Posts Tagged Chuck Wepner

Borne Back Ceaselessly Into The Past: A Psychological Review Of Gentlemans Pistols “At Her Majesty’s Pleasure”

I wish I could go back to 1972, listen to Gentlemans Pistols new record “At Her Majesties Pleasure” in the era it was meant to be recorded and stab Richard Nixon’s Chief of Staff H.R. “Bob” Haldeman in the skull with an ice pick.  Okay, maybe not the last part.  Haldeman wasn’t such a bad guy.  He rocked that weird flat top hairdo that became the style in mid-90s rap music and became the best chemist Lompoc Federal Prison ever saw.  He would have dug the new Gentlemans Pistols record for it’s pure grit and bile-ridden effluence.  He was as malevolent a man as ever walked the earth. Supposedly, he tried to have Jim Nabors killed because he wouldn’t play Julie Nixon’s wedding.  I heard that once from a guy in a sauna in Davenport, Iowa.

Gentlemans Pistols is a collection of outstanding British musicians including Mr. William Steer, who gave my life meaning by writing riffs for Carcass that would have made Ed Gein recite Walt Whitman poems to a crowd of smiling 3rd graders.  Steer hasn’t lost a step.  The riffs that he and James Atkinson put on this album are pure roll around-in-the-gutter filth.   They buckle your knees like a 3-2 curveball and do not ask for your permission to continue.

Backwards in time to another place.  Transported to all that was seedy and repugnantly gorgeous about 70’s bar room rock’n’roll.  You are in a pool hall swilling cheap, half-flat beer being stared down by two menacing looking Hell’s Angels.  Not the modern Sons of Anarchy watching yuppies who go cycling between trading soybean futures, but the old school Sonny Barger led head-mangling, spleen eater types.  “Midnight Crawler” bellows in the background and you are completely there.  Everything is in its place.

At some point the whole retrofitted 1970s rock thing is going to get old.  The formula is, in fact, criminally simple.  However, put in the hands of poets like these a 3-minute-song can feel like a shimmering vacation into the dark heart of all that is ugly and cruel.  Something in their tone screams for your undying allegiance.  You would crawl through glass just to hear “Into The Haze” once more.  They are on the mainline, hooked into the Universal Generator and driving ceaselessly into the storm.   This is the purpose for which rock’n’roll was intended.  Not to be background music in the local Target or to be recited soullessly by an army of never-ending American Idol contestants, but to remind us of what visceral chaos lives just below the surface of our pristine, orderly world.

Bob Haldeman Would Have Understood

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To Be And Not To Be

Sometimes simple written juxtapositions can simply shutdown the inner workings of one’s mind.  Zen Buddhism uses koans for this exact purpose.  Mediating on the sound of one hand clapping or why Joshu would bother cutting a cat in half with a pair of shoes on his head are the psychological equivalent of throwing the emergency brake on a Ford Escort while doing 110 miles per hour on the Santa Monica Freeway.  If a person pays attention and is tuned into the general weirdness of the universe it becomes apparent that these bizarre feats of language are everywhere.

This evening I found one such “accidental” koan on Yahoo Sports. It managed to make all of the synapses in my brain stop dead in their tracks.  The current sports media obsession revolves around the potential trade of basketball star Carmelo Anthony to the New Jersey Nets.  About an hour ago, I read a headline that said “Anthony To Meet With Nets”. Below it was a headline that said, with equal certainty, “Nets Not Meeting With Anthony”.

SCREEEEEEEEEEEEEECH!!!!!!!

If these two headlines are read together they can cause severe damage to one’s cerebellum.  How can Carmelo Anthony meet with the Nets while the Nets are not meeting with him?  Does this mean that Anthony is in the room with members of Nets management who are spontaneously ignoring him?  The Nets are trying to trade for him….why would they be so outwardly hostile towards him?  Imagine Carmelo busting into a hotel room filled with Nets brass watching the All-Star 3-point shooting contest.  At first, Carmelo talks softly, then he shouts and screams, but the Nets front office simply sits silently avoiding whatever Carmelo does.  They shun him.  Carmelo jumps in front of the television, he begins to sing the theme song from “Green Acres”, he pulls his liver out of his body and begins chewing on it….no response.  What am I to make of these conflicting headlines?!?!?!

I need to know how this is possible.  Maybe the two things ARE happening at the same time.  Carmelo is in an alternate universe discussing his plans to go to New Jersey while in another dimension the Nets refuse to meet with him.  Maybe there are two Carmelo Anthonys in this world and two sets of different Nets.  Carmelo A is meeting with Nets A while Carmelo B and Nets B avoid each other.  What if these two dimensions simultaneously converged upon on another and Anthony was traded to the Nets while he remained untraded?  The Nets of the Nether Dimension would have added a 20 point per game scorer while the Nets of our current universe would still be stuck with Devin Harris and a bunch of guys in the witness protection program.  What if the Nether Dimension Nets played the Carmeloless real world Nets?  Who would win?  If Carmelo scores 22 points in the Nether Dimension and 20 in the real universe, does it mean he’s scored 42 points?  How would the NBA possibly track these statistics? Wouldn’t he have an advantage over, say,  Kobe Bryant who is currently only allowed to play in one dimension?

What if the Nets got crafty and traded for BOTH Carmelo Anthonys?  This would probably kill their salary cap number but they would have added two All-Star caliber players.  I wonder if the two could co-exist?  Is there room in New Jersey for one Carmelo Anthony?  How about two?  If the Nets learn to master the art of dimensional travel it is entirely possible that they could assemble a team of all Carmelo Anthonys.  Twelve 20 point per game scorers on one team!?!?!  They’d average 240 points per game!!!!  They’d win the NBA title four or five times possibly in the same year.  What if other teams caught on to their multi-dimensional strategy?  LeBron James’ PR image issue would be gone.  He could simply sign with EVERY team in the NBA.  They’d love him again…EVERYWHERE!  In other sports this could be huge.  The Yankees would certainly go out and sign Albert Pujols 47 times.  They’d have Albert Pujols selling tickets, serving hotdogs, playing first base, exterminating bugs, and on and on and on.

Eventually, it is possible to create a worldwide army of Carmelo’s marching towards endless victory. Millions upon millions of Carmelos pulled from millions of different dimensions.  Imagine an enemy army trying to hold a city when thousands of 6’9 small forwards come racing over a wall.  Who could stop them?  They could forever change the world balance of power.  What if a foreign government got their hands on a Carmelo dimensional prototype?  They could create a nation of anti-American Carmelo Anthonys.  The thought is terrifying.

Maybe I’ve taken this too far.  I’m no longer sure of anything. I was having a perfectly normal night trying to find You Tube clips of professional boxers fighting kangaroos when this madness seeped into my brain.  Yahoo owes me a basic explanation as to how a man can be doing something and not doing it at the same time.  I will not rest until I’ve gotten one.

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