Feb 042013
 

kobe_bryant_perfection

Still hate the face, but now find myself rooting for Kobe, especially when he’s up against youngblood pretenders, like LeBron.

During the Super Bowl power outage Townsman Chickenfrank and I touched on the fantastic comeback season enjoyed by Peyton Manning. Over the years we both came around on that guy. For years we rooted against the Manning Dynasty hype, Peyton’s old-school Look, and his animated audibles at the line of scrimmage. Finally, we were worn down by his greatness. Chicken cited Kobe Bryant as another example of an athlete whose greatness over time outweighed our initial, highly negative perceptions in the face of all statistical evidence to the contrary.

Is there a rock artist whose greatness wore you down?

Only Led Zeppelin's musical greatness could eventually wear down my resistance to all a shot like this suggests.

Only Led Zeppelin’s musical greatness could eventually wear down my resistance to all a shot like this suggests.

Led Zeppelin was a Peyton Manning or Kobe Bryant for me. There came a point when the power of their records moved me past the hype, past the idiots who’d glorified them since my high school days, past the dumb lyrics… I was worn down by greatness.

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  22 Responses to “Worn Down by Greatness”

  1. misterioso

    Zeppelin for me, too. Spent all of my youth and early adulthood resisting them and finally let it go and allowed the power and the glory to overwhelm me.

    But, Kobe? Not in this lifetime, pal. ‘Course, if I lived in Philly I might succumb to basketball despair, too, so it is not for me to judge. Great player, obviously. Not even the worst human being on the Lakers, probably. But entirely loathsome.

  2. This is a tricky topic. I don’t like Kobe, but I grudgingly root for him because he is great, and it’s better to have great basketball players than mediocre ones. It’s easy to admit I admire and root for someone without liking him in sports.

    Music is different since there are no statistics to use to judge if someone is great outside of whether it suits my taste. I also had to come around to Led Zep, but not because they wore me down, but because I had to catch up.

    Who comes to my mind for wearing me down is Madonna. I don’t like her music at all, but I feel I can fully concede now that she is GREAT. I root for her to knock off all her knock-offs. She seems to have all the dedication and single-mindedness of the Black Mamba, and a willingness to adapt her game to compete.

  3. My Kobe/Zep is Neil Young.

    As a kid, I couldn’t stand Heart of Gold. It clouded everything about Neil Young for me. That song was a bad first impression that I couldn’t get past.

    Now — hell — I go to his concerts, buy his albuns, bought his book, bought his wife’s album, watch his concert documentaries. Totally in the tank for Neil now.

  4. BigSteve

    I don’t really enjoy Led Zeppelin. In their case I admire them from a distance still. With ZZ Top it was more that I learned how to like them.

  5. bostonhistorian

    I’ve been listening to BBC 6 a lot lately and they’ve been mixing in some Hendrix lately. Taken in small doses I’ve really come to like him a lot more than I did in the past.

    Kobe is, as misterioso notes, loathsome.

  6. BigSteve

    How is Pegi’s album?

  7. It’s OK . . . reminds me of Lucinda or Jessi Coulter’s last album. Pegi’s got a bit of a world-weary sound.

  8. Suburban kid

    Bowie. There was a generation of British singers that were influenced by him and they clouded my view because they mostly sucked. I was a rockist and punk (my favorite Beatles look is Hamburg), and while I appreciated his breaking away from hippie norms, it was all too theatrical for me. I went to see him in the mid-80’s and while it wasn’t his peak period, it was a great show and my grudging admiration for him began there. Gradually, over a long period of time, I’ve come to accept him for the greatness so many others saw in him before me. Doh.

  9. 2000 Man

    I’m starting to hate all professional athletes. They all seem spoiled, narcissistic and wholly lacking in any of the things that make people decent.

    Lynyrd Skynyrd is the band that wore me down. Those albums while the original band were alive are pretty super. They aren’t the evil racists I thought they were and they’re actually very cool. Still don’t like Zeppelin. Not even a little bit. Had to admit that something about early Aerosmith is pretty fun a few years ago. Recently I picked up some Spirit albums and I seem to be liking them pretty well. I always thought Randy California was a dumb name, and Jay Ferguson wrote that dumb song I don’t like, so my assumption was they blow. But I think I was wrong. They’re definitely a product of their times, but they seem to be pretty good at what they were doing.

  10. jeangray

    So no problem with the whole Conferderate Flag thang?

  11. 2000 Man

    No, I do have a problem with that. But I’m not from the South, so maybe it means something other than racist asshole down there. But I don’t think the original band wanted b=t be portrayed like that. The current lineup I have no doubt embraces that, as they’re only interested in pandering to their base. Probably because they’re the only ones dumb enough to still care.

  12. jeangray

    Too true!

  13. This week I was listening to a T. Rex anthology that was more or less chronologically sequenced. I never really liked Marc Bolan or got into T. Rex for the longest time, but then there are some things he’d done that when I heard them later on in life kicked my ass backwards.

    So the first 30 minutes of the compilation was what I remembered – dreadful, whiny, prissy, dumbasss voice vibrato, dopey lyrics, and bongos bongos bongos. eesh. Then a dozen tracks in, something happened – Drums! Bass! Grit! Gong banging!

