Jul 292021

Last night, I dreamed that E. Pluribus Gergeley and I went to a record show together. For some reason, he drove, so I was relying on his wheels to get home after the event. At one point, EPG asked me whether I liked the song “I’m Looking Through You” by the Beatles. I replied, more to get his goat than anything else, that I considered it “a seven out of 10.” Upon hearing this, EPG flew into a rage and split, stranding me at the dream record show. Things got weirder when he sent a flunky over with a smoked ham, asking if I’d trade my copy of “Rubber Soul” for it. I refused, which angered him all the more, and the next thing I heard, EPG was slagging my name all over the show, telling all and sundry that I couldn’t be trusted because I didn’t even think the Beatles were as good as smoked ham. Then I woke up.

Anyway, my question is this: have you ever had a falling out with a friend, significant other, or person you otherwise respected because you learned they had an utterly indefensible position on a band, album, song, genre, what have you?

I look forward to your responses.. And EPG, I hope we’re still tight. I actually love that song — and I probably would trade you a decent copy of Rubber Soul for a high-quality smoked ham. Though country ham would be preferable.



  34 Responses to “Falling Out”

  1. Do you mean aside from when Garlic Salt and EPG were touting the virtues of Meatloaf a few weeks back? How bad does the falling out have to be?

  2. hrrundivbakshi

    Speaking for myself in real life, there have been many occasions when my suspicions about romantic incompatibility were confirmed by a partner’s shitty taste in the arts — and music in particular. A small number of you know that I was married once, before my very happy betrothal to the wonderful Ms. Bakshi. This first wife, though in possession of some mind-bending attributes that kept me hangin’ on much longer than I should’ve, liked a number of artists that were serious red flags. One in particular was a crappy 90s band called “Guster,” about whom I remember nothing except a deep, abiding hatred — and the Verve Pipe, which — okay, look, I’m sorry for being petty, but just look at this guy’s hair, willya? https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1umEXpGHc0E In retrospect, I should’ve paid attention to the warning signals these two artists were emitting.

  3. BigSteve

    Not so much a falling out as hvb’s “suspicions about romantic incompatibility.” A guy I was interested in a ways back was ten years younger than me (my first mistake). When I got around to asking him who his favorite band was, he said “Journey.” Ouch. I think I literally winced. He was actually not really into music at all, and Journey was just the band that was popular when he was in college, so he had fond memories. Still it was obviously not to be.

  4. I call out EPG to call out BigSteve on his casual dismissal of the fabulously successful Journey. 50,000,000 Steve Perry fans can’t be wrong!

  5. Not even an hour ago a friend forwarded me this Facebook poll with the note that it was one of the first questions I asked him. I have absolutely no recollection of that (it’s been over 30 years) but I guess he answered correctly because we are still friends. I’m just hoping the question doesn’t cause any schisms in these here parts! https://www.facebook.com/permalink.php?story_fbid=343458760607574&id=108724400747679

    Side note: I like the header photo but these days, this is what I think of when someone mentions Country Ham: https://thewhiskeywash.com/reviews/whiskey-review-bookers-bourbon-country-ham-batch-2019-03/

  6. 1. A guy I am tangentially related to one time try to claim that punk was “invented” in England. I shut the conversation down very quickly but I think he actually believed that, and he totally got a rise out of me. .

    2. I got into an argument with a customer at one time while I was bartending because he said it he thought Stevie Ray Vaughan was the greatest blues guitarist of all time.

  7. Happiness Stan

    Mrs H objects to music, especially the kind of music I enjoy, being played in the house. When we met she owned about three CDs, Queen’s Greatest Hits, Return to the Forbidden Planet soundtrack and some panpipe music she bought from a busker. She accompanied me to Glastonbury before we got married and objected to every act I took her to see apart from a couple of comedians, John Otway, and a very fine band called the Lost T Shirts of Atlantis who deserved more than they ever got. Oasis were completely beyond the pale, we missed Pulp’s legendary appearance, and she made me take her home before Page and Plant appeared, although they were running about three hours late. The last gig I took her to was Gorkys Zygotic Myncki, which I enjoyed but she ran away and sat in the bar. Despite such provocation, we remain together and tolerate one another’s peculiarities.

