I would imagine we’ve all been on the receiving end of what I call Rock Schoolyard Bullying at some point or another in our musical development. Perhaps some Classic Rocker upper classman called you a “pussy” for liking punk rock or New Wave or Disco or whatever. Or maybe some asshole blogger once “outed” you for professing to like Bruce Springsteen‘s Nebraska while claiming you’re a cliche for professing to love that album while having long been too cool for school to admit liking any of The Boss’ popular works. Those rock bullies really get my goat!
I have, however, been guilty of acts of rock schoolyard bullying. I know this confession may shock you. To illustrate an experience I had on the giving end of this regrettable dynamic, here’s an excerpt from a longer piece I have in the works:
The rhythm of music has helped me better understand my own rhythm and the rhythm of others. “What makes that guy tick?” I’ve asked myself a few thousand times over the years. If he’s a music lover to any degree I may be able to quickly home in on his Inner Metronome and reach a level of intimacy that two dudes may not otherwise reach so easily. I have to tread with caution, though. Snap judgments and insults based on an artist he initially expresses as a favorite that I don’t like won’t help. I still regret walking into a party in my mid-20s, with a roomful of people I barely knew, being immediately cornered by a perfectly excited fellow music fan who wanted to make a connection, and then bluntly telling him his favorite local band of the moment “sucked.” It would have been better form had I simply shoved him against the wall and sucker punched him. Sorry, man.
Do you have a memorable moment of rock schoolyard bullying you feel needs sharing, be it on the giving or receiving end? I trust much healing will ensue.