Tuesday, March 10, 2020

I get crushes on music

Qeensryche was a constant companion in the summer of 1986 as my Keds skipped over cracks in the cement sidewalks on the way to journal in the cemetery -- called a burial park out of some bizarre intersection of sentimentality and superstition -- Geoff Tate in my Walkman joined my quest for Rage for Order.

When Operation Mindcrime came out two years later, I was happy to wax rhapsodic about how it was great but had gotten too glossy and lost a lot of the edge that attracted me and made the music mine. In truth it was too soon for me to have a new album from the group that bared my soul; I couldn't handle a shiny new Queensryche voice feast. It felt like watching the lastest Popular Girl wear the letter jacket of my crush. It was a betrayal for Tate to move on after he confessed his infrared dreams and heard my whispers.

I found companionable commiseration in Nick Cave. His literary vulnerability captivated me as it vaulted from raw depths of bass tones launched by a sharp bitter edge of preemptive rejection. But his self-affirming isolation was too complete and in the end I believed him -- the abyss of Us just couldn't fill the self-contained chasm of inadequacy that was Him.

In an independent record store -- a hole in the wall in my neighborhood where I had picked up Julian Lenon so long ago -- I accidentally stumbled on Nick Drake just in time to mourn him; a fitting rebound under a pink moon to forget the broken promise of a red right hand.
There was nothing left but to slip into Lou Reed's New York.