Saturday, May 26, 2007

No No No (or Get Your Politics Out Of My Guitar Licks!)

In today's New York Times, the Quotation of the Day is as follows:
"No, no, no to Satan! No, no, no to America! No, no, no to occupation! No, no, no to Israel!"
MOKTADA AL-SADR, the populist Shiite cleric, speaking to worshipers yesterday on his return to Iraq.
Whatever. I'm numb to the shouts of anger from people thousands of miles away. I read the quote and the first thing I thought of was the old Def Leppard song entitled "No No No" from 1981's High 'N' Dry album. Listen to High 'N' Dry and you can almost forgive them for the dull ballads they gave us throughout the 90s. "No No No" is almost the perfect rock song. It's loud, fast, and I don't know what the hell it's about.

I prefer guitar licks to politics. When an artist gives me both, the emphasis better be on the music. Apparently, the new Ozzy touches on global warming. As long as I only learn that by reading a lyric sheet, it's cool. First and foremost, I never want to feel preached to when I listen to rock 'n' roll. Even in Neil Young's famous "Impeach The President" from last year's Living With War, he had the good sense to keep the guitars loud and blaring. And at least he was yelling about President Bush and not singing to me to buy compact fluorescent light bulbs or to save the rain forest. I care about that stuff (Cool People Care), I just don't want it on my iPod when I'm trying to bang my head.

Folk music gets a pass. With folk music, the more political the better. The music always feels like a distant second for the folkies. I never learned how to play the guitar, but I bet a good teacher could teach me how to strum along to most of that stuff in no time. It's all about the words there anyway. I like it all; I just need my Geoff Bakers, Woody Guthries and Pete Seegers to be worlds away from my Dokkens, Judas Priests and my Ozzy Osbournes. I guess I'm a musical separatist like that.

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