You're Number 37 Have a Look
True, I was four in 1967 the year the gods dictated Sgt. Peppers into the Fab Four's ears, so maybe I should just shut up, but I've got a bunch more entries to write to get 2500 and anyway, that's not my style. Not being too conscious by the time the Beatles broke up does mean they were already kind of reified by the time they got to me--simply part of the world like carbon, Chevrolet, and Coca Cola. I've even had trouble getting into classic 1960s Dylan, just because the songs seem so much of their time and place I wasn't of, and so many people want to claim them, I feel a bit shut out. Which might just be a way to say that I like walking the fine line of discovery and snobbery, which do sort of rhyme, don't they.
Turn to 1967, though, and all I can think is it's the same year that The Velvet Underground with Nico was released and it exposes Sgt. Pepper's as the juvenile play-acting it is (day-glo military, represent!). Think of "Heroin"--scary and thrilling all at once, honest about the danger and attraction of drugs. Now think about the cutesy, coy "Little Help from My Friends," or "Lucy in the Sky with Diamonds," which now reads like Lisa Simpson's visions after drinking the bad water at Duff Gardens. That comparison alone might be game set match, Velvets. The rest is all noise and beauty, life, goddam messy life. Nico's voice too icy to be pretty on "I'll Be Your Mirror," Cale's viola sawing its way through sadism on "Venus in Furs," Cale's bass running away from the rest of the song in "Waiting for My Man," and then "All Tomorrow's Parties," about which Lester Bangs, in the essay in which he admits, "I would suck Lou Reed's cock, because I would also kiss the feet of them that drafted the Magna Carta," wrote: "It's the best music ever made, the instrumental intro to 'All Tomorrow's Parties' is like watching dawn break over a bank of buildings through the windows of these elegantly hermetic cages, which feels too well spoken, which I suspect is the other knife that cuts through your guts, the continents that divide literature and music and don't care about either."
But, to quote Dramarama, "The records never sold and that was bad." When does sold become sold out is the question, and I'm pretty sure my answer isn't the one most people have. But then again, I'm probably just privileging my own viewpoint fed by my own life--I give most my words away for free (even many of the ones I get "paid" for, practically). Would I write a "Yesterday" if I could? That's the million dollar question, isn't it.
(23 of 31 in the drive to 2500)