    Jeepster still has dopey lyrics but they sure as telegram sam they sound better with some rock pushing it along. I could even sing along with the la la lal lal alal lalla laala laaaas without feeling super stoopid…

    Basically that guy had a Marky Mark career – he was a brit one-man-boy-band teenybopper pop star (One Direction-esque before its time?) before he did anything of substance. All that acoustic guitary pseudo-Donovan crap-with-bongos wound up tuning me out on Marc Bolan. I was not wrong that stuff sucked, and when he later switched tracks and started making music I would have liked, I was already a long gone daddy and he never caught up with me on Tiger Mountain and Rockaway Beach.

    Basically theres some bogus crap and some good shit. I guess I’ll still kind of have to shut off the cerebrum and cruise on medulla juice when listening to the latter. And I gotta skip the first eight tracks on any T. Rex anthology to prevent the reflux from the former.

    The first half hour of warbling

  14. This week I was listening to a T. Rex anthology that was more or less chronologically sequenced. I never really liked Marc Bolan or got into T. Rex for the longest time, but then there are some things he’d done that when I heard them later on in life kicked my ass backwards.

    So the first 30 minutes of the compilation was what I remembered – dreadful, whiny, prissy, dumbasss voice vibrato, dopey lyrics, and bongos bongos bongos. eesh. Then a dozen tracks in, something happened – Drums! Bass! Grit! Gong banging!

    Jeepster still has dopey lyrics but they sure as telegram sam sound better with some solid rock pushing it along. I could even sing along with the la la lal lal alal lalla laala laaaas without feeling super stoopid…

    Basically that guy had a Marky Mark career – he was a brit one-man-boy-band teenybopper pop star (One Direction-esque before its time?) before he did anything of substance. All that acoustic guitary pseudo-Donovan crap-with-bongos wound up tuning me out on Marc Bolan. I was not wrong – that stuff sucked, and when he later switched tracks and started making music I would have liked, I was already a long gone daddy and he never caught up with me on Tiger Mountain or Rockaway Beach.

    Basically there’s some bogus crap and there’s some good shit. I guess I’ll still kind of have to shut off the cerebrum and cruise on medulla juice when listening to the latter. And I gotta skip the first eight tracks on any T. Rex anthology to prevent choking on the reflux from the former.

    BTW can anyone name the bongo player in T. Rex without looking it up? I couldn’t.

  15. misterioso

    Mickey Finn. I suppose he has a real name, but I don’t know it. But maybe that is his real name.

  16. The original bongoist for Tyrannosaurus Rex (3 albums) was Steve Peregrine Took. Stories of his excess are pretty legendary now. Billed to appear at a gig at my college he demanded he was paid on his arrival & then exchanged the money for whatever drugs were available. Come time for the gig he could not be roused to play so I’m unable to review his solo work.
    In the 80s I had a work colleague who lived with S.P.T. in the 60s. Her opinion of Bolan was not very high but was interesting.

  17. The original bongoist…

    That’s got to be one of the least-expected phrases in rock!

  18. ‘wacker, there is obviously a difference between the pixies & unicorns, folkie nonsense of Tyrannosaurus Rex & the electric hits of T.Rex. That’s why he shortened the name. My problem with Bolan is that he was, perhaps, the most desperate wannabe in British music.
    The bopping elf of the duo was, at least, his fourth attempt at gaining attention. He was far from being a boy-band star, much of his credibility being due to the patronage of D.J. John Peel. The electric T.Rex was, at first, a pleasant surprise but his glam/flash boogie was,for me, wearing thin after the 4th single though the little girls loved him.
    The formula had diminishing returns, his “I’m a star” schtick more ridiculous when a contemporary, David Bowie, came up on to his shoulder & passed him in both creativity & popularity. Bolan just did not have the chops to match him. “Zinc Alloy & the Hidden Riders of Tomorrow” was no “Ziggy Stardust”.
    His TV series was a kids’ programme. This hilarious & ridiculous reprise of his first single, dragged around on a white swan (yeah, we get it) in his seemingly heavily medicated “Bolantino” period (1976) marks a low point.
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9V2Im7EZC8M

    A T. Rex anthology ? 4 singles mate, that’s all you need.
    Please don’t tell anyone I have said this. I have friends & family of a certain age for whom Bolan is their Beatles. They will hunt me down & hurt me if they knew how I really felt about Marc.

  19. I’m with you about Bolan. Kind of an empty suit.

  20. Stooges – I had Raw Power for about 10 years before it took. I would play it every two or three years just to see if I could figure out what all the hubbub was about because, while I liked the stage persona, there didn’t seem to be any songs so much as a riff or a germ of an idea.

    Tom Waits – Some friends in college played Pasties and a G String for me and I hated it. It just seemed so contrived and obvious. But I kept hearing covers of his songs which I though were great. It took a long time to get used to the voice and the arrangements but once it clicked, it cost me several hundred dollars in cd purchases. I still don’t like the late 70s hipster-beatnik phase though.

    Coltrane – After hearing of his greatness for years, a 3 cd set (maybe the impulse years?) traumatized me for about a decade. I now have a few discs of his that I love but I am still gun shy when I put on something of his that I’m unfamiliar with.

  21. bostonhistorian

    This pretty much sums up Bolan *and* Billy Idol for me: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_baHdLc3tV4

  22. Neil for me too. Having come of musical age during the period when he was releasing crap like Trans and Everybody’s Rockin’, I had zero interest when he regained credibility in the late ’80s. It’s only been within the last decade or so that I’ve become a fan, and even then, I discount pretty much everything he’s released since Rust Never Sleeps, with the exceptions of Le Noise and Psychedelic Pill.

 
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