Quantcast
4S Ranch Allied Gardens Alpine Baja Balboa Park Bankers Hill Barrio Logan Bay Ho Bay Park Black Mountain Ranch Blossom Valley Bonita Bonsall Borrego Springs Boulevard Campo Cardiff-by-the-Sea Carlsbad Carmel Mountain Carmel Valley Chollas View Chula Vista City College City Heights Clairemont College Area Coronado CSU San Marcos Cuyamaca College Del Cerro Del Mar Descanso Downtown San Diego Eastlake East Village El Cajon Emerald Hills Encanto Encinitas Escondido Fallbrook Fletcher Hills Golden Hill Grant Hill Grantville Grossmont College Guatay Harbor Island Hillcrest Imperial Beach Imperial Valley Jacumba Jamacha-Lomita Jamul Julian Kearny Mesa Kensington La Jolla Lakeside La Mesa Lemon Grove Leucadia Liberty Station Lincoln Acres Lincoln Park Linda Vista Little Italy Logan Heights Mesa College Midway District MiraCosta College Miramar Miramar College Mira Mesa Mission Beach Mission Hills Mission Valley Mountain View Mount Hope Mount Laguna National City Nestor Normal Heights North Park Oak Park Ocean Beach Oceanside Old Town Otay Mesa Pacific Beach Pala Palomar College Palomar Mountain Paradise Hills Pauma Valley Pine Valley Point Loma Point Loma Nazarene Potrero Poway Rainbow Ramona Rancho Bernardo Rancho Penasquitos Rancho San Diego Rancho Santa Fe Rolando San Carlos San Marcos San Onofre Santa Ysabel Santee San Ysidro Scripps Ranch SDSU Serra Mesa Shelltown Shelter Island Sherman Heights Skyline Solana Beach Sorrento Valley Southcrest South Park Southwestern College Spring Valley Stockton Talmadge Temecula Tierrasanta Tijuana UCSD University City University Heights USD Valencia Park Valley Center Vista Warner Springs

A Rage Against Monotony

I was grounded, which was a worse proposition than it sounded in my house. I was 14. It was 1965. My father's decree, he knew not to what he was consigning me. A summer in the countryside of Illinois; idyllic and humid, far more mosquitoes here than in Chicago where we had been living a month ago. No air conditioning, a few fans -- all in my mother's room. No color television, of course (we were rarely allowed to watch the black and white Zenith). It mostly depended on my mother and which stage of her (legally prescribed) Dexedrine and or Nembutal high she was engaged in at the moment. Most things in the household depended on this.

My crime was arriving home at 4 a.m. after seeing Albert King and The Paul Butterfield Blues Band at the Aragon Ballroom in the city. My father had been waiting for me in the darkened living room. The only light was the glowing ember in the bowl of the pipe clenched between his teeth.

I was sentenced to six weeks of confinement from mid-July to the end of August. During that time I read The Catcher in the Rye at least twice, I think more. I forget the brand name of the portable turntable I had, but I was allowed to listen to what records I had and the ones that would be smuggled to me by my friend and neighbor, Rick. During those six weeks I listened to the Temptations and Supremes, the Animals, the Kinks, the Beatles and Paul Butterfield. (Was the first Butterfield album out then? In my mind it was.) I also had the McCoys and the Troggs (I was 14) and Bob Dylan's Highway 61 Revisited. The Beatles albums were Beatles '65 and Rubber Soul. (Was Rubber Soul out in the summer or winter? In my soul it doesn't matter.)

I reach back to that time because of loneliness and I figure a desert island would be lonely. To be isolated on one with a single album and theoretically something to play it on would be a formula for madness soon enough and pretty much any CD or album would get smashed to bits in a rage against monotony. But there was music for me that summer that helped me get through that isolation. Of course I had more than one album and several 45s. These recordings were the soundtrack to my loneliness, resentment, alienation, resignation, and, I should not forget, puberty.

As unlikely as it is that I will ever again be anywhere near a desert island, I will entertain the idea that I am the lone survivor of a shipwreck in which I manage to salvage a CD player and CD.

Harkening back to that summer, possibly I can isolate a single album that was most useful in preserving some semblance of sanity.

I keep thinking back to the Animals albums, Animal Tracks and Animalization. There was something so tough in Eric Burdon's voice that those studio performances helped me get through much. His voice seemed to say, "Do your worst, world. Fuck you, I'm still standing." Like a punch-drunk prizefighter, Burdon seemed (and actually still does) to be indestructible. Songs like "Inside Lookin' Out," "Don't Let Me Be Misunderstood" (the way he did it, not Nina Simone), "I'm Mad," That's Another Side of this Life," (produced by Frank Zappa), and "All Night Long" (those are not on any single album, alas) helped ameliorate feelings of abandonment, condemnation, hopelessness. If it's not against the rules, I would burn my own CD of this single artist, maybe two CDs, because I know many contributors to this piece are going to go for Blonde on Blonde or The White Album, both two-record sets.

