#1004: It’s Not You

RECORD STORE TALES #1004: It’s Not You

2018 was, shall we put it mildly, an interesting year. It was the summer that wasn’t. The year I spent the best months of the year driving to and from Toronto, at first waiting for a miracle, and then waiting for the inevitable. When my beloved mother in law finally passed away in September of that year, at least she left the pain behind.

Her decline at the end of the summer was rapid. Before she got too sick, she insisted that I still go record shopping with Aaron as we used to do annually. “You go and have a good time.” She had no way to know how important that was. That one record shopping excursion changed everything for Jen and I that summer. A discovery I made on that trip impacted the whole rest of the summer. That discovery was Blotto.

I’ve talked numerous times about how the skillfully comedic sounds of Blotto made the summer driving tolerable. I’ve trumpeted the merits of Blotto ad nauseum, but it cannot be overstated how important that music was to us at that time. And I had no real idea what I was buying. I just knew Blotto had one song in the 80s – “Metal Head” – that I saw on MuchMusic as a kid. But I didn’t think they were a metal band. They had a bald guy and a guy who looked like Revenge of the Nerds.  They sported funny names like “Bowtie” and “Cheese”. For the sake of personal musical history, I wanted “Metal Head” in my collection. So there in the basement of BMV, with Aaron at my side, for a mere $8.99, I acquired their important album Combo Akimbo. It was the best decision I made all summer.

What I got was a nine-track comedy-rock album that kept us in positive spirits as we drove up and down Highway 401 all summer. And what is amazing is that I can play the album today and still feel the same things.

The bad memories are still there. They bubble to the surface. I can see myself behind the wheel, stopping and starting again all the way to Toronto. I hear Jen singing along next to me. But the pain is manageable, and the positive feelings outweigh the bad.

Of the nine songs, there was always one that made us laugh the most. That song was “It’s Not You”. Not only is it a catchy song with a cool guitar lick, but the lyrics are hilarious. I’m glad that Blotto was not tainted by the summer of 2018 and I can still enjoy their music with a huge grin on my face.  That’s the gift.  All too often, because acquires the feelings of the times you hear it, and if those times weren’t good, it’s hard to get around.  Fortunately that didn’t happen with Blotto.  I feel only good feelings, especially when I play “It’s Not You”.  I can’t help but smile, every time.

This is something that’s not easy to do,
It will hit you like a bolt from the blue,
After last night, I have to tell you we are through.

When we’re alone, everything is OK,
But it’s never gonna stay that way,
When I take you home, your family has so much to say.

I try and I try, to be cool when they start,
But girl, they’re the ones who are tearing us apart.

It’s not you!
Don’t blame yourself
It’s not you!
No-one can help.
It’s not you!
I can’t be your man.
It’s not you!
It’s your family that I can’t stand.
And it’s driving me crazy!

Your mother wants to know if I am on drugs,
Your brother shows me his collection of bugs,
Your aunts don’t like me and your uncles are a bunch of thugs.

Your father coughs and blows smoke in my face,
He still believes in the superior race,
He says if he were president, the world would be a better place.

I try and I try, to ignore them for our sake,
But girl, I’m afraid it’s too much for me to take.

It’s not you!
Don’t blame yourself
It’s not you!
No-one can help.
It’s not you!
I can’t be your man.
It’s not you!
It’s your family that I can’t stand.

There is no future baby can’t you see,
Picture in your mind how it would be,
All of us living in relative misery.

I try and I try, to be cool when they start,
But girl, they’re the ones who are tearing us apart.

It’s not you!
Don’t blame yourself
It’s not you!
No-one can help.
It’s not you!
I can’t be your man.
It’s not you!
It’s your family that I can’t stand.

It isn’t you,
It’s only your family,
Don’t take it personally,
It’s just all those little things,
Like when I come over to your house and your father tells me “Don’t park in the driveway, ‘cause your car gets oil on the new white pebbles,” and then when I go inside the house, the cat jumps on my lap, and gets hair all over my shirt and pants, and your grandmother sits the newspaper and gets it so wrinkled and bunched up that I can’t even read it, and your sister brings out her scrapbooks and wants me to look at all of her prom pictures, I mean, who cares! And your brother wants me to help him with his science project, dissecting frogs, ick, what a mess, and I go into the bathroom to wash my hands, and all they have is soft soap, and my hands smell like coconuts, and I can’t dry them on those little guest towels, so I gotta wipe them on my shirt, which is already covered with cat hair, and then when I come outside, your father corners me, and wants to tell me all the jokes he read in Playboy magazine….

 

9 comments

      1. I don’t know if mine qualifies as extra. I was just really really skinny before all this started! The interwebs calculator says my BMI is 21.9 now.

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