Amoeblog


The Bands That Ruin Your Lives

Posted by Gomez Comes Alive!, October 21, 2013 12:10am | Post a Comment
I finally got my 18-year niece who is living with me to clean up her room.

As she is doing it, she is listening to music through Spotify, which most people her age do rather than download or buy physical product. She is playing The Stooges “I Wanna Be Your Dog” I can hear it through her door from the adjacent kitchen as I wash dishes. She repeats the song. When it was over, she repeats it again, then again. I finally knock on her door and say, “You know, there are plenty of great Stooges songs besides that one!” She opens the door, looks at me slightly embarrassed but then defends herself. “I’m listening to the Iggy Pop anthology and this is the only song I like. The rest of it is too poppy, like The Ramones”

I slightly gasp. Not that she couldn’t be any more wrong about The Stooges but she based her opinion from Iggy Pop's Anthology? It’s like basing a writer's’ entire work on  CliffsNotes. I told her to listen to the entire Funhouse album from beginning to end. I remember that album scaring me. It was so raw, so bluesy, so primal,  that I knew by listening to it that my life would never be the same. I was right. It was like a hex or voodoo, maleficio, a Fukú, something, was put on me once the first notes of that album played on a cassette player in my friend’s car. I remember listening to Iggy's guttural screams, Ron Asheton's complete mutilation of his guitar, the unrelenting trance that was the rhythm section and thinking, "Wow" Not to mention the free jazz sax on some songs, altogether it was a mind-blowing experience for my young head.

I also felt that way listening to Black Sabbath for the first time, at my friend Paulo's house back in the fifth grade. It’s almost like I could see the ghosts coming out of the speakers of his parent’s Curtis Mathes combo turntable, AM/FM console once he put the needle on the Paranoid  album. i felt cursed from that point on. Years later I had a band and on our first album we dedicated the album to Black Sabbath for “ruining our lives”  it was the bond that we had together. Back then you had a stigma if you loved Black Sabbath. You were a dirthead, lower class, a loser, a real zero, Now post-Meet The Osbournes? Not so much.

After those two bands ruined my life, it was a landslide of loving all the music that most people hated. That was my curse. Pick any music, any style and I always would gravitate to the ones that made most people cringe. Mississippi Delta Blues or Chicago Blues? Mississippi. Be-Bop or Free Jazz? Do you need to ask?  Even within other cursed souls, I differ. You want to talk about Black Flag fans being scared for life? Try telling Black Flag fan that hate anything past the Damaged album how much you like My War, Slip It In, Loose Nut or Who’s Got The 10 1/2?  Instant ostracization!

Hip-Hop is different. I seem to always love some form of it, from its inception to now. The curse is lenient on Hip-Hop i guess. But  Bleach over Nevermind, always. Couldn’t name a Pixies song to save my life but I could tell you about The Swans Filth album. I feel like I'm one of the few Mexican-Americans that dislike both Morrissey and Chente! If their rabid fan base could deport me to another universe for such blasphemy, they would. It.could just be that I just have bad taste but like most superstitious people, I'd like to blame it on the curse of listening  to The Stooges and Black Sabbath at an impressionable age.

I fear for my niece. She’s such a nice kid. A little naive but then again, who wasn’t at eighteen? From the kitchen I can hear the first few bars of “Down On The Street” I wonder in this day in age if it would have the same effect? A few seconds after Iggy’s first growl, she stops the song. Then I hear the familiar guitar riff, "dah dah dahdahdahdah dah", followed by the one note piano line. Yes, it’s “I Wanna Be Your Dog” again.

I'm a bit downhearted that she chose not to take that journey. She absolutely my sister's child, a little bit on the wild side but always pop. Secretly though,  I’m happy she wasn’t cursed.



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Black Sabbath (24), Stooges (6), Hex (1), Curses (1), Black Flag (28)