Tuesday, August 10, 2010

A Dr. Pepper with your Cheesesteak?

I'm pissed. (What else is new?) For months, my ears started getting clogged, popping on and off but by the end of the day, I could hear again. Visited the ENT. Who said I had xjn54yfdjnjdg and that it would resolve itself in a few weeks. Instead, it's just gotten worse and worse. I have to apologize to poor Chip when I raise the TV volume to Erna Lipman heights. (It's frightening sometimes when you go over there. (Or rather when I used to. Now I just experience my mother's television volume over the phone line.) You could commit a loud, grisly murder at her place, but she, or anyone else, would never notice with her TV blasting her and any victims off into outer space as it always does.) I hate I've become one of them.

True, my hearing has deteriorated mightily from way too loud rock and roll shows. I wonder sometimes about that volume. The music would sound better if it weren't so damned loud. It should. Maybe, just maybe, that volume covered a multitude of sins like sloppy singing, sloppy guitar playing...because...you can be fucked up in concert and nobody would give a damn; because at that decibel level, you've become inaudible. Your audience is so fucked up, they don't give a shit that you failed to rehearse before the tour began. I've seen the Rolling Stones twice. they have supremely underwhelming. But, they're the Stones! Mick, you make sure you're in fine physical shape, but your voice??? Has it now become, it's better to look good than to sound good?

A fine exception was Cream. Even with my ears stuffed with balled up napkins. They were remarkable. Eric is, well, Eric. and shows no signs of slowing down. I always thought Jack Bruce never got his due. The man still has his singular voice...I just love it. And Ginger Baker never looked any better or worse. For me, he is death personified. The guy under that hood carrying the scythe, that's our boy Ginger. He's as frightening to look at as ever, but his was the only live drum solo that glued me to my seat in awe. Usually, that's the signal for the bathroom break. I don't know what he does, but he is remarkable doing it. His drumming was melodic. It was musical. (Aren't we spending our hard earned money to hear music?)

Listening to Ginger reminded me so much of those days long ago when I sat on the floor of our den when Johnny Carson had Buddy Rich on. You couldn't take you eyes and ears away from Buddy. Ginger has that same mesmerizing quality as Buddy Rich. (He must otherwise everyone would be too frightened to play with him. I'm telling you, the man is a fearful wraithe.) What I was hearing was musicianship as opposed to the musical navel-gazing inherent in the rock and roll solo. On any instrument. Maybe it's a good thing the bands I saw kept the volume way too high. Lower that volume: No more mystery. No more sex appeal. Just over the board pretentiousness. Without the evening's playlist blasting into my ears, I think I would have gone home more disappointed than not. And sadly realizing my heroes were just a bunch of guys in stupid outfits with really bad haircuts with really crappy bodies. Too many drugs, too much alcohol? (Best they keep their clothes ON.)

This post began about ears. I have an appointment with the ENT tomorrow. I'm so frightened that this is the start of that insidious little infection that will knock me dead. (It reminds me of the time I did my usual, a cheesesteak from Sophie's truck, digging into the cooler for a Dr. Pepper and getting a tiny cut (I mean minuscule) on a knuckle. A few days later, I ask my housemate. Audge, what are these funky lines running up my arm? I've never seen anything like it before. She blanches and explains to me that I have blood poisoning and if it wasn't getting any worse, I'll be okay. but for the future, please realize that this is an incredibly dangerous thing to have and yes, it can kill you, franny.

You mean that reaching for a Dr. Pepper, the perfect go-with with a cheesesteak, American cheese, sauce and onions, could kill me? C'mon everybody! This really can't be possible. Can it?

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