Mea Culpa

Q: Does God answer prayer?

A: Yes, but sometimes he says David T. Lindsay.

Yes, fans of MUZIK!, this is a music periodical, and yes, our writers are supposed to write about the subject How the heck Joe Pyne got in here, or what the hell goes on in Lindsay's mind I just don't know. However, the degenerate Mr. Lindsay (we hear he hangs out with El Nuevo Wavo and that they call themselves "The Three Musketeers') pays us big money to print his stuff every month - so what can we do?



Normally this space is filled with another “Essence of Schlock” column dealing with the obscurities of bad taste present in our daily (musical) lives; however, this time I am going to deal with some really pungent stuff (which is not to say it stinks). I have always been a great admirer of the late Joe Pyne; a former (crippled) TV talk-show host who insulted his guests who, for the most part, were both controversial and maniacal.

It seemed that each week Joe was confronted by another kook who imagined that The Beatles had come from Venus, or one who was trying to invent some new garment that would lower the body temperature. But no matter how hard they tried, Joe always came out on top. “Why don’t you find a hole that needs digging and go to .work.” “Your coat must be made of real wool, I can still smell the sheep.” Words to live by, spoken by a man who understood the value and artistry of sarcasm. I feel sometimes that my life has been caught in a commercial break during a Joe Pyne episode and I’m having to please-standby-due-to-technical-difficulties-beyond-my-control.

Am I the only person that questions the absurdities we’re forced to contend with from day to day? How did Betty Anderson ever get a date? When you think of the Hardy Boys do you remember Shawn Cassidy or Tim Considine? Where are Buddy Farnan and Felicia Jeeter nowadays! I realize that these dilemmas don’t seem important to many of you who are too busy doing the shag while listening to a bunch of winos sing about what kind of fools they are, but as Joe would say, “All of you can take a walk off the pier and test the water.” No one who dies is a friend of mine.

This is actually a column about dead musicians. It is estimated that someone dies once every three and one-half minutes and yet, just because some joker recorded a mediocre song about telephone operators, or Rastafarian politics I’m supposed to feel compassion and help society immortalize this candidate for worm fodder! Furthermore, all the wrong people are dying. I’d gladly trade three Eddie Van Halens, a Pat Benetar, and any two members of AC/DC for an Elvis or Jim Morrison. When will it end? Am I do be subjected to a memorial triple record set when Helen Reddy drops off, or maybe I should start saving money now to attend the funeral of Joe Strummer. Who cares?! These people are sub-average at best. Let’s face it, music hasn’t been worth a damn since Eddie Cochran and Gene Vincent took off for England. And no, I don’t know the name of any of Adam and the Ants’ songs, but if they die I’m sure I’ll hear them.

“Why so negative, Dave?” I get asked at least once a week (and don’t call me Dave). Maybe it’s because I possess all my brain-cells and have a vivid memory of times gone by. I remember people who have died after having lived. I’m not talking about having written a few silly love songs or having given money to feed hungry children (do you realize that you can feed five hungry children tor as little as $100 a month, and I’d still rather have my VCR unit?).

Frank Lloyd Wright, Stravinsky, Groucho Marx, Dan Blocker- these are people who have made me feel both insignificant and yet proud to be part of the same species. We all have idols, but we don’t have the same vision as to what constitutes greatness. I can’t sing any of Bob Marley’s songs, but then neither could he.

It’s not that I disapprove of honoring the dead, it’s just that more is at stake here than some third-rate performer. Popular culture, and rock and roll in particular, is starving to death by being fed a steady diet of mediocrity and we’re too busy bemoaning some heroin overdose victim to notice. Chances are we’re going to pull out of this O.K. The fourth generation of rock fans is living next door right now. Just maybe by the time they’re old enough to care, someone will set Prince on fire and he can be extinguished while facing in the direction of the Dakota.

Hey, Harry, keep the change!