Fecking hell mate, nearly drove up on the sidewalk of Franklin Avenue this afternoon when Jed the Fish played "Three Days" for his Catch of the Day. The opus (one of many) from Jane's Addiction's "Ritual de lo Habitual."
You see, only just Wednesday night I was talking to this guy about music, and radio, and he said, "Kids today--you say 'Jane's Addiction' and they think 'Been Caught Stealing.' If the radio had ever played anything else, kids today might have a whole different picture."
Today, as Jed played "Three Days," I imagined the Korn kids and System of a Down stooges out there in radioland, hearing this grandiose, impossible music for the very first time, at 4:45 p.m., rush hour on a Friday. How must it have felt for them? What did they think? Really, what did they feel? Did they grasp its supra-sexual pandrogyny? Did they feel its broken, bleeding heart, spread wide over the city, pierced through by the sword of love, flaming with the fire of clarity, like the heart of the virgin?
(At my high school, Immaculate Heart, everywhere you turned were these statues, often life-sized, of Mary, with her heart outside her dress. She pointed to it, because it was on fire, and there was a sword stuck through it. Ouch!)
Anyways.... I always loved that song like mad and learned all the goofy lyrics like a geek when I was 19 and flipped out over and over in my awful college bedroom. ("All of us with WINGS!") But I never, ever heard the real scope of its power and glory until today. Do you remember how I was going on once about "Too Fast For Love" and "O My Soul" and songs with multiple parts?
"Three Days" is the mother of them all--it should really be called "Three Songs."
Actually, it should really be called "Five Songs."
Good Christ, it's beautiful!
Good mother love bone, where the fuck did it come from and when was the last time I heard music that passionate on the radio?
Almost lost my voice at Wilton and Franklin, sitting at a light.
Wilton. Ah, Wilton.
Wilton, which I rode up every morning for six years on the way to Immaculate Heart. Wilton, which me and Elexa drove down prolly in 1987--we drove down it at night, late at night, and we saw a house party near Beverly and Wilton. We went in--I think I told you this story before?
As we walked up to the house, I thought it was a Mexican family's house. Then we walk in and there are black and white photos on the wall of Andy Warhol and Edie Sedgwick and shit, and various skinny black-clothes cool people, I'm all, oh, these are artsy people. Candles, fairy lights, incense and the Red Hot Chili Peppers in the backyard hanging out with Fishbone. I'm snooping in the bedroom; I didn't know who the fuck's house it was, I just liked the candles in the bedroom. Perry Farrell appears at the door and tells me to get out. Oh whatever, Mr. I'm So Fucking Cool Get Out.
It was so, so thrilling.
So incredibly thrilling and scary and cool, we felt just unspeakably cool. Actually, I think we were in high school still--this must have been 1987.
I still feel like a huge star that I accidentally went to his house. So much so that I'm repeating this story I already told you!
Then I realized, oh shit, this is the house I always notice on the way to school---it looked like a party house, like a bunch of kids with no parents lived there, like the Young Ones. I think there was a flag hanging in the upstairs window for a long time, a Union Jack? For some reason, I always had this idea that a brother and sister lived there with no parents, and they were artistic crazy party people. I wonder if this was the case?
It felt funny to be on Wilton today, listening to this deathless rock that, in a way, was born on Wilton.
Moments like these are what save me from completely puking and wanting to leave L.A. sometimes. Moments like these give you a sense of roots, of history, and of beauty amid the banal dinginess of the place. Shit, i wonder if I'm supposed to write about this for my column? Oh well.
Anyway. After playing "Three Days," Jed gave a lovely sermon on how good classic rock follows the classical model--"It's not verse chorus verse, it follows the composer's imagination wherever it takes him!" He said this song was one of the last examples of prog-rock, too. Fine, whatever. You say prog, I say Zeppelineqsue; we'll meet somewhere in the middle.
Have I mentioned lately how I love and adore Jed? Sweet, gentle, brilliant Jed.
Jed who loves music down to his socks even though he works at the ultimate factory farm of music. Jed, who played "Three Days" today, and then, afterward, after 30 years in radio, was still moved by the experience. "....the power of radio, right there. I can just flip a switch, and we all get to hear this incredible thing. We weren't the only ones hearing it, here in the studio--all of you did too, all over the city."
Jed, my hero.
Rodney is a hero too, at least musically. He called me today after my column came out containing a tiny interview with him. I felt like such a "cool person" to have Rodney calling me. I felt like I was "in the mix" or something. It was weird. I mean, he's just a guy, but as we're talking, he's telling me how he speaks on the phone to Phil Spector every other day...
He told me Phil Spector is producing the new Starsailor record. Trip out! Rodney says he hooked them up.
Of course, he never called me before I had a column. Oh well.
Whenever I interview a musician, and we really connect, and then I never fucking hear from him/her again, I always think of the Fleetwood Mac song where they sing, "Players only love you when they're playing."
You can't mistake these mini-relationships for friendship.
There have been two exceptions to this in my "career" so far.
Gotta run because Axel and his new bandmates are coming over soon to drink this cheap Czech beer I found at Trader Joe's and then we're gonna go to "24 Hour Party People." I'm psyched.
At Trader Joe's this Brit guy said the beer was great. I said, thanks for the tip--Czech beer is preferable but you never really know. He said, that's where the original Pilsner comes from, like he thought he was Mr. Hot Shit Czech Beer Guy.
Little did he know he was up against Ms. Brain Full of Useless Czech Trivia.
"It's also the home of the original Budweiser," I said.
"In the most roundabout way, yes, I suppose," he said, most condescendingly.
"Not at all," I said. "The original Budweiser comes from a town called Budvar. It's called Ceske Budejovice in Czech."
"But it's hardly related to Budweiser," he said, as if to somehow prove he was still right.
Men are so goddamn competitive, it's just a joke. It's good to bust them every so often, when you feel like it.
Sorry for all the really disgusting name-dropping and bragging and "I'm So Cool"-ing in this entry. It's clearly an effort to feel good after last week's Irish self-loathing.
Party on, party people.
Love and kisses,
PS: Rodney told me he has a gold record for "Hot Child In the City," because he was the first person to play it.
How hot and rad is that?