Monday, October 11, 2010

Donning the Cyclodrome

Back there somewhere a friend of a friend, a woman, "encountered" Don Henley, the famed drummer and Eagle troubadour.  The story had to do with sushi and Beverly Hills and Henley never being available due his schedule and well, hell a man of his peripatectic stature--Aspen, Florida, etc., no shock there. The woman gave up on Don, or I guess it could have been vice-versa.  Hard to know these things because there are a lot of events that have fallen over the falls in the last 20 years, that have spun around the cyclodrome and dropped off the edge of the orb.

Last night a juke was playing "Victim of Love" and I heard Don croon the all time burn-on-you couplet: Some people never come clean/I think you know what I mean.  I've had the same spasmodic response for decades now; I whet my middle three, put them against my cheek and say "zzzzz."  It's that hot.

Don always was a master of the obvious, if you listen to his lyrics.  And there's nothing wrong with that.  He's successful and, as I'm proud to state with frank respect for its veracity, chicks like success.  His success was forthrightly and dutifully won by assiduous catering to American mainstream tastes.  Our chicks are American and, although Americans are fancied as being ruggedly individual self-definers, in their less considered moments they just love to have a guy like Don tell them what success is by stating it directly and fucking-A, if it rhymes all the better.

A small wrinkle arises, however, when the complexity of life, the cyclodrome, is introduced into this simple formula.  And when you watch a guy seeming to score with a girl at a venue designed for that purposes, you witness this unpleasant collision with alarming frequency.  Guy impresses, guy holds forth, guy becomes annoying, guy is undercut, chick moves on.  It's as pristine as one of Aesop's fables.

But it keeps happening and happening, so maybe this is not a fable we can learn from.  Or maybe we can.  The next song the juke played was the Psychedelic Furs' "Love My Way" and I think of Don when Richard Butler (who as far as I know has basically stayed in Surrey most of his life) puts his nose into Love my way it's a new road/I follow where my mind goes.  Certainly, Don could never guess that this song would be much of anything since it doesn't proclaim its own success but relies instead on an idiosyncratic sense of self to communicate something pleasantly unknowable.  On top of that, it doesn't clobber anyone.   So ask your yourself, do you want to be one of the Psych Furs or do you want to be a Don?

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