Memoir

65. Wherein I Am Completely Wrong

“You just have to look at the facts,” I said.

Matt didn’t even look up from our frog.  “The only fact is that it sucks and nobody cares about it.”  The frog didn’t say anything.  He was pinned to a board, limbs splayed like a Froghouse centerfold.

“Whether it’s good or bad is irrelevant,” I countered.  “What matters is that it is conceptually cohesive.”

“Is that even a thing?  And what’s the concept?”  Matt removed  the frog’s lungs and I vowed never to eat another lima bean.

“Are you kidding?  It’s a dystopian future where the machines are in control.”

“You get all of that from one stupid song?”

Mr. Painter stepped behind us, put one hand on my shoulder and with the other pointed to the frog’s gaping abdominal cavity.  “See that, fellas?  That’s fatty deposits.  You could take them home and cook them up with a mess of beans, Jim.”

“Mr. Painter, I am not Southern by birth.  I assure you that I have never eaten a ‘mess o’ beans.’  Anyway,” I said to Matt.  “My point is that what we have here is a band at the peak of its popularity putting a multimedia concept out there: music, stage show, video — ”

“The video is even worse than the song.”

“It doesn’t matter!  You’ve seen the film version of Tommy.  It’s terrible but that doesn’t change the fact that Tommy as a multimedia concept has a place in history.”

“There’s no comparison.  Tommy is good.”  We searched for the frog’s gall bladder.  Maybe he had it removed.  He obviously had a weight problem, so who knows what his diet was like.

“You’re just being difficult because you know I’m right,” I said.

“No, I’m being realistic because that album sucks.”

I put down my tweezers and scalpel.  “Look, we’re not going to settle this right now.  We won’t know for twenty or thirty years whether I’m right so I guess we’ll just have to wait and see.”

“Yeah, I guess so.”

“And the loser has to publicly admit that he was wrong.  Is it a bet?”

“Deal, but you might as well go ahead and admit you’re wrong.  It isn’t going to happen,” Matt said.

“Okay,” I said. “Mark my words:   The way that we respect Tommy, Quadrophenia, and The Wall future generations will revere Styx’s Kilroy Was Here.”

I’m not sure, but I think even the frog smirked.

Categories: Memoir, Music

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17 replies »

  1. Fantastic scene development. And, as a testament to your insight, I must hereby admit of never hearing of that album by Styx. I gave a couple of listens to the one with the big Easter Island heads on it; but, that’s the lonely Styx reference that remains within the confines of my crowded memory. No dissection necessary.

    Another fine mnemonic. You had me laughing, feeling like I was at the next table with my fetal pig, evesdropping on mano-a-mano intimacies that were so very curious and foreign to a knowingly innocent, adolescent girl. I ached to understand and translate the psyches of boys back then, as an intellectual exercise. Now I know how little knowledge that would have given me. HA!

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  2. I should clear the air here. You will find lots of Styx on my playlist. I played my “The Grand Illusion” and “Pieces of Eight” 8-tracks often in the make out basement, and I still wail along to “Come Sail Away” or “Lady” given the opportunity. They lost me at “Paradise Theater,” though, and I never came back.

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  3. haha! Loved this post. Once again, I felt like I was right there. I’m pretty sure I smell formaldehyde.
    I confess to a love for Styx. I would have defended Kilroy Was Here back in the day, had I been asked to. Domo arigato.

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  4. It’s bad. I remembered the hit, Mr Roboto and forgot the album name. I went to see them for the 81′ Paradise Theatre tour, another concept album that I actually liked, apologies. Perhaps the success of that one buoyed them up for Kilroy. Kilroy was indeed here. It could have gone your way James. The universe and the entertainment industry is funny that way.

    Liked by 1 person

      • Well at least at 15 I would have hoped not to write “The universe and the entertainment industry is funny that way.” ‘Are’ that way is more appropriate though, in my defense, the universe being part of the entertainment industry could give me some leeway.

        They never recovered after Kilroy and the mid to late 80’s ate them up. But get “Crystal Ball” or “Come Sail Away” on and it’s still ear hurting, speaker destroying time. That’s quite a something at the very least.

        Liked by 1 person

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