VINYL DIARY- Life Has Surface Noise
Bender & Why Talking Heads Didn’t Matter
Although I’ve had 5 Talking Heads lps for many years now, today was the first time these records were given a careful listen. They were obtained as part of a bigger vinyl collection I’d picked up from a friend, so they went unfiled and unplayed until now. You know, that pile of records that are technically a part of your collection but have never been given a spin. They take up space and look nice, but they’re about as useful as an unread book. Most vinyl junkies know that pile, most of us have one.
80’s New Wave wasn’t really my thing, back then. The production was too sterile, the electric drum pads and over synthesized aesthetic just didn’t float my boat. Plus, I was a metalhead so you weren’t allowed; the New Wave clique wasn’t anything like we were. Different hair, shitty clothes, peach schnapps and orange juice. They were Molly Ringwald and Emilio Estevez while we related way more to Bender and Ally Sheedy. We all watched Breakfast Club.
Dumb, right? Funny part is, I thought I knew what was good and what “sucked” way more back then, than I do now. 30 years later, as I’m listening to Talking Heads with an entirely different perspective, I realize that what I thought “sucked” often meant that I just didn’t get it. Truth is, I didn’t listen to what I thought “sucked” enough to formulate an opinion that was even remotely worth considering. Being metal was a full time thing, we had the jean jackets and band shirts to prove it. As a full patch member, I defended the nothing-but-metal-counts faith. I had 50 metal records, I knew! I certainly had no Talking Heads lps but I knew they sucked. Molly Ringwald listened to Talking Heads. Wrong uniform.
In other words, it took me 30 years to realize that:
1- music cliques are fucking stupid (all of them). If part of your experience with music is to worry about what “hipsters” are listening to, you’re doing it wrong.
2- people who talk about what “sucks” are usually not worth listening to, especially if they’re referring to something you dig. Fuck them. The only opinion that matters is your own.
3-Talking Heads are A-MAZING!!! Listening to the albums, in the song order that the band intended, provides a different context. I hear the weird a lot more and wonder what Frank Zappa thought of them. Plus, Brian Eno.
I can still only relate to Judd Nelson and Ally Sheedy. Maybe Anthony Michael Hall.
“We’re all pretty bizarre. Some of us are just better at hiding it, that’s all.”