    I made the fatal error of admitting to my the first girl I loved that Duran Duran weren’t to my taste and she never seemed so keen on my company afterwards.

    If I’d fallen out with everyone who ever declined an invitation to accompany me to a Fall gig,. I’d have no friends left. The great unrequited love of my life did come to see them with me at a festival, and stayed for more than half of their set, which left me adoring her more than ever.

  8. cam, I got into the same SRV argument with two in-laws. They were raving about and grooving to hIm when I said (admittedly looking to provoke) that he was unoriginal and I could reel off 20 better guitarists without thinking or pausing for breath. 10 years later the discussion still periodically rears it’s head.

  9. You should discuss Clapton with them next.

  10. Fuck that guy. Everyone knows it’s Robert Cray.

  11. Three quick observations:

    1) I don’t do record deals with friends. The few I’ve done have turned into total nightmares.

    2) My ex had an I could care less attitude about music in general. She also made it clear, several times, that she couldn’t figure out what all the fuss was about in regards to the Beatles. That alone should have told me faulty wiring was at play, but I was young and dumb, and I let all that slide for many, many years. Not good. I’ve said it before, and I’ll say it again. I consider it a major character flaw if one doesn’t understand the magic of the Beatles, which leads me to observation #3.

    3) Years ago, a good friend of mine and I used to set up once in a while on Saturdays at the corner of 10th and Fitzwater and sell records, cheap instruments, books, clothes, etc. My business partner lived in the apartment building on the corner, and it didn’t take her long to figure out that it would be a perfect location for the multitude of cash carrying hipsters in the area. We always did well and had a great time to boot, handing out free beer to our customer faves and gabbing about whatever item sparked conversation. I remember one time in particular when a purchase of Astral Weeks led to a heated debate with a whole crew that went on for a good 45 minutes or so. Great times.

    Anyway, on one of these Saturdays, this mid to late 20s artsy fartsy wanna be, who was in a pretty popular Philadelphia band at the time, picked away at my lps for a good 30 minutes or so and most probably had a pile picked out worth about 400 bucks. While he picked, he causally threw out insights regarding the Beatles’ flaws. He went on and on, until he finally said the one thing that really got my goat: “You’d think by the White Album that the Beatles would figure out how to mix an album. I mean…” At that point, I walked over and started putting his picks back in the boxes. While my customers paused to watch, I said, “You know what? You’re a dick. Do us all a favor and never come here again. We’re having a great time, and we don’t need some pretentious dildo ruining our good time.”

    Most of my customers watched in disbelief for a second or two, then clapped and laughed. He tried to put up a defense, but it was obvious his presence was not desired. He finally walked away, and I handed out more free beer. He had it coming.

  12. Happiness Stan

    Whoops, perhaps I should have read your most entertaining post before offering my own thoughts on the White Album overleaf. I’ll repair to the naughty corner and cut and paste “I must not be a dick” a thousand times by way of penance.

  13. Happiness Stan

    PS, on which side of the Astral Weeks debate did you fall?

  14. Love Astral Weeks. Check out a book called Astral Weeks: A Secret History of 1968 by Ryan Walsh. If you’re a fan of the album, you’ll be an even bigger fan after you read the book.

    I’m one of those weirdos who actually believes in all that mystical nonsense regarding Van Morrison. I think “Into the Mystic” might be one of my favorite songs of all time.

  15. garlic salt

    Somewhat of the opposite, but I think it still applies.

    Freshman year of college I had a girl over in my dorm room. At one point I made a reference to Paradise by the Dashboard Light, the hotly debated but still fantastic Meatloaf song, and she didn’t get it. I stopped, put my shirt back on, played her through the whole song so that I could show her the part I was referencing, and she didn’t get up and leave right there and then.

    Realistically, that experience should have led to a falling out but it didn’t. Moral of the story is, Paradise by the Dashboard Light rocks. Score: EPG and Garlic Eater: 1, CDM: 0

  16. Happiness Stan

    EPG, by the time I got a chance to listen to Astral Weeks I’d endured several late 70s BBC Van the Man in concert shows, consisting entirely of a pick up band grinding their way through fifteen-minute white funk workouts with him grumbling “get on down” to the exclusion of anything else for the duration, desisting only to look miserable during the sax solos. Sax is my least favourite instrument, unless employed by Johnny and the Hurricanes, which didn’t help.

    Since then I’ve approached the Man with great caution or, preferably, not at all. His reputation as a complete arse didn’t help then and I’ve seen nothing to suggest he’s mellowed since.

    I can easily take into account norms prevalent at earlier, uglier times, but, with the exception of Mark E Smith until he started beating up wives and band members, have always struggled to completely separate great art from revolting personalities.

    I heard Astral Weeks once, years later, round a friend’s flat. I preferred it to anything else I’ve heard by him, but my attitude was too sour for it to stand any chance of breaking through.

    There are some albums I’ve resisted revisiting, or listening to for a first time, in case they don’t live up to hopes and expectations, or, in this case, exceed it and set off an explosion of cognitive dissonance. Which is completely irrational.

  17. Well put, Stan. Most of the lps I’ve loved have held up. Movies and books not so much. In my mid 20s, Vonnegut was my man. Read everything by him. When Lady Gergely and I first started dating, I told her she should read Bluebeard, one of my all time favorites. I figured I’d revisit as well. Not a good idea. It didn’t hold up at all, and to this day I can’t figure out what happened. She in turn asked me to read The Storied Life of A.J. Fikry, which was terrific. I’m always a sucker for anything Frank Capra-like, everyone pitching in to get the job done. Again, good stuff.

    Currently reading The Diary of Anne Frank, which I’m embarrassed to say I’ve never read before. Can’t put it down. Unbelievable.

  18. Happiness Stan

    I had a Vonnegut phase, haven’t read any for a long, long time, admittedly haven’t thought about him in a long while. I used to read books avidly, have very much got out of the habit, to the point where I don’t even beat myself up about it anymore. If I do read anything, it’s autobiography all the way these days. I’ve never read the Diary of Anne Frank, it’s one of very few books I expect to one day. We’ve watched several Capra movies during lockdown, some have aged better than others, certainly. Do you have any views on Preston Sturges? I never get tired of his movies, and have long wondered why Capra gets so much love when his are largely forgotten. I guess it’s probably down to It’s a Wonderful Life.

  19. Happiness, I too have been reading nothing but non-fiction related stuff for the last twenty years or so. Have you ever watched the movie Sideways? In the beginning of the movie, the main character is at some sort of get together with his best friend’s wife’s family. While they’re all hanging out gabbing, one of the family members turns to the main character and says something like, “I hear you’re a writer. I only read non-fiction. Fiction, waste of time.” Everybody in the theater laughed at the line. I didn’t because I more or less agreed. That’s awful, but that’s more or less what growing up does to the brain.

    Love that movie, by the way. And yes, it holds up very, very well.

    Regarding the Capra Vs. Sturges battle, it is indeed all down to It’s a Wonderful Life. Like the rest of a good chunk of the world, I watch it once a year, and it never fails to do a number on me. It’s Revolver good.

  20. This is so pathetically Rock Town Hall of me, but It’s a Wonderful Life is too long. My wife first pointed that out. You could lop 40 minutes off that movie and not miss a thing. The best parts are killer. However, the greatest thing Capra ever did is It Happened One Night. PERFECTION – and no stammering Jimmy Stewart fluff.

    I’m going to be seeing EPG soon, and in the likelihood that we disagree on this, I’ll aim to insult him in one of my stock ways, saying something like, “I can see why you’d feel that way.”

    Oh, and Preston Sturges’ best films are excellent, but Capra, despite his excesses, gets the acclaim because he so nicely tugs at the heartstrings. There’s nothing wrong with that.

  21. You and your wife must have been high on mandrax when you arrived at that insight. That’s one of the dumbest things I’ve ever heard. I look forward to hearing about the scenes that should have been cut. I also look forward to making asses out of the two of you.

    Just for the record, I find it very interesting that your opinions are based more on what you think your target audience (RTH, Facebook, Grub and Gab, etc.) might want to hear rather than what you truly believe. And maybe that’s being generous. Maybe the reaction is more important to you than having an actual opinion about something.

    And really looking to watching you eat crow of over all that Singles nonsense which, for the record, you said was an accurate and entertaining snapshot of a a very specific time and place. ???????

  22. Happiness Stan

    Cutting forty minutes sounds a bit on the high side (but not in the sense EPG intimates).

    I’d fall somewhere in the middle. I long ago realised the reason I’ve never loved a lot of films we’re all supposed to adore is because they’re simply too damned long. Mary Poppins, Chitty Chitty Bang Bang, Can’t Stop the Music, the list goes on.

    Gone With the Wind is several hours I’ll never get back again, my granny went to see it every year when the local fleapit showed it, I slightly resented my mum refusing to let her take me with her until I finally watched it on telly.

    I tend towards the view that about an hour and twenty minutes is the natural length for most films, above that anything needs to work a lot harder to justify taking up space, just as an album should be no more than forty minutes long with a comfort break at half time. It’s the main reason I think the White Album would benefit from losing Revolution 9, Obladi Obladah, Martha My Dear, Bungalow Bill and at least a couple of others, and why I’ve never brought myself to listen to All Things Must Pass. So the difference between It’s a Wonderful Life is Revolver. Or something.

    And since when did every book have to be three inches thick? The ones I read in my teens and twenties were 180 pages and did the job well enough.

    Blimey, I sound just like my Dad, although I don’t think he’d have been able to sit through Last Year at Marienbad as often as I do. Every time I watch it which is probably every year, I change my mind about what just happened. It’s either the greatest movies ever made or it isn’t. At least now I’ve managed to stay awake the original Solaris I’ve got more of a handle on what that’s about, if not a good one.

  23. Here’s what our suggested cuts boil down to – and credit for this groundbreaking work goes to my wife, who LOVES Christmas movies, yet shocked me years ago by her willingness to skip this one for a few Christmases at a time:

    Too much backstory: the childhood sledding/hearing loss segment and, especially, ridiculous chunks of unnecessary courtship. The love between the main characters is a key to Jimmy Stewart’s character deciding against suicide, sure, but it’s really a broader sense of love that brings him to his senses: family, work, community…

    We don’t need a half hour of witnessing the courtship of these childhood sweethearts, with the pool scene, the Buffalo girls stuff, the rival hussey with a heart of gold… It’s a Wonderful Life isn’t a rom-com. Capra had already made the greatest rom-com ever with It Happened One Night. It’s a Wonderful Life is a heavily adult movie. It wastes a lot of time revisiting themes of puppy love. I get it: 5 minutes of puppy love flashbacks would have done the trick. “What a wonderful couple! Now, let’s see how this overwhelmed guy is going to find his way out of the darkness!”

    Stewart and Donna Reed are adorable and electric. They had me at “Hello,” but this isn’t Jerry McGuire. If Frank Capra were here, I’d tell him to his face: Trust your actors. Trust your audience. It’s an insult to Stewart to pull so hard on his endearing, stammering charm. Stewart’s got more subtlety than Capra wants to trust. What ultimately makes the film is Stewart’s ability to portray self-doubt and anxiety. This isn’t a throwaway Hugh Grant movie. (And Grant can do occasionally do more than Hollywood asks of him.)

    Other scenes I could do with less of start with any scene explaining to me that Mr Potter is a dick. I get it. One or two scenes of Potter as a miserable asshole would do the trick.

    EPG asked if we would have cut the phone call regarding his brother. “No,” my better half said, “they could have started the movie there!” Again, she made the point that this is an adult movie about adult crises and adult love. That’s all we ask. Is that too much to ask?

  24. Happiness Stan

    Crumbs, you’ve been paying a lot more attention than I have. I’ve seen it loads of times, as I have with many of Capra’s films. I think they possibly pay repeat viewing as there’s a fair bit of what you and I might consider fluff which I’ve forgotten by the next time they come around. Whereas, I could pretty well rattle off the same level of detail for the Philadelphia Story, Hail the Conquering Hero, the Lady Eve and, my all time favourite, Miracle of Morgan’s Creek.

    With the proviso that I could watch Veronica Lake sitting on a chair doing nothing for several hours at a time without getting bored, I don’t quite get why Sullivan’s Travels gets all the love. It’s too preachy for my tastes, though I suppose it moves at a pace closer to Capra and others of that ilk than the rest of his output.

    I love It Happened One Night, if I was feeling perverse I might argue that the Philadelphia Story has the edge, mainly because the Weeny King and the Ale and Quail Club are so deranged, but both have Claudette Colbert at her peak, so what the heck?

    I wish more people cared about these movies to make it worthwhile remixing some of them now technology is available to do so. Mrs H made us sit through the extended versions of the Hobbit not long ago and I longed for a version with only what’s in the book.

  25. Count me in on Team It Happened One Night. It’s my wife’s favorite movie and it moves up my list as well with each repeated viewing.

    I’ve never seen It’s a Wonderful Life from beginning to end. I’ve probably seen all of the scenes but just not all in one sitting. It’s not for me, but then again, I’m not a Christmas movie guy. Also, I don’t really like treacly, heart string tugging sentimentality so this one was never going to get much traction with me.

  26. BigSteve

    I’ve never seen It Happened One Night or It’s a Wonderful Life. Never have never will. I hate old Hollywood movies. I know this is not very interesting, but I’m just glad we’re talking about anything but the fucking Beatles.

  27. Have you seen Hard Days Night?

  28. hrrundivbakshi

    I saw “Holiday” recently, and quite liked it. Never seen “It’s a Wonderful Life.”

  29. Moderator, I’m sickened that you and your better half believe those cuts would improve the movie.

    The sledding incident, the loss of hearing, the mishap at the pharmacy, all are essential. Without those harrowing events, there would be no George Bailey. They solidify his sense of social justice early on. Though he’s continually pulled toward selfish choices, he’s kept in check by these early experiences, which is why he’s drawn to Mary.

    And their ridiculous courtship is vitally important. George and Mary are clearly different from the rest of the gang. She knows there’s something better out there than what the rest of the crowd sees. Early on, she sees it in George Bailey, who’s in a constant tug of war between doing the right thing and being a little more selfish. During the movie’s first half hour or so, when the dance hall floor separates, and the two fall into the water together, any attempt at any kind of pretense is washed away. Like the earlier harrowing events, this is yet another that builds character. They discover that the ridiculous brings out their best, and they are able to better understand each other because their talent for humor brings out all their attractive qualities. Without the ridiculousness, they wouldn’t stand a chance with one another.

    Would anyone classify the movie as solely a romance comedy? No, but you’d be a fool to deny that that wasn’t an important part of the bigger picture. And for that matter, what separates a great book or movie from that which is mediocre is the development of several themes. It’s a Wonderful Life has plenty of them.

    As far as Potter is concerned, the fact of the matter is that his appearances are relatively few and far between. To suggest that too much time is spent proving he’s a dick only strengthens my opinion that you really don’t know the movie that well.

    Lastly, at our grub and gab, little Mo and I discussed some of our favorite scenes from the movie, specifically the scene in which George and Mary become intertwined in the telephone cord during a call from their friend Sam Wainwright. Like the pool in the dance hall scene, some sort of outside apparatus nullifies the nonsense and works as an agent that forces the two to get together. When reminded of this scene, you laughed uncontrollably for a good 15 seconds or so. I can’t speak for my better half, but I was horrified at the spectacle. If you found that scene so embarrassing that it led to a good chuckle, there’s no way in hell you could ever really understand the power of the movie. And I think that’s one of the biggest differences between you and me. You’re mostly head, and I’m mostly heart.

  30. Garlic eater, I apologize for not getting back to you. That said, you left us hanging. Did it reach the point that you swore to love her ’til the end of time?

  31. I was also called out in that post by Garlic Salt but chose to ignore him for obvious reasons.

  32. I’m a little slow. What were the obvious reasons?

  33. I’m pretty sure he was baiting me.

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