the verve

#708: The Perfect Roll

Expanded from a segment in Part 18:  Klassic Kwotes III

GETTING MORE TALE #708: The Perfect Roll

I once read a quote from Keith Richards in the late 80s about the state of rock and roll.  “I hear a lot of rock,” he said, “but not much roll anymore.”

I thought I knew what he meant.  You heard a lot of rocking, but not a lot of that Stones-y jangle.  None of the rhythm & blues.  None of the subtlety.  That’s what I read his quote to mean.

Then I heard something else a decade later that made me wonder if “roll” meant something else.



A knowledgeable rock guy named Neil was working that day.  The Verve were still popular, and for good reason.  1997’s Urban Hymns was a phenomenon brought on by “Bitter Sweet Symphony”, which has since become a classic.  The song even has a Stones connection.  The famed string section is a sampled from Andrew Loog Oldham’s cover of the Stones’ “The Last Time”.  The lawyers had a field day with that one.

On this afternoon, a guy came in and started asking lots of questions (including “Do you believe in Jesus?” but I digress). One thing we always hated was when customers would ask to listen to music on the store system even though we had six listening stations. (Granted, only four worked at any given time, but again, I digress.) This guy asked to listen to The Verve.

Because we tried to be nice and not dicks, we put The Verve on the store system and skipped through the tracks for the guy.  He told us, “There’s rock and roll, and then there’s rock, and then there’s roll. This CD supposedly has the first ‘roll’ performed since the 1960s!” That’s what he was listening for.

We went back and forth through a few tracks. Then he burst out, “Did you hear that? Did you hear that! That was a perfect roll! The first roll performed since the 60s!”

To this day I have no idea what he was talking about.

Rock and roll is an amalgam of different influences, including gospel and R&B.  None of those influences have gone extinct since the birth of rock.  Whatever it was that this guy heard, something that hadn’t been performed since the 60s, I still cannot figure out.

Oh! And the “roll” guy? He didn’t buy anything!


Part 18: Klassic Kwotes III

Without further adieu.

1. This one is painful.  We had a wreath on our store door, with the lights and all that.  There was a note taped to the door next to the wreath.  It was instructions for us.  It said:  “Please unplug the reith every night!”  R-E-I-T-H.

2. “Because I’m the Tattoo Man!  I get a discount at Sears, you know.”  Said to us by Snake the Tattoo Man, on why he deserved a discount.

3. “Kurt!  Stop that!”  Yelled by a young mother at her misbehaving son, while selling her ENTIRE Nirvana collection.

4. Q: “What happens when you put a CD in the microwave?”  A: You buy a new microwave.

5. “I was just trying to see how fast I could run…with a shovel…”  Said to me by a kid who walked in the store, stole our snow shovel, and walked out again.  (I got in shit, by the way, for chasing him down and getting the shovel back.)

6. “What you’re hearing right now is a roll.  You’ve heard of rock, right?  You’ve heard of rock and roll, right?  Well, this song is roll.  Can you hear it?  Can you hear that?  This is roll.  Not rock, and not rock and roll.  This is the first roll performed since 1966.”  Said to us by some dude while we were playing the current album by The Verve, Urban Hymns.  I still have no fucking idea what he was on about.  (If you know, please, comment below.)

7. “Do you have ze Queens?”  Said to me by a guy with a thick German accent, asking for Queen.

8. This one’s not a quote, per-se.  But this guy came in once wearing a T-shirt that said, “Does this cock in my mouth make me look gay?”  He was in the store with his mother!

9. “Can I work here for like, four hours, and you just pay me cash when I’m done?”  Said to me by a really really scary looking weirdo dude type guy.

10. “Can you please do me a favour.  I’d like you to call or write to Sony, and let them know that this DVD is not recorded in DTS.  It says it is on the box, but when I put it in the player, the DTS light doesn’t come on.  Can you please inform Sony about this?”  Sure.  Want me to pick up your laundry too?

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