priest has only solidified over the years.  Through the departure of Halford to the Ripper years to the glorious comeback, it’s all been good with me.  (I’ll talk more about how heavy metal and Catholic schools didn’t mix back in 1985 in the future.)

Don’t let anybody tell you what music is good and what music is crap.  Including me!  If you like something because your friends like it, that’s not sincere.  If you honestly sincerely like something because it’s resonating with some part of you, then it’s true and good!

One comment

  1. Huey Lewis and his News all the way and still to this day baby \m/ And count me in a big fan of Adele, Pink, Jessie to name just a few. Some vocal choices all :)

    Yeah never understood the big swing, mates who had for example introduced me to the likes of Soundgarden and Maiden back in the day declaring their dislike for them years later???

    Go figure!


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