2 January 2016
This Christmas' Rock 'n' Roll
Over four decades ago I got my first records for Christmas - Pink Floyd's "Wish You Were Here" (a record I still very much enjoy listening too, the old hippy motherfuckers best effort for me) and Ritchie Blackmore's Rainbow which I still enjoy when I take a trip in my trusty old Heavy Metal Time Machine. My mom got me those. Love you mom!
The records still remind of the Christmas I was given them. My long hair. My Hockey family still living under the same roof with the big liquor cabinet. My rock 'n' roll high school days just getting fired up.
This year the gift of music came from both my sister Kitty and Sonja. Kitty drew my name in my family's annual name draw. We started drawing names when the pile of crap under the tree generated by everybody getting somebody something had become absurdly large. Christmas is not about presents and telling everybody how fucking great your boss is because he kicked back some of the money you earned for him in the past year.
Christmas is about making sure your local liquor store has a good year.
Kitty got me the Drive By Truckers' new five album live set recorded at San Francisco's Fillmore Ballroom, which just might be the best record released by anybody on the planet trying to be saved by Canada yet again; a double album recorded live by Janis Joplin and Big Brother and the Holding Company in 1968, a monument to the drop dead beautiful racket people could make before computers filled God's or Reason's shoes in our everyday lives; and a ten inch record from the Dictator's, one of my favourite rock 'n' roll bands ever. It is a re-mastering of a few songs and a few out takes from their hilariously heavy as anybody first record.
Sonja got me a few records I would have never got myself. A new copy of Lou Reed's much loved "Transformer," I have only ever had the used and already well played copy I bought over four decades ago from an electronics fix it shop that sold a few records on the side; the Clash's "London Calling" which sounds a little bit better than my heavily played original copy which is now an improbable 37 years old; and Johnny Cash's first record he made with Rick Rubin near the end of his hard lived, much appreciated life.
You know what all that music has done for me this Christmas? It has all made me feel good. Music is good for your life whether you play it or listen to it. Music is one of the few things that separate us humans from other life forms, like all the assholes lined up to see the latest Star Wars shit.
Turn it up, motherfuckers.