Only a nineteen-year-old man would bristle at being called “safe and normal.” At that age a guy looks in the mirror and sees “Wild One” Brando reflected back with no idea that road leads to muumuus and braids.
Rock and roll doesn’t help. Safe and normal guys are often the objects of mockery in music, the squares trying to keep those street fighting men down.
But in the long run safe and normal is the place to be. Batshit crazy is fun for a while, but it’s exhausting.
Here are a few songs celebrating the regular guy. Button up your cardigan and enjoy:
“Lead a Normal Life,” Peter Gabriel. From the former Genesis front man’s third album, often referred to as “Melt.”
“A Well Respected Man,” The Kinks. Not a deep cut, but come on!
“Play it Safe,” Iggy Pop. Everything I’ve ever heard about Jim Osterberg is that he is the nicest, most decent guy you’d hope to meet. But when he’s on stage as Iggy, forget about it.
“Honey, Don’t You Want A Man Like Me?” Frank Zappa.
“I’m A One Woman Man,” Hindu Love Gods. What do you get when you replace R.E.M.’s Michael Stipe with Warren Zevon? This great one-off band:
“One Good Man,” Rossington-Collins Band. Finding one good man is a pretty common theme. From Memphis Minnie to Janis Joplin to modern divas, everybody seems to be looking for the nice guy, and yet Tommy Lee ends up with all the babes. Go figure. The great post-Skynyrd Rossington-Collins had a good take on the subject:
“Middle Man,” Living Colour. The middle is the place to be. Out there on the fringes is fun for a while, but moderation in all things is the way to go.
“Simple Man,” Lynyrd Skynyrd. A beautiful song that is losing its juice thanks to one reality show or another. I’d put this one up against “Freebird” as the greatest goosebump song in the Skynyrd discography.
“What Makes A Good Man,” The Heavy. I don’t know much about The Heavy, but this song is on my playlist thanks to a promo somebody sent me. I dig it, and so do a lot of other people according to the number of views on this clip.
So there you go: A few songs for the safe and normal guys. Do you have any to add? I’m listening.