First and foremost, I must apologize to those few readers out there who might have seen my last attempt to put an iPod playlist together for Friday’s impending Inauguration. While I’ve been on my annual Bourbon fast, it hasn’t precluded me from drinking wine. And as occasionally happens when I’ve pulled the cork, I sat down at the keyboard. The resulting post was, shall we say to be generous, not “light.” Wine… what are you going to do, all that sugar? I’m not an overtly political person. As I’ve said many times before, I see myself as a centrist, hedonistic moderate with a taste for fine bourbon and loud rock music. To the right I look like a “dirt-munching, tree hugging, druid.” To the left I look like the landed gentry although that could be because of my penchant for powdered wigs. The struggle is real, folks.
Anyway, BourbonAndVinyl, as I stated in my first post, my “Mission Statement,” is about the glorious pleasures of sipping fine, dark murky fluids and listening to loud rock and roll music. B&V is not the forum for a political manifesto and alas, my first attempt at an Inauguration Day playlist looked like it was torn from the pages of the Unabomber. Well, at least it did to some folks. While I stand behind every word, B&V is not the forum for such thoughts…
These are tense and dark times. The peaceful transition of power is set to take place on Friday, yet the tension is thicker than anything I’ve seen in my short life. It sure doesn’t feel like a “peaceful transition” to me. Half the nation appears ready to burst out into protest marches, boycotts and upheaval, while the other half of the nation appear ready to celebrate by firing guns in the air, yell something politically incorrect and, well I don’t know, burn some books (how does the Right celebrate?) Political discourse has become well, coarse. We apparently have elected a “Tweeter-In-Chief,” which isn’t helping reduce the tension. I’m hearing the name Putin a lot more than I ever wanted to. Golden Showers have even been drug through the muck (don’t knock anybody’s fetishes). Even my good friends in the GOP appear tense. I had more than one Republican friend tell me he didn’t vote for Trump. I had one friend tell me he wrote in Mookie Blaylock… clearly a Pearl Jam fan… It appears nobody really got what they wanted this time around.
All that aside, the more I read about the Inauguration itself, the more I find myself thinking, “God, what shitty music they’re going to have.” 3 Doors Down? Lee Greenwood? I didn’t even know Lee Greenwood was still alive. Something called Jackie Evancho is performing? Is that a group like Jethro Tull or a person? I have no idea. I thought at least Kid Rock or Nugent would show up to lively up things. Maybe they are performing, but I haven’t heard about it. Toby Keith is set to play. Toby Keith? I have to keep reminding myself this is 2017 and not 1997. I would have assumed Toby Keith would have been trampled by mutinous cattle by now. Shit, even the despicable Beach Boys are on the fence, unable to decide to show up or not. I think they hit an all new low when a Springsteen cover band even dropped out, the B Street Band. Wow.
Well, as usual in these situations, I find myself needing rock and roll music more than ever. And the list of “artists” above isn’t doing much for me. I think we can all agree on that. Music has a way of lifting me up, getting me through the tough times or accentuating the good times. Whoever you are, you could probably use some rock music on Friday. So if you’re on the Right or Left, happy or mad about the election, do what I do. Head down to the tavern, talk a little treason and drop some money in the Juke Box. Remember folks, we’re all Americans here. And, as Bill Murray famously said in “Stripes,” being American means that our ancestors were all kicked out of every other decent country.
Here’s a little playlist to play over the muted television during the Inauguration ceremony for those of us who are concerned, no matter what your political persuasion. Pour something strong.
- Barry McGuire, “The Eve Of Destruction” – It seems to fit the mood of the country.
- The Rollins Band, “Liar” – Give me one honest politician…
- The Beatles, “Back In the USSR” – Oh, come on, this one is funny, unless it’s true…
- Green Day, “American Idiot” – Well, can you argue?
- David Bowie, “I’m Afraid of Americans” – It appears half of you are afraid of the other half and vice versa…
- Warren Zevon, “Lawyers, Guns and Money” – “Send lawyers, guns and money, the shit has hit the fan.”
- The Clash, “Know Your Rights” – “A public service announcement with guitars!”
- Bob Marley & The Wailers, “Burnin’ And Lootin'” – Let’s have none of this on Friday…
- Bruce Springsteen, “Long Walk Home” – This track also seems to fit everybody’s mood these days.
- The Animals, “We Gotta Get Out Of This Place” – for all the folks who say they’re headed to Canada. My choice would have been the south of Spain.
- Talking Heads, “Life During Wartime” – A song about insurgents in a post apocalyptic dictatorship that you can dance to…”this ain’t no party, this ain’t no disco.”
- Elvis Costello, “What’s So Funny (About Peace, Love and Understanding)” – Great question…
- Black Sabbath, “Paranoid” – Just because you’re feeling paranoid these days, it doesn’t mean someone isn’t after you.
- Beck, “Nausea” – Aren’t we all a little nauseous these days?
- Bob Dylan, “Positively 4th Street” – “…then you’ll know what a drag it is to see you…” Seems to be a lot of “Facebook friendships” ending lately.
- Bob Marley, “So Much Trouble In the World” – Reggae speaks the truth, baby.
- Green Day, “Know Your Enemy” – Let’s keep it straight who is on who’s team.
- The Eagles, “Frail Grasp Of The Big Picture” – I can see each side saying this about the other… ah, the divide.
- Bruce Springsteen (featuring Tom Morello), “The Ghost of Tom Joad” – “The highway is alive tonight, everybody knows where it’s headed.”
- U2, “Bullet The Blue Sky (Live)” – “Into the arms…. of America”
- Credence Clearwater Revival, “Who’ll Stop the Rain” – Take care of each other out there…
- David Bowie, “This Is Not America” – Nothing I’ve seen in the last year represents the country I grew up in.
- Jackson Browne, “Looking East” – Jackson stands on the West coast, looking East and isn’t thrilled with what he sees. Seems to fit the mood.
- Judas Priest, “Tyrant” – Ominous metal.
- The White Stripes, “Icky Thump” – The funkiest song ever written about immigration.
- Iron Maiden, “Run To The Hills” – Everyone seems poised for something bad to go down… best be ready to move.
- Bob Marley, “Small Axe” – More wisdom from the prophet Marley, “Oh evil men, playing smart and not being clever.”
- Bad Company, “Evil Wind” – An evil wind of division has blown across my country and I feel it’s cruel chill in my bones.
- The Faces, “Wicked Messenger” – The Faces putting an ominous spin on a Dylan song. Again, just fits the mood.
- Grace Potter, “Ah, Mary” – She’ll be the end of me and maybe everyone, oh, Mary, Mary, Mary, America.”
Well, I never said it was going to be a cheerful playlist. If you have any suggestions for additional songs, please feel free to add in the comments. Since I’m on my annual Bourbon fast, I hope someone pours a glass of Buffalo Trace on my behalf.