The End of the Innocence by Don Henley helped get me through a bad time at the end of a soured love affair. But as much affection as I had for that record at the time, on a desert isle, with that alone, I would turn into Mojo Nixon in a week, screaming, "Don Henley must die!"

December 11, 2003, Rolling Stone put out an issue of "500 Greatest Albums of All Time." The list begins with Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Heart's Club Band, unsurprisingly. They called it, "...the most important rock and roll album ever made." They went on to place Elvis Presley's The Sun Sessions at number 11. The first would never have existed without the 11th. Other strokes of wrong-headedness on this list has Band on the Run at 418, which is okay, but ahead of 443, Sam Cooke Live at the Harlem Square...?!?!?

And so I ignore the list, the issue, though my heart hovers at RS's number five, Rubber Soul. If I can't have my own burned, double CD of The Animals and Eric Burdon: A Brizzolara Compilation, then give me Rubber Soul. I might survive on the magic and beauty in those grooves.

Here's something you might be interested in.
Submit a free classified
or view all

Previous article

Discovery of priest’s letters reveals tension between church, locals

Culture Clash
Next Article

Immigrants flock to San Diego

Indian-Americans, Casa Cornelia, Border Angels, Somalis, Vietnamese in Linda Vista

I was grounded, which was a worse proposition than it sounded in my house. I was 14. It was 1965. My father's decree, he knew not to what he was consigning me. A summer in the countryside of Illinois; idyllic and humid, far more mosquitoes here than in Chicago where we had been living a month ago. No air conditioning, a few fans -- all in my mother's room. No color television, of course (we were rarely allowed to watch the black and white Zenith). It mostly depended on my mother and which stage of her (legally prescribed) Dexedrine and or Nembutal high she was engaged in at the moment. Most things in the household depended on this.

My crime was arriving home at 4 a.m. after seeing Albert King and The Paul Butterfield Blues Band at the Aragon Ballroom in the city. My father had been waiting for me in the darkened living room. The only light was the glowing ember in the bowl of the pipe clenched between his teeth.

I was sentenced to six weeks of confinement from mid-July to the end of August. During that time I read The Catcher in the Rye at least twice, I think more. I forget the brand name of the portable turntable I had, but I was allowed to listen to what records I had and the ones that would be smuggled to me by my friend and neighbor, Rick. During those six weeks I listened to the Temptations and Supremes, the Animals, the Kinks, the Beatles and Paul Butterfield. (Was the first Butterfield album out then? In my mind it was.) I also had the McCoys and the Troggs (I was 14) and Bob Dylan's Highway 61 Revisited. The Beatles albums were Beatles '65 and Rubber Soul. (Was Rubber Soul out in the summer or winter? In my soul it doesn't matter.)

I reach back to that time because of loneliness and I figure a desert island would be lonely. To be isolated on one with a single album and theoretically something to play it on would be a formula for madness soon enough and pretty much any CD or album would get smashed to bits in a rage against monotony. But there was music for me that summer that helped me get through that isolation. Of course I had more than one album and several 45s. These recordings were the soundtrack to my loneliness, resentment, alienation, resignation, and, I should not forget, puberty.

As unlikely as it is that I will ever again be anywhere near a desert island, I will entertain the idea that I am the lone survivor of a shipwreck in which I manage to salvage a CD player and CD.

Harkening back to that summer, possibly I can isolate a single album that was most useful in preserving some semblance of sanity.

I keep thinking back to the Animals albums, Animal Tracks and Animalization. There was something so tough in Eric Burdon's voice that those studio performances helped me get through much. His voice seemed to say, "Do your worst, world. Fuck you, I'm still standing." Like a punch-drunk prizefighter, Burdon seemed (and actually still does) to be indestructible. Songs like "Inside Lookin' Out," "Don't Let Me Be Misunderstood" (the way he did it, not Nina Simone), "I'm Mad," That's Another Side of this Life," (produced by Frank Zappa), and "All Night Long" (those are not on any single album, alas) helped ameliorate feelings of abandonment, condemnation, hopelessness. If it's not against the rules, I would burn my own CD of this single artist, maybe two CDs, because I know many contributors to this piece are going to go for Blonde on Blonde or The White Album, both two-record sets.

The End of the Innocence by Don Henley helped get me through a bad time at the end of a soured love affair. But as much affection as I had for that record at the time, on a desert isle, with that alone, I would turn into Mojo Nixon in a week, screaming, "Don Henley must die!"

December 11, 2003, Rolling Stone put out an issue of "500 Greatest Albums of All Time." The list begins with Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Heart's Club Band, unsurprisingly. They called it, "...the most important rock and roll album ever made." They went on to place Elvis Presley's The Sun Sessions at number 11. The first would never have existed without the 11th. Other strokes of wrong-headedness on this list has Band on the Run at 418, which is okay, but ahead of 443, Sam Cooke Live at the Harlem Square...?!?!?

And so I ignore the list, the issue, though my heart hovers at RS's number five, Rubber Soul. If I can't have my own burned, double CD of The Animals and Eric Burdon: A Brizzolara Compilation, then give me Rubber Soul. I might survive on the magic and beauty in those grooves.

Sponsored
Here's something you might be interested in.
Submit a free classified
or view all
Previous article

Tennis with François Truffaut and Donal Logue

The film is helped immensely by casting four leads to play their own tennis
Next Article

No longer a David, Stone Brewing recast as a Goliath

The foe of big beer tangles with small breweries over trademarks, including a local IPA
Comments
0

Be the first to leave a comment.

Sign in to comment

Sign in

Art Reviews — W.S. Di Piero's eye on exhibits Ask a Hipster — Advice you didn't know you needed Best Buys — San Diego shopping Big Screen — Movie commentary Blurt — Music's inside track Booze News — San Diego spirits City Lights — News and politics Classical Music — Immortal beauty Classifieds — Free and easy Cover Stories — Front-page features Excerpts — Literary and spiritual excerpts Famous Former Neighbors — Next-door celebs Feast! — Food & drink reviews Feature Stories — Local news & stories From the Archives — Spotlight on the past Golden Dreams — Talk of the town Here's the Deal — Chad Deal's watering holes Just Announced — The scoop on shows Letters — Our inbox [email protected] — Local movie buffs share favorites Movie Reviews — Our critics' picks and pans Musician Interviews — Up close with local artists Neighborhood News from Stringers — Hyperlocal news News Ticker — News & politics Obermeyer — San Diego politics illustrated Of Note — Concert picks Out & About — What's Happening Overheard in San Diego — Eavesdropping illustrated Poetry — The old and the new Pour Over — Grab a cup Reader Travel — Travel section built by travelers Reading — The hunt for intellectuals Roam-O-Rama — SoCal's best hiking/biking trails San Diego Beer News — Inside San Diego suds SD on the QT — Almost factual news Set 'em Up Joe — Bartenders' drink recipes Sheep and Goats — Places of worship Special Issues — The best of Sports — Athletics without gush Street Style — San Diego streets have style Suit Up — Fashion tips for dudes Theater Reviews — Local productions Theater antireviews — Narrow your search Tin Fork — Silver spoon alternative Under the Radar — Matt Potter's undercover work Unforgettable — Long-ago San Diego Unreal Estate — San Diego's priciest pads Waterfront — All things ocean Your Week — Daily event picks
4S Ranch Allied Gardens Alpine Baja Balboa Park Bankers Hill Barrio Logan Bay Ho Bay Park Black Mountain Ranch Blossom Valley Bonita Bonsall Borrego Springs Boulevard Campo Cardiff-by-the-Sea Carlsbad Carmel Mountain Carmel Valley Chollas View Chula Vista City College City Heights Clairemont College Area Coronado CSU San Marcos Cuyamaca College Del Cerro Del Mar Descanso Downtown San Diego Eastlake East Village El Cajon Emerald Hills Encanto Encinitas Escondido Fallbrook Fletcher Hills Golden Hill Grant Hill Grantville Grossmont College Guatay Harbor Island Hillcrest Imperial Beach Imperial Valley Jacumba Jamacha-Lomita Jamul Julian Kearny Mesa Kensington La Jolla Lakeside La Mesa Lemon Grove Leucadia Liberty Station Lincoln Acres Lincoln Park Linda Vista Little Italy Logan Heights Mesa College Midway District MiraCosta College Miramar Miramar College Mira Mesa Mission Beach Mission Hills Mission Valley Mountain View Mount Hope Mount Laguna National City Nestor Normal Heights North Park Oak Park Ocean Beach Oceanside Old Town Otay Mesa Pacific Beach Pala Palomar College Palomar Mountain Paradise Hills Pauma Valley Pine Valley Point Loma Point Loma Nazarene Potrero Poway Rainbow Ramona Rancho Bernardo Rancho Penasquitos Rancho San Diego Rancho Santa Fe Rolando San Carlos San Marcos San Onofre Santa Ysabel Santee San Ysidro Scripps Ranch SDSU Serra Mesa Shelltown Shelter Island Sherman Heights Skyline Solana Beach Sorrento Valley Southcrest South Park Southwestern College Spring Valley Stockton Talmadge Temecula Tierrasanta Tijuana UCSD University City University Heights USD Valencia Park Valley Center Vista Warner Springs
Close