Sunday. April 17, 2005. Sitting in Stoker’s green Mazda 626 (a very popular car, you might have seen several of the same model on a freeway near you). Listening to Cake. “Rock n’Roll Lifestyle” begins. Stoker asks me if I’ve heard this song before. Not knowing what the song is (but not because I don’t necessarily not know the song, it’s just too quiet and a diesel engine is idling nearby), I say no. Then I say, “Well, what’s it called?”
“Rock n’Roll Lifestyle,” he says.
“Oh, yes, actually I have heard this song. I like it,” I reply.
“Me too. It’s cool.” Listen.
“Well, your CD collection looks shiny and costly.
How much did you pay for your bad Moto Guzzi?*
And how much did you spend on your black leather jacket?
Is it you or your parents in this income tax bracket?”
I laugh. It’s funny. The shiny cd collection is ironic. It’s just full of irony and satire because you know, here I am, listening to a cd and it’s their cd and Stoker had to buy it and you know, he was in his parents income tax bracket when he bought it. Hilarious. Although, I don’t wear leather jackets these days. I feel pretty good about having left that trend in high school, after mine was stolen right out of my locker. Never felt any pressure to replace it.
“Now tickets to concerts and drinking at clubs,
Sometimes for music that you haven't even heard of.”
Ha, ha, ha. This is really funny. And satirical. I mean, how many times have I called Bryan what’s-his-name and asked him to get me into a show for free so I can write a concert review of the show, and I’ve only just heard of the band. Just so I can go to the show. Yeah, I mean, then I’ll listen to their music and ‘get into them’ right before the show so I look like a huge fan. Funny.
“And how much did you pay for your rock'n'roll t-shirt
That proves you were there, That you heard of them first?”
Heh, heh. Starting to feel uncomfortable about this criticism that’s so obviously directed at me (or am I simply paranoid?). I mean, just because I buy the t-shirt at the show because I was there and I want to show off that I was there and I want everyone to know I heard of the band before everyone else. . . I mean, that’s not annoying. Is it? Or necessarily bad. Is it? I mean, come on, at least I don’t order band shirts off their web sites. Right? Right?
“How much did you pay for the chunk of his guitar,
The one he ruthlessly smashed at the end of the show?
And how much will he pay for a brand new guitar,
One which he'll ruthlessly smash at the end of another show?”
Oh good. It’s not about me. Because I have never bought a chunk of anyone’s guitar (I think that’s a Catholic thing, like collecting relics, you know. Not to insult the Catholic’s, I think they’re great). Nor do I endorse ruthlessly smashing guitars at shows. I think that’s disgusting. A guitar is a beautiful instrument.
“And how long will the workers keep building him new ones?
As long as their soda cans are red, white, and blue ones.
And how long will the workers keep building him new ones?
As long as their soda cans are red, white, and blue ones.”
That’s right, I agree. How long will the workers keep it up? I mean, really, how long? And luckily, my soda cans are only red and white because I drink Coke, the choice of a new generation (wait no, that's Pepsi, right?). I mean, Coke is always refreshing. That’s why I drink it. And while image is nothing, Sprite is everything. That’s the un-cola, the one I drink when I’m not feeling up to the heaviness of Coke. You know what I mean? I mean, patriotism is one thing, and favoritism is another, and I favor Coke.
"Aging black leather and hospital bills,
Tattoo removal and dozens of pills.
Your liver pays dearly now for youthful magic moments,
But rock on completely with some brand new components.”
Feeling really, really good about this song because I realize now it has absolutely nothing to do with me. I have no tattoos and we’ve already established that I’m anti-leather clothes (except for shoes and belts, in general). Plus, as far as I know, my liver is in tip-top shape – and I have no idea, really, what he’s referencing when he says, “youthful magic moments.” What’s he talking about? Mushrooms? LSD? Pure drunken revelry? Raving? I have no idea. Whatever it is, I’m not into it. New components don’t sound like a bad idea, though. A little nip, a little tuck, some Botox. I might be down with that when I start to look like aging leather.
“How do you afford your rock'n'roll lifestyle?
How do you afford your rock'n'roll lifestyle?
How do you afford your rock'n'roll lifestyle?”
I don't know, I don't know, I don't know. It's not about me. Oooh, yeah, rock’n’roll lifestyle. Rock’n’roll lifestyle. Yeah.
“Excess ain't rebellion.
You're drinking what they're selling.
Your self-destruction doesn't hurt them.
Your chaos won't convert them.
They're so happy to rebuild it.
You'll never really kill it.”
Interesting. Very good song. Very good. Chaos won’t convert them. So true, so true. If only the people who are really like this song would listen. You know? I mean, it would really, really make a difference. It would. If only.
p.s. they’re finally washing my windows. Cleaning that oily film off and now it's like I don't even have a window. Finally. But sadly, it’s about to rain. Ironic. Ironic Monday, you might say. Just another.
*What is a Moto Guzzi? An expensive stereo? A watch, like a Rolex, you say. No, it’s a motorcycle.