Tuesday, January 02, 2007

Thank you, Lester Bangs

When I was but a beardless youth, I came across a copy of Creem. And in that distant land, it was hard to get your hands on information - this was a quarter-century before the internet, in a town without a bookstore. I treasured that copy, read it to death, damn near memorized the thing. It had a big influence on me.

And the heart of the issue was a long, rambling piece called James Taylor Marked for Death. (Twenty years later, I would learn that the piece was written by Lester F. Bangs.)

Now, whatever the virtues of the talented Mr. Taylor, the case against him was memorably made. He's done a few songs that will last - I can't drive the Mass Pike without thinking of him - but I remain to this very day somewhat averse to the charms of Sweet Baby James.

Back in November, the Dems swept state-wide elections here in New York. New Governor Spitzer is extremely smart (1590 SATs!) and, (depressingly), a couple of years younger than I am. But his politics are - despite his money - quite admirable.

And he threw a public inaugural, one that stood in stark contrast to the republican version. The day began with a run in the park, on to an open-air inauguration, on to throwing a public party in the ESP, then an open house at the residence - and culminating in a free concert in the Knick Arena.

Jimmy Fallon MC'd. Ben Vereen sang. Willie Colon played. Natalie Merchant performed.

And, the evening's headliner: James Taylor.

I sat through three numbers before I realized that it would be a betrayal of all I stand for me to sit through a performance by James Taylor. I could no more endure JT than I could voluntarily endure watching the Lawrence Welk Show.

So we got up and left.

Labels: , , ,


Post a Comment

<< Home