Kids Flash Guitars Just Like Switchblades
The hungry and the hunted explode into rock n’ roll bands. And it just gets everywhere.
It’s very easy to take rock music far too seriously. Especially when you’ve spent as much time writing about it as I have. Or so much time listening to it. Or so much money on it, now that I think of it. I mean, who’d spend that much time listening to that much Pearl Jam unless they were saying something vitally important, man? (Of course, sometimes Pearl Jam did have something interesting to say, but buried it beneath Vedder’s ceaseless mumbling about oceans and waves. Or: “Uh, what if we put the ten most powerful men in the world in a room, and didn’t, uh, let them out until they solved everything?” BOUNDLESS WISDOM.)
But no: rock n’ roll is designed to be silly. And this week has proved it.
FIRST PIECE OF EVIDENCE:
The best part about seeing Cheap Trick live is, obv, trying not to become exhausted just watching Rick Nielsen spring agelessly across the stage, throwing out plecs by the dozens – including one memorable moment where he tossed one into the air, caught it in his mouth like a Skittle, then spat it into the audience, all without missing a note. But the second best part is comparing the band members to the other famous people they look like. It’s quite funny to note precisely how much Vince Neil owes to Robin Zander (who is still about 400% superior to Neil, despite being older by roughly the same percentage (and probably healthier to the same degree)). But it’s even funnier to point out that bassist Tom Petersson looks EXACTLY like a cross between Diane Keaton and Sebastian Cobb from the Marge vs The Monorail ep of the Simpsons wearing David Bowie’s wardrobe.
And, y’know. Five-headed guitars.
SECOND PIECE OF EVIDENCE:
Dave Browne has this week become a hero to one… two… as many as two people! Admittedly, endeavouring to win a place in the Guinness Book of Records by playing guitar for 100 hours straight might seem about as worthwhile as breaking the world record for “Longest Awkward Silence in a Workplace When Everyone Except You and Your Supervisor Are Somehow on Break at the Same Time”, or “Most Embarrassing Use of Starship’s “Nothing’s Gonna Stop Us Now” to Break an Awkward Workplace Silence”, or “Quickest Exit From a Workplace Following a Hastily Tendered Letter of Notice”. But no: Dave Browne’s feat was magnificent – all it took was watching him play Thin Lizzy’s “Dancing in the Moonlight” around 58 hours into his quest to convince me of that.
It’s an extraordinary achievement to stay awake for 100 hours in a crowded pub without murdering anyone, never mind playing guitar the whole time. So perhaps the most impressive part of the whole stupid stunt was that, when he was given the news that someone had forgotten to carry the one, and instead of finishing at 9pm on Thursday night, he’d have to play through to 10am on Friday morning, he didn’t immediately burst into tears, rend his garments, and start swinging his guitar around by the neck like a primitive noisy cudgel, before hanging himself in the toilets with his guitar strap. Instead, he laughed, and did it. (Played till 10am, not the murdery bits.) And I watched, for about five hours on Tuesday, and then for about three minutes through a window on Wednesday, which means I get to take partial credit.
Browne also holds the distinction of being the second World Record holder in whose reflected glory I get to bask lazily, the first being Charlie Sheen, whom I helped on his way to accruing a million twitter followers in a disturbingly short time, before quickly unfollowing him once his sad descent into utter insanity ceased to be of amusement to my pretty brain.