Dec 112014

“Right,” I said, as we realized how ridiculous “macho” sounded applied to us. We were talking to each other via the hands-free Bluetooth technology in our cars, as we made our drives home from work. Andyr was probably using his free hand to scratch his head, as I was doing, to find le mot juste. “We’re boys!”

“Maybe you could say we’re as macho as a teenage boy is capable of being.”


That seemed to fit what we were getting at. We’ll never be macho, but we’re driven by the same abundance of hormones that drove us into forming a band in the first place, when we were 16 and incapable of playing any instruments. Maybe that’s part of the punk rock spirit. Whatever, it’s fun and it’s worth holding onto and working. When I saw X a couple of months ago, the first time I’d seen them since the release of Under the Big Black Sun, they still played from that spot within themselves. They still played fast and sweaty. They played what my bandmates and I refer to as Forearm Rock. Everyone was clearly older and probably not capable of generating as wicked a hormonal storm as they once were, but shit, it was X. When I watched this Clash video this afternoon, a song I was listening to in my car as I pulled into work this morning this morning and sat in the car until it finished, I was immediately transported back to my teenage years, when I first learned, to paraphrase Led Zeppelin, to know what it means to be a, not quite, man, but you know, as close to a man as I could imagine ever being. Proto-Macho. Your Rock Town Hall Glossary entry for the day.


  10 Responses to “Proto-Macho”

  1. I think I get where you are coming from — I have to laugh a bit because my wife likes “proto-macho” shows — where she knows there will be some rock happening.

    When some old friends play DC — Marshall Crenshaw, Justin Currie from Del Amitri, Marti Jones & Don Dixon, John Wesley Harding, Lloyd Cole, Steve Earle, Amy Rigby, Mike Scott from Waterboys, — her first question is — is there a BAND? She’s not that into solo acoustic and she generally cringes through the (usually local) solo guitar guy or gal openers for those types of smaller shows.

    She’s not totally against folkie singer-songwriters, but she can only take so much. I also took her to a Steve Winwood show where he did big chunks of “About Time” which has a few of six-plus minute jammy numbers. Super long jams are another non-starter with her. She wants “Gimmie Some Lovin'”

    BTW — I gather from the You Tube comments on the Clash video that the dancer is Pearl Harbor?

  2. Ah, that may be the dancer! I meant to look into that. Your wife sounds like a great woman!

  3. BigSteve

    I generally hate it when bands speed up songs in live performance. The Stones are the worst at this.

  4. Is there a worse live album than “Love You Live”?

  5. Dylan Live at Budakan?

  6. misterioso

    Still Life? But at least it has the benefit of only being a single lp. So, maybe not.

  7. misterioso

    A bad record, to be sure, but it at least has some startling novelty value. (“Mr. Tambourine Man” with a flute? Rock arrangement of “It’s Alright, Ma”? Sure, let’s go for it!) Love You Live has, as far as I can determine, precisely nothing in its favor.

  8. I agree with misterioso on the odd value if that Dylan album. How about the reggae version of “Shelter From the Storm,” complete with “Hurricane”-style violin, if memory serves.

  9. BigSteve

    The El Mocambo side of Love You Live is pretty cool, especially that version of Crackin’ Up.

  10. 2000 Man

    Love You Live is alright. I’ve certainly heard worse (some Peter Frampton album and then a live Eagles album come to mind immediately), and the El Mocambo side of Love You Live is terrific. Everything was too long on the 75/76 tours, but the recording is real good and it’s really pretty much how it went down. Still Life is a little worse but if you want a shitty live Stones album, that one Martin Scorsese did is really shitty.

    Otherwise, I like the Stones live. Especially 69, 72, 73 and 78.

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