Wednesday, July 1, 2009

The Greatest!

It's [a] great country isn't it? No, I mean country music.

My 14 year old daughter has recently become very fond of "country music". I explained to her that she should listen to BOTH kinds of music... country AND western ;^) Anyway, the stuff they call country music today is not country... it's formula. They all sound the same... they all look the same... and I know it's always been like that, but true country music is about some guy with an out of tune guitar, singing about how he's lost the girl of his dreams, with lots of twang and angst in his voice.

Lindsay called me from Providence, Rhode Island last night where she is visiting Rhode Island School of Design (we are scouting art colleges... her school told us we should start sophomore year... it was junior year at the earliest when I was in high school). I was in the car driving to a jazz concert when she called. When the call was over I heard the Rolling Stones' "Far Away Eyes" on the radio. I have always told her that this is the Greatest Country Song ever recorded, with all due respects to the greats of the past, including Johnny Cash.

My wife grew up in an Italian/Jewish family in Brooklyn/Staten Island. My in laws used to affectionately call me a "hick" and said that I grew up in Mayberry (actually Pompton Lakes, NJ). They asked what we used to listen to as kids. They used to listen to Perry Como. I told them we listened to Johnny Cash. We also used to watch the bullfights on UHF/VHF from Mexico City every Sunday night... video snow and all. They said that I had no class. I beg to differ. :^)

I firmly believe that rock n roll died in 1978. This album [Some Girls] was the last great rock n roll ALBUM ever made. Nothing since can be considered a great ALBUM. I even have the original LP, with the cover before they recalled it because they didn't get permission to use some celebrity portraits.

So, what do YOU think is the GREATEST? Pick a topic... I don't care [my picks]...

Greatest Album [tough one... Chicago VII, Sgt. Pepper, Revolver, The Doors, LA Woman, Dark Side of the Moon, Wish You Were Here, Aqualung, Songs from the Wood, Brain Salad Surgery, Fragile, Can't Buy a Thrill, My Favorite Things, Kind of Blue, Rodeo...]
Greatest Song [tie, Hoedown, Aaron Copeland (incl. Emerson, Lake & Palmer's version); LA Woman, The Doors... with all due respects to my old friend Don Karten who said that Layla was God's favorite song]
Greatest Photograph [Pepper #30, Edward Weston]
Greatest Photographer [Edward Weston]
Greatest Artist [Vincent van Gogh]
Greatest Band [The Beatles]
Greatest anything... I'd like to hear from you.


Paul Cocklin said...

hmm, I'd have to disagree with greatest artist- mine would be Rembrandt. His use of direction and intensity of light was second to none imo.

Here's one for you, Greatest writer. My choice would probably be Tolkein, not so much for the effort he put into creating an entire world, but for his ability to make his readers get lost in that world.

rcoda said...

Hi Paul:

Rembrandt is cool. I just love van Gogh. I have seen "The Starry Night" several times at MOMA in NYC and I could just sit there for hours looking at it... imagining what Vincent saw when he was painting it.

As far as writers and reading... not one of my favorite things. I am almost a completely visual person. Never got into reading and have no time for it at this stage of my life.

Paul Cocklin said...

lol. I just realized, ironically I have a 30x40 oil painting of 'Starry Night' over my living room sofa. Even more ironically, I bought it last November from a second hand store in Tempe, while I was down there closing a JC Penney furniture outlet. The back of the canvas has an artist's statement, too. It's a fairly nice rendition, though I do think that VanGogh's was nicer. :-)

Anonymous said...

Greatest Band - I probably would have said the usual Beatles or Rolling Stones except that I pulled out a two CD set of the Eagles Live on a photography trip last week and stuck it in the car CD player. I had forgotten how consistently good they were. Every song played in the concerts was a gem. They didn't have the quantity of the Stones (who does?)or the variety of the Beatles but they made up for both in near-perfection quality.