Wednesday, March 04, 2009

Rockstar Struck

I just interviewed Jason Lytle from the rock band Grandaddy over email, and I was nervous. Again, over email, and I was nervous.

I have always been in awe of rock stars, and even before I knew I liked rock music, I still wanted to know everything about the rock. When I was seven, in my spare time, which was most of my time, I wanted to spend it with G.I. Joe, but an unavoidable seed was planted by guys with guitars, not little plastic guns. I wasn't even sure I liked the Rolling Stones yet, but I intently listened to my dad tell about the time they hired the Hell's Angels biker gang for security and someone got stabbed. Cool! I didn't necessarily know that I wanted MTV or cable (I was the last on my block to get both), but whenever I was at a friend's place, that's all I wanted to watch. I'd watch Sting knock over that tall maze of candles in the "Wrapped Around Your Finger," video and I was transfixed.

In high school and especially college, I started to become a student of rock. Everything I heard about it went into my brain where it would stay forever, pushing out the ever shrinking space for more pertinent information. I studied liner notes to learn every member of Anthrax, just in case it would ever win me any money on a game show. So far it's only made me kick ass at the name game when I'm drinking, but I'm confident knowing the correct spelling of Joey Belladona will pay off some day, some way.

I have little daydreams where I meet rock stars. You would think, since they are fantasies, after all, that in these day dreams I'd end up doing mounds of cocaine, chasing groupies, and running away from the cops with these rockers until dawn. Actually, I just walk up to, let's say Dave Gilmour from Pink Floyd, and I say, "Your music has been so very important to me, and I thank you." That's it. Even in my fantasies, I can't allow myself to be anything but humble, brief, polite, and unobtrusive in the presence of my rock heroes.

This is the way I was in my interview with Jason. I was humble and in awe, despite the fact that it was flipping email. I eagerly contacted all my friends with discerning taste in music to let them know that it was going to happen and that I was getting an early leak of the album from his publicist. I was stoked!

I'm not getting paid for any of this, but it's still very exciting for me. In my rock journalist fantasies I typically allow myself to get paid, and usually I have a high rise condominium with a minimalist modern vibe and lots of black leather, but for now I'm happy doing it just for the excitement of the whole thing from my shitty apartment with four too many roommates.


Kritkrat said...

I walked past Kurt Cobain at a concert in Milwaukee when I was in 8th grade. I was too shocked to say anything and all he did was say, "Hey."

When I tell people that story in real life, I usually beef it up and say that I bummed a cigarette from him... Why does anyone believe anything I say?

Candy's daily Dandy said...

The closest I have come to a rock star was a Madonna concert, 1st row, back in her "Like a Virgin Days". I was starstruck.

I think if you give up your dreams you die. Rock on Dr! Rock on!

And my word veri is "dredness". You think that's a sign for you?

Zen Wizard said...

Celebrities have a certain aura and energy about them, whether it is real or we project it onto them. You get a buzz from meeting celebrities, and no one can deny it. Even something like waiting tables and waiting on them is a rush--there is no denying this.

Strangely, they tip about the same amount as "normal" people.

You would think it would be more since they would be paranoid about you talking about their tip. Fat chance!

If you analyze it, why are we buzzed by celebrities? With actors, a large part of their job is walking up to a piece of tape on the floor and saying something that someone else wrote. What is really so great about that? I am not denying that I also fall under their spell--I am just saying, "Why?"

101 Things . . . said...
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Dr. Kenneth Noisewater said...

Donk: You don't have to embelish that story at all to impress me. The fact that he said, "Hey" is just as awesome as anything else he could have said. Told you I'm easily enthralled by rockstar stories.

Candy: Thanks. Dredness could be bad. A black cat literally crossed my path today, too. I'm in my car, I see him coming up the alley, and he's making a b-line to cross my God damn path! He disappeared under the cars, I hurried to gather my stuff to get out before he could . . . He crossed my God damn path.

Zen: Actors didn't do it for me until I tried to act and realized how hard it is. Now I'm enamered by them, too. I'm glad I don't live in L.A., or maybe I need to as a means to desensitize myself.

JerseySjov said...

i don't get too caught up with actors/musicians, but i DO often find myself enamored with characters in shows/movies.
example: my current perfect man is dr wilson from house, but i couldn't tell you that actor's name.

i think that a little hero worship never hurt anybody. we all have people that we think are cool, so you have your rockstars.

paperback reader said...

I should invent a publication just to be able to interview cool rock stars.

Mr. Shife said...

The dream has to start somewhere. As long as you are enjoying yourself then enjoy the ride.

Anonymous said...

I fucking love Grandaddy. I heard "The Sophtware Slump" a few years back and was instantly mesmerised by their material.

Songs like "The Crystal Lake" and "Jed The Humanoid" are fresh, catchy and far more creative than their mainstream contemporaries.

It's a shame they split up but then, that shit does happen. Still, I'm looking forward to hearing Lytle's solo album when it gets released in May.

TOPolk said...

It's all about doing something for the love of it. And from the way this post came across, you've got a thing for rock music. Keep doin' your thing man...

And if you ever want to educate someone about Led Zeppelin, feel free to shoot a few suggestions my way.

101 Things . . . said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Dr. Kenneth Noisewater said...

Jov: There's something about the guy on House that I like. I think it's that he's old but in good shape, and maybe a little too old to be wearing tight-fitting rockerish shirts. Not sure why I like that . . .

Pistols: You should do something like that cause you're good. Everyone, go read this guy's page. He's like me if I were funnier, smarter, and posted more.

Shife: You're always supportive! Me and Shife have been down since his profile pic was him in a shirt that said "hang out with your wang out."

Gavin: Grandaddy kicks ass. If you don't have the Fambly Cat album, pick that up. It didn't do well cause they broke up during it, but it's really incredible. Thanks for coming by! Found your page on the humor blogs link. I hadn't gone on there in over a year.

Polk: If you're serious about the Zeppelin thing, I would say start with Physical Graffiti. It has the most songs not overplayed by the radio, and they're all really great (two discs full). I welcome all rock music projects, T.!