BourbonAndVinyl: A Music Theory, One of Many


 Here at BourbonAndVinyl we have many theories about music. Unfortunately the excessive thinking we do about music could be classified as “obsessive compulsive.” I truly need to develop some hobbies that don’t involve pouring murky brown liquid into a tumbler and hitting “play” on the stereo. Anyway, I have always believed that if you’re going to marry someone, or live with them, or even date them, it’s very important that they have good musical taste or at least similar musical taste. Looks and physique fade (well, not for the Rock Chick, but mine have). What you choose to put on the stereo lasts a life time. Nobody wants to spend their lives wrestling over the stereo remote. I once stopped seeing someone who admitted to me they liked Barry Manilow.

I was fortunate, later in life, to meet the Rock Chick. And while her musical taste was exceptional, our musical tastes as a couple are more of a Venn Diagram – two interlocking circles, with some overlap but a lot of unmatched space on each side. Of course, in any relationship this is to be expected, no two people’s musical tastes match exactly. That’s why compromise is so important in a relationship of any kind. While the Rock Chick loves AC/DC, Motley Crue, Green Day and the Cult among many other bands, I was horrified early on to find out she hates Van Morrison, the Eagles and wasn’t terribly crazy about Springsteen. She’s much more into music that is current and I’m more likely to find that strange B-side from a side project of a guy in a band that was popular in the early 70s, before the guy o.d.’d. We all like what we like or as I’m fond of saying, “the heart wants, what the heart wants.”

In the early days of our courtship I remember trying to turn the Rock Chick onto some of the deeper cuts in my vast collection of music. Most of this “musical education” was met by the Rock Chick with a frown and crinkled nose, as if I was holding a piece of limburger cheese under her nose. Oh, well. I used to hold my hand up, fingers closed in a ball and holding a coin in my other hand feign trying to push the coin into my closed fist while exclaiming in a shrill voice, “nothing gets into a closed mind.” Oddly this behavior never got me laid. I finally gave up.

Eventually, through a lot of tense and drawn-out negotiations I finally got the Rock Chick to agree to the BourbonAndVinyl Basic Theory of music. It goes something like this:

Theorem A. Every band whose ever had a recording contract has at least one good song. On the low end you have the 1-hit wonders, Sniff and the Tears’ “Drivers Seat” for example, or Billy Thorpe’s “Children of the Sun.” On the other extreme you have the Beatles, who many (not the Rock Chick) would agree have mostly all great songs, with the only exception I can think of being “Revolution No 9.” I’m just not avant guard enough for that “tune.” Most bands people like have many great songs, not just one, but even the haters of a certain band have to agree, there’s always that one likable song. I’m not suggesting here that each band only has 1 good song, I’m merely arguing that even the Rock Chick has to agree that despite her hatred of Van Morrison that “Have I Told You Lately” is a great song, if you get my meaning. I have certainly used this trick repeatedly over the years to get the Rock Chick to listen to bands she normally wouldn’t… “Honey, this might be the song you’d like by Little Feat…” while the album plays on.

Corollary 1 To the BourbonAndVinyl Theorem A: Two people can disagree on what that “one good song” is. For example, in my opinion the only good J. Geils’ Band song is “Musta Got Lost.” That is just a great song full of longing and regret yet oddly joyful. I can’t stand most of their other stuff. My wife likes “Centerfold” which, lets face it, every chick in her generation digs. I remember it being played over the loudspeakers at lunch in my high school and the chicks would all go nuts. All the girls would start dancing in their seats when the lunchroom DJ put that on and the room would take on a musky air… ah, the power of music on girls, but I digress, as usual.

Corollary 2 To the BourbonAndVinyl Theorem A:  The one exception, i.e., the one band who doesn’t even have one good song is the fucking Moody Blues. No one will ever convince me that the Moody Blues ever did anything worth listening to. “Knights In White Satin” makes me want to commit harikari.

Currently, I’m using the BourbonAndVinyl Theorem A of Music to convince my wife to listen to the Doors in an attempt to help her find her “one good Doors song”. Frankly, I love the Doors, but alas they aren’t on my wife’s Venn Diagram. While it has helped me slip more of my music onto the stereo, it’s a tough road with the Rock Chick. Hopefully using the B&V Theorem A will help you too, faithful readers, convince someone to listen to music they might not otherwise listen to. It’s worth a shot.

Remember, compromise is key in any relationship folks. Cheers